Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Science and Politics

When ever science and politics interact more often than not science looses. Now not all interactions between science and government are negative but the overall affect on science is negative.

Politics is about acquiring and holding on to power and not knowledge. In fact politics often is destructive to knowledge since ignorant people are easier to control. Also politicians are often not really interested is the science but sending money to their districts. The biggest example of this is manned space flight which stagnated for 30 years under government control.

Even worst government often favors some lines of research over others in funding, education, and recognition. Government even favors one side in a scientific dispute over others. The best examples are in origins research and climate research.

Government can block lines of research from being perused. Now sometimes this legitimate such as preventing dangerous experimenting on humans, but other times it’s pandering to irrational fears such as those against nuclear power simply because some people can’t separate reactors from bombs. Giving in to this fear has hampered the development of nuclear power.

Government can hide lines of research which often happens with research conducted by the military. The reason given for this is national security and some time it is legitimate but other times it’s just an excuse. The worst examples of these are climate research and origins research because politics has played a major anti-scientific role in both areas.

In climate research global warming has been favored by progressive politicians who see it an excuse for increased government control. They have backed and promoted pro global warming claims over data to the contrary despite emails showing the hiding of climate data contrary to Global warming. This issue has become so politicized that finding the truth is hard because it is almost impossible to find an objective source on the topic.

In origins research only evolutionary research funded the government. Both Intelligent design and Creation Science gets no government funding, but they are forced to fund evolutionary research with their taxes. Intelligent design and Creation Science have been kept out of public schools on the claim that they are not science this has even been enforced by law suits when local politicians try to include them in public schools science class. There is nothing more anti-scientific than bringing law suits to settle scientific issues by having a judge (lawyer not a scientist) decree that the opposing views are not science. Regardless of your view on origins, this should disturb you. The fact is that science should NOT be determined by judicial decree such actions are fundamentally opposed to the entire idea of science as a pursuit of knowledge.

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