Junk Science

I clicked on a link from Fark regarding the top-ten Junk Science issues of the last decade and felt a growing unease about the quality of the article. It was Fox news, but I figured “science is science… that’s universal, right?”

Well, wrong. Luckily, it appears that the Fark community caught the utter tripe for what it was. This is one of the first times I’ve gone to bed with a better feeling about humanity. If we can pick out misleading propaganda like this, we’re doing something right. Right?

Here comes the science. maybe

My local paper has been reporting on some frightening revelations in the science community this week. First, there has been the attempt by some OSU faculty to delay the publishing of a study that contradicts the administration’s basis for salvage logging. Where to begin? This is one small, specific study that contradicts some previous work by the school, but it’s only the start of a larger area of research that when open to criticism, may help determine future policy. Assuming contradictory work is allowed to be published.

Secondly, NASA’s James Hansen reports that he’s under pressure from the administration to, well, shut up about climate change. Sadly, this is the same type of news we’ve been hearing for several years now. Scientist A from the Department of B finds that their work has been fundamentally changed between the writing and the publishing.

Thirdly, there’s a piece in the paper “Surrounded by Lies” that is mostly about some stupid book whose author pissed off Oprah, but the rest is about the lies told to us by politicians and companies and how we’re ignoring it all.

Moratorium on the word “Fact”

I’m convinced there needs to be a moratorium on the word “Fact.” The word has become so misused that I assume people are trying to mislead me when they say it.

Further, there should be a fine imposed on the use of it until sufficient time has passed that it can be used to full efficacy. Just like the 10 cents when you forgot to buckle your seat belt, you’re going to have to drop a quarter if you use the word fact. A whole dollar if you use it with something that isn’t factual.

Intelligent Design?

Bush thinks intelligent design should be taught along side evolution in the classroom? That’s as preposterous as the article calling intelligent design a “theory.” Maybe he just want’s to see his name in headlines next to the word “Intelligent.” I suppose that would require that he actually read the paper.

Really though, what kind of introduction does intelligent design require? You spend 100% of the time teaching the chemistry, physics, and biology that have been involved in the rigorous pursuit and development of the theory of evolution for over a century, and at the end you mention that some people are afraid of some of the contradictions that the theory means to their belief system. Sure – Intelligent Design is a lovely idea and many great minds like Einstein and Hawking feel that the beauty of the universe is evidence for a god, but they don’t dilute their work with personal feelings. And Bush should quit diluting – well – everything. Especially science.