Thursday, January 26, 2006

The reality-based community vs. right wing "sound science" fantasy land

I've recently finished _The Republican War Against Science_. I can't recommend it enough. I think I've realized pretty early in life that there is a strong anti-intellectual and anti-science faction of the right wing. However, it's really quite chilling to find out how the Newt Republicans worked to dismantle the OTA, with the result that now there is partisan science, and freaking political litmus tests given to scientists. Let me repeat that. In our 21st century United States, we have litmus tests being used. On scientists. This administration is insane. The author is right to compare this to Lysenkoism.

Anyway, in there, he talks about the phrase "sound science" as used by the right wing. "Sound science" means anything that supports their religious or corporate agenda - anything that opposes it, even if peer-reviewed, consensus science, is "junk science". But "sound science" is just the PR initiative they use on the sheeple. They show their true colors when they are discussing foreign policy behind closed doors. For example, he discusses this:

The aide said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. "That's not the way the world really works anymore," he continued. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality - judiciously, as you will - we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."

He's just admitting that if they don't like the facts, they'll make up their own fantasy land because we are an empire. They are discussing foreign policy, but if they can do it there, they'll do it in science. And have. George Lysenko Bush, what a good comrade. "Catapult the propaganda", indeed.

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