December 9, 2010
RESULTS OF EXPERIMENTS ARE A FUUNCTION OF THE EXPERIMENTER'S POLITICS:
Lab Politics: Most scientists in this country are Democrats. That's a problem. (Daniel Sarewitz, Dec. 8, 2010, Slate)
[P]artisan politics aside, why should it matter that there are so few Republican scientists? After all, it's the scientific facts that matter, and facts aren't blue or red.Posted by Orrin Judd at December 9, 2010 6:10 AM
Well, that's not quite right. Consider the case of climate change, of which beliefs are astonishingly polarized according to party affiliation and ideology. A March 2010 Gallup poll showed that 66 percent of Democrats (and 74 percent of liberals) say the effects of global warming are already occurring, as opposed to 31 percent of Republicans. Does that mean that Democrats are more than twice as likely to accept and understand the scientific truth of the matter? And that Republicans are dominated by scientifically illiterate yahoos and corporate shills willing to sacrifice the planet for short-term economic and political gain?
Or could it be that disagreements over climate change are essentially political—and that science is just carried along for the ride? For 20 years, evidence about global warming has been directly and explicitly linked to a set of policy responses demanding international governance regimes, large-scale social engineering, and the redistribution of wealth. These are the sort of things that most Democrats welcome, and most Republicans hate. No wonder the Republicans are suspicious of the science.
Think about it: The results of climate science, delivered by scientists who are overwhelmingly Democratic, are used over a period of decades to advance a political agenda that happens to align precisely with the ideological preferences of Democrats. Coincidence—or causation? Now this would be a good case for Mythbusters.