En Tequila Es Verdad/progressive conservatism/post/2009/05/09/0800

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May 9, 2009 8:00 AM - Woozle

Woozle said...

"Faith in science" -- isn't that an oxymoron? Science is based entirely on evidence; "faith" is usually taken to mean belief in something where evidence is lacking.

...oh, you must mean the scientific establishment -- actually, I never had a whole lot of faith in them, and recently it has been strained even further. This is partly due to the republican war on science, of course, where they've done their best to sow chaos and discord in all directions.

On the one hand, you can't question the official story of 9/11 in scientific circles, because the body of 9/11 literature has been thoroughly salted with nonsensical ideas that nobody would take seriously, which everyone now assumes are the main counterarguments, so legitimate scientists can't touch it with a 42-foot pole because it would be equivalent to investigating UFOs or psychic powers. (Or maybe it really is wacky to think that the buildings didn't just collapse the way the official story says, and there were perfectly good reasons for firing/retiring the scientists who disagreed. Who can tell?)

And on the other hand, you have things like Intelligent Design being presented as serious scientific ideas, making the scientific establishment look (in the eyes of the gullible, anyway) like ivory-tower snobs when they refuse to engage with it. (I'm still waiting for the Flat Earthers and geocentrists to re-emerge -- GPSs, photographs, and satellite TV notwithstanding; overwhelming evidence doesn't seem to matter anymore, if you simply claim that truth leads to immorality and the collapse of civilization and therefore we urgently need to ignore anything that makes sense and believe in imaginary stuff if we don't want to be punished for all eternity.)

Global warming is a great example. There is tons of evidence that the conventional energy industry has manufactured the current "controversy" over each and every aspect of the GW agenda when the overwhelming majority of climate scientists agree with it -- and yet the supposed corruption in scientific institutions is being used as evidence that the conclusion was influenced in the other direction.

(...presumably by all those powerful ecological organizations who obtained their vast illicit wealth by brazenly and wantonly, uh, accepting donations from those who agreed with them. The sheer gall!)

I have very little faith in the ability of science-as-an-institution to fight off these attacks anymore. There needs to be an independent office whose job it is to look into these controversies and either refute or substantiate them. I've tried to do it myself, but anything beyond scratching the surface takes a lot more time than I have.

So anyway... what were you saying again? Oh, right, the false dichotomy of having to choose which traditions to keep.

That's the great thing about liberalism: it doesn't force a choice. We can have all kinds of different traditions, or no tradition at all, and they all get equal respect as long as they don't start trying to order people around.

So... tell me more about how conservatism doesn't arbitrarily override the wisdom of our great American-Western traditions of liberalism, science, individualism, diversity, rationality, secularism, and class equality.


May 9, 2009 11:49 AM - Woozle

Woozle said...

P.S. If conservatives are leery of science, dislike big government, are concerned about national security, and abhor waste, then why is it that conservatives always seem to favor nuclear power over other energy alternatives?