Video on the politicization of science.

#1

Despite the title this is mostly about the politicization of science in society. It is not all about the current era or the current administration, or even entirely about the government. This video is not anti-science. It is about how science can be abused for ideological or political purposes.

Subjects include:

Appointmentt of Scientific Ideologues

"Why should the law not be able to prevent a person from having more than two Children?" John Holdren Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Co-Chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology​

Stretching The Scientific Data
Global warming alarmist claims (such as an increase of wild fires) that are not supported by science.
Coercive Utopianism
School lunch program that doesn't consider the needs of student atheletes or expectant mothers.​

Secret Science
EPA refusal to release data to .. people they don't like.​

Enlisting Science in the Culture War
President taped a introduction to a TV series that likened those who disagree with climate change to Nazis.
The Rise of Totalarian Science

Ecology
Coercive measures to control population. "The life of a newborn baby is of less value than the life of a pig, a dog or a chimpanzee." Peter Singer
Medicine and Biotethics
NBC (tv network): "It's pro-science to abort children with genetic defects" when such abortions are a question of ethics not science.
Faith & Science
Professors use science to promote their anti-religious views. One researcher who thought design in nature is such an obvious inference that "Young children can be taught basic natural selection using a picture-storybook intervention.
Free Speech
Use of of terms like "heretics" and "anti-science" for anyone who disagrees with the mainstream scientific view. NY Times refusing to print letters to the editor disputing climate change when the tradition of printing letters to the editor exists to provide views that differ from the editorial policy of the paper. Calls for the prosecution of global warming skeptics. Canceling of an interdisciplinary class on the "boundaries of science" that included a week on cosmology and physics data that supported intelligent design. Campus speech code banning science and humanities professors from discussing intelligent design.This is in contrast to the previous point where atheists are free to use science to argue for their opinions such as the need to ban religion. A NASA scientists was fired for sharing information about intelligent design with colleagues. A "Free thinker" mob threatened to disrupt a non credit adult education course at Amarillo College on intelligent design causing the course to be canceled.​

http://nypost.com/2009/10/06/white-houses-botched-op/



OOPS! A crowd of 150 doctors gathers in the Rose Garden to support the health-care overhaul -- as White House staffers scramble to hand out camera-ready white coats to those who forgot their own.​

In my opinion, if science can be abused for political purposes that doesn't mean that science is inherently evil and should be abolished. The same argument applies to religion. Religion can be abused but that doesn't mean religion is inherently bad or that it should be abolished.
 
Last edited:
#3
This is quite scary. The U.S., maybe the whole West in general, is so controlling of us. The question is should we fight or not, if everyone was Eckhart Tolle, what would happen ? I'm sick of fighting.
 
#4
This is not about science but it seems to fit in this thread:...


http://brendanoneill.co.uk/post/114576326774/the-vast-empire-of-censorship-in-europe-and-how
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I have to tell you that freedom of speech no longer exists in Europe.

In almost every European country in 2015, there are individuals who are in prison or doing some kind of community service or paying off a fine simply for something that they said, simply for expressing themselves.
...
 
#5
Helen Chernikoff, 42, a mom of two from Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, said sometimes the mayor knows best." Juice and TV are bad and I would embrace the nanny state when it comes to this stuff," she said
Seriously?

Other new rules restrict kids' "sedentary time" to less than 30 minutes a day — down from 60 minutes a day currently — and only one half-hour of screen time a week.
I know Orwell's 1984 is brought up a lot, often out of context, but wow does this sound exactly like the book. It's scary, it really is, that people think this way and think that this kind of governmental intrusion is ok.

Unbelievable. I think Thomas Jefferson's corpse just threw up.
 
#8
http://www.nationalreview.com/human...rue-goal-was-human-vivisection-wesley-j-smith

Kevorkian’s True Goal was Human Vivisection

The revisionism about Jack Kevorkian and his purposes will not stop–and it can’t be allowed to stand. The truth about K and what he was really after–his true motives–is too important, because it not only shows the seductive nihilism of our present day that a ghoul like him could become widely admired, but how hard the media work to tell the story they want to tell rather than report facts in front of their very eyes.
...
I list his goals in more detail in the piece, quoting Kevorkian–but for the sake of space, here’s a nutshell summary:

1. He favored death on demand–he invented categories of people who should have access to euthanasia.

2. He only saw his assisted suicide campaign as a distasteful “professional obligation:”

3. He wanted to use euthanasia as a means of harvesting organs. Indeed, he tore the kidneys out of one of his victims and offered them “first come, first served,” at a press conference.

4. His ultimate purpose was to gain access to people who wanted to be euthanized so he could conduct experiments on them while they were still alive and under sedation,

5. Before his assisted suicide campaign, he tried to gain access to condemned prisoners upon which to experiment. It was only when he was kicked out of every prison that he turned his attention to the sick.

6. He didn’t turn to active euthanasia because he cared about the patients, he turned to lethal injections because it was the method that would be required for him to be able to pick his way through living human bodies!
http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/remembering-the-real-jack-kevorkian/
Kevorkian believed in death on demand.

Kevorkian created categories he believed should qualify people for voluntary euthanasia. These included, but were not limited to:

“Obligatory assisted suicide,” those who have no choice about whether to die, such as condemned prisoners;

“Optional assisted suicide,” which Kevorkian described as “those individuals, sometimes in good physical and mental health who choose to be killed by another as the preferable of … two almost equally unpleasant alternatives;

“Obligatory suicide,” a category comprised of “those irrevocably condemned to kill themselves,” such as “the one thousand fanatic adherents of the Jim Jones religious cult in Guyana in 1978”; and,

“Optional suicide,” defined as “persons who are in no way afflicted by illness but who have arbitrarily and irrevocably decided that they must die.”

In other words, Kevorkian believed that anyone with a sustained desire to die should have access to assisted suicide or lethal injection — and even some people who did not, because he believed in “suicide by proxy,” e.g., the killing of infants or minors at the request of an authorized surrogate decision-maker.​
...
Kevorkian was explicit about his ultimate goal, a license to experiment on people he was euthanizing, writing:

I feel it is only decent and fair to explain my ultimate aim. … It is not simply to help suffering or doomed persons kill themselves — that is merely the first step, an early distasteful professional obligation (now called medicide) that nobody in his or her right mind would savor. … What I find most satisfying is the prospect of making possible the performance of invaluable experiments or other beneficial medical acts under conditions that this first unpleasant step can help establish.

In the vast majority of cases, people kill themselves due to abnormal brain chemistry. This was the subject of a radio program on NPR. The description of the program on the NPR web site explains....

What drives people to suicide? NPR's Michelle Trudeau reports that in laboratories around the country, neuro-scientists are trying to find out. They're studying the brains of people who've committed suicide and comparing them with people who died suddenly. People who commit suicide appear to have different brain chemistry than others.
http://www.npr.org/programs/death/980429.death.html
 
Last edited:
#9
http://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2015/03/25/is-the-female-way-of-learning-destroying-boyhood/

Schools, steeped in the feminist agenda, have been instrumental in furthering what Susan L.M. Goldberg calls “gendercide” for some time now:

Should it come as any surprise that the idea of medicating away behavioral problems would be associated with a feminist movement….Medicine is the solution to eliminating those pesky biological and psychological problems an ineffectual ideology fails to confront.​
 
#10
http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2015/03/27/54-pound-7-year-old-girl-sent-home-from-school-for-high-bmi/

The leader of the Belton School District is promising changes after a girl came home from school with a note saying that her body mass index was too high.

Kylee, 7, stands 3 feet 10 inches tall and weighs 54 pounds. Her mother said she's as active a second-grader as you're likely to see.

"She is tiny. She has no body fat at all," said Amanda Moss.​

The person who dreamed up the BMI said explicitly that it could not and should not be used to indicate the level of fatness in an individual.

The BMI was introduced in the early 19th century by a Belgian named Lambert Adolphe Jacques Quetelet. He was a mathematician, not a physician. He produced the formula to give a quick and easy way to measure the degree of obesity of the general population to assist the government in allocating resources. In other words, it is a 200-year-old hack.

 
#11
http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2015/03/27/54-pound-7-year-old-girl-sent-home-from-school-for-high-bmi/

The leader of the Belton School District is promising changes after a girl came home from school with a note saying that her body mass index was too high.

Kylee, 7, stands 3 feet 10 inches tall and weighs 54 pounds. Her mother said she's as active a second-grader as you're likely to see.

"She is tiny. She has no body fat at all," said Amanda Moss.​

The person who dreamed up the BMI said explicitly that it could not and should not be used to indicate the level of fatness in an individual.

The BMI was introduced in the early 19th century by a Belgian named Lambert Adolphe Jacques Quetelet. He was a mathematician, not a physician. He produced the formula to give a quick and easy way to measure the degree of obesity of the general population to assist the government in allocating resources. In other words, it is a 200-year-old hack.

Madness.

I remember talking about this to a co-pilot who also played rugby for England, and he said that he was technically obese, in spite of him having as athletic a body as you could wish for.
 
#12
UPDATE: I've started an expanded post in a new thread for discussion of this:

http://www.skeptiko-forum.com/threa...your-brain-you-with-alert-notifications.2086/


http://www.technologyreview.com/news/535906/compulsive-behavior-sells/

Compulsive Behavior Sells
...
Nir Eyal is showing software designers how to hook users in four easy steps. Welcome to the new era of habit-forming technology
..
In an age when commercial competition is only a click away, the new mandate is to make products and services that generate compulsive behavior: in essence, to get users hooked on a squirt of dopamine to the brain’s reward center to ensure that they’ll come back.”
...
Principles derived from behavioral science play an increasing role in software design, creating a demand for experts who can guide developers in the art—and science—of behavior engineering.
...
Eyal’s workshops offer a four-hour immersion in the mechanics of the hook.

....
It starts with a trigger, a prod that propels users into a four-step loop. Think of the e-mail notification you get when a friend tags you in a photo on Facebook. The trigger prompts you to take an action—say, to log in to Facebook. That leads to a reward: viewing the photo and reading the comments left by others. In the fourth step, you inject a personal stake by making an investment: say, leaving your own comment in the thread. This pattern, Eyal says, kicks off a cycle that lodges behaviors in the basal ganglia, the part of the brain where automatic behaviors are stored and where, according to neuroscientists, they last a lifetime.

 
Last edited:
#13
http://www.newscientist.com/article...-furore-is-called-a-scandal.html#.VRfus-lFAuW

Do neonicotinoid pesticides kill bumblebees? We still don't know, but the latest research is alarming – and casts doubt on the integrity of science.

...
The study, by Helen Thompson of the government's Food and Environment Research Agency, found "no clear consistent relationships" between pesticide residues and measures of the health of bee colonies, such as the number of new queens. "The absence of these effects is reassuring but not definitive," she said.

But Dave Goulson of the University of Sussex in Brighton has reanalysed the data and says that in fact the results "strongly suggest that wild bumblebee colonies in farmland can be expected to be adversely affected by exposure to neonicotinoids".

...
"This is a scandal," said Matt Shardlow of the charity Buglife, which has campaigned on the issue. "The scientific process appears to have been deliberately manipulated to agree with the environment secretary's views."

Thompson now works for agribusiness Syngenta, which manufactures some pesticides. She was not willing to speak on the record to New Scientist about Goulson's conclusions, but is understood to have submitted a new study on the issue for publication.

 
#15
Wow Jim - what a wonderful find!

I do have one or two caveats about parts of that talk, but most of it is spot on!

I do get an uncomfortable sense that some prominent scientists have a strange social agenda which they want to pursue regardless of the facts. CAGW is clearly one of them, and some of the diet agenda is remarkable because it flies in the face of facts!

Conceivably Darwinian evolution is supported by the science establishment more as a convenient way of bashing fundamentalist Christians, than as something that is in any sense true - the truth doesn't matter, the message that we are fundamentally meaningless is more important!

I still feel somewhat sorry for Obama, who I really supported when he came to office. He clearly is not a scientist, and has made the mistake of assuming that these people do what scientists are supposed to do - fearlessly seek after the truth! He was a refreshing change after Dubya, but he really seems to have lost the plot in recent times - sanctioning the pointless and dangerous destabilisation of the Ukraine, Syria, and Libya. How many countries does the US need to destroy before it learns its lesson - wasn't Vietnam enough?

As regards bees, the awful problem is - who knows which research is right? Once science has become corrupt and politicised, it is impossible to know what to believe :(

Regarding the rights of congenitally damaged individuals, I would say this. These people are seen far more frequently in the community nowadays - partly because people are far more tolerant, and partly because more very premature babies are kept alive, and often grow up damaged. On the whole, these people seem to enjoy life in a limited sort of ways, but I do see a few that make me stop and think.

I remember seeing one unfortunate individual (probably male but I could not be certain) being fed by a carer in a cafe. His head was grossly distorted, and his tongue was way too large for his mouth, which seemed to exit from his cheek. He sat in a wheel chair equipped with oxygen, though this was not in use at the time. More importantly, he seemed only to communicate with groans of what certainly sounded like pain and despair. He seemed to be feebly trying to push away every mouthful of food he was fed. I think there should be some way to make exceptions for people like that and to do the only kind thing.

David
 
#16
Wow Jim - what a wonderful find!

I do have one or two caveats about parts of that talk, but most of it is spot on!

I do get an uncomfortable sense that some prominent scientists have a strange social agenda which they want to pursue regardless of the facts. CAGW is clearly one of them, and some of the diet agenda is remarkable because it flies in the face of facts!

Conceivably Darwinian evolution is supported by the science establishment more as a convenient way of bashing fundamentalist Christians, than as something that is in any sense true - the truth doesn't matter, the message that we are fundamentally meaningless is more important!
I think part of what motivates some really nasty activist atheists is that they can't stand the possibility that religion is right and they are wrong in areas like the afterlife and God. They spend their whole lives ridiculing religious believers and then they are supposed to admit atheism is wrong and religion was right? It will never happen. They will use every trick in the book, any means possible, to preserve materialism from contradictory evidence. The truth is a casualty of ego.
As regards bees, the awful problem is - who knows which research is right? Once science has become corrupt and politicised, it is impossible to know what to believe :(
Right. You can't trust science on anything anymore and it is a problem for society. For example it influences people's attitudes toward vaccinations. People don't know what to believe and you can't blame them because scientist are not reliable.
 
Last edited:
#17
Regarding the rights of congenitally damaged individuals, I would say this. These people are seen far more frequently in the community nowadays - partly because people are far more tolerant, and partly because more very premature babies are kept alive, and often grow up damaged. On the whole, these people seem to enjoy life in a limited sort of ways, but I do see a few that make me stop and think.

I remember seeing one unfortunate individual (probably male but I could not be certain) being fed by a carer in a cafe. His head was grossly distorted, and his tongue was way too large for his mouth, which seemed to exit from his cheek. He sat in a wheel chair equipped with oxygen, though this was not in use at the time. More importantly, he seemed only to communicate with groans of what certainly sounded like pain and despair. He seemed to be feebly trying to push away every mouthful of food he was fed. I think there should be some way to make exceptions for people like that and to do the only kind thing.

David
Fine. You bring up the right points and leave out the part that should be left out. It is a question of ethics, and people who try to use science to say what is right and what is wrong, or who push their science agenda under cover of ethics are misusing science.
 
Last edited:
#19
Fine. You bring up the right points and leave out the part that should be left out. It is a question of ethics, and people who try to use science to say what is right and what is wrong, or who push their science agenda under cover of ethics are misusing science.
Yes, it is a question of ethics - science can't really inform the debate except perhaps to determine just how much pain the individual is in (and I'm not sure I would trust them to do that).

It is just that having seen a guy like that, I am not sure that "thou shalt not kill" is an adequate answer. How many more people like that are hidden away in institutions even now - I don't know.

1) In biblical times people had to have a certain resilience to survive at all.

2) It is not as though our society has renounced war - which involves killing perfectly well and happy people.

I don't think keeping someone like that alive is a moral choice - more an act of cowardice - politicians don't want to confront this aspect of modern medicine.

I think part of what motivates some really nasty activist atheists is that they can't stand the possibility that religion is right and they are wrong in areas like the afterlife and God. They spend their whole lives ridiculing religious believers and then they are supposed to admit atheism is wrong and religion was right? It will never happen. They will use every trick in the book, any means possible, to preserve materialism from contradictory evidence. The truth is a casualty of ego
Organised religion also plays its part here. Many people despise religions for their incredible hypocrisy. Both science and institutional religion seem to have formed themselves into vast authoritarian bureaucracies that work above all to protect the institution.

You can see why people who equate all non-material ideas with religion, want to fight against it!

However, science is a really, really awful way to decide these issues. I mean you could argue that happiness should be maximised (dH/dp=0), and therefore that suboptimal people should be used to supply spare parts to those who are better able to enjoy life! It has a certain scientific logic (I suppose) but it would be clearly a terrible policy. Conversely, it might be argued that a lot of future suffering might be avoided by simply obliterating humans from the earth!I think the 'radical scientists' should confront reductio ad absurdum arguments like that to see that they really can't claim that science covers this area.

Of course, once you admit that there are areas of life that aren't covered by science, that opens another can of worms!

David
 
Last edited:
Top