American Elephants


Republicans Don’t Believe in Science, and Reject the Theory of Relativity. by The Elephant's Child

[This piece from the archives, circa April 2012, seems necessary once again:]

A paper published on Friday in the  American Sociological Review states that just over 34 percent of conservatives had confidence in science as an institution, in 2010, representing a long-term decline from 48 percent in 1974.  In 1974, conservatives were more likely than liberals or moderates to express confidence in science.

Well, ho-hum.  Climate Gate I, ClimateGate II, (conspiracy, collusion in exaggerating data, falsification of data), FakeGate (Peter Gleick uses false identity, fakes documents), retreat of Himalayan Glaciers, IPCC (at least 16 claims of impending doom in 2007 report were based on work done by GreenPeace activists, not peer-reviewed science), Indian Ocean and  Pacific Ocean sea level data (came from computer models by people who had never visited the sites in question), Kevin Trenberth, (plagiarism, politicization). And more and more.

Over at Ace of Spades, Arthur K points out a recent story

During a decade as head of global cancer research at Amgen, C. Glenn Begley identified 53 “landmark” publications – papers in top journals, from reputable labs- for his team to reproduce. Begley sought to double-check the findings before trying to build on them for drug development.

Result: 47 of the 53 could not be replicated.

And in the same article:

Scientists at Bayer did not have much more success. In a 2011 paper titled, “Believe it or not,” they analyzed in-house projects that built on “exciting published data” from basic science studies. “Often, key data could not be reproduced,” wrote Khusru Asadullah, vice president and head of target discovery at Bayer HealthCare in Berlin, and colleagues.

Of 47 cancer projects at Bayer during 2011, less than one-quarter could reproduce previously reported findings, despite the efforts of three or four scientists working full-time for up to a year. Bayer dropped the projects.

Bayer and Amgen found that the prestige of a journal was no guarantee a paper would be solid. “The scientific community assumes that the claims in a preclinical study can be taken at face value,” Begley and Lee Ellis of MD Anderson Cancer Center wrote in Nature. It assumes, too, that “the main message of the paper can be relied on … Unfortunately, this is not always the case.”

Conservatives, you see, have a long history of being anti-science. They opposed embryonic stem-cell research when it might have helped Christopher Reeve to walk again, just because of their stupid hang up about embryos — just a clump of cells. And they don’t believe in manmade global warming, when Al Gore’s movie told us all what a danger it is. There’s someone named Chris Mooney, who seems to be an English major who is a true believer in global warming,and  writes regularly on how dumb Republicans are, and, unsurprisingly, has a new book out called The Republican Brain: The Science of Why They Don’t Believe in Science. It may be entertaining.

It seems that Republicans get all their scientific information from something called “Conservapedia,” the right-wing counterpart to Wikipedia, which is anti-science and doubts Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. I never heard of it, but lefties seem to be the major contributors.

Liberals remain astonished that anyone could find anything unconstitutional in ObamaCare, and are looking for confirmation that we are indeed unusually stupid. This finding turns up regularly in one academic study after another. A favorite pastime in academe.

Jonathan Haidt’s The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion addresses the differences between liberals and conservatives and their moral stereotypes. The authors surveyed two thousand people asking one-third to answer in their own voice, one-third to answer as “a typical liberal” and one-third to answer as “a typical conservative.”

The results were quite striking. Conservatives and moderates were adept at guessing how liberals would answer; but liberals, especially those who considered themselves as “very liberal” were very bad at guessing what conservatives would say about issues of care or fairness. For example, most thought that conservatives would disagree with statements like ‘One of the worst things a person could do is hurt a defenseless animal’ or ‘justice is the most important requirement for a society.’

Haidt, a professor of psychology at the University of Virginia, found that liberals and conservatives alike form their political beliefs according to three values: caring for the weak, fairness, and liberty.  Yet conservatives also hold to three other values: loyalty, respect for authority, and sanctity.  This accounts in part for the liberal failure to understand conservative viewpoints. Conservatives can understand the morality of liberals, but much of conservative morality is alien to their opponents.  Haidt had been a liberal — but became a centrist after this study.

In an article entitled “Is the Tea Party Racist?“Dr. Timothy Dalrymple explains:

But the problem is not merely ignorance. Liberals are also alienated from core conservative values. Liberals are trained to believe that many of the traditional American ideals and values that conservatives inherit in their families and churches are cruel and intolerant, imperialistic, and implicitly racist, sexist, and classist. They are trained, for instance, not to be motivated by patriotism and American exceptionalism, but by an ideal of world citizenship and parity.

Liberals consistently misinterpret what motivates conservatives because they really cannot see the world from the conservative perspective. Liberals cannot imagine that Tea Partiers are really motivated by concern for their country, and by frustration with a White House hemorrhaging red ink and a government less concerned to represent the interests of the citizenry than to pay off the special interests that fund their campaigns.

“Liberals, Dr. Dalrymple says,” are unable to see a rational and noble motive at the center of the Tea Party movement, so they supply a darker and more convenient motive instead.” The problem is not that liberals dislike the principles promoted at Tea Party rallies: the problem is that liberals dislike the kind of people who go to Tea Party rallies.

So if you have been puzzled by the strange things liberals say, there you go.



Republicans Don’t Believe in Science, and Reject the Theory of Relativity. by The Elephant's Child

A paper published on Friday in the  American Sociological Review states that just over 34 percent of conservatives had confidence in science as an institution, in 2010, representing a long-term decline from 48 percent in 1974.  In 1974, conservatives were more likely than liberals or moderates to express confidence in science.

Well, ho-hum.  Climate Gate I, ClimateGate II, (conspiracy, collusion in exaggerating data, falsification of data), FakeGate (Peter Gleick uses false identity, fakes documents), retreat of Himalayan Glaciers, IPCC (at least 16 claims of impending doom in 2007 report were based on work done by GreenPeace activists, not peer-reviewed science), Indian Ocean and  Pacific Ocean sea level data (came from computer models by people who had never visited the sites in question), Kevin Trenberth,(plagiarism, politicization). And more and more.

Over at Ace of Spades, Arthur K points out a recent story

During a decade as head of global cancer research at Amgen, C. Glenn Begley identified 53 “landmark” publications – papers in top journals, from reputable labs- for his team to reproduce. Begley sought to double-check the findings before trying to build on them for drug development.

Result: 47 of the 53 could not be replicated.

And in the same article:

Scientists at Bayer did not have much more success. In a 2011 paper titled, “Believe it or not,” they analyzed in-house projects that built on “exciting published data” from basic science studies. “Often, key data could not be reproduced,” wrote Khusru Asadullah, vice president and head of target discovery at Bayer HealthCare in Berlin, and colleagues.

Of 47 cancer projects at Bayer during 2011, less than one-quarter could reproduce previously reported findings, despite the efforts of three or four scientists working full-time for up to a year. Bayer dropped the projects.

Bayer and Amgen found that the prestige of a journal was no guarantee a paper would be solid. “The scientific community assumes that the claims in a preclinical study can be taken at face value,” Begley and Lee Ellis of MD Anderson Cancer Center wrote in Nature. It assumes, too, that “the main message of the paper can be relied on … Unfortunately, this is not always the case.”

Conservatives, you see, have a long history of being anti-science. They opposed embryonic stem-cell research when it might have helped Christopher Reeve to walk again, just because of their stupid hang up about embryos — just a clump of cells. And they don’t believe in manmade global warming, when Al Gore’s movie told us all what a danger it is. There’s someone named Chris Mooney, who seems to be an English major who is a true believer in global warming,and  writes regularly on how dumb Republicans are, and, unsurprisingly, has a new book out called The Republican Brain: The Science of Why They Don’t Believe in Science. It may be entertaining.

It seems that Republicans get all their scientific information from something called “Conservapedia,” the right-wing counterpart to Wikipedia, which is anti-science and doubts Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. I never heard of it, but lefties seem to be the major contributors.

Liberals remain astonished that anyone could find anything unconstitutional in ObamaCare, and are looking for confirmation that we are indeed unusually stupid. This finding turns up regularly in one academic study after another. A favorite pastime in academe.

Jonathan Haidt’s The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion addresses the differences between liberals and conservatives and their moral stereotypes. The authors surveyed two thousand people asking one-third to answer in their own voice, one-third to answer as “a typical liberal” and one-third to answer as “a typical conservative.”

The results were quite striking. Conservatives and moderates were adept at guessing how liberals would answer; but liberals, especially those who considered themselves as “very liberal” were very bad at guessing what conservatives would say about issues of care or fairness. For example, most thought that conservatives would disagree with statements like ‘One of the worst things a person could do is hurt a defenseless animal’ or ‘justice is the most important requirement for a society.’

Haidt, a professor of psychology at the University of Virginia, found that liberals and conservatives alike form their political beliefs according to three values: caring for the weak, fairness, and liberty.  Yet conservatives also hold to three other values: loyalty, respect for authority, and sanctity.  This accounts in part for the liberal failure to understand conservative viewpoints. Conservatives can understand the morality of liberals, but much of conservative morality is alien to their opponents.  Haidt had been a liberal — but became a centrist after this study.

In an article entitled “Is the Tea Party Racist?“Dr. Timothy Dalrymple explains:

But the problem is not merely ignorance. Liberals are also alienated from core conservative values. Liberals are trained to believe that many of the traditional American ideals and values that conservatives inherit in their families and churches are cruel and intolerant, imperialistic, and implicitly racist, sexist, and classist. They are trained, for instance, not to be motivated by patriotism and American exceptionalism, but by an ideal of world citizenship and parity.

Liberals consistently misinterpret what motivates conservatives because they really cannot see the world from the conservative perspective. Liberals cannot imagine that Tea Partiers are really motivated by concern for their country, and by frustration with a White House hemorrhaging red ink and a government less concerned to represent the interests of the citizenry than to pay off the special interests that fund their campaigns.

“Liberals, Dr. Dalrymple says,” are unable to see a rational and noble motive at the center of the Tea Party movement, so they supply a darker and more convenient motive instead.” The problem is not that liberals dislike the principles promoted at Tea Party rallies: the problem is that liberals dislike the kind of people who go to Tea Party rallies.

So if you have been puzzled by the strange things liberals say, there you go.



Don’t Panic! It’s Only Junk Science! by The Elephant's Child

— Whole flocks of dead birds are dropping from the sky.  Government testing?  Fireworks?  A climate disaster?  Recently 5,000 blackbirds fell dead in Arkansas.  Hundreds of dead birds covered the Morganza Highway in Louisiana on Monday.  Dozens of jackdaws in Sweden fell from the sky.  And a few hundred turtle doves in Italy.  It is perfectly normal.

The questions that are naturally asked are: Is there a common cause, is this a sign of a coming apocalypse, is this a result of some environmental disaster?  Biologists say that it is unlikely.

The U.S. Geological Survey’s National Wildlife Health Center has been tracking mass animal deaths since the 1970s. “Large mortality events in wildlife aren’t that uncommon” said Paul Slota. “In the last 10 years we have logged 188 cases just involving birds, with mortality exceeding 1,000 animals per event.”

Causes vary.  Some starve. Some eat toxic food or get poisoned by people. Some die in severe weather. Some die from viral or bacterial illness or pollution.  In many cases the cause remains a mystery.

— The great scare that purported to find a link between childhood vaccination and autism is reported in the British Journal of Medicine to be an “elaborate fraud.” The story that so alarmed mothers came from a study by Wakefield, et al, was the only study that made such claims.  The office of Research Integrity in the U.S. found that not one of the 12 cases reported in the 1998 Lancet was free of misrepresentation or undisclosed alteration, and that in no single case could the medical records be fully reconciled with the descriptions, diagnoses, or histories published in the journal.

Great damage has been done to public health, fueled by unbalanced media reporting.  Children have gone without needed vaccination because of fearful mothers.  Measles was declared endemic in England and Wales for the first time in 14 years in 2008.  The link to vaccination was a charade, a fraud, a lie.

— You may never have heard of the “Great Garbage Patch” of plastic bottles and Styrofoam and other plastic debris — twice the size of Texas — and growing tenfold each decade since the 1950s.  Nevermind.  An Oregon State University professor of oceanography, Angelicque White, found that the actual size of the supposed horror was “grossly exaggerated” and was, at most, about 1% of the bulk of Texas.  The idea that it was growing tenfold each decade was also found to be — rubbish.

— The eco-warriors promoting “localism” in food are neglecting the vast boon to mankind in the ability to obtain food that is not local. Once people were restricted to what could be grown locally or preserved, for refrigeration and transportation were not available. Today, mid-winter, I can buy fresh strawberries, fresh blueberries, fresh pineapple, melons, all sorts of vegetables and flowers unavailable before today’s fast air-transport, and at reasonable prices. Local food production and energy production have traditionally been destructive.  It’s a fashion fad, not science.

— In February 2009, Nobel Laureate and Energy Secretary Steven Chu pontificated without evidence that California farms would dry up and blow away since as much as 90 percent of the annual Sierra snowpack would disappear. Long-term studies of the central Sierra snowpack show average snow levels unchanged over the last 90 years.  Many California farms are indeed drying up — but as a result of government’s cutoff of irrigation, not nature’s.



The Marvelous Michael Ramirez Strikes Again! by The Elephant's Child

Editorial cartoonist Michael Ramirez is the absolute master of the visual metaphor.  He captures the essence of ClimateGate so perfectly.  Don’t miss his work at Investors Business Daily.




Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 6,735 other followers

%d bloggers like this: