A brief history of science denialism

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A brief history of science denialism

Postby TheVat on May 14th, 2020, 7:25 pm 

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Re: A brief history of science denialism

Postby hyksos on May 16th, 2020, 12:11 am 

"A brief history of ..." Brief indeed. There are so many examples of this coming from Republicans that listing them all would be a task of curating a large ongoing archive. I think some have tried something like this. The group might be called https://www.rightwingwatch.org/

Now to my personal anecdotes.

George W. Bush. I have a fuzzy memory of that president saying "They should teach both sides" regarding evolutionary biology in public schools. There are no sides. Creationism is not a scientific theory in any publication, science textbook, or online encyclopedia.

George W Bush again. Standing in the Rose Garden made it illegal for geneticists to create human-animal hybrids. This was the politicization of stem cell research.

A republican senator brought a snowball on senate floor. He held up the snowball to his colleagues to show them that global warming is fake.

Mike Pence having a near meltdown about evolutionary theory in classrooms on the floor of the House (when he was a House Rep and R-IN. ). It's not his rantiness that is of note. Rather it is his utter scientific ignorance and lack of knowledge of the theory that is jaw-dropping in how delusional it is. The video is available online.

Rush Limbaugh. Told his listeners that the coronavirus is quote, "the common cold, folks". It is rumored that Limbaugh has a devout audience that exceeds 3 million Americans.

Trish Regan. A popular host on an evening show on Fox Business channel. She looked into her hi-def camera and told her viewers that the coronavirus is a media hoax meant to destroy the stock market with the aim of removing Trump from office.

Mere days later .. like 4 days later Mrs. Regan was no longer on-the-air. You might suppose that what I'm going to say next is that she was fired. Nope. Regan was no longer on TV because the studio in which her show is broadcast was shut down -- because of the virus.

Bill O'Reily. "The earth has one moon. Where did it come from? Mars has two moons." This incoherent poetry was O'Reily's intellectual defense of Biblical creationism.

Bill O'Reily. "Tides come in. Tides go out. You can't explain that." Later turned into a meme by internet users. What is perhaps more damaging is that he literally said this to Richard Dawkins on TV.

Donald Trump
This madman gets his own section. I don't even know where to begin.

Autism. From the article linked above by Vat
Donald Trump wrote:Just the other day . . . a child, a beautiful child went to have the vaccine, and came back, and a week later got a tremendous fever, got very, very sick, now is autistic.

Prior to becoming president of the free world, then-candidate Donald Trump was already attacking global warming. Trump's claim is that global warming is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese Communist Party. The only person who held him to account on this was Bernie Sanders.

In television interviews dismissed Global Warming as "temperatures go up and temperatures go down all the time, it's just what happens.". For anyone else this would be as damaging as Bill O'Reily's "Tides come in, tides come out. YOu can't explain that." But Trump is so often incoherent we no longer care or notice.

Described abortion as "children being torn from the womb" at a rally in Florida. This video is available online.

During a rambling monologue, Trump appeared to confuse coronavirus with antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

In early Aprils Trump press conferences were very uplifting in tone. "We are going to open the schools very very soon". "This will all be gone by June." (Et cetera). These conferences were so happy an optimistic, that Trump had me believing that the media was over-hyping the virus -- as media tends to do (they are a hype machine I wont deny). From listening to Trump's 2-hour rambles, I was convinced that the COVID-19 pandemic was little more than a very severe flu season, but that it had reached its peak in late March. We are past the peak. The hard part is behind us. Kids go back to school and we return to normal. Any human being with ears listening to these conferences would draw the same conclusion.

Then I consulted the data of "Deaths per day" in several states. That number was higher now than it was in late March. ALl the graphs were going up with no sign of subsiding or "flattening out". At that point it dawned on me that Trump simply opens his mouth in front of the mic and speaks lies.
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Re: A brief history of science denialism

Postby toucana on May 16th, 2020, 9:38 am 

The 1897 sitting of the Indiana General Assembly passed a bill #246 that is regarded as one of the most notorious attempts to establish a mathematical truth by legislative fiat.


The bill was written by a crank called Edward J. Goodwin who claimed to have found a way of ’squaring the circle’ using only a compass and straightedge constructions. Among other bizarre effects, this ’method’ produced a variety of finite but wholly erroneous values for Pi such as 3.2 and 3.

(Some supporters apparently argued that adopting such a new value for Pi would simplify engineering calculations, and the teaching of maths in schools.)

Goodwin and his supporters were entirely oblivious to the fact that ’squaring the circle’ is mathematically impossible - a fact suspected since antiquity, and only rigorously proven 15 years earlier in 1882 by a mathematician called Ferdinand von Lindemann.

Goodwin’s ridiculous Pi Bill actually passed in the General Assembly without a single dissenting vote. It was only challenged in the Senate after Professor C.A. Waldo of Purdue University who happened to be present intervened and briefed the Senators. The bill was then thrown out after one Senator belatedly stated the obvious; namely that the General Assembly lacked the authority to define mathematical truths.
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Re: A brief history of science denialism

Postby Serpent on May 16th, 2020, 12:04 pm 

That would all be hysterically funny....
... except that it's being promulgated by the men who hold the fate the entire world hostage to their whims.
I find it painful, these days - literally, physically sickening - to watch decent, smart, competent people like Dr. Bright fighting a hopeless rearguard action against the hordes of self-aggrandized ignorance.
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