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Americans’ aversion to science carries a high price (Why are we doubting the AGW 'consensus?')
The Washington Post ^ | May 12, 2014 | Michael Gerson

Posted on 05/13/2014 2:43:27 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet

Americans have something of a science problem. They swallow, for example, about $28 billion worth of vitamins each year, even though the Annals of Internal Medicine recently concluded that “[m]ost supplements do not prevent chronic disease or death, their use is not justified, and they should be avoided.” Americans often fear swallowing genetically modified plants (and Vermont recently required labeling of food containing genetically modified organisms, known as GMOs), though GMOs have “been consumed by hundreds of millions of people across the world for more than 15 years, with no reported ill effects,” according to the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.

Other opinions are closer to astrology than science. Some deny a link between HIV and AIDS or confidently assert a connection between cellphone usage and cancer. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), during the last presidential campaign, contended that the HPV vaccine causes “mental retardation.” (And, yes, about a quarter of Americans believe in astrology.)

Science has its own explanation for why people are resistant to scientific beliefs. In evolutionary theory (assuming you believe such a thing), our intuitions about the physical world are generally accurate on a human scale — calculating the proper force and trajectory to hit a mammoth with a spear....

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Government; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: agw; climatechange; demagogicparty; globalwarming; manbearpig; memebuilding; michaelgerson; partisanmediashill; partisanmediashills; science; washingtoncompost; washingtonpost
Condescension so thick you can cut it with a knife.
1 posted on 05/13/2014 2:43:27 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

This science has already been decreed.

Why wont anyone accept it?


2 posted on 05/13/2014 2:45:31 PM PDT by LucianOfSamasota (Tanstaafl - its not just for breakfast anymore...)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I have no adversion to real science; I was trained/educated in the sciences. I have an adversion to Lysenko science; junk science shoved up everyone’s ass to serve a political agenda.


3 posted on 05/13/2014 2:46:57 PM PDT by RJS1950 (The democrats are the "enemies foreign and domestic" cited in the federal oath)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I’m a retired engineer/high school physics teacher. Anybody who claims any science is “settled” is the one with an aversion to science.


4 posted on 05/13/2014 2:47:42 PM PDT by pfflier
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

AGW is not science

Babies are human beings from conception is a science fact though


5 posted on 05/13/2014 2:48:02 PM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
The assumption that the vast majority in a scientific field is engaged in fraud or corruption is frankly conspiratorial

I guess he never saw the "hide the decline" email or read anything about the AGW crowd working to blacklist scientists who had the temerity to publish data that hurt the AGW narrative. This man is either a liar or an ignorant fool.

6 posted on 05/13/2014 2:50:09 PM PDT by RightOnTheBorder
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

What the author is complaining about isn’t an aversion to science, it’s an aversion to authority. And it is thoroughly and completely justified.


7 posted on 05/13/2014 2:50:21 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Its settled — Socialism is scientific fact so get on board with massive new regulations and taxes, you Luddites.


8 posted on 05/13/2014 2:50:51 PM PDT by Opinionated Blowhard ("When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.")
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

“even though the Annals of Internal Medicine recently concluded that”

Every 10 years or so a study is put out about something and I have found out that if you don’t go along with the report’s conclusion, wait awhile and another study will come out contradicting the first study. Cholesterol research is a good example.


9 posted on 05/13/2014 2:52:12 PM PDT by Rusty0604
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

The more science you know, the less worried you are about climate
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/2891364/posts

apparently Gerson knows nothing about science.


10 posted on 05/13/2014 2:53:34 PM PDT by TurboZamboni (Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.-JFK)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Americans - Meanwhile China is building how many coal fired power plants a day?

Their air is how polluted?

This is the great farce. Telling Americans they must “do something” when China and many other countries are dramatically increasing these carbon emissions.

I hate liberals.


11 posted on 05/13/2014 2:55:53 PM PDT by Williams
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
What about liberals denials of science?

The large gap in IQ levels between different races is a proven scientific fact (and has been proven and reproven for decades). And yet liberals claim that race is an artificial construct and that all races are equal, when science says and can prove quite easily that is not the case.

12 posted on 05/13/2014 2:56:36 PM PDT by TexasFreeper2009 (Obama lied .. the economy died.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

13 posted on 05/13/2014 2:56:45 PM PDT by RightGeek (FUBO and the donkey you rode in on)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

“Americans have something of a science problem.”

Um, no. The Left has a science problem. They have devalued it while using it to push a political agenda.


14 posted on 05/13/2014 2:58:05 PM PDT by headstamp 2 (What would Scooby do?)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
There is no such thing as global warming science. There are time series studies using fraudulent data, articles by the MSM, speeches by politicians and movies praised by celebrities.

The honest scientific studies have shown that is no threat of global warming from carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

15 posted on 05/13/2014 2:58:21 PM PDT by detective
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Why are we doubting the AGW 'consensus?

Because it is another BS leftist lie designed to steal more of our money and our freedom????

16 posted on 05/13/2014 2:58:58 PM PDT by RatRipper (The political left are utterly evil and corrupt)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

When “scientists” are funded by politicians, you don’t have science. You have crap.


17 posted on 05/13/2014 3:00:16 PM PDT by FlingWingFlyer (Obama's smidgens are coming home to roost.)
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To: TurboZamboni

“apparently Gerson knows nothing about science”

Gerson has a degree in theology from Wheaton College.

Nothing against either theology or Wheaton, but if I wanted an opinion on Transubstantiation or eschatology, I’m not going to ask a physicist. And if I want an opinion on climate science, I’m not going to seek out a theologian from Wheaton.


18 posted on 05/13/2014 3:01:50 PM PDT by Stosh
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Interesting isn’t it that the article says we are supposed to believe in AGW, but the article makes fun of Americans for thinking cell phones can cause cancer.

Seems to me the two beliefs, (AGW/ cell phone cancer) are very similar scares based on studies or opinions put out by some scientists.


19 posted on 05/13/2014 3:02:12 PM PDT by Williams
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To: Stosh

Algore has a degree in bovine scatology.


20 posted on 05/13/2014 3:02:27 PM PDT by TurboZamboni (Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.-JFK)
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To: RightOnTheBorder
This man is either a liar or an ignorant fool.

Could we strike out the "either" and change the "or" to an "and"?

21 posted on 05/13/2014 3:03:50 PM PDT by El Cid (Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house...)
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To: RJS1950

Ping pongs like “Vitamins are wonderful!” “Vitamins are useless!” seem to bespeak SLOPPY science, which comes up with almost anything you want depending on what you control for.


22 posted on 05/13/2014 3:05:54 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Embrace the Lion of Judah and He will roar for you and teach you to roar too. See my page.)
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To: LucianOfSamasota

Science, REAL science, by its very nature, is NEVER settled.

Observation —> hypothesis —> test

Test fails, new hypothesis —> test —> apparent conclusion that fits observations.

New observation, shatters original and subsequent hypotheses, new hypothesis (again) —> new apparent conclusion.

And it continues on and on, every conclusion being subject to new facts derived from observation, eventually resulting in some pretty reliable base for predictability.

Predictability blows up, go back and see if some observation of fact was missed, then re-evaluate hypothesis.

Eventually most of the curliques of thinking get combed out, and some good solid engineering can come out of repeated predictability.

Until it fails.

And eventually, every engineering design fails.

Because the science was never settled, nor shall it ever be settled.


23 posted on 05/13/2014 3:07:57 PM PDT by alloysteel (Selective and willful ignorance spells doom, to both victim and perpetrator - mostly the perp.)
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To: Stosh
Wheaton went squishy a while ago.

And I'm not talkin' about WEsley crusher, either.

24 posted on 05/13/2014 3:09:35 PM PDT by fishtank (The denial of original sin is the root of liberalism.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Notice how he creates a false equality between vitamins and supplements (might not be as helpful as you think), and GMO foods (probably not as harmful as you think)?


25 posted on 05/13/2014 3:11:12 PM PDT by USFRIENDINVICTORIA
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To: fishtank

The author of this trashy piece is anti-science. The gloBULL warmers and their purchased “scientists” have devalued and degraded science for their creepy political ends. They should be beaten with their grant proposals, have their property seized and exiled from civilization. They are arrogant fools and destroyers of fact.


26 posted on 05/13/2014 3:13:07 PM PDT by hal ogen (First Amendment or Reeducation Camp?)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Dear WaPo...I am a conservative. Add to that that I am a Christian. To make things even worse, I’ m a retired USAF fighter/test type.

Despite all this idiocy marking me as a moron, I have advanced technical degrees that no one on your staff, or at the White House, could even start.

As such, may I gently say that you can cram your silly little marshmallow major opinions about real science up your collective smelly Obamaholes.


27 posted on 05/13/2014 3:16:59 PM PDT by Da Coyote
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To: hal ogen

the author is well-trained in agit-prop.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agitprop


28 posted on 05/13/2014 3:17:48 PM PDT by fishtank (The denial of original sin is the root of liberalism.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Let me, off the top of my head, list some of the ‘accepted scientific facts’ that have been retracted or refuted;
1) Standard body temp is 98.6f,
2) Proper hydration is 64oz of water, not any other liquid,
3) 2+ cups of coffee is good/bad/?,
4) Ulcers are exclusively caused by stress,
5) Supersonic speeds will destroy any aircraft that tries it,
6) Atomic Energy is impossible, a path to utopia, will destroy us all.

The history of ‘scientific truths’, ESPECIALLY the ones trumpeted by the media, is absolutely fraught with locked-down statements and indisputable ‘TRUTHS’, even if the original paper / scientist had, or said, no such thing!

I’m still waiting for the ‘normal’ temperature declaration and the specifications of the ‘falsifiability’ or the conditions under which the (insert current name designation of what was formerly known as AGCW) may be considered to be disproved.


29 posted on 05/13/2014 3:19:47 PM PDT by SES1066 (Quality, Speed or Economical - Any 2 of 3 except in government - 1 at best but never #3!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
*Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the United States increased by about 5% between 1990 and 2012.

how does the 5% increase in CO2 levels correlate with wildfire data between 1990 and 2012? How does it correlate with the massive reforestation and greening of the USA between 1990 and 2012? and how does it correlate with the number of forests and rangelands left in oxidative states from mismanagement of (dead) vegetation?

http://wildfiretoday.com/2012/11/23/2012-third-highest-number-of-wildfire-acres-burned/

also, how does that 5% increase correlate with the increase in industrial activities of China/Asia between 1990 and 2012? or the slash-and-burn activities in Africa and South America during that time period? what about volcanic influences, such as the Iceland event in 2010 or the twenty-some active volcanos erupting yearly?

What is so offputting by these global warming articles is the central blame is always placed on the USA, when the truth be known, if the USA ceased all activity and returned to the stone age, the world would starve to death.

30 posted on 05/13/2014 3:19:57 PM PDT by blueplum
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

The left continues its war on women:

What are prenatal vitamins?

Eating a healthy diet is always a wise idea — especially during pregnancy. It’s a good idea during pregnancy to take a prenatal vitamin to help cover any nutritional gaps in the mother’s diet.

Prenatal vitamins contain many vitamins and minerals. Their folic acid, iron, and calcium are especially important.
http://www.webmd.com/baby/guide/prenatal-vitamins


31 posted on 05/13/2014 3:20:16 PM PDT by Raycpa
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

“been consumed by hundreds of millions of people across the world for more than 15 years, with no reported ill effects,”

Gotta call BS. How long did we consume tobacco with ‘no reported ill effects’??? HUNDREDS OF YEARS.

Interesting he mentions astrology, because it has been shown that college educated people actually become MORE open to astrology and ESP than non-college educated people. Wuh? I guess education doesn’t make you smarter.

Here is my personal favorite part of the screed.

“In its simplest, cable-television version, this charge, at least against scientists, is outrageous. The assumption that the vast majority in a scientific field is engaged in fraud or corruption is frankly conspiratorial. In this case, the conspiracy would need to encompass the national academies of more than two dozen countries, including the United States.”

No conspiracy at all, just scientists who get paid a lot by corrupt governments. I would have no trouble naming two dozen countries that are extremely corrupt politically and academically, starting with the USA. In fact, didn’t an email leak in Britain from climatologists totally expose the thing he is doubting just a few years ago? Also, gotta love the outrage. How DARE anyone accuse scientists of corruption. Outrageous! They have become an exalted class, immune to criticism apparently. Lets not forget the junk ‘science’ of eugenics in Auschwitz wasn’t conducted by wascally country folk who didn’t believe in Darwin. The top scientists in Germany were all in for massacring Jews in the name of the Ubermensch. The master race was settled science. Just look at the skull measurements, you luddites!

Yes, we can and will be skeptical of scientist’s claims of ‘settled science’. The results of not questioning them could be as tragic as those in the last century.

“it seems clear that higher concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have produced a modest amount of warming and are likely to produce more”

... this is literally a flat-out lie. There has been no warming. Nada. Zero. Zip.

This writer has no credibility.


32 posted on 05/13/2014 4:16:32 PM PDT by Viennacon
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>> Americans have something of a science problem.

Gerson knows. He’s smarter than most every American.


33 posted on 05/13/2014 4:19:35 PM PDT by Gene Eric (Don't be a statist!)
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"Pay attention to your enemies, for they are the first to discover your mistakes."

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34 posted on 05/13/2014 4:20:28 PM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: SES1066

Replying to you because I agree nearly 97%. I never go 100%. Anymore I regard the first rule or principle of science to be that nothing in science is “settled”. Not even Einstein do I consider as rock solid. Just better than anything else at the moment. The thought that occurs to me is that science is like a freshly frozen pond. Walk on the ice with extreme care, because while most of the ice is safe there will be spots where ongoing discovery is thinning the ice.


35 posted on 05/13/2014 5:52:23 PM PDT by Holdem Or Foldem (Life isn't fair, so wear a cup.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

The left has destroyed science by politicizing it. GAIA and her physics could care less about thier politics.


36 posted on 05/13/2014 6:16:47 PM PDT by justa-hairyape (The user name is sarcastic. Although at times it may not appear that way.)
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To: TurboZamboni

algore, bs ... he has a masters degree in bs ... as you say, ‘bovine scatology’.


37 posted on 05/13/2014 6:24:42 PM PDT by GGpaX4DumpedTea (I am a Tea Party descendant...steeped in the Constitutional Republic given to us by the Founders)
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To: LucianOfSamasota

I remember when all the geniuses declared butter, eggs, and other dairy products would lead to an early death. People I knew went completely off dairy products. I snickered at them. Then later on the same geniuses declared that dairy wasn’t so bad and you could actually eat more than one egg a week. Now they found that the “expert” who said saturated fat would make you fat falsified or faked much of his data. They refuted most of the “expert’s” findings. How many climate researchers fake their data? I would bet quite a few.


38 posted on 05/13/2014 6:57:29 PM PDT by driftless2
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To: Raycpa
I remember reading and following the vitamin debates for the last thirty years. The nutritionists/anti-vitamin supplement people would declare that vitamin supplements are useless. Then a pro-vitamin supplement person would ask them why. The anti-vitamin supplement person(s) would then say that if you ate a healthy diet, you didn't need vitamin supplements. Then the pro-vitamin people would ask: but what if you didn't eat a healthy diet? The anti-vitamin supplement people would then just repeat: if you eat a healthy diet, you don't need vitamin supplements causing the pro-vitamin supplement people to throw up their hands in exasperation.

After reading these arguments in various magazines I came to the conclusion that if you didn't eat a normal, healthy diet, vitamin supplements were good for you. So taking a multi-vitamin does no harm as far as I'm concerned and may act as nutritional insurance.

39 posted on 05/13/2014 7:11:37 PM PDT by driftless2
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

This is from the ComPost - therefore I don’t believe it. Does that answer their question?


40 posted on 05/13/2014 7:22:12 PM PDT by Some Fat Guy in L.A. (Still bitterly clinging to rational thought despite it's unfashionability)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Attention Mr. Michael Gerson of the WaPo: AGW is not science. AGW is a hoax.

Now go to your room and make a blood sacrifice to Gaia, the Earth goddess.

41 posted on 05/13/2014 7:24:14 PM PDT by MasterGunner01
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