Politicized Science

Since we’re here anyway, some thoughts from me (O’Leary for News):

The SciAm crew are now spending the moral capital built up over 175 years lavishly.

In an odd way, ID might benefit.

Once they identify with a political party, not only do they become bound to its fortunes, but their pronouncements must be sifted in relation to the interests of that party and its supporters.

How does that pan out? It’s one thing to put up with the dramatic contradictory pronouncements and diktats around COVID-19 if we assume that the authors are non-partisans who are simply at sea themselves. But what if they must be seen as partisans and everything must be sifted by who benefits from the contradictory uproars?

When I explain to people why ID is a reasonable idea despite SciAm trashing it, I am greatly assisted by the fact that its editors are now, among other things, formal political partisans. I have no idea how much of what they say is motivated by that fact, nor does anyone else – and they may not know themselves. So, I will say, let us just look at the evidence for ourselves and not be put off by claims that they represent some sort of pure “science.” They’re now making clear that things aren’t that simple.

There were many crises in the previous 175 years. Some of us remember the Cold War. SciAm kept its trap shut in order to save a certain public perception of science. One that protected Darwinism, for sure. Now maybe, not so much. We shall see.

See also: Scientific American breaks with 175-year tradition, endorses Joe Biden for US President. They can break with tradition in this way if they want, of course. But then they will no longer be able to say that their science is not tainted with (drenched in?) politics. Which is why, no matter what the crisis, no one did it in the past. The outcome, no matter who wins the U.S. election, will be reduced public trust in science. Scientific American could well find itself down there with “media” generally, in terms of public trust.

Rob Sheldon on Scientific American’s foray into politics, backing Joe Biden from Uncommon Descent


New editor H. Holden Thorp told Wired in an interview on why he has “had it” with Donald Trump:

[Wired:] But one of the arguments those Fox News people, as you say, will make is that when scientists voice political opinions, they call into question the motivations behind the research they’re touting. Do you worry that becoming so outspoken makes you even more vulnerable to that criticism? Now you’re just in the political fray, right?

[Thorp:] No. I believe we’ve been overly deferential to the idea that we should stay out of it. Look at what that’s gotten us. It’s gotten us climate denial. It’s gotten us creationism. It’s gotten us prohibited from doing stem cell research. These are all costs of scientists saying, “Oh, we’re just going to sit over here in our white coats and let people conclude what they want to.” You know, there is no apolitical science. Science is done by human beings in political environments funded by the federal government. The notion of apolitical science has never been real to begin with.

Adam Rogers, “America’s Top Science Journal Has Had It With Trump” at Wired

Okay, he said it: “there is no apolitical science.” We are not now dealing in the world of accusations but of admissions. He is admitting that opposition to “creationism,” however they define it is political. Fine. We all knew that but we did not have it in writing before. Getting things put in writing is a genuine help.

He makes clear in the rest of the interview that he hopes to find Big Media partners to spread his message: “Ben Shapiro’s getting 50 million people to look at his Facebook posts. We don’t have the kind of reach into the public consciousness on our own. So we’re going to have to partner.”

Hmmm. A bigger foghorn comes at a price. Ben Shapiro isn’t a scientist. Pretty soon many of these people won’t sound like scientists either. It’s easier to lose a reputation than gain one.

Science Magazine gets pitched headlong into the political mud wrestle, along with Scientific American from Uncommon Descent

No doubt, these magazines think that their unspent capital will secure the field for the Progressives.

Tie yourself with a party, and you sink or swim with the party… and not with the power of your cause. “People who are in the party’s hip pocket exist only to pay the bills and to be sat on.”

Christians should know this already.

Now, it’s time for the Darwinians to discover this, now that they don’t set the agenda – and are long past the era of the Victorian Vicars who did so much for science as a discipline – but are just another player in the mud, fighting for more government funding.

“Sit, boy! Kneel, boy!”

“Now, roll over…”

“That’s a good boy!”

“Here’s your treat.”

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