Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Journalism vs. Science

One of the principal conceits of our liberal friends is that they are open-minded supporters of science while conservatives are superstitious bigots that persecute scientists.

In fact, of course, all people engaged in politics and religion are in the orthodoxy business. The whole point of politics and religion is the power to define what is allowed to be said.

This emerges clearly from an ambush interview on MSNBC where liberal host Rachel Maddow tries to ridicule Art Robinson, Republican candidate for Oregon's 4th District and scientist, for his controversal views.

First of all, she is shocked, shocked that there's a third-party group spending $150,000 on TV ads in his district. Who are these mysterious strangers, she wants to know?

Then we get to global warming. How could he deny the truth of man-made global warming?

Then it's AIDS. Robinson wrote 15 years ago that government was encouraging the idea that every disease suffered by gays was AIDS. Did he really write that?

Worse and worse. Robinson also speculated that maybe the way to deal with nuclear waste was to dilute it and spray it into the oceans.

Then it's on to hormesis, the idea that less radiation isn't necessarily better, that maybe we need a certain background of radiation to stay healthy.

Maddow unfortunately didn't have time to get to public education. Art Robinson is a noted home-schooler who has published a home-school curriculum, the Robinson Curriculum.

The point of the ambush interview was, of course, to present Robinson as a way-out crank. That's always the way of politics. And it is always the way of government-funded science. There are certain opinions, certain scientific theories, that are beyond the pale, and the whole point of practical politics is to demonize and marginalize people who dare to step beyond the pale.

In other words, in politics, conformism is the name of the game, even for liberals who advertise their non-conformism and their open-mindedness to the world.

1 comment:

  1. "Art Robinson, at George Gilder's Telecosm 10 conference in 2006 (, gave a presentation about the analytical and Internet technology now available that makes possible the transfer of diagnostic medicine away from the medical monopoly and into the hands of medical consumers.

    The commercial implementation of this technology would markedly improve preventive and therapeutic medicine. It would also reduce the 17% of the American economy now devoted to medical care in the United States to an estimated 5%, thereby freeing very large amounts of capital to fund other technological advances that could further improve the quality and quantity of human life.

    The building of this new industry would also put America at the forefront of yet another major technological revolution, which would provide great entrepreneurial opportunities and very substantial economic advantages for all Americans."

    Mr. Chantrill, I read your article very carefully, I clicked on some links amongst them the "interview" on MSNBC, and finally the lecture Mr. Robinson gave for Telecosm.
    I would like to express some concerns regarding the latter: I am not a medical doctor just a consumer from time-to-time of the medical industry. I do not feel confortable with the idea of making the population at large, the judge, jury and executioner on medical matters, meaning to give medical and moral powers over human life, by mass-use of nano-technology. That would eliminate the whole purpose of having medical doctors around. I don't think that mandated healthcare is the right answer either, having government bureaucrats play medical experts and on the other hand, I don't think that the current medical care industry is the most appropriate that can be provided. The right way of approaching public health would be somewhere in the middle, where patients have the right to consult a doctor when they have something to complain about, without being coerced into believing that the onus for becoming ill is exclusively on them, meaning on their "lifestyle" that conforms or not to rules set by authorities. What would help someone who is not trained to be a medical doctor to constantly monitor hi/hers body physiology? Would that really bring about increased longevity? I honestly don't think so. I, as a person, do not want to know what illnesses I am about to face during my lifetime. I, as a person, do not want to be treated for risk factors - which are mathematical expressions anyway -. What Mr. Robinson advocates proves once more that treatment and cure for real diseases still lags behind the development of diagnostic medicine. He also does not substantiate his theory with anatomical proof, but with experiments done on animals only. Anatomical proof would be correlation of statements made by those who set medical procedures and healthcare policies with performed autopsies results. That seems to be something still sitting in the backburner of medical science.
    Back the interview, I admired Mr. Robinson- the candidate's, endurance and resiliance in the face of an other smear campaign conducted by the MSM and I wish him lots of luck in the elections.