Liberals routinely invoke that “science” justifies their ideology – and, therefore, if conservative do not embrace their philosophies, those conservatives are “anti-science.” The problem is not that conservatives distrust science; they simply do not embrace all the counterfeit science liberals do.
Liberals tend to embrace science as a religion vs. understanding the inherent limitations of “science.” Liberals fail to recognize that just because a paper appears in a scientific journal or is published by a reputable university, it automatically qualifies as “science.” This is far from the truth.
Consider the following examples, which illustrate why conservatives are not as naïve as liberals concerning “science.”
- Aug. 30, 2005, John P.A. Ioannidis, professor of disease prevention at Stanford University, published “Why Most Published Research Findings Are False,” in PLoS / Medicine. He stated, “There is increasing concern that most current published research findings are false. … Moreover, for many current scientific fields, claimed research findings may often be simply accurate measures of the prevailing bias.”
- In 2010, The Center for Scientific Integrity, a 501c, nonprofit organization, started “Retraction Watch,” due to the increasing amount of counterfeit science appearing in the science literature and reported that there are 500-600 retractions per year.
- Oct. 16, 2012, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published the report, “Misconduct accounts for the majority of retracted scientific publications.” They found that “67.4 percent of retractions were attributed to misconduct” and that “the percentage of scientific articles retracted because of fraud has increased tenfold since 1975.”
- April 11, 2015, Richard Horton, M.D., editor in chief of The Lancet, wrote an editorial entitled, “Science publication is hopelessly compromised.” These were his comments after attending a symposium on the reproducibility and reliability of biomedical research. Dr. Horton wrote: “A lot of what is published is incorrect. I am not allowed to say who made this remark because we were asked to observe Chatham House rules. We were also asked not to take photographs of slides. Why the paranoid concern for secrecy and non-attribution? Because this symposium – on the reproducibility and reliability of biomedical research – touched on one of the most sensitive issues in science today: the idea that something has gone fundamentally wrong with one of our greatest human creations. The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half [emphasis added], may simply be untrue. Afflicted with studies of small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analysis, and flagrant conflict of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn toward darkness. As one participant put it, ‘poor methods get results.'”
- On Dec. 28, 2016, LiveScience reported, “Publish or perish: That’s the mantra among academics. The pressure on researchers to publish new studies, however, may have turned this saying into ‘publish and perish,’ as more than 650 scientific papers were retracted in 2016, jeopardizing the integrity of scientists, and threatening the public’s trust in their work.”
Clearly, counterfeit or junk science has become a significant international problem impacting a wide variety of liberal agendas such as gun control, climate change, evolution, environmentalism, etc., based upon false assumptions, erroneous data, or statistical manipulation. This is why “science,” should not be taken as gospel, which conservatives recognize and liberals do not.
As an example, on Nov. 9, 2017, Slate published the article “Why are conservatives more susceptible to believing lies,” including the comment “… trusting science is part of liberal ideology itself” [my emphasis]. On June 8, 2017, Bloomberg View published “Why Conservatives Have Always Distrusted Science,” and states, “More broadly, while Trump has been roundly criticized for setting America back in key science-related areas – overturning Obama-era regulations on business and the environment – it is also the case that he is simply following a familiar conservative playbook, and it includes many pages attacking or dismissing mainstream science.”
This is empty rhetoric, “mainstream science” is a meaningless term. There is either science or counterfeit science, period. To illustrate this point, consider the comments made by Frank Schnell, Ph.D., in his article “The Age of Stupid.” Dr. Schnell is a retired toxicologist for the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, part of the CDC in Atlanta, Georgia, and is a member of the American Council on Science and Health Scientific Advisory Panel. Schnell explains “how to tell the difference between a real scientist and a salesman with a political agenda,” such as a liberal, directly applied to any science debate. He points out:
- A good scientist would rather live with an unpleasant truth than embrace a comfortable lie.
- Good scientists do not suppress debate, they insist on it.
- Good scientists with opposing views attack one another’s arguments, but not each other.
- A good scientist knows that skepticism, whether or not it is the sign of a heretic, is actually essential to the practice of good science.
- A good scientist would rather be right than president.
- A good scientist knows that science is not a democracy, that scientific truth is not determined by a show of hands, and that consensus and authority are there to be challenged, not to be accepted without question.
- Anyone who is familiar with the defining characteristics of good scientists can always tell whether it is actually raining, or someone is just peeing on your leg.
- And, finally, those who persist in behaving like witless sheep will be forever doomed to getting fleeced, on a regular basis, by the politicians, celebrities and others whom they permit to do their thinking for them.
Liberals have mastered the ability to sway public opinion by masquerading counterfeit science as science to a naïve and uneducated public, as well as most media outlets. Liberals religious enthusiasm for counterfeit science leaves them incapable of determinging when “it is actually raining, or someone is just peeing on their leg,” resulting in their “behaving like witless sheep” and allowing others to do their thinking for them.