Okay, so….I got sick of this new wave of conservative science punditry, which dismisses the “war on science” argument without even bothering to show it’s wrong, and then goes on to claim that we liberals are “new eugenicists” and that our embrace of science is going to lead us off a political cliff. The result is my latest Science Progress column, readable here. It starts out like this:
I hate to confess it, but lately I’ve been feeling a bit wistful for the arguments of conservative science pundit Tom Bethell, author of the 2005 polemic The Politically Incorrect Guide to Science. Granted, the “Incorrect Guide to Science” would probably have been a more accurate title, in that Bethell is just plain wrong about everything from evolution (which he tries to debunk) to global warming (which he argues isn’t human-caused) to African AIDS (which, shockingly, he calls a “political epidemic”). Yet despite such outrages, there’s something bracingly honest about Bethell’s book–he really doesn’t accept mainstream science on many issues, and so he tries, very straightforwardly, to argue that his facts are right and everybody else’s wrong.
A new wave of conservative science punditry–epitomized by an essay by Yuval Levin in The New Atlantis entitled “Science and the Left,” which was itself recently publicized by former Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson in an oped in the Washington Post–demonstrably lacks such candor….
You can read the whole piece here.