Fame! or The Company We Keep

The New Scientist reviews Conservapedia. Along with our own Dr. Myers and Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, the article quotes one:

Joshua Rosenau, a graduate student in evolutionary biology at the University of Kansas and contributor to Science Blogs claims the site has a darker side. “On some level it’s also reflective of a harmful attitude that some people ? especially those on the far right ? tend to have about science and truth,” he told me. “They are re-defining their own truth and seem to think facts are malleable.”

If the article didn’t also quote Andrew Schlafly, Concerned Son of America, it’d be a great crowd.

i-66af55d214ed636a3611663ceb88fefa-humpty.jpgIn the interview, I also pointed out that this strategy runs right to the core of the The Republican War on Science. This idea that truth is something which can be changed by arguing about it was the basis of the tobacco companies’ defenses for decades, it was the basis for oil company intransigence on global warming until recently, and it explains the creationist obsession with staged debates. Ron Suskind famously quoted an anonymous Bush Cheney administration source explaining that guys like him (and me, I suppose) are “in what we call the reality-based community” ? people who “believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.”

“That’s not the way the world really works any more,” the source continued. “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality.” Welcome to Conservaworld, as accurately documented by Conservapedia.
Like Alice, I find this such people ?

“[H]e never finished the sentence, for at this moment a heavy crash shook the forest from end to end.”

Comments

  1. #1 Dave S.
    February 27, 2007

    They say that history is written by the winners…who knew that facts could be too? Problem is, when you insist on your own reality, others tends to catch up and you no longer remain the winner.

  2. #2 derek
    February 27, 2007

    This idea that truth is something which can be changed by arguing about it was the basis of the tobacco companies’ defenses for decades, it was the basis for oil company intransigence on global warming until recently,

    No, I disagree. I think that the basis of the tobacco companies’ and oil companies’ obfuscation, year after year, was that every year they could hold off policy being based on the truth was another year of profit for them, profit they would never lose when the policy finally changed. I don’t think they thought they could change truth, they just thought they could delay the day when truth changed behavior. And they did.

    (Now creationists, I’ll agree, actually do think they can fix truth by lying, but like most famous scientific frauds, they probably think they have a better truth that the pesky evidence is temporarily failing to fall in line with)