"We've arranged a global civilization in which most crucial elements profoundly depend on science and technology. We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces." -Carl Sagan
On Saturday, April 22nd, scientists, science teachers, science enthusiasts and science fans will all come together for a variety of reasons, all over the world, to March for Science. While there are undeniably many with very strong political opinions, the march itself isn't political, but is rather a celebration of science and all it does for the world.
The way to keep moving the world forward in the best way possible is strongly rooted in science and scientific investigation, and its greatest enemy is dogmatic, biased argumentation and reasoning. We live in a world that is extraordinarily dependent on science and technology, and that's why valuing our investments in it and the results of our investigations are more important than ever.
"The way to keep moving the world forward in the best way possible is strongly rooted in science and scientific investigation, and its greatest enemy is dogmatic, biased argumentation and reasoning."
Uh yeah, sure Ethan, whatever. Is there any particular reason why you failed to mention WHERE you were going to march around?
Oh, that's right. Washington DC. details, details, details. You're not so good with those pesky little details.
For the record Ethan, NO ONE marches in DC except for political reasons, that's why people march there, to seek political influence, it's the seat of federal power in America. Yes, the march is entirely political you two faced liar.
A science fair is apolitical, a march in the nation's capital advocating who is and is not allowed to speak up or have influence on scientific matters is not. Using a march to ask for increased funding and power is as political as it gets. Maybe you should have checked out the website promoting the event before you posted:
"Q: How does the march define being political?
A: The march is explicitly a political movement, aimed at holding leaders in politics and science accountable. When institutions of any affiliation skew, ignore, misuse or interfere with science, we have to speak out. Science should inform political decision making. At the same time, political decisions deeply influence the type of science we are able to do and the type of people who are allowed to conduct science and benefit from scientific advancements. "
And in conjunction with your previous statement :
"...and its greatest enemy is dogmatic, biased argumentation and reasoning."
You make the assertion that anyone who does not agree with your INTERPRETATION of data is guilty of 'dogmatic, biased argumentation and reasoning', which is really just a very partisan political appeal to authority advocating for the silencing of those you disagree with.
Just remember, if you are going to act like a political entity, you will be treated as one, and lose whatever objective credibility you ever had.
Just remember, if you are going to act like a political entity, you will be treated as one, and lose whatever objective credibility you ever had.
Better listen, Ethan. He knows of what he speaks. :)
"He knows of what he speaks."
Well to be precise, both cft and denier speak from a very limited position: things they dislike because of the results coupled with an immense lack of attempt to study the issue.
Ignoring the comment of the habitual science deniers that are here and will come: this
We live in a world that is extraordinarily dependent on science and technology
I don't think your "dogmatic, biased argumentation and reasoning" point is completely limited to those views in science: we have an environment where increasing numbers of people hold a foolish believe that the (mythical) free market will solve the problems that those pesky scientists worry about.
The discussions to come need to concentrate as much on why the science community can do things the outside community can't as it does on the growing disregard for science in general.
So supporting science destroys objectivity? Objectivity, Mr. CFT if that is your real name, is about supporting facts. It is not about letting everyone speak and pretending their stance is correct or has merit. That's how you end up with cases of antivaccine wackos getting to talk without being told they are absolutely wrong. People like you think that people should be able to promote things that are incorrect or outright lies for the sake of "balanced views." Factual and balanced are not connected to eachother.
Along these lines
So supporting science destroys objectivity?
Of course not. Personally I don't care because I think absolutely everyone has bias. Everyone is impartial to lesser or greater degrees, but being against this march and against science aren't necessarily the same thing.
There is a since deleted tweet from the event organizers that read as follows:
colonization, racism, immigration,
native rights, sexism, ableism, queer-, trans-, intersex-phobia, & econ justice are scientific issues
Despite whatever ideals it originally had, It is now just a leftist political march. Nothing more. The way the event has become hijacked has not gone unnoticed even by some scientists who previously supported it. Harvard Cognitive Sciences Professor Steven Pinker wrote the following:
Scientists' March on Washington plan compromises its goals with anti-science PC/identity politics/hard-left rhetoric
I don't really have a dog in this fight, but it could easily be argued that support this march is supporting politics over science, not the other way around. It shouldn't shock that Ethan leans left politically. If this is his thing then more power to him. Have fun.
@dean, eric, and assorted 'me too' parrots in favor of technocracy...
I freely admit, I know where I stand, and I'm not on your side. The side of force.
When your little science march aligns itself with one political party, and then stirs in divisive social/sexual/racial/identity politics, and left leaning celebrities to go about demanding those big bad people you disagree with to be silenced, I'm not being unscientific calling you out on it. I'm just calling your spade a spade.
When you have the truth on your side, you don't have to pound the table to silence your critics with safe-spaces, or politics or sheepskin pedigrees. If you can not withstand your arguments even being questioned without feeling threatened, you're wrong already no matter what you think you know.
P.S. I know it is lost on most of you (due to historical ignorance) but I hope you are aware on some level that many scientists in the past were silenced by similar political tactics by those who considered themselves the authority on scientific truth at the time, demanding that others be shut out of the discussion. Which side of the freedom of speech and freedom of scientific inquiry do you think this little march is on? Do you honestly think you SHOULD be allowed to muzzle someone who does not agree with your interpretations of data because they are in the way of what you want politically?
It wasn't Galileo or Copernicus or Mendel or Semmelweis or Wegener or Einstein who were asking for their detractors and those that they disagreed with them to be persecuted or silenced, even when they thought their scientific contemporaries were wrong.
"The side of force."
You are truly delusional.
"It wasn’t Galileo..."
You just let me fill in my "Things cranks say" Bingo card.
Get off your high horse, you hypocrite. If you wish for science to be respected, stop using it for political ends. What people who use science for political ends want is not understanding, it is control of others and what they think.
I’m going to break my keeping of Linus’ rule (”religion, politics, and the Great Pumpkin”) and ask what is so wrong with using science for political ends? Just so we are on the same page here, by “science” I mean the enterprise of building and organising knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about reality. Why wouldn’t you want to use science so defined to inform politics? It is the best tool we have today for understanding how the universe works, and it was through science that the human species has advanced to the point that it has today. From the Carl Sagan quote that Ethan used to start the article, we’ve arranged a global civilization in which most crucial elements profoundly depend on science and technology. So why the hell wouldn’t you use science to inform politics? If you really wanted to control others you’d use better ways of doing so, especially since if you really use science as above defined it may tell you things which go against whatever agenda you want to push. Very inconvenient, that. Ideology and religion are far more effective than science at controlling people, and what we see today in politics regarding science is nothing but attempts to force science to subordinate itself to ideology or religion. Look at what’s happening with global warming, creationism, vaccines, and so forth. In every case the unpleasant findings of science are being made to submit to ideological or religious dogma. The Soviet Union tried that thanks to a fellow named Trofim Lysenko and that resulted in disastrous famines that killed millions.
Reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled. — Richard Feynman
"Get off your high horse, you hypocrite."
Sorry. I have no respect for someone like you who doesn't take the time to understand the science you don't like, and doesn't care that in the real world science, technology, politics -- are interwoven.
You can keep your desire for science to adhere to ideas that are 50+ years old, and more importantly keep your intentional misrepresentations of the views and actions of others, especially when you don't even try to base them on facts.
Despite whatever ideals it originally had, It is now just a leftist political march. Nothing more.
I think there are certainly some organizers who want the march to highlight liberal social causes, and I agree with you that this is a mistake. Not because I necessarily disagree with those causes, but because it dilutes the focus of the march. IMO they're trying to turn a march for a good cause into a march for many good causes all at once, which is a poor messaging choice. But I think it remains to be seen whether they will be successful in de/refocusing the march onto social issues rather than about issues such as science funding and the cuts to various federal programs.
Of course, the best way you, the individual, could help ensure that the march has a more 'support R&D'-focused tone is to participate in the march. Show up. Carry a sign. If enough people carrying science-support signs show up, the coverage will be on them, and the more extreme SJWs will fail in their co-option attempts. The best way to get the march to fail? Sit on your couch and complain about how it's going to fail. Having said that, I've had to change my plans to attend at the last minute because my kid's godparents suddenly and unexpectedly decided to come into town this weekend. But when I learned about that, I went on to the site and donated to support it instead. Which admittedly is not as supportive as showing up, but its still a darn sight better than sitting on your couch muttering doom and gloom about it.
I freely admit, I know where I stand, and I’m not on your side. The side of force. When your little science march aligns itself with one political party, and then stirs in divisive social/sexual/racial/identity politics, and left leaning celebrities to go about demanding those big bad people you disagree with to be silenced, I’m not being unscientific calling you out on it. I’m just calling your spade a spade.
Wow. When have I ever advocated using force to silence people? And what political party am I in? And what do I have to do with what some celebrity on TV says? In short: how is any of your whining 'my spade' rather than your projection?
"I think there are certainly some organizers who want the march to highlight liberal social causes, "
You are too modest, sir- that is less an opinion than a fact, as is that zealots are striving with great success to elect each other as spokesmen for scientific asssociations--- as thay have been doing ever since Earth Day 1970.
...fail in their co-option attempts
It isn't a 'co-option' if that is the agenda the event organizers claim is the point of the march. They're trying to get scientists to show that 'smart' people support the political left and by extension those opposed are un-smart.
This event has NOTHING to do with science. It is about chanting 'We're number 1" while demonizing the opposition. It isn't a battle of ideas, but instead a show of force and small minded tribal cohesion. It is smart people showing they can be dumb too, and dumb people thinking they're smart by osmosis.
To each their own. So long as they don't get violent then they should get out, be heard, and mingle with like minded people. I think the lefty marches and speaking events are mostly harmless. It is events put on by the political right and being crashed by Black Bloc ANTIFA where things are getting dicey.
If Ethan were voicing support for ANTIFA then I'd be loud with my condemnations, but he isn't. So, I'm all for Ethan getting out and exercising his very wonderful First Amendment rights even if it is for an agenda with facets I find troubling. I do support the sciences but I don't support this event. You're welcome for my sending your kid’s godparents into town this weekend. :)
As someone here once said "science is indifferent", I don't find the slogan 'March for Science' very appropriate. Scientists can be absolute assholes and do things that make other peoples life miserable, just like how artists can make propaganda for terrible causes that is disgusting. Look at nuclear bombs or any other weapon those are all made by scientists … Frankenstein. Better come up with an other name or an addition than just 'science' … what about a march for 'Humanistic Science' … but I'll expect their will be some that don't like this because they like to do the science they want and not giving a f**k about negative side effects, because they want to find out, and there's nothing noble to their research … brutal animal testing is for instance also 'science' … which freak society hasn't done some 'interesting' science. Nope 'March for Science' is to vague to get my tumbs up because science itself is careless.
As a comparison you could have a 'March for Capitalism' in such a way that it does realise great achievements by bundling forces, but it also a lever to mess things up. So I can rougly approve capitalism and take the good with the bad, but I am not going to March for it. I could march for freedom … but I guess I can also bitch about that ?
It isn’t a ‘co-option’ if that is the agenda the event organizers claim is the point of the march
Here is the actual agenda the event organizers claim is the point of the march: "The March for Science champions robustly funded and publicly communicated science as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity. We unite as a diverse, nonpartisan group to call for science that upholds the common good and for political leaders and policy makers to enact evidence based policies in the public interest. "
So you're just plain wrong. Now I will agree (again) that some of the organizers want the march to focus on social justice issues in science fields. There have been a number of pulled-back announcements and tweets to that effect, which seems to me an indication of in-fighting and disagreement within the organization structure on what the March should be about. But (a) you're wrong about the publicly stated focus of the march, and (b) I personally think you're also greatly misrepresenting the effort by treating what an extreme faction amongst the organizers want as if it's the official and consensus desire of the whole organization. You're painting with an overbroad brush, either out of ignorance or intentionally, and I'm not sure which I consider to be worse.
Here is the actual agenda the event organizers claim....
Too funny. I'm sure it was by pure accident that you forgot to include the very next line. For those curious, here is the next line which is actually bold emphasized on the website:
Inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility are integral to this mission and to our overall goals and principles.
a little further down:
We cannot ignore issues of racism, sexism, homophobia, ableism, xenophobia, or any other form of discrimination
There have been a number of pulled-back announcements and tweets
They were pulled back because they weren't considered inclusive enough. The original diversity statement didn't include the disabled. The announcement and whatnot were pulled so they could include 'ableism'. They also pulled back the announcements of Bill Nye being the chair after complaints of his being a 'cis white male'. They then found 2 more scientists with better diversity optics and reissued the announcements.
You’re painting with an overbroad brush, either out of ignorance or intentionally
Or just maybe I can read. From about midway through their statement:
it is political
both bold and italics were added by the organizers.
If it makes you feel better to pretend this isn't a political march, then go for it. Personally I'm taking the event organizers at their word.
@Anonymous Coward wrote:
what is so wrong with using science for political ends?
Back during the earlier 20th century, especially during the Wilson administration, liberals were using science to forward their political ideas of eugenics. I have a problem with that. Using science in the service of identity politics as done then, and as the march organizers are doing now is not something I want anything to do with.
It is certainly possible for science to "inform politics". I think that is something we all should want, but this march is not that. The spokespeople were changed for identity politics. Their idea statement is rife with identity politics. They have an entire page on their website devoted to identity politics. They don't have a page for Physics, or Biology, or Chemistry because the march isn't about that. In this case science is only used as a force multiplier to champion identity politics and leftist causes. What is old is new again.
The local event close to me is advertised as "non-partisan." You could call it political simply because it is meant to help widen support for the importance of science in our lives. But remember that this is in response to the ATTACK on science and rational thought by the current regime. Most prominent are removal of info on climate science from government web sites, the intent to slash NASA efforts to collect climate data, and the attempt to muzzle climate researchers. They also seem to want to kill the EPA, ironically while mouthing support for clean air and water. The phrase "out of touch with reality" comes to mind.
the intent to slash NASA efforts to collect climate data...The phrase “out of touch with reality” comes to mind.
The last time this subject came up, Denier was unaware NASA had even had an Earth observation mission. He thought the Bush era rewrite of NASA's mission statement was the original. So to your last point...yes. :)
The saddest thing about that change is it shows how this once nonpartisan and apolitical issue has become politicized...by the recent right. It was the Eisenhower administration (GOP) who came up with NASA's mission "to understand and protect the home planet." Nixon, Reagan, and G.H.W. Bush all supported it. It was only with Bush II and the right's embrace of climate change denialism that the GOP suddenly decided pointing space-based scientific instruments at the Earth to monitor environmental changes was a bad idea. Of course one has to wonder how sincere GOP politicians are in their denial, when they defund the very instruments that would empirically prove their claims correct against the mainstream...
The last time this subject came up, Denier was unaware NASA had even had an Earth observation mission. He thought the Bush era rewrite of NASA’s mission statement was the original. So to your last point…yes.
Now you're just making stuff up. James Hansen formerly of GISS is someone I bring up over and over. I am well aware of their work, the people involved, and have an above average idea on the structure of NASA going all the way back to the NACA days. Also, the Earth observation instruments of which you speak are NOAA assets, not NASA. Now, the NOAA's satellite data division is also facing a proposed 22% budget cut which would jeopardize the $800M JPSS program, but then again what do I know?
I do enjoy your tit for tat with 'because science' parrots,
But there is a problem. You are addressing actual things actually stated on the 'March for Science' site and making your arguments in alignment with evidence, and the parrots are still commenting without even looking at the source making their arguments on how they 'feel' about the matter. They have decided they don't like you, so 'sentio ergo sum', you're wrong.
You can't win an argument with someone who considers their 'feelings' a rational argument, or someone who can't be bothered to even read the political mission statement on the very website of the event they claim isn't a political event.
"but then again what do I know?"
Based on your lack of understanding of issues and repeated incorrect comments about what scientists say, you don't know much of anything.
Based on your simple inability to even be bothered to read and comprehend the website of the 'march on science' in question, you don't have any standing to talk about anyone else's ignorance.
At least Denier takes time to do some investigation and put thought into his arguments even if it opens him up to ridicule or makes him unpopular with 'true believers' such as yourself, while you just pretend to be a witty. Denier also knows something you, eric, Wow, and even Ethan apparently don't: Science isn't a political/social justice 'cause' or a popularity fan club for people trying to look cool or sound important, and it isn't threatened by challenging questions. If you must silence dissent to be right, you have demonstrated your argument is feeble.
CFT, Denier, etc
So what if Ethan and others are using science for political ends? You or I don't own "science" and there are many ways to get from here to there and besides, as long as humans are involved politics is in everything.
So what if Ethan and others are using science for political ends?
You seem to have this completely backwards. I have no issue with Ethan using science for political ends or being political simply because he wants to be heard. As I said in the very first post I made in this thread (#7):
If this is his thing then more power to him. Have fun.
I'm simply pointing out why *I* won't lend my voice to this event. It is other commenters here chastising my being a conscientious objector and wanting to know why I don't want to use science for the political ends championed in this march.
eric wrote in post #13:
the best way you, the individual, could help ensure that the march has a more ‘support R&D’-focused tone is to participate in the march. Show up. Carry a sign.
I believe identity politics to be completely toxic. Some truly horrific things have been done in that vein by people believing they were championing noble causes even right here in the US and not so long ago. I don't support it for me, for my own principled reasons.
"for my own principled reasons"
"principled" is the oddest spelling of "selfish, ignorant" I've ever seen.
"So what if Ethan and others are using science for political ends?"
I can see you have given this very little thought. Try harder.
If you are claiming to be a scientist seeking objective truth by using scientific methodology, when in fact you actually have a political agenda you are trying to influence people with as your primary objective, you have a serious professional conflict of interest that at the very least should be fully disclosed.
Well, the march is tomorrow. Best wishes to all those able to go, good luck, and I hope it is a great success!
CFT: are you saying evolutionary biologists can't or shouldn't work to have evolution taught in schools? Surely, if a scientist is dedicated to truth-seeking, there is no conflict of interest in wanting others to learn that truth, is there?
How in the hell did you go off on that tangent?
eric: Are you saying you have psychic powers given to you by space aliens allowing you to read my mind and let you know my views on evolutionary biology being taught in schools?
...see what I did there? It's easy.
Don't play straw man fallacies with me child. Go and get yourself a real argument.
cft, eric's comment is motivated by your cherry-picking of facts and the types of science you dismiss without evidence.
There is nothing you've said that makes it unreasonable to believe you dismiss evolution, or the safety of vaccines, or other sciences, as blithely as you've dismissed others.
CFT, you made a generalized comment about the conduct of scientists that applies to all disciplines. If you want to retract that and limit your comment to saying climate scientists have a conflict of interest when they engage in political discussions about climate change, then we can have that conversation. But if you don't want to retract or modify your general statement, then you should be willing to discuss with me how your conflict-of-interest assertion would limit the behavior of evolutionary biologists who want to get involved in state education policy.
you should be willing to discuss with me how your conflict-of-interest assertion would limit...
This event should properly be called The March for Intersectional Climate Change Recognition. In that line of thinking, perhaps one of the most credible examples of what CFT is talking about is Dr. V Ram Ramanathan, a climate scientist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography of UCSD, who is also an ethic minority.
Ramanathan is sympathetic to the aims of the march, saying, "I think scientists are lost now. Where do we fit in?" But he worries the public demonstration could alienate those who already perceive scientists as politically biased.
Lately, Ramanathan has been focused on outreach, trying to convince political and religious leaders about the seriousness of climate change.
He said his efforts with the Obama administration and the Pope have been paying off, resulting in international agreements to crack down on hydrofluorocarbons and a Vatican that puts climate change high on its agenda.
Ramanathan wants not only liberals, but also conservatives to see him as a neutral expert who can explain climate science without any political agenda.
"If I participate in the March for Science, I'm concerned I would lose that neutral voice. Even if I remain neutral, the perception would be that I'm a biased activist," he said.