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November 6th, 2009:

It is Done

NSF fellowship application complete and submitted with just under an hour and a half to spare before the deadline. More inside. (more…)

More on why Science Isn’t a Perfect Fit with the Right or Left

In a follow up to my post yesterday afternoon.

The opponents of science are those who put ideology over empirical facts, putting how they want the world work over how data shows the world actual does. On one side the extreme left is fine with the observational side of science telling us everything that’s wrong with the world, but when scientists try to come up with ways we could try to solve those problems, we get shouted down. Since I’ve written plenty about genetic engineering, consider how Steve Levitt, the author of Freakonomics*, was received when he simply suggested we should evaluate geo-engineering techniques as one of the ways to mitigate climate change.

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Or watch the interview of Bill Frist (a former Republican Senator) with Bill Maher, and cringe at the discussion of vaccines.

On the other hand the extreme right is mostly ok of with all the goodies scientific reseach produces: modern “Western” medicine (including vaccines and antibiotics), genetically engineered crops, computers, and microwaves. But when it comes to believing anything science tells us from “hey, the planet is getting warmer” to evolution (without which, let me tell you, comparative genomics would be a very boring field of study, an I’m not bored, I’m fascinated!), to not so much.

I am exasperated with the world. Try back tomorrow.

*Freakonomics is a fascinating read. I haven’t had the chance to read Superfreakonomics, which is what apparently generated this controversy.