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Education United States Politics Science

America's Turn From Science, a Danger For Democracy 900

Posted by Soulskill
from the tide-goes-in-tide-goes-out dept.
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "Here's a good article about how playing politics with science puts our country at risk — a review of Shawn Otto's book Fool Me Twice: Fighting the Assault on Science in America. Today's policy-makers, Otto shows, are increasingly unwilling to pursue many of the remedies science presents. They take one of two routes: deny the science, or pretend the problems don't exist."
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America's Turn From Science, a Danger For Democracy

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  • by Riceballsan (816702) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @03:42PM (#38505908)
    Actually this is a misnomer. The US was established on freedom of and from oppressive religion. Many of our founding fathers were atheists/Deists (For the pre-darwin time I would consider deism pretty close to atheism, considering they more or less believed that god takes no active part in the world today). In god we trust was added to our money, and "under god" was added to our pledge in the 1950's. Both spit in the face of what the founding fathers had intended with separation of church and state.
  • by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @03:43PM (#38505922)

    The Canadians walked away from Kyoto; shall we ask if they, too, are anti-science?

    Your unspoken assumption that Canadians walked away from Kyoto for scientific reasons is a neat summary of all your other unspoken assumptions, and a neat proxy for how wrong you are on them as well. There's a nice summary of the actual situation here: http://www.politics.ubc.ca/fileadmin/user_upload/poli_sci/Faculty/harrison/Canada_US_august.pdf [politics.ubc.ca]

  • by Hatta (162192) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @03:45PM (#38505944) Journal

    The whole U.S. is established on the idea of God and religion.

    Sorry, this is just a myth. The founding fathers were deists, as secular as you could be in their day. The Constitution contains one reference to deity, in "the year of our lord". The Federalist Papers have equally few mentions of any sort of god.

    You are falling for the revisionist history perpetuated by the very people you are afraid of. "Under God" wasn't even added to the pledge of allegiance until 1948. The real philosophical basis of the United States are the ideals of the Enlightenment, which we have progressively lost as we slip into a modern dark ages.

  • by Pax681 (1002592) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @03:50PM (#38506036)

    Actually this is a misnomer. The US was established on freedom of and from oppressive religion. Many of our founding fathers were atheists/Deists (For the pre-darwin time I would consider deism pretty close to atheism, considering they more or less believed that god takes no active part in the world today). In god we trust was added to our money, and "under god" was added to our pledge in the 1950's. Both spit in the face of what the founding fathers had intended with separation of church and state.

    this post is 100% spot on. to claim a christian foundation for the USA is blatantly rewriting history

  • by Jason Levine (196982) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @03:51PM (#38506044)

    I don't think that the US is established on the idea of God and religion. The Religious Right wants to rewrite history and make the US a Christian nation, but we were founded on religious freedom. On the principle that the government shouldn't dictate to you which religion you practice (if any) and how you practice it (again, if any). A Catholic can go to Church at the same time as a Jew can go to Temple and a Muslim can attend services in a Mosque. Please don't confuse the Religious Right's agenda of turning the US into a theocracy with the normal religious person's agenda of practicing their religion without someone telling them that they can't because the government outlawed it.

    For the record: Yes, I am religious. No, I don't want to push my religious views on anyone else and I just ask that others don't try to force their religious views - or lack thereof - on me. I'm fine with a friendly conversation on the merits and/or pitfalls of religion, but name-calling, insults or threats have no place there. (This goes both ways. I'd expect that religious folks talking with atheists refrain from any "You're going to burn in hell, heathen" talk. Not that the atheist would be scared, but it's just not polite.)

  • by sortius_nod (1080919) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @03:54PM (#38506074) Homepage

    Many other countries in the world have heavy religious influence in their founding or building of their culture. name one that doesn't.

    Australia. We were founded on sending prisoners as far away from Britan as possible. While the US is similar, you guys had a revolution to install god as your mascot.

  • by slimjim8094 (941042) <slashdot3 AT justconnected DOT net> on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @03:54PM (#38506076)

    Good thing we've got it then.

  • by Riceballsan (816702) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @04:11PM (#38506290)
    I also forgot to mention the extreme irony of the nickle. I think you would agree that the idea of writing "In god we trust", next to a picture of a man who took a bible and a pair of scissors, and cut out every mention of supernatural events and miracles. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jefferson_Bible [wikipedia.org]
  • by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @04:16PM (#38506346)

    - about 30% voter turnout

    In presidential election years it is more like 58%, twice your claim. And better yet the turnout numbers have been trending up.

    - Election looser becomes president (2000)

    The 2000 results have been the most studied in US history, and guess what the studies have shown Bush really did win.

    Here's one:

    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/media/media_watch/jan-june01/recount_4-3.html [pbs.org]

    - You need a billion US$ campaign funds to have a chance

    So? The US is a big country. It takes a lot to get your message out. It's not some piss ant Euro country the size of one US state. It would be like electing a president of all of Europe.

    - Heriditary tendencies for seats in congress/senate

    Bullshit. There are few cases where these seats are inherited from family members. Currently it is 15 out of the total of 535. Three percent.

  • by mister_playboy (1474163) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @04:34PM (#38506604)

    In god we trust was added to our money, and "under god" was added to our pledge in the 1950's.

    "In God We Trust" first appeared on the penny and 2 cent coins in 1864, as a result of religious sentiment around the Civil War. It was adopted as an official motto for the country in 1956.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_God_We_Trust [wikipedia.org]

  • by jc42 (318812) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @04:43PM (#38506698) Homepage Journal

    Thank god there is no religion in china.

    Sure, there is. The latest version has its own sacred scripture, known to us as Mao's Little Red Book. It's followed by China's current leaders about as well as the Bible is followed by America's oh-so-religious leaders.

    Of course, China had (and still has) other religions before that. One derives from the writings of Kong Fuzi (Confucius). And older one derives from that Indian fellow that we call Buddha. None of these three writers considered themselves to be founders of a religion; they were all trying to teach people how to Live Right. As were many of the founders of Western religions.

    But it's all to no avail. As someone else has already quoted: "Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful. [Seneca]".

    Hmmm ... I wonder if I punctuated that last sentence correctly. ;-) Anyway, China's leaders have been as good as European and American leaders at turning their wisdom into holy texts that are followed blindly and unthinkingly, often producing the opposite of what the religious "founders" were trying to achieve.

  • by rgbrenner (317308) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @05:00PM (#38506954)

    1998 Science article of a survey of the members of the National Academy of Sciences [stephenjaygould.org]

    Belief in personal God
    Personal belief: 7%
    Personal disbelief: 72%
    Agnostic: 21%

    There was another more recent survey of the Royal Society that found similar results.

  • by mapkinase (958129) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @05:43PM (#38507520) Homepage Journal

    Bullshit. I have Ph.D in physics and I am observing Muslim. The dichotomy is false and its enough that your Christian right-wing crazies are perpetuating it. Don't join the bandwagon from the science side.

  • by swamp_ig (466489) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @08:27PM (#38509440)

    There's a number of problems with this straw-man argument:
    1. Religon does not have monopoly on morality, in fact the vast majority of the moral philosophers don't invoke religous ideas whatsoever.
    2. Religon does not have a monopoly on breeding. The birth rate in Australia mirrors that of the USA, however only a minority of people there subscribe to religon.
    3. Religon does not have a monopoly on good parenting.

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