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"It is better to be drunk with loss and to beat the ground, than to let the deeper things gradually escape."

- I. Compton-Burnett, letter to Francis King (1969)

"Cynical realism – it is the intelligent man’s best excuse for doing nothing in an intolerable situation."

- Aldous Huxley, "Time Must Have a Stop"

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Thursday, 19 February 2004

Topic: Science

Not that it matters.

Note the following, all over the web for the last two days.

Blinded by Science

"You would think that hopelessly destablilizing two large Muslim nations and saddling the American economy with debts into the 22nd century would be enough destruction for one administration - but that would be to "misunderestimate" the Shrubster's band of merry thiefs. A group of more than 60 top U.S. scientists, including 20 Nobel laureates and several science advisers to past Republican presidents, yesterday accused the Bush administration of manipulating and censoring science for political purposes. What do you expect from a government in which the President and the Secretary of Education both believe evolution is a theory and creationism is a science?"

The problems the report alludes to?

The report charges that administration officials have:

- Ordered massive changes to a section on global warming in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's 2003 Report on the Environment. Eventually, the entire section was dropped.

- Replaced a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention fact sheet on proper condom use with a warning emphasizing condom failure rates.

- Ignored advice from top Department of Energy nuclear materials experts who cautioned that aluminum tubes being imported by Iraq weren't suitable for use to make nuclear weapons.

- Established political litmus tests for scientific advisory boards. In one case, public health experts were removed from a CDC lead paint advisory panel and replaced with researchers who had financial ties to the lead industry.

- Suppressed a U.S. Department of Agriculture microbiologist's finding that potentially harmful bacteria float in the air surrounding large hog farms.

- Excluded scientists who've received federal grants from regulatory advisory panels while permitting the appointment of scientists from regulated industries.

"I don't recall it ever being so blatant in the past," said Princeton University physicist Val Fitch, a 1980 Nobel Prize winner who served on a Nixon administration science advisory committee. "It's just time after time after time. The facts have been distorted."

But what are facts? Science is overrated? I guess the administration believes in taking "the moral high ground" in these matters.

Posted by Alan at 10:17 PST | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: Thursday, 19 February 2004 20:48 PST home

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