Plus, Chivers and his set cured cancer, and actually got real school inspections going over there in Brit, instead of the usual phony ones … That’s what gives them the right to make snotty remarks about the United States. Oh wait, let’s check our notes about current Brit toff achievements here …
In response to the usual Brit bumf about the Yanks supposedly being unenlightened in science – in this case, Tom Chivers’ “Republicans turn their back on the Enlightenment” (Telegraph , January 10, 2012) – physicist David Tyler responds,
Tom, your comments about science are far too sweeping. We have a problem today with the politicisation of science by scientists, science organisation, politicians and the media. To gain political muscle, legitimate debate about evidences is sacrificed to the sound byte of “Science says”.
You asked why Mitt Romney has moved from “I believe the world is getting warmer, and I believe that humans have contributed to that” to “We don’t know what’s causing climate change on this planet” in the space of three months. Maybe he has been reading The Sunday Telegraph – articles by Christopher Booker. Or the blogs of James Delingpole on this site. Perhaps you should talk to them.
You refer also to the evolution issue, treating this also as a consensus matter. Yet there is enormous debate about the mechanisms of biological change and the relevance of Darwinism. Much of the resistance to “evolution” is because Darwinism is a process that majors on mutations and natural selection – which most evolutionary biologists agree have implications for beliefs about purpose and meaning in the Cosmos. For the health of science, we need an open debate about these issues. But to express doubts about the molecules-to-man evolutionary pathway is not to display an anti-science mentality – because these doubts are supported by evidence.
Wouldn’t do any good, of course. Chivers’ sort of Brit markets a superior attitude as an achievement in itself, not as a result of actual achievement. It’s the best they can come up with.
Typically, he contrasts an ancient photo of the classic shifty toff Darwin over against current US prez hopeful Rick Santorum – like we all still care about their long-dead toff, and aren’t just itching to sweep all that rubbish away, in favour of today’s real science.
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