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From American Council for Science and Health: Journalists’ war on science

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Think of it as a wide sausage for the mind.

From Alex Berezow at ACSH, who treats the journalism war as one of three fronts:

Of the three, this one may be the most insidious, since the war is conducted in high-profile media outlets by practitioners who don’t understand science or hide behind a false pretense of “transparency” and “balance.” Indeed, the journalistic war on science is complex because there are two different wars: an accidental war and an ideological war.

The “accidental” war Berezow describes is the endless stream of dubious stuff from approved sources flourished by pom poms for science. They’re for science, a sausage whose components they don’t know very much about and don’t need to. And they are against people who are “against” science. That group includes many practitioners who are well aware of the ingredients list for a given type of sausage and think that the public should know too.

The pom-poms’ role is not the iconic role for a journalist, a fact which mainly shows how much the internet has changed things.

Now about the “ideological” war Berezow mentions:

The “insidious war” on science is conducted by bad actors.

When confronted, these “journalists” (if we can even call them that) always respond the same way: They call their critics corporate shills. They falsely claim that they are providing “balance” to a debate that is dominated by industry propaganda. They claim the mantle of “transparency” while neglecting to mention any conflicts-of-interest they or their sources might possess. Legitimate scientific challenges are dismissed, and the go-to response is an ad hominem assault. All of their critics are dupes, dishonest, or secretly on the payroll of Big Business.

As ridiculous as this strategy is, it actually works. Character assassination is extremely effective. (This is one big reason why scientists are hesitant to join public debates.) More.

It’s not a ridiculous strategy and there is no surprise as to why it works. ID theorists are more commonly called religious shills than corporate shills (as if mathematics were a branch of religion). But one result is that statistical impossibilities claimed by Darwinians go uninvestigated. That is because most people who have the capacity to establish such a thing mathematically prefer to avoid an enraged horde of basement-dwellers whose social life seems to consist of defending Darwin on the internet.

See also: Fisher’s proof of Darwinian evolution has been flipped?

On Basener and Sanford’s paper falsifying Fisher’s Darwinism theorem: It will be no small thing to make reality matter again.

“Erased” paleontologist Bechly gets support from Science and Health Council

and

New Scientist embraces politics “an enlightened world view that we strongly advocate” Oh dear. That kind of prose is a symptom of the onset of deadly dullness. Take heart! There is surely an Anonymous group for the addicts of politics.

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