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The Politically Incorrect Guide to Science

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The Politically Incorrect Guide to Science
by Tom Bethell

Regnery, 2005

In science, dispassionate, objective inquiry reigns supreme, and researchers
will readily give up their most cherished views if the evidence proves them
wrong — right? Unfortunately, the answer is no. Science, like virtually
everything else these days, has become a highly politicized field in which
the Left has worked energetically to present its pet theories and schemes —
all of which just happen to advance their case for the necessity for ever
more government control over our lives. But in The Politically Incorrect
Guide to Science, Tom Bethell, who has for several years been making the
case for real science as opposed to its politically correct counterfeit in
the pages of The American Spectator, sets the record straight about some of
the most controversial and politicized issues of our time.

Not only does Bethell tell the truth about evolution, global warming, and
stem cells — he also reveals the politically motivated manipulation behind
the classification of species as endangered, the denigration of nuclear
power as unsafe, Third World health crises, the banning of DDT and other
supposedly unsafe pesticides, and more. He even skewers the modern
scientific faith of materialism, showing how scientists embrace the
evolutionist faith not because it is scientifically unassailable, but
because they hate and fear religion — and direct their supposedly detached
scientific efforts to debunking it.

Among the scientific myths exploded by Tom Bethell:

  1. Why, quite independently of Intelligent Design, fewer informed
    people than ever believe in evolution now
  2. Evolution from the primordial soup: not a scientific truth but a
    highly questionable philosophical worldview, whose real premises have been
    carefully concealed
  3. How boosters of the evolutionary theory systematically stifle debate
    on the premises of Intelligent Design, and shamelessly silence challenges to
    evolution
  4. How evolutionists twist any outcome in nature as a “confirmation” of
    Darwin’s theory
  5. The famous (and non-believing) philosopher who admitted that “It’s
    easier to believe in God” than in evolution
  6. PC madness: how the government and private firms have spent billions
    to clear away trace amounts of chemicals that are actually beneficial in
    small doses to humans
  7. Death by environmentalism: how the banning of DDT has created a
    health crisis of catastrophic proportions in Africa
  8. How DDT was banned despite clear evidence that it did not pose a
    significant cancer risk
  9. Stem cell research: How many of the “breakthroughs” trumpeted by the
    liberal media have in fact been based on wrongly interpreted or fudged data
  10. Ugly tissue malfunctions that have resulted from hasty and
    ill-informed injections of stem cells
  11. Genetic engineering: how it is turning out to be as hard to achieve
    in our day as social engineering was in the Communist era
  12. How, despite the manifest failures and broken promises of the
    genetic engineering movement, budgets for the Genome Project and similar
    efforts continue to soar
  13. The AIDS epidemic in Africa: how it has been trumped-up (requiring
    the imputation of Hollywood lifestyles to rural Africans) to support the
    media’s myth of heterosexual AIDS and exponential increases in funding for
    AIDS research
  14. How Leftist dogmas have interfered with finding genuine solutions to
    the problem of AIDS and other diseases spreading in Africa
  15. War between science and religion? Why modern science would never
    have developed at all without Judeo-Christian religious principles
  16. Why the Victorian notion of conflict between religion and science
    refuses to die: it’s still being waged by some eminent Darwinians, in
    defiance of the facts
  17. The materialist superstition: how, having (they think) disposed of
    God, some scientists are eager to fill the void themselves
  18. Charles Darwin: not merely a detached agnostic (his public pose) but
    a determined antagonist of Christianity
  19. Global warming debunked: why the environmentalist dogma that the
    increase in temperatures has been caused by human activity, primarily the
    burning of fossil fuels, is unequivocally false
  20. How, as the inadequacies of global warming theory became apparent,
    its disciples have resorted to scare tactics and name-calling
  21. Solar energy and other pet projects of the Left: why they won’t work
    (contributing a mere 0.19 percent of total U.S. energy needs despite massive
    efforts) and are wasteful to boot
  22. How economic depression would unavoidably result from the U.S.’s
    adoption of the Kyoto accords so beloved of leftist environmentalists
  23. The remarkable study that was intended to demonstrate the danger of
    nuclear radiation to workers, but instead showed just the opposite
  24. Why radon spas are so popular — and other surprising facts about
    radiation’s effects on the human body that environmentalists hope you don’t
    find out
  25. An open admission by a Sierra Club official that they want to keep
    the DDT ban in place because it reduces African populations
  26. PC myth exploded: a worldwide epidemic of extinctions? No: how most
    species extinctions can be proven to have had nothing to do with human
    activity
  27. How the myth of mass extinctions of species caused by humans has
    been embraced by mass-circulation, once mainstream magazines such as
    National Geographic, as well by internationally respected scientists —
    despite there not being a shred of evidence in its favor
  28. Why — despite vehement denials from environmentalists — property
    rights are intimately connected with the survival and flourishing of species
  29. How the environmental movement abandoned science and logic in the
    mid-1980s — just as mainstream society was adopting all the more reasonable
    items on the environmental agenda
  30. Hormesis: how this little-known but well-attested phenomenon could
    revolutionize our understanding of how to deal with hazardous materials
  31. The Flat Earth Myth: how no educated person in the history of
    Western Civilization since the third century B.C. believed that the earth
    was flat — and how the myth that they did has been a powerful weapon of
    ridicule in the war against religion
  32. Galileo: one of the first casualties in the war between science and
    religion? Not quite: how he could have avoided trouble with the Catholic
    Church if only he had stuck to science and not ventured into theology
  33. Science: objective? Why it is more politicized today than ever
    before in history

Punchy, breezy, blisteringly honest, and consistently entertaining — as
well as carefully argued and meticulously documented — The Politically
Incorrect Guide to Science is a perfect aid for the non-specialist trying to
find the truth amid the PC distortions and half-truths that surround us
everywhere these days. Here is a strong effort to wean our society and
public policy from the scientific myths and cant that have dominated public
discourse for far too long.

23 Replies to “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Science

  1. 1
    doctormark says:

    Yes indeed! Breathing large amounts of radon is good for you. Tell that to the families of uranium miners who died prematurely from inhaling large amounts of radon and radon daughter isotopes.

  2. 2

    […] 1. Why, quite independently of Intelligent Design, fewer informed people than ever believe in evolution now 2. Evolution from the primordial soup: not a scientific truth but a highly questionable philosophical worldview, whose real premises have been carefully concealed 3. How boosters of the evolutionary theory systematically stifle debate on the premises of Intelligent Design, and shamelessly silence challenges to evolution 4. How evolutionists twist any outcome in nature as a “confirmation” of Darwin’s theory 5. The famous (and non-believing) philosopher who admitted that “It’s easier to believe in God” than in evolution 6. PC madness: how the government and private firms have spent billions to clear away trace amounts of chemicals that are actually beneficial in small doses to humans 7. Death by environmentalism: how the banning of DDT has created a health crisis of catastrophic proportions in Africa 8. How DDT was banned despite clear evidence that it did not pose a significant cancer risk 9. Stem cell research: How many of the “breakthroughs” trumpeted by the liberal media have in fact been based on wrongly interpreted or fudged data 10. Ugly tissue malfunctions that have resulted from hasty and ill-informed injections of stem cells 11. Genetic engineering: how it is turning out to be as hard to achieve in our day as social engineering was in the Communist era 12. How, despite the manifest failures and broken promises of the genetic engineering movement, budgets for the Genome Project and similar efforts continue to soar 13. The AIDS epidemic in Africa: how it has been trumped-up (requiring the imputation of Hollywood lifestyles to rural Africans) to support the media’s myth of heterosexual AIDS and exponential increases in funding for AIDS research 14. How Leftist dogmas have interfered with finding genuine solutions to the problem of AIDS and other diseases spreading in Africa 15. War between science and religion? Why modern science would never have developed at all without Judeo-Christian religious principles 16. Why the Victorian notion of conflict between religion and science refuses to die: it’s still being waged by some eminent Darwinians, in defiance of the facts 17. The materialist superstition: how, having (they think) disposed of God, some scientists are eager to fill the void themselves 18. Charles Darwin: not merely a detached agnostic (his public pose) but a determined antagonist of Christianity 19. Global warming debunked: why the environmentalist dogma that the increase in temperatures has been caused by human activity, primarily the burning of fossil fuels, is unequivocally false 20. How, as the inadequacies of global warming theory became apparent, its disciples have resorted to scare tactics and name-calling 21. Solar energy and other pet projects of the Left: why they won’t work (contributing a mere 0.19 percent of total U.S. energy needs despite massive efforts) and are wasteful to boot 22. How economic depression would unavoidably result from the U.S.’s adoption of the Kyoto accords so beloved of leftist environmentalists 23. The remarkable study that was intended to demonstrate the danger of nuclear radiation to workers, but instead showed just the opposite 24. Why radon spas are so popular — and other surprising facts about radiation’s effects on the human body that environmentalists hope you don’t find out 25. An open admission by a Sierra Club official that they want to keep the DDT ban in place because it reduces African populations 26. PC myth exploded: a worldwide epidemic of extinctions? No: how most species extinctions can be proven to have had nothing to do with human activity 27. How the myth of mass extinctions of species caused by humans has been embraced by mass-circulation, once mainstream magazines such as National Geographic, as well by internationally respected scientists – despite there not being a shred of evidence in its favor 28. Why — despite vehement denials from environmentalists — property rights are intimately connected with the survival and flourishing of species 29. How the environmental movement abandoned science and logic in the mid-1980s — just as mainstream society was adopting all the more reasonable items on the environmental agenda 30. Hormesis: how this little-known but well-attested phenomenon could revolutionize our understanding of how to deal with hazardous materials 31. The Flat Earth Myth: how no educated person in the history of Western Civilization since the third century B.C. believed that the earth was flat — and how the myth that they did has been a powerful weapon of ridicule in the war against religion 32. Galileo: one of the first casualties in the war between science and religion? Not quite: how he could have avoided trouble with the Catholic Church if only he had stuck to science and not ventured into theology 33. Science: objective? Why it is more politicized today than ever before in history full story here. […]

  3. 3
    dodgingcars says:

    I’m not sure what he’s trying to get at with #13. The AIDS epidemic in Africa is catostraphic. We should be concerned — not out of fear, but out of compassion.

  4. 4
    DaveScot says:

    About half of it is a laundry list of the hyperbolic claims that give more thoughtful conservatives a bad name. Bethell should choose his battles with more care if he wants to be taken seriously.

  5. 5
    jboze3131 says:

    his comment in #13, i think, was based on the scare tactics campaign that tries to claim heterosexual AIDS is rampant, when reliable studies and surveys that actually try to find the underlying risk factors show that its not. not even in africa, and especially not in the US where the rates among heterosexuals are tiny.

  6. 6
    dodgingcars says:

    Then I’d guess the homosexuality rate is very high in places like South Africa. Isn’t the rate of infection, something like 25% of the population? Where typically (in America, I believe) homosexuality is generally found only among about 4% of the population?

    This isn’t to say that AIDS in Africa isn’t caused by risky behavior, but I don’t think it’s fair to still label it a “gay disease.”

  7. 7
    deanesmay says:

    Look carefully at the figures on AIDS in Africa, and the underlying data, and you’ll realize that there’s much reason to believe we’ve been hoodwinked.

    If AIDS has been catastrphic in Africa, why has the population there continued to expand at about the same rate it did before AIDS ravaged the population?

    Why is AIDS an “equal opportunity infector” in Africa, hitting as many women as men, when in America more than 80% of them are male, even today in 2005?

    Those are just a couple of questions. As partial answers to these, I’ll point out two things you proably don’t know:

    1) The vast majority of people diagnosed with AIDS in Africa never recieve any test for HIV, and of those who do, they receive a test that is no longer used in Europe or America because it’s considered too unreliable. But most of them don’t even get that test. They are diagnosed instead based on a symptom list that includes fever, diarrhea, rash, and wasting–a symptom list that is indistinguishable from symptoms of malaria, cholera, dysentery, and malnutrition.

    2) African governments and NGOs are given more international aid money for every AIDS diagnosis they make than they get for diagnoses of malaria, cholera, dysentery, or malnutrition.

    I’ll provide documentation on any of this for anyone genuinely interestd. But in truth, we have every reason to be deeply suspicious of everything we’ve been told about AIDS in Africa.

  8. 8
    dodgingcars says:

    You certainly may be right, but yeah… I don’t believe it until you provide documentation, sorry.

  9. 9
    DaveScot says:

    AIDS in Africa is real although there may be some exageration/error in the rates.

    Heterosexual transmission there is real and easily understood when armed with a few facts.

    1) AIDS is sexually transmitted from sperm to blood
    2) vaginal tissues are delicate and easily torn especially without lubrication during sexual intercourse
    3) condom use is exceedingly rare in Africa
    4) sexual consent in Africa isn’t the same as it is in the western world – what we’d consider rape is common there and the culture encourages women to simply consent to demand from men whether they want to or not – this and fact 3 above explains the population explosion there as well
    5) female circumcision is common in African cultures which makes delicate vaginal tissues more exposed to damage and decreases sexual desire in the woman which, along with fact 4 above, tends to make for unlubricated sexual intercourse
    6) black guys have really big schlongs which further contributes to tearing & bleeding of vaginal tissues during intercourse

    Factor number 6 is, as far as I know, original to me. The rest are rather common knowledge amongst the well informed.

  10. 10
    mmadigan says:

    This is outrageous! Asking and/or answering no questions is the hallmark of darwinian modern science!!

  11. 11
    deanesmay says:

    I hesitate to post more about this because it’s a subject that brings out a lot of anger and there’s a lot on it. But you might want to start here:

    http://www.aim.org/special_report/2767_0_8_0_C/

    These discussions can turn nasty even faster than discussions of evolution/ID so I won’t say more but I do write semi-regularly about this on my blog so feel free to drop me a note or run through my archives.

  12. 12
    Charliecrs says:

    “It’s a little-known fact that after 9/11, “peace-loving” American Muslims hit the streets of Brooklyn to howl, hoot and rejoice at our national expense. “Death to America!” they joyously screeched. “Death to Jews!” They obviously expected to get away with it due to “strange” American laws protecting their religious freedom, freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, et cetera…laws that do not exist in the countries and culture to which they are actually loyal.”

    Hmm… don’t remember hearing that if i did i must forgotten about it sadly.
    Well what can you expect, having Mohamad as their role model ?

    I mean how many people(s) did he kill ?, how many places has he looted /set ablaze ?.

    When picturing why Islam is not a religion of peace, ya must just look 2 the source i say. If the Prophet Mohamad , is the best role model that Muslims / Islam then no one can really be surprised at or by the Muslims Intafada eh ?. [ No real Shocker there ]
    The proof is in the pudding! ISLAM = PEACE = DOES NOT COMPUTE!!!!!!

    Charlie

  13. 13
    Charliecrs says:

    Sorry posted in the wrong section :*(. blame it on Tabbed web browsing!!!

    Charlie

  14. 14
    DaveScot says:

    deanesmay

    Be a little more critical of your sources. Liam Scheff looks like he’s almost old enough to shave and his last actual writing assignment was given by a High School teacher.

    http://liamscheff.com/

    Got anything from a credible source?

  15. 15
    jboze3131 says:

    wasnt beethoven 11 when he wrote his first symphony?

  16. 16
    DaveScot says:

    “wasnt beethoven 11 when he wrote his first symphony?”

    Sure. Let me know when the journalistic equivalent of the New York Philharmonic decides Scheff’s work is worth public display.

  17. 17
    jboze3131 says:

    http://www.townhall.com/column.....hive.shtml

    well, heres ben shapiro who started writing at age 16. he was hired at age 17 to become the youngerst nationally syndicated columnist in the US.

    you seemed to be saying that because he was young, he wasnt credible.

  18. 18
    DaveScot says:

    “you seemed to be saying that because he was young, he wasnt credible.”

    That in combination with not being published in any credible sources, yes, that’s exactly what I was saying.

  19. 19
    DaveScot says:

    re Shapiro, Beethoven, etc.

    Ever heard of “the exception that proves the rule”?

    Scheff is no exception.

  20. 20
    deanesmay says:

    We were told that HIV was an equal-opportunity infector. It wasn’t. See this:

    http://www.pulitzer.org/year/1.....rks/2.html

    So it’s spreading like mad into the heterosexual population huh? Okay, then please explain this to me, here in 2005:

    http://www.avert.org/statsum.htm

    I again apologize to William for hijacking his thread. I merely ask that people read the links in question and ask themselves why they believe everything they’ve been told.

    Bethell raises good arguments.

    I have no more to say at the moment.

  21. 21
    jboze3131 says:

    Heterosexual men, in the US, have been very effective in acting as a barrier that stops the virus from running rampant into the general population. HIV in the US is still pretty much confined to gay men, IV drug users, and other specific high risk groups (mainly the partners of the bi sexual men who don’t tell the women theyre bisexual…partners of IV drug users, etc.)

    There’s a phenomenon among black gay men who have sex with women to cover up their lifestyle, and it has a certain label…I don’t remember what they call these men (but they’re often reported on in gay magazines and newspapers.) These men are acting as a carrier to the women they sleep with…women who’ve no idea these men engage in sex with other men.

    I take that back- I googled this and the term often used in the gay community is “down low” which generally refers to black men in this situation who are spreading it into the heterosexual population in small specific areas, mainly to black women who they partner with.

    http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/arti.....ype=health

  22. 22
    jboze3131 says:

    btw dean- i forget which site it was, but you might want to check your webstats and referrals, because someone was posting that you’re full of BS. not sure if you care either way, but when you’re right, it’s always fun to put the smackdown on those who call you a liar.

  23. 23
    simon s says:

    HIV transmission: http://www.aras.ab.ca/transmission.html

    HIV Test accuracy: http://www.aras.ab.ca/test.html

    Some quotes on sex and aids from too-young-to-shave Scheff’s papers: http://www.gnn.tv/articles/1210/Sex_Crimes

    As we know, sex is the primary vector for HIV transmission, as the Whitfield case ably demonstrates.

    From the Seattle Weekly (12/1/04):

    “Five of the women tested positive for HIV, but there was little rhyme or reason to the distribution of the misfortune. “Some who had hundreds of incidents of unprotected sex, including anal sex, they’re negative,” says Thurston County deputy prosecutor Jodilyn Erikson-Muldrew. “Another woman who had protected sex all but twice, she’s positive.”

    As we know, this is precisely how STDs work. While it’s hard to transmit an STD through hundreds of incidents of unprotected vaginal and anal sex, just two little exposures will always do the trick.

    But HIV is, by definition, a sexually transmitted virus. We know this by rote. That said, AIDS researchers have had occasional difficulty proving it. While drug use correlates highly with HIV positivity; sex, outside of drug use, is not such a willing a participant in the HIV cycle.

    Take this 1988 review from the Journal of the American Medical Association: “[N]one of the husbands of four seropositive [HIV positive] women were infected despite regular sexual contact for as long as three years. In another study involving 12 couples, no transmission from the infected woman to the male partner occurred after more than 100 sexual contacts. Thus, vaginal intercourse may carry a low risk to the insertive partner, as does anal intercourse. ” (JAMA, 1988; 259(20))

    But that’s male to female contact – generally considered the least risky. What about female to male?

    From the January 17, 2002 Journal of Infectious Disease: “The study…of 17 women who remained uninfected, despite a history of heavy exposure to HIV through repeated, unprotected sexual contact with an infected partner, and 12 of their regular, male HIV-positive partners.”

    Well, what about male to male?

    An April 1996 study in Nature Medicine focused on 24 hetero- and homosexual men who’ve remained HIV negative despite “histories of multiple high-risk sexual exposures to HIV-1,” including “sex with multiple HIV-1-infected partners,” or “long-term relationships involving unprotected sexual intercourse over many years [with] predominantly a single HIV-infected partner.” “All subjects were HIV-1 negative,” even though “several [of their] partners succumbed to AIDS.” (Nature Medicine. 1996 2(4))

    What about longer studies?

    “At Kenyatta National Hospital [Kenya] …out of 31 couples tested, 23 were discordant [one positive, one negative]. Some of them have stayed in a sexual relationship with the infected partner for more than six years without the infected one passing the virus to the other. And when these discordant couples brought their children for testing, all of them were free of the virus…” (Horizon Magazine, December 18, 2003)

    What about larger studies?

    “[W]e studied 50 sexually active couples with discordant antibody results [one positive, one negative]…seronegative partners continued to have negative results in all tests for a mean follow-up period of 17 months despite ongoing sexual relations with their seropositive partners….approximately one-half of each group reported some instances of unprotected intercourse…intercourse with outside partners was uncommon in both groups, as was current illicit drug use. (Clin Infectious Disease. July, 1995;211)

    What about longer and larger studies?

    From a study called “Heterosexual Transmission of HIV in Northern California: Results from a Ten-Year Study”: “We followed up 175 HIV-discordant couples over time, for a total of approximately 282 couple-years of follow up.…No transmission [of HIV] occurred among the 25% of couples who did not use their condoms consistently, nor among the 47 couples who intermittently practiced unsafe sex during the entire duration of follow-up…We observed no seroconversions after entry into the study [nobody became HIV positive]”(American Journal of Epidemiology. August, 1997.)

    Ten years and no transmission? Huh. Every time I watch Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, HIV tracks like a muddy footprint from the “perp” to the victim.

    – and on the accuracy of tests –

    Of course, when we talk about transmission of HIV, we’re not talking about the virus itself – we’re only talking about what we pick up with HIV tests.

    As the CDC Says, “HIV tests look for the presence of HIV antibodies; they do not test for the virus itself.”

    But, they add: “The HIV-antibody test is the only way to tell if you are infected. You cannot tell by looking at someone if he or she carries HIV.” (CDC: National HIV Testing Resources; “HIV Test FAQ” 2005)

    “The only way to tell” – and fortunately, the tests work extremely well, virtually error-free:

    From the University of Michigan Health Service:
    “Although the HIV tests are very precise, sometimes the test result can be positive even though you do not have HIV infection (this is called a false-positive test).” (“HIV Antibody Tests” McKesson Health Solutions LLC. 2004)

    Okay, fine. There’s an occasional false-positive.

    “1991 saw some 30,000 false positives out of 29.4 million tests, with only 66 confirmations…” (“HIV screening in Russia.” Lancet. 1992).

    Well, sure, that can happen. But that was in Russia.

    “At present there is no recognized standard for establishing the presence or absence of HIV antibody in human blood.”- (Abbot Laboratories HIV Elisa Test. 1997).

    Well, that’s just a warning on the test for legal reasons, or something. Of course there are standards. The confirmatory test – the Western Blot – That’s the standard.

    “[W]hat constitutes a positive Western blot test has not been standardized (various agencies use different reagents, testing methods, and test-interpretation criteria).” (“AIDS Counseling for Low-Risk Clients”; Max Plank Institute/Aids Care, 10, 1998 )

    Well then, what is the standard?

    “[F]or HIV infection, there is no independent, unequivocal way of identifying a group of individuals who are all assuredly infected or uninfected. ” (JAMA. 1987. 258)”

    “There is no reference or ‘gold standard’ test that determines unequivocally the true infection status of the patient…”(JAMA. May,1 1996. 275(17)

    “Thus, it may be impossible to relate an antibody response specifically to HIV-1 infection.” (Medicine International, 1988;56)

    Alright, I get it.

    “Serologic [blood] tests for HIV antibodies appear to be characterized by extra-ordinarily high false – positive results…Furthermore, any increase in false positive rate could turn a screening program into a social catastrophe. A false positive result may label an infant, born to HIV positive mother, as HIV positive where as the same infant may actually be HIV negative.” (“High Frequency of False Positive Results in HIV Screening in Blood Banks” Ayub Medical College, Pakistan. 1999)

    Alright, fine. So the tests are crap. Then how do we know that Anthony Whitfield, or any of his partners, is really positive?

    The answer is simple. Some tests are more positive than others.

    No one asked about false positives with Whitfield because of his lifestyle and skin color. He was in what the CDC calls a high risk group.

    That’s how testing works – if you belong to a certain group of people, you’re considered more likely to be positive. If you’re outside of that group, you’re considered more likely to be negative. And your test result is graded against that assumption.

    Here’s how the CDC puts it:

    “The likelihood that a positive screening test truly indicates the presence of HIV infection decreases as HIV prevalence in the tested population becomes lower. Therefore, false-positive HIV test results are more likely in settings where the tested population prevalence is lower than in settings where the tested population prevalence is higher.” (CDC: “Revised Guidelines for HIV Counseling, Testing, and Referral” November 9, 2001)

    In other words – your actual test is less meaningful than the assumed prevalence of HIV positivity in the group the CDC believes you belong to.

    More here: http://www.gnn.tv/articles/1210/Sex_Crimes

    and at the above links.

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