Thursday, December 14, 2006

The War on Science Grinds On

I didn't join in the rejoicing after the Democrats took back Congress. Sure, I was glad, but our troubles are far from over. The nation will soon find out what it's like to be Michigan in the post-Republican hangover period. Our economy is shot, our state coffers are empty, our schools are failing, the ex-governor who ran the state into the ground ids now a lobbyist in Texas. It's like the morning after the wild party: as long as the booze and food were free you had lots of friends, but now that it's time to clean up you're all alone. And broke. And out of trash bags.

The rest of the country may not realize that getting rid of the neocons is not enough. We're still going to have to clean up after them, and pay the bills for all they stole.

But some things can get better right away. This article about the censorship of science is a prime example:
The Bush administration is clamping down on scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey, the latest agency subjected to controls on research that might go against official policy.

New rules require screening of all facts and interpretations by agency scientists who study everything from caribou mating to global warming. The rules apply to all scientific papers and other public documents, even minor reports or prepared talks, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.

This sort of stuff irritates me to no end. I am interested in the process of science, not just the results, and if you don't "show your work", including all of the hypotheses that didn't prove true, you ain't doing science.

I can only imagine what the last six years might have been like if we had a president who was more familiar with the Scientific Method. Or one who was interested in a dialogue of competing ideas. Or one who censors policies to suit the results, instead of vica-versa.

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