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New McCarthyism: Fear of Science and the War on Rationality

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posted on Sep, 13 2009 @ 10:09 PM
I recently had the source material that follows brought to my attention, and I had never thought about the current state of affairs in such a way as this:

As more and more of the world looks to knowledge, education and science as the routes out of poverty and conflict, parts of America seems to be slipping back toward the Dark Ages, when fear of knowledge and science led to an impoverishment of civilization that had lasting effects for centuries.

I’ve recently returned from two weeks in northern Europe, and a series of scientific water meetings and discussions with people from over 130 countries. They read the news from the United States with incredulity. America is still seen as the place to come for aspiring students and scientists around the world. Our public universities, despite assaults on budgets, independence and knowledge, still struggle to maintain their excellence. But my friends and colleagues from overseas are increasingly shocked, as are many of us in the U.S., by the expanding efforts of home-grown extremists to undermine rational discourse, eliminate the use of fact and science in policymaking, and shut down public debate over the vital issues of our times through hate, vitriol, and ad hominem attacks.

The increase in the division that is forming between the right and everyone who is not on the right serves as an example of this...

We see a debate over providing health care to every American that is based -- not on facts or civilized discourse -- but on screaming mobs shutting down public discussions and the use of straw man arguments to promote fear among the public and policymakers. Yet every major country of Europe provides basic health care for its population.

We see President Obama appoint one of the nation’s best scientists in the areas of energy, environment, and national security -- Dr. John Holdren -- to be his Science Advisor, and then have right-wing mouthpieces like Glenn Beck spread ad hominem lies about him because of their fear that facts and actual science may once again inform presidential action. This should be a recognizable tactic to us -- lying about a person to diminish their effectiveness. In fact, these extremists want to undermine the forward-looking policies that would prevent the very draconian measures they say they deplore.

The push to have Creation taught in science classes next to Evolution... The denial of climate change dispite the overwhelming evidence... Definitely evidence to support this line of thought.

We see unambiguous evidence that climate change is already affecting human health and the global economy -- evidence often collected by world-leading American scientists and scientific institutions -- while public opinion polls show that the American people continue to be misled about the risks facing us by conservative pundits who ignore, misunderstand, or intentionally misuse that science to mislead the public into fear of change. Yet we already see huge economic and environmental opportunities in adapting to the reality of climate change.

Fear is an effective tool -- as hate groups and extremists know. It is no accident that repressive regimes of all kinds -- fascists, the Nazis, Stalin, religious states, madrasses -- use tools of hatred, anti-intellectualism, and fear to control knowledge, universities, and intellectuals. Fear grows best when sown in fields of ignorance, while science, rationality, and education are the greatest weapons modern societies have against irrational fear. No wonder Beck and his ilk have intellectuals in their sights; so do the leaders of Iran, and Burma, and the Taliban, and North Korea, for similar reasons.

Dr. Peter Gleick is president of the Pacific Institute, an internationally recognized water expert and a MacArthur Fellow.

So, I now turn this thread over to you. Do you see this trend in America these days? If not, they already have you... Relinquish all hope... Or start to educate yourself about the true nature of the world around you...

Edit to add: Special thanks to sdog for turning me onto this material...

[edit on 13-9-2009 by JaxonRoberts]

posted on Sep, 13 2009 @ 10:40 PM
I think it's science that's the new McCarthyism. It's the Global Warming crowd that are the Nazis.

They think if you don't agree with them about every aspect of global warming then your not educated.

They think if you don't agree with them about every aspect of evolution then your uneducated.

Last I checked people still have freedom and liberty to see things differently.

Is global warming man made or is it something that's happening on a universe scale? Do we all have to start living in tree houses and using one sheet of toilet paper or can people make up their own minds?

Evolution is not rock solid especially with the advent of information theory. Darwin's theory can't explain the origin of life or the origin of information in biological systems.

I accept evolution but it's not written in stone. I don't accept a materialistic interpretation of evolution. There's a lot of things science doesn't know and it makes no sense to act like science is designed to answer everything.

Do we live in a holographic universe, do we live in a simulation, do we live in a parallel universe, does dark energy/matter exist? do we live in a void?

There's a lot of questions science can't answer at this point.

posted on Sep, 14 2009 @ 12:12 PM
reply to post by Matrix Rising

Actually, your post proved that you need more education on such topics. Evolution has nothing to do with the origin of life, but only as to how it evolved after said 'spark'. It equally has nothing to do with 'information' theory. Global Warming shouldn't even be a debate anymore, considering the overwhelming evidence of it's occurance. Perhaps one could argue the cause, is it man-made, a natural phenomenon, or is it a combination of both. However, we know that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, that is a fact. We know that if we decrease the amount of CO2 it will at least slow the rate of global warming. But no, those stupid tree-hugging scientists just want control things...

A quality education would have provided the knowledge of what the true goal of science is... The truth. A scientist follows the data to discover the truth, any theory or hypothesis that is contradictory to the data is dumped in the trash, regardless of the scientists 'beliefs'. Only facts will do.

Yes, you do have the freedom and liberty to believe whatever you want, but you also have the freedom and liberty to remain ignorant, to believe that you already know everything you need to know and no longer need to self-educate yourself... I recommend that everyone discover the Library... Knowledge is true freedom and liberty...

posted on Sep, 14 2009 @ 12:25 PM
Ice caps are melting on several planets in our solar system.
Lets apply Occam's razor. Since we do not inhabit any planet other than our own it must then be an external influence. This however does not discount the influence of green house gas which merely complicates current conditions.

The real problem is the political agenda to profit from this sad state of global health by the claim that it is entirely man made and therefore we will tax those offenders and regulate with credits that you can buy.

posted on Sep, 14 2009 @ 12:32 PM
reply to post by DesertDweller

Actually, i agree with you, it's the pu-pu platter. There is evidence that every planet in the solar system is experiencing global warming, but we are also adding to the problem with emissions. The majority of the scientific community agree. This is exactly why the scientific community needs a bigger voice in political decisions. However, placing restrictions on emissions is not a bad idea, no matter what the cause of the problem. Prudence would dictate for us to cease adding to the problem as soon as possible.

posted on Sep, 14 2009 @ 12:45 PM
You have it!
Think about the implications of having politicians (influenced by lobbyist agenda) creating policy that should have non lobbyist scientific input.

I also think that the American diet and lifestyle has lead to the "dumbing down of America" that we all hear so much about.

posted on Sep, 14 2009 @ 01:00 PM
reply to post by JaxonRoberts

No one I know denies global warming exists. No one.

The only debate I hear is in regard to what causes it. Perhaps that is a debate you would rather not have?

Along the same topic, I would like to add, that there is no such thing as "consensus" in science. That is a multi-syllable talismatic word, designed to illicit emotion upon the large numbers of intellectual lightweights within the western world in order to support any government proposal used to combat an irreversible act of nature. Without regard to it's impact on the population, it's economics, or it's food supply.

Converting the food supply into bio-diesel sounded like a great plan, until people started starving to death... or maybe that was the point.

I'm not sure who you think the "intellectuals" are. Beck certainly isn't one of them. But if you think that those occupying the halls of Power in Washington DC are enlightend intellectuals, perhaps you are the one in need of education regarding the true nature of the world.

With regard to healthcare, the only thing I have noticed is that Both sides use fear. The President spoke just the other night, in his speech he referenced how many more "people would die" if we didn't do something now. I don't know what speech you watched but I'd rank that right up there with "these ruthless killers are going to slaughter thousands more, so lets blow up Baghdad!". Not a whole lot of difference here. Not really at all actually considering The patriot Act is still in place, more troops in Afghanistan, still in Iraq, Still bailing out corporate CEO's, and still using fear to accomplish everything they do.

Those are not the acts of a group of intellectuals. They are the acts of a dominate few, pushing agendas in a way that the population would never resist. Indeed, the population begs for the changes that are offered by the Government, to solve real and imagined problems created by the government. If scientists are funded by government grants to find a tie between man and global warming, they will find it, or they will loose their grant. Such a link could be used in the future for anything from mileage rations, to controlling birth rates by force.

Science is often wrong, in fact historically it is usually wrong. Once upon a time it was common knowledge that the earth was the center of the universe, then the Sun was the center of the universe. Then they Realized that the Universe is way to big to make that kind of assumption. During this they thought the Sun was a planet on fire. Then, we invent the Atomic bomb, so they said, "hey wait a minute!, thats what the sun is! A bunch of atomic chain reactions!". But then we discovered Plasma Physics, and the Sun became a giant ball of burning plasma. Now some say it may even be electrical in nature. There is so much they didn't, and still don't know about the universe. Including that the Universe may not even be the universe, but a multilayered, multi-dimensional, "multiverse" or what have you.

So yes, The earth is flat, the Sun is a planet that caught on fire, and man caused global warming will kill us all. If you deny it, you are a heretic, you are stupid, un-educated, and a burden on the rest of society. Luckily, it can be brainwashed out of you with enough TV.

Also, I do not believe the average American cares about Europe. Our founding fathers called Europe a Rotting decrepit continent. And I agree. Which is why so many from Europe fled to America. Yeah Europe has healthcare, it also enjoys stagnate growth, historically high unemployment, occasional breakdowns in social order, overbearing surveillance, and government structures that care nothing for the rights of it's member nations. Some nations more than others of course.

People in these United States for the most part just want to be left the alone. I do not understand why that is so hard for government to do.

[edit on 14-9-2009 by aravoth]

posted on Sep, 14 2009 @ 01:18 PM
Growing up in the United States I have seen this happen, not just recently, but for many decades, and it has made me very much feel like a Stranger in a Strange Land.

I have never understood why Intelligence and Reason are so feared by Americans at large.

Literacy is feared.
Education is feared.
Intelligence is most definitely feared.

Think of just the money the cash-strapped United States School Systems spend on Sports rather than for actual Education! We clearly worship big, dumb and stupid over intellect.

Look at our Television programming in the United States...the Sit-Com has reduced our culture to stereotypes that finally found fertile ground in Beavis & Butthead and the asinine that followed in their example.

I think the Pièce de résistance where it was most pronounced in the United States was in the 2000 Presidential Election. That Election was not a typical Challenger vs. Incumbent or a Republican vs. Democrat election. Instead, it was clearly a battle between the Mentally Challenged vs. the Educated Intelligence. To the dumbed-down Americans, all they heard Gore say was "Blah, blah, blah!" The American Masses could more easily relate to a candidate with an IQ of 91 that spoke a mangled variation of the English language that was later fondly called "Bushisms", rather than someone who made them feel uneducated and stupid themselves. Bush made the common man in America look intelligent by comparison, and such was his appeal to the Ego-Centric Voter.

We outlaw Smart-Drugs in the United States for fear that they might be used recreationally to give people an intellectual advantage. We ban books wholesale in the United States. We enslave the educated through Student Loans whose interest payments they will never be able to afford to pay off. We extol the under-educated but physically superior to god-like status in Sports. We insist upon a mono-syllabic, mono-lingual world as we don't want to bother learning the language of any other nation, let alone learning many languages. We close our Public Libraries en masse because it is simply "un-American" to allow people to read books for Free when our economy is hurting! We give more power to our Military and Police with High School Educations than we do our Educators and Scientists with multiple College Degrees.

The United States is a country upside down and in deep denial about it. Our priorities are backwards and as a result we are becoming as backwards as the "Backwards Deep South", until the United States will become no more relevant on the World Stage than the Sit-Com Stereotypes that we extol.

We like to laugh at movies like Idiocracy that make fun of where the United States is headed, but we seem to take it personal when faced with the reality that we are already there!

posted on Sep, 14 2009 @ 05:38 PM
reply to post by aravoth

I do not for a second think that 'intellectualism' resides within the Beltway. Far from it, and that is the problem. Also, I fail to see a comparison between the earliest of scientists and modern day science. While it was 'flashy', it bears not on the current topic. It was the equivelant of saying that the reliability of the first lightbulb and the most modern one are the same. They clearly are not.

There is a quote from late Dr. Carl Sagan of Cornell University:

'We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology' - Carl Sagan

posted on Feb, 24 2012 @ 08:37 PM
reply to post by JaxonRoberts

Glieck has been stripped of his ethics position, may lose his position at the Institute he founded and may be charged with identity theft and wire fraud for his futile attempts to discredit the Heartland Institute.

He has no credibility whatsoever on this subject.

An act of desperation by a thief who is watching his warmist fearmongering fall away by the day.

On February 20, Peter Gleick confessed to stealing documents from The Heartland Institute with the intent of exposing its funding sources and damaging its reputation. He also disseminated a fake “climate strategy memo” that he and other environmental activists on the left claim describes Heartland’s “secret strategy” to mislead the public about the true nature of climate change.

deny ignorance


posted on Feb, 24 2012 @ 10:34 PM
reply to post by jdub297

You did notice that this thread was almost three years old, right?

posted on Feb, 24 2012 @ 10:43 PM
reply to post by JaxonRoberts

Does that change the fact that Gleock os not the saint some see him as?
Does the fact that he's been stripped by the AGU of his ethics position alter hus credibility?
Does the fact that he left the Institute he founded today minimize his authority?

These threads stay here because facts and circumstances change, and what was once taken as true may no longet be so inscrutable.

This info deserves to be here.
Just as does the fact that Holdren has endorsed forced abortion, eugenics and "de-industrialization.

You've chosen false fods and flawed ideologies in your outlook.
edit on 24-2-2012 by jdub297 because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 25 2012 @ 09:47 AM
There is no war on rationality. What there is (or should be, if there isn't already) is a all-out war on materialistic, scientistic, pseudo-skeptical ass clowns who insist on telling everyone else how to think. If you want to observe the sort of people I'm talking about here, go to Wikipedia. That site is utterly infested with them.

posted on Feb, 26 2012 @ 01:56 AM

Originally posted by petrus4
There is no war on rationality. What there is (or should be, if there isn't already) is a all-out war on materialistic, scientistic, pseudo-skeptical ass clowns who insist on telling everyone else how to think. If you want to observe the sort of people I'm talking about here, go to Wikipedia. That site is utterly infested with them.

1st, wiki and youtube should NEVER be a "source" for true research.
A starting point, maybe, but never a source.

Second,What there really needs to be is real debate.
Instead, we have AGW advocates trying to shut out, shout down, denigrate and ignore legitimate skeptics.
True science welcomes skepticism

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