Irony Is Dead

I read this several times, and unfortunately, it does not seem to be a parody:

Not too long ago the blogosphere was rocking with the great debate of Intelligent Design vs Darwinism. It was an interesting debate, though I doubt much that anyone had the mind changed. Be that as it may, the whole thing got me thinking, and today ii occured to me: science is dead. We have reached the end of the Age of Science – what will come after, I don’t know, but I don’t think that we’ll ever again have a time when Science is enshrined as some sort of god-like arbiter of right and wrong. The question now: what killed science?

A lot of different factors – but the main thing was that science could only thrive as it did from about 1650 until 1850 when everyone agreed on the rules. The prime rule of science was truth – everyone involved in science had to tell the truth to the best of their ability, and always be willing to correct one’s views when new evidence called in to question previously held beliefs. What killed science was when its strongest advocates stopped telling the truth.

It was, after all, science and its enthusiasts which fell for the Piltdown Man, Haekel’s embryos, eugenics, Population Bomb, ALAR, etc, etc, etc. So many bogus theories, dressed up as science, and greeted by the believers in science as the be-all and end-all of existence. After a while, it was bound to errode the foundations of science – and now it has. Science is now so intertwined with myth and political gamesmanship that whatever judgements are pronounced under the cover of science are immediately suspect – everyone who hears such things wonders when some future science will completely refute what is held as rock-solid science today.

That is Mark Noonan at Blogs for Bush, lamenting the death of science. The very first commenter points out that the self-correcting nature of science is what exposed theories previously heldto be true to be inaccurate- but it essentially fell on deaf ears. Perhaps he is sad that science has been unable to provide him with the gaps in the fossile record. Who knows?

Considering the assault on all things scientific by this administration, I would go on record and claim that it is not science that is dead, but irony. Mark continues on:

I don’t regret its passing – hopefully we will soon start to really educate people, so that even as they pursue science, they keep it in perspective, and in relation to the real human condition.

Who, you might ask, should do that educating? Why, folks like the Discovery Institute, who Mark describes as a “ non-profit, non-partisan, public policy think tank.” Really- that Discovery Institute. Quit giggling. the only thing more frightening about this post itself is that the author may actually believe it.

Science is alive and well, but the GOP is not- it is currently led by hacks, frauds, religionists, self-concerned activists, and deluded fools. Bookmark this post so in the future, when asked, you can provide people with a short description of what it means to be a ‘Bush dead-ender.’

Jon Swift takes on Noonan with a funny approach:

Recently there was some controversy when the Bush Administration accidentally left off evolution from a list of subjects eligible for government grants–whoops! But Mark Noonan at Blogs for Bush has an even better suggestion: That we just leave off science altogether. The debate between Evolution and Intelligent Design, he says, “got me thinking, and today ii [sic] occured [sic] to me: science is dead. We have reached the end of the Age of Science.” I must say I haven’t been so happy since we reached the End of History. What is especially great about Noonan’s theory that science is dead is that he doesn’t have to conduct any experiments or present any evidence to prove science is dead because science would actually have to be alive to do that.

***

Now that two of my least favorite subjects in school, science and history, are dead, I’m hoping that the Bush Administration will redouble its efforts to kill off two other subjects I didn’t much care for, Math and Geography. While important strides have been made, I still think more can be done to send Math and Geography to the dustbin of History, which, course, has itself been sent to the dustbin of . . . something else, I guess. I’m not ready to declare victory until our schools are teaching only two subjects: Religion and Gym.

Bravo.






135 replies
  1. 1
    Ross says:

    I’ll take this opportunity to plug a book tour by Chris Mooney, author of “The Republican War on Science.” It’s Mostly west coast, with a smattering of other cities. Tour starts September 7, I’ve already marked my calendar for his Seattle visit.

  2. 2
    Rob says:

    Bookmark this post so in the future, when asked, you can provide people with a short description of what it means to be a ‘Bush dead-ender.’

    You know you have jumped the shark when you are reduced to pronouncing science dead.

    I read this twice, I am not sure if the original was toungue in cheek.

  3. 3
    Krista says:

    That always gets me too…these people who shriek that science is wrong as soon as a scientific self-correction occurs.

    But that’s the thing — science is a measurable, tangible tool one uses to understand the world, and therefore, is fallible. Believing in a big bearded man in the sky can’t be disproven by any quantifiable means, and so according to these nutbars, it reflects the “real human condition.”

    (And yet, these are the people who if you ask them about Zeus, call him mythical, while completely failing to grasp the concept that their own God could be looked at as a myth in another few hundred years…)

  4. 4
    RSA says:

    The prime rule of science was truth.

    I think that this is suggestive of what’s wrong with Noonan’s view. Science isn’t about truth (or Truth, as I expect Noonan probably thinks of it). It’s about best explanations that are consistent with the evidence. When some scientific theory turns out to be incorrect, for example, this is usually seen as a fine and expected thing, in general: we’ve learned something new, and perhaps some competing theory has gained ground. It sounds as if Noonan wants a scientific finding to be true for all time, which by the nature of things can’t happen. I realize Noonan is talking more about scientists in some of his post than science itself, but we’ve all heard this before. . .

  5. 5
    Richard 23 says:

    I don’t think the spark of the scientific method or critical thinking ever fired in Mark’s brain. So science is dead to him.

    I seem to recall that he has stated that his mother or father was an alcoholic. Maybe that explains something.

    By the way, he is not related to Peggy Noonan.

  6. 6
    Vladi G says:

    Piltdown Man, Haekel’s embryos, eugenics, Population Bomb, ALAR, etc, etc, etc. So many bogus theories, dressed up as science, and greeted by the believers in science as the be-all and end-all of existence.

    Man, what a dumbass. What’s funnier is his response to the person who pointed out that scientists exposed these hoaxes:

    It usually takes someone from outside science to show that some particular crackpot theory is twaddle

    Really? Examples, please.

  7. 7
    Pooh says:

    Someitmes, I heart John Cole. This is one of those times…

  8. 8
    Darrell says:

    That is Mark Noonan at Blogs for Bush, lamenting the death of science

    More like death by politicization as Noonan clearly spells out

    Piltdown Man, Haekel’s embryos, eugenics, Population Bomb, ALAR, etc, etc, etc. So many bogus theories, dressed up as science

    and

    Considering the assault on all things scientific by this administration

    I’m not going to deny you can find some examples, but why single out Repubs when so many on the left do the same thing and worse?… “Christopher Reeve and others like him could walk if we had stem cell research” the Dems distorted the science there, the bogus ‘scientific’ environmental scares virtually all coming from the left, the attempts mainly from the left to politicize the science surrounding global warming and more. I don’t know John, when it comes to attacking science, I think the weight of attacks weighs far more coming from the left.

  9. 9
    Mac Buckets says:

    Science is alive and well, but the GOP is not- it is currently led by hacks, frauds, religionists, self-concerned activists, and deluded fools.

    Rules clarification: Are liberals exempt from “Drum’s Law?” Because whoever Kevin Noonan is, he’s not a leader of anything. He’s just a blogger like you, Tim. But if you think it helps your rhetoric to pretend like President Bush himself just discontinued all scientific research and declared that the sun is a fire god who revolves around the flat earth, go for it. I’m not saying it does anything for your cred, though.

  10. 10
    Mac Buckets says:

    Because whoever Kevin Noonan is,

    Oh. Mark Noonan. How dare I get the name of my “leader” wrong!

  11. 11
    Mac Buckets says:

    He’s just a blogger like you, Tim.

    And it was John, not Tim. Sigh, I’m batting like the Astros this thread. But I self-correct, just like SCIENCE! (I knew I could bring it back around!)

  12. 12
    HankP says:

    It never fails to amuse me to see people who received a modern university education composing an essay on a computer and posting it to a site on the internet telling us all that science is dead.

  13. 13
    Pb says:

    Mark Noonan at Blogs for Bush

    The most credulous Republican party shock trooper I know–wasn’t he the guy who thought Scrutator was for real, and was disappointed when he found out that they weren’t all serious and earnest, like he is? Seriously, I’m sure that Ken Mehlman already sold him a bridge, like, a few times over. He’s probably enrolled in one of those art correspondence courses too.

  14. 14
    chopper says:

    and as expected, here comes darrell.

    I don’t know John, when it comes to attacking science, I think the weight of attacks weighs far more coming from the left.

    claiming that plan B is an abortion pill, that’s not ignoring science. stem cells “kill babies”, not ignoring science. “these generic aluminum tubes are used for nuclear centifuges”, that’s not ignoring science. global warming is a hoax, despite a scientific consensus to the contrary, that’s not ignoring science cause i have a political petition!. and you know how much scientific weight petitions have. especially ones signed by fakers.

  15. 15
    Pb says:

    Mac Buckets blinded me… with SCIENCE!

  16. 16
    Pb says:

    the attempts mainly from the left to politicize the science surrounding global warming

    ROFL.

  17. 17
    chopper says:

    oh, i forgot about evolution. obviously not based on science at all. the right-wingers are totally right.

  18. 18
    Tim F. says:

    Rules clarification: Are liberals exempt from “Drum’s Law?”

    Drum’s Law refers to commenters, not popular bloggers. And you apparently never heard of George Deutsch, who shows that this behavior has plenty of examples in the current government leadership. Noonan just does us the Santorum-like service of laying out what many say diplomatically (I’m using that as a relative term) in all of its wingnutty glory.

  19. 19

    I don’t know what to say. It looks to me like he’s found out, the hard way, that scientists tend to be a stubborn and hard-headed lot who do have a grasp on Truth — and can be self-sufficient about it. Not always, not perfectly, but well enough to stand up against the most scurrilous lie campaigns, and, by dint of answering each question again and again and again, withstand them.

  20. 20
    Darrell says:

    global warming is a hoax, despite a scientific consensus to the contrary

    No doubts that for the moment, we are in a global warming trend, so you can drop your dishonest “global warming is a hoax” strawmen. And despite the left’s attempt to railroad, there is no ‘scientific consensus’ as to the impact man-made effluents have on global warming.

  21. 21
    jg says:

    What is a ‘scientific consensus’?

  22. 22
    Andrew says:

    What is a ‘scientific consensus’?

    In a Republican government, it is whatever the energy industry or the Christian right says it is.

  23. 23
    Perry Como says:

    claiming that plan B is an abortion pill, that’s not ignoring science. stem cells “kill babies”, not ignoring science. “these generic aluminum tubes are used for nuclear centifuges”, that’s not ignoring science. global warming is a hoax, despite a scientific consensus to the contrary, that’s not ignoring science cause i have a political petition!.

    Did you know that you can mix gatorade with some other liquid in an airplane bathroom and when you throw an ipod at it the mixture will blow up? It’s true. I heard it on the internets.

  24. 24
    chopper says:

    And despite the left’s attempt to railroad, there is no ‘scientific consensus’ as to the impact man-made effluents have on global warming.

    oh yeah, i forgot, you have a politically-charged petition, signed by unverifiable scientists. that’s totally enough to deny the scientific consensus on man-made global warming.

    and you say that the left is attacking science more than the right. priceless!

  25. 25
    Andrew says:

    Perry, that only works if you have brown skin and a crazy beard.

  26. 26
    chopper says:

    Did you know that you can mix gatorade with some other liquid in an airplane bathroom and when you throw an ipod at it the mixture will blow up? It’s true. I heard it on the internets.

    oh yeah. that too.

    science, bitches.

  27. 27

    the attempts mainly from the left to politicize the science surrounding global warming and more.

    Right! The left politicized science by installing government handlers at NASA and other agencies to insure that whatever the scientists reported on was consistent with Administrations politics.

    Oh wait, that was the Republican party and the moonbats on the right.

  28. 28
    bago says:

    Ok, What? How does an abstract refinement process get subsumed?

    Science has this tendancy of working. Assertions, not so much. You can claim that you create reality in a subjective sense, but at some point reality in the form of high explosives will crack your delusional shell.

  29. 29
    Darrell says:

    oh yeah, i forgot, you have a politically-charged petition, signed by unverifiable scientists. that’s totally enough to deny the scientific consensus on man-made global warming.

    Yes, because the conclusions of those scientists disagreed with your dogma, the petition, organized by a former President of the National Academy of Sciences and signed by 17,000 scientists, was “politically charged”.

    Not only were those scientists ‘verified’, but there were followup surveys made on them years later, in which the number of those still standing by the petition, outnumber those who no longer stand by it by about a 2-to-1 margin. Do you see what an idiot you are chopper? Has it dawned on you yet?

  30. 30
    Richard 23 says:

    More like death by politicization as Noonan clearly spells out

    So Darrell, is Science indeed dead? I would like this question resolved.

    A simple yes or no would suffice.

  31. 31
    neil says:

    In Iraq, science _is_ dead. In more of a literal sense.

  32. 32
    chopper says:

    Not only were those scientists ‘verified’, but there were followup surveys made on them years later, in which the number of those still standing by the petition, outnumber those who no longer stand by it by about a 2-to-1 margin. Do you see what an idiot you are chopper? Has it dawned on you yet?

    wow, so you’re saying that the petition has already had a %33 dropout rate? wow, how strong that petition must be.

    also, as has been pointed out before, non-scientists signed it because there was no real verification process, and a number of people signed it as a joke. nice!

    you’re the sort of guy that used to agree with tobacco-company science about how smoking ‘wasn’t addictive at all’, weren’t you?

  33. 33
    Pooh says:

    Science has this tendancy of working.

    Only until I redefine “working”

    Muahahahahaha

  34. 34
    Pooh says:

    you’re the sort of guy that used to agree with tobacco-company science about how smoking ‘wasn’t addictive at all’, weren’t you?

    No, no, no, they got up and said that they believed that nicotine wasn’t addictive. Faith-Based testimony, bitches!

  35. 35

    And then they said that the evidence that tobacco contained any addictive substances was not scientifically universally accepted. Then they questioned the carcinogenic properties of nicotine.

  36. 36
    SeesThroughIt says:

    Just as some aditional perspective to this whole thing, read Noonan’s comments in this thread to find him claiming that his dad worked out a mathematic proof of the existence of god. Really! First, it was just a simple statement about intelligent design:

    Actually, yes, ID has been studied by a mathematician….my father, for one: He worked it out as impossible for there not to have been a designer.

    Then the capper you can all probably predict (emphasis mine):

    What Dad did was prove that it was impossible to have life generate spontaneously from lifelessness – which, if there is no God, is how life must have started, ergo, we’re not here right now unless God exists.

    This is bedrock truth to him. Seriously. I’m telling you, the sheer lunacy of that site–mostly due to Noonan’s ramblings–is astronomical. Off the charts. That’s why it can be funny to prod them to back up their claims: That’s when the real crazy comes out.

  37. 37
    Pooh says:

    And then they said that the evidence that tobacco contained any addictive substances was not scientifically universally accepted. Then they questioned the carcinogenic properties of nicotine.

    You bore me with your “scientific” “”data””

  38. 38
    Mac Buckets says:

    Drum’s Law refers to commenters, not popular bloggers.

    I think it should apply to both, just to different degrees.

    And you apparently never heard of George Deutsch, who shows that this behavior has plenty of examples in the current government leadership.

    Nope, never heard of him. Is he another of my imaginary “leaders?” What did he say, that science was sick with AIDS?

  39. 39
    Synuclein says:

    Doesn’t he know that nothing is impossible…
    but just infinitely improbable…

    The other benefit is if, in fact, his father proved god exists, then — as faith belies proof — QED, god vanished in a puff of logic.

    It’s discussions like these that make me truly miss Douglas Adams.

  40. 40
    ET says:

    Words are sort of failing me at the moment…… truly…. can’t come up with much to say…..

  41. 41
    Richard 23 says:

    Nope, never heard of him.

    Ever heard of Google?

  42. 42
    bago says:

    Faith is dead. Why trust when you can google?

  43. 43
    lard lad says:

    John, you left out the funniest part of Noonan’s screed:

    Why did science stray from the path of truth? I think it is because we ceased educating the men of science with a knowledge of religion – a knowledge, that is, of genuine truth, genuine reason, and the relationship of man to creation, and his Creator. When science became a narrowly forcused search for something immediately practical, it was bound to eventually be hijacked by people who wanted to use the cover of science for very impractical efforts. Keep in mind that communism, once upon a time, was considered irrefutable because it was supposedly hard-nosed science about the human condition and destiny – the crackpot theories of an out of touch German intellectual were peddled as if they were on par with the theory of gravity.

    Perhaps Noonan should link up with Sam Brownback and Rick Santorum to fight for a shiny new law that permits the feds to bust scientists for heresy.

  44. 44
    Pb says:

    Faith is dead. Why trust when you can google?

    Bow before TEH GOOGAL, the rosetta stone of the Internet, from which all knowledge is found, O Seeker!

    But seriously, I will illustrate this with a half-remembered anecdote from a bad science fiction / western movie that is likely at least somewhat difficult to Google (in part due to my limited memory of it).

    I remember that in the movie, which was rather cheesy and likely involved time travel, they needed to talk to the pre-eminent expert on the old West. And their introduction to him went something like this: “If he doesn’t know about it, it didn’t happen”.

    No doubt this is likely how history books have worked over time, with the vast majority of people simply citing the prominent people in the field instead of doing original research, and Google will only accelerate the process, providing easy access to a wealth of information, to the benefit of everyone looking for a quick answer, and to the detriment of whatever knowledge out there that remains un-Googled or offline, slowly fading into the dust.

  45. 45
    tBone says:

    It’s discussions like these that make me truly miss Douglas Adams.

    I’d love to hear what he had to say about the last five years. If anybody could pop bullshit-filled balloons with a single pointed comment, it was him.

    Of course, if he was still alive, I’d probably be pissed at him for still not finishing Salmon of Doubt.

  46. 46
    tBone says:

    But seriously, I will illustrate this with a half-remembered anecdote from a bad science fiction / western movie that is likely at least somewhat difficult to Google (in part due to my limited memory of it).

    Is this any help?

  47. 47
    Broken says:

    MacBuckets:

    Are liberals exempt from “Drum’s Law?” Because whoever Kevin Noonan is, he’s not a leader of anything. He’s just a blogger like you, Tim. But if you think it helps your rhetoric to pretend like President Bush himself just discontinued all scientific research and declared that the sun is a fire god who revolves around the flat earth, go for it. I’m not saying it does anything for your cred, though.

    Drum’s Law?

    When “Evolutionary Biology” is deleted from the list of college majors eligible for Federal scholarships, as it has been recently, it is difficult to claim Noonan is a rare exception in the GOP.

  48. 48
    jg says:

    you’re the sort of guy that used to agree with tobacco-company science about how smoking ‘wasn’t addictive at all’, weren’t you?

    Which side of the issue was supported by the right?

  49. 49
    KC says:

    I just hope the Dems take one house of Congress. I’m not saying they are perfect on science issues, just that they are a hell of a lot better than the flat-earthers running our country right now.

  50. 50
    Pb says:

    tBone,

    That’s a start, I guess; the quote is what I remember best. That, and the old West expert was on some kind of mechanical / robotic horse. For the moment I’ll go with a cross between Timerider and Westworld, because I really have no idea, and of course my memory could be somewhat faulty as well.

  51. 51
    Andrew says:

    Back to the Future III?

  52. 52
    Darrell says:

    you’re the sort of guy that used to agree with tobacco-company science about how smoking ‘wasn’t addictive at all’, weren’t you?

    Yes * cough, hack * I believed them.. and steroids are better for you than eating fresh spinach!

  53. 53
    Pb says:

    Andrew,

    Not just no, but “Hell, no”.

  54. 54
    tBone says:

    For the moment I’ll go with a cross between Timerider and Westworld, because I really have no idea, and of course my memory could be somewhat faulty as well.

    It’s imperative that we figure this out. If we can’t identify obscure B-movie scifi/western hybrids, the terrorists have won.

    FWIW I think Westworld is the one with Yul Bryner in the robotic amusement park. I don’t remember any time travel in that, but my memory could be faulty also.

  55. 55
    Pb says:

    tBone, you’re right, but I’m keeping all options on the table–after all, what if I was wrong about the time travel?

  56. 56
    Tsulagi says:

    Why did science stray from the path of truth? I think it is because we ceased educating the men of science with a knowledge of religion – a knowledge, that is, of genuine truth, genuine reason, and the relationship of man to creation, and his Creator.

    Well, this Noonan guy is just on message likely laying some advance groundwork. Probably for those $4,000 Smart Grants mentioned a couple of days ago.

    What we desperately lack are faith-based scientists so let’s get that grant money to where it can do the most good. You know, to students at the Discovery Institute, Bob Jones University, Falwell’s Liberty University and all those other powerhouses of pure scientific exploration. Praise Jesus.

  57. 57
    Pb says:

    What we desperately lack are faith-based scientists so let’s get that grant money to where it can do the most good. You know, to students at the Discovery Institute, Bob Jones University, Falwell’s Liberty University and all those other powerhouses of pure scientific exploration. Praise Jesus.

    I think that sometimes people forget about all the good hard painstaking scientific research that goes into verifying the literal truth of the Bible. I’ve got your scientific method right here:

    1. Consult the Bible.
    2. Make predictions based on passages from the Bible.
    3. Perform experiments.
    4. Verify the literal truth of the Bible.
    5. Praise the Lord!

  58. 58

    I’m batting like the Astros this thread.

    If you pitch like Lidge, the last comments should be fun….

  59. 59
    Richard 23 says:

    1. Verify the literal truth of the Bible.
    2. ???
    3. Profit

  60. 60
    bago says:

    Only until I redefine “working”

    Lets just say that cars, planes, trains, televisions, vibrators and video games work on the basis of, well, the way the world works. No matter how hard you wish, the ohm rating of copper will be VERY different than the ohm rating of glass.

  61. 61
    LoafingOaf says:

    Science is alive and well, but the GOP is not- it is currently led by hacks, frauds, religionists, self-concerned activists, and deluded fools. Bookmark this post so in the future, when asked, you can provide people with a short description of what it means to be a ‘Bush dead-ender.’

    I cringed reading that rubbish from Mark Noonan. I voted for Bush’s second term and have a bookshelf full of Richard Dawkins, Carl Sagan, etc. I don’t relate to religious people in general, but I suspect even most religious people would find that post nutty.

    But I’ve also never heard of Mark Noonan. Not that I could deny that there is a lot of strange and scary thinking on the religious right. Obviously so, and they’re uncomfortable bedfellows.

    But can’t someone hold up frauds, hacks, fools, etc., within the ranks of any political party?

    One reason I voted for Bush is because I saw Democratic congressmen making a photo-op out of seeing the most deceitful and harmful propaganda films in American history, directed by someone who called terrorist Islamo-Nazi Zarqawi a “minute man” freedom fighter of Iraq, and then saw this film director who is on the side of the enemy in the war (it can’t be denied) sitting in a VIP booth at John Kerry’s convention. John Kerry, a man who voted for the Iraq war, but not on any principle, just because he thought it would help him get to the White House. These concerns left me with no other choice – yeah there is a religious right that bugs me in the GOP, but there’s a whole ‘nother level of religious nutterism out there called ISLAMIC FASCISM I’m a bit more concerned about and only one party calls it by its rightful name.

    But some nobody named Mark Noonan is all you have to bookmark to “prove” the GOP is run by hacks, fools, nuts, etc etc.?

    Of “Blogs for Bush”:

    Q. Were you affiliated with the Official Bush/Cheney 04 Campaign?
    A. No. Blogs For Bush is owned by Matt Margolis, who was not affiliated with the campaign. No one else in the Blogs For Bush Team are involved in any way with the Bush/Cheney 04 Campaign, nor have any connections to the Bush administration or the White House

    I dunno…seems you’re a bit of a huckster when you find some nutty thing written on a partisan web site and hold it up as proof that the entire party is deranged. Seems to be the fashion in political blogs of all stripes nowadays but that doesn’t make it fair or right. (The reason it’s fair for me to pin Michael Moore on the Democrats is because the leadership made a big display of embracing the film that told lies such as the claim we went to Afghanistan for a Unocal pipeline.)

    That I can find hardcore anti-semitism on all the major Democrat web sites on any given day doesn’t prove that most Democrats hate Joe Lieberman because he’s a Jew. It means there is an element within the Big Tent that probably that is something to be somewhat concerned about, just as the more extreme religionists in the GOP are a cause of some legit concern.

    I’ll be voting for Rudy Giuliani in the GOP primaries for the next presidential race in an effort to preserve what I agree with in the Bush approach to the war in a candidate that isn’t too caught up with the social conservative religious right. We’ll see how many Democrats vote against the MoveOn.Org/Michael-Moron/GeorgeSoros wing of their party.

  62. 62
    LoafingOaf says:

    And if you want a shiver to go down your spine, check the polls on how many are buying into conspiracy theories about who “really” did 9/11. That’s the influence of the Michael-Morons of the Left and I will keep voting against them until they are kicked to the curb.

  63. 63

    And if you want a shiver to go down your spine, check the polls on how many are buying into conspiracy theories about who “really” did 9/11. That’s the influence of the Michael-Morons of the Left and I will keep voting against them until they are kicked to the curb.

    Sorry, but I’ve never seen Michael Moore claim there was a grand conspiracy behind 9/11 and the government actually did it. His only complaint in Fahrenheit 9/11 was that we gave special privileges to the Saudi royal family following, and then we invaded Iraq to get the oil and reconstruction projects. Not particularly extravagent claims.

    Besides, if you were really concerned with conspiracy theories you would have been crying about the Vince Foster claims made by the Republicans throughtout the 1990s. Or well for that matter, the cocaine imports, the state troopers bringing whores, and any of the other false stories.

    Now how come you didn’t say anything? Curious question.

    From your rant, it appears you are frightened by Islamic Fascists who are hiding under your bed ready to leep out and grab you while you sleep. The misdirected rants about conspiracy theories, and the bizarre attacks on George Soros.

    Why it appears your whole argument is you’re a scared little pussy fuck, and you base your voting off emotional arguments in a vein attempt to make you feel better.

  64. 64
    John S. says:

    And if you want a shiver to go down your spine, check the polls on how many are buying into conspiracy theories about who “really” did 9/11.

    What really sends a shiver down my spine are people like you that think that Michael Moore and people who think the moon landing was faked are a graver threat to America – and the world – than a bunch of warmongering zealots who are determined to have us knee-deep in conflict for the rest of our lives.

    Glad to see you have you priorites straight, though. Keep voting Republican. That party was made for serious thinkers like you.

    P.S. The entire party is deranged, as you will discover in November as 2/3 Americans recoil in horror from it.

  65. 65
    Pug says:

    But some nobody named Mark Noonan is all you have to bookmark to “prove” the GOP is run by hacks, fools, nuts, etc etc.?

    For further reference, please see mainstream Republicans George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, Ann Coulter, Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, James Dobson, David Horowitz, Michael Ledeen, John Gibson, Senators Inhofe, Santorum and Brownback, and many, many others for proof the Republicans are controlled by hacks, fools, nuts, etc.

  66. 66
    ThymeZone says:

    That’s the influence of the Michael-Morons of the Left

    Uh, no. Obviously you know nothing of the history of conspirowacko theories and their pathology.

    There is no causal … or other … relationship between Moore and the conspirowacko community. Most of the foilhats are either OCD trolls on the Internet or, if they seriously believe the material, just mentally ill.

    If you think I’m exaggerating, there’s a lady out there (Nancy, I think her name is) who seriously thinks that Russian satellites flew over … and influenced … the American civil war. That space shutlle missions cause bad weather.

    Another guy will tell you that the government creates weather in order to manipulate the stock market. And trust me, he believes it.

    What you are trying to do is establish your weak righty creds by putting up a Moore blast, as if it were part of a secret handshake. That just makes you look like an ass.

  67. 67
    space says:

    Science is not dead, but the age where educated leaders (aka elites) revere scientific inquiry as a principle.

    So, what killed it?

    1. Capitalism: There is too much money to be made in denying scientific truths. Whether it is tobacco companies denying the addictive properties of nicotine and cigarettes or oil companies spinning climate change issues, we are beset on all sides by educated, intelligent people who want to make a buck by discreting legitimate science. And the scientific community has failed to sufficiently punish the private sector scientists who will provide whatever truth the boss wants.

    2. Specialization: Today’s scientist may be just as brilliant as your Isaac Newton or far brighter than your Charles Darwin, but probably focuses on an area of research that it is so narrow that he or she spends less time contemplating how science fits into the rest of our lives. Scientists no longer double, per se, as philosophers.

    3. Too many scientists: Ironically, science may be a victim of success. It is a well known sociological phenomenon that people are less likely to come to the aid of a person in distress if there is a crowd of people who are witnessing the same distress. There is a tendency to assume that “someone else” will provide the aid.

    Similarly, while science is currently being attacked as an institution, there are many scientists who could defend it, but few who vigourously do so. They may complain within their community about attacks on science, but they tend not to do the heavy lifting necessary to become effective in the political arena.

    4. Science is too advamced. Any reasonably intelligent person who was educated during the period that Noonan describes (1650 until 1850) could understand pretty much all the scientific advances that were occurring. But today’s scientific advances are often so far beyond the grasp of even a smart, college-educated person that it is no wonder that many people, including our elected officials, treat scientists as priests of a secular church. As Arthur C. Clarke said, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” For Senator Ted Stevens, the internet really is a bunch of magic pipes.

    The consequence of this, though, is that many lay people are no longer able to intuitively grasp that science advances through a process that is fundamentally different from that seen with pseudoscience or religion. They no longer appreciate pure reason as a concept.

  68. 68
    John Cole says:

    I dunno…seems you’re a bit of a huckster when you find some nutty thing written on a partisan web site and hold it up as proof that the entire party is deranged.

    This is what I hate about blogs and bloggings. Commenters take the one post, and discuss it as if it was in a vacuum, and seem to demand that each assertion be sourced like a research article with thousands of links to prove the party is deranged.

    Sorry folks, each post isn’t going to do that, and if you want the proof you need, read through the archives- pay close attention to the ones tagged “Republican Stupidity.” Not a couple posts down you will read the following:

    Remember who we are dealing with- these are the same folks who think that gays are the root of all evil, and that a couple sessions in church can make you ‘ungay.’ These are the same folks who really do think or pretend to think that Terri Schiavo was just a few prayers away from playing volleyball before she was ‘murdered by the courts.’ These are the same people who think that the world was created in six days a few thousand years ago. These are the same people who think that NASA should be run by teenage religionists or that decisions about the morning after-pill are little more than political decisions to appease a segment of the base.

    So, no, this post does not specifically link to hundreds of examples that the Republican party is insane. No post ever will, becaue this is not a doctoral dissertation, but a blog post. If you want to debate that the Republican party has gone insane and her ranks and her leadership are swelled with lunatics, misfits, and cretins, we can do that- I am taking it as a proven fact. To start the debate, however, that the GOP is corrupted and has lost its soul, I would start with googling ‘The Gitmo Cookbook.’

    And finally, I am not claiming that Mark Noonan is the only proof you need that the GOP is insane. It is, in my mind, just more evidence to go with the thousands of other pieces of evidence.

  69. 69
    Tim F. says:

    Mac,

    Nope, never heard of him.

    In that case your comment amounts to an argument from ignorance on top of the usual appeal to incredulity. Those aren’t personal insults, I’m sure that you’re a fine guy on the jai alai fronton, but basic logical holes in your point.

  70. 70
    Mac Buckets says:

    In that case your comment amounts to an argument from ignorance on top of the usual appeal to incredulity. Those aren’t personal insults, I’m sure that you’re a fine guy on the jai alai fronton, but basic logical holes in your point.

    Nope, wrong. How well-known that guy is absolutely germane to your argument of his being a “leader,” isn’t it? If your point is that this guy is some kind of Republican “leader,” then it is your burden to prove that he is, well, a “leader.” If I’ve never heard of him, if 99.999% of Americans have never heard of him, your claim of his “leadership” powers are just silly. You might as well have picked some undersecretary of housing that no one’s ever heard of.

  71. 71
    jewwws says:

    Heloow… is this thing on?

    structural and functional complexity

    YOU WILL HAVE TO PROVE THAT ORGINASMS INCRESE IN STRUCTURAL AND FUNCTIONAL COMPLEXITY TO PROVE EVOLUTION!

  72. 72
    neil says:

    Apparently it doesn’t actually matter what the government _does_, just what percentage of people are aware of it.

  73. 73
    Vladi G says:

    In that case your comment amounts to an argument from ignorance on top of the usual appeal to incredulity.

    Not worth it, Tim. Mac either lives in a cave, or he’s a bald faced liar. You guys blogged about the flap at NASA numerous times, and it was all over the blogosphere.

    But I like this line of argument. I think we should all use it whenever Darrell and Mac bring up Cynthia McKinney, or Cindy Sheehan. Sorry, never heard of ’em. Case closed.

  74. 74
    RSA says:

    Darrell wrote:

    . . . effluents. . .

    I just had to chuckle at the meta-level irony.

  75. 75
    canuckistani says:

    Hang on, doesn’t the Bible tell us that pi == 3?
    Bang! That’s math dead too! Along with biology, astronomy, geology.. who’s next? Who has the guts to take on the Bible?

  76. 76
    zzyzx says:

    How well-known that guy is absolutely germane to your argument of his being a “leader,” isn’t it?

    Not as a matter of definition. People could lead a political party internally and be powerful but not be known to outsiders.

  77. 77
    John S. says:

    Mac either lives in a cave, or he’s a bald faced liar.

    I’ll go with option two.

    This is the guy who most recently commented on the authorial intent of John Hinderaker – aka Assrocket – and then claimed he never heard of him. Faced with the obvious absurdity of this scenario, Mac offered that he was only divining Assrocket’s thoughts based on what another person had written about him, thereby making his commentary on the man third-hand at best.

    The world is full of Instapundits these days, and sadly the majority of them model themselves after Glenn all too well.

  78. 78
    neil says:

    How well-known that guy is absolutely germane to your argument of his being a “leader,” isn’t it?

    So this is why all the conservabots think Barbara Streisand and Sean Penn are Democratic leaders! It doesn’t matter what kind of power you have, just how many people know your name.

  79. 79
    morgan lamberth says:

    Special creationists are fools who lie .The Buy-bull is just that- bull.

  80. 80
    space says:

    I’m genuinely confused as to what point Mac Bucket is trying to make.

    I will admit that it can be underhanded to take an obscure nobody and elevate him to the role of spokeperson for a group that you disagree with. (I’d call it Churchilling, in honor of Ward Churchill.)

    But that only applies if the singled out statements are not legitimately representative of the group that you disagrees with. Is there any evidence that Mac Buckets or the rest of the GOP seriously disagrees with Noonan? I don’t think so. In fact, I would LOVE IT if there was a serious movement within the GOP to take the party back from the flat-Earthers. I just don’t see it happening.

  81. 81
    Mac Buckets says:

    Not worth it, Tim. Mac either lives in a cave, or he’s a bald faced liar. You guys blogged about the flap at NASA numerous times, and it was all over the blogosphere.

    Sure, he was named on this blog, because Tim digs on the science blogging. That makes him a Republican leader! Silly silly silly. The idea that one would have to “live in a cave” not to know the name of someone that 99.999% of Americans don’t know is, of course, ridiculous.

    I think we should all use it whenever Darrell and Mac bring up Cynthia McKinney, or Cindy Sheehan. Sorry, never heard of ‘em. Case closed.

    Well, of course, you are allowed to lie whenever it suits your purposes. Some of you are quite adept at it.

  82. 82
    Mac Buckets says:

    Is there any evidence that Mac Buckets or the rest of the GOP seriously disagrees with Noonan? I don’t think so.

    Now there’s an argument from ignorance, Tim.

  83. 83
    Davebo says:

    In fact, I would LOVE IT if there was a serious movement within the GOP to take the party back from the flat-Earthers. I just don’t see it happening.

    What you’re suggesting is political suicide for the GOP.

    They’ve spent years alienating and eventually disgusting fiscal conservatives, libertarians, free traders and traditional foreign policy republicans.

    In an age where the Cato institute hates repubicans more than Micheal Moore what have they got left?

    Run off the evangelicals and you’ll be able to hold the GOP’s 2008 convention at a Denny’s.

  84. 84
    Mac Buckets says:

    People could lead a political party internally and be powerful but not be known to outsiders.

    True, but then the burden of proof is to show that this guy no one’s ever heard of has that kind of power within the party structure. Tim hasn’t shown that “a 24-year-old presidential appointee in the press office at NASA headquarters” has policymaking power within the Republican Party, because, well, that would be dumb.

    I mean, if the best he could do for examples of the GOP leadership declaring “science is dead” was a blogger and a NASA press officer (who said no such thing), then this post is frankly very weak.

  85. 85
    tzs says:

    Speaking as someone with a background in science and engineering, I have to say I’m just about fed up with all of this. We’ve turned into Soviet Russia, complete with Lysenkoism.

    Terrorists can blow stuff up and make us run around in circles. Anti-intellectualism will turn us into a third-world country. Permanently.

    What I’m surprised at is there hasn’t been more push-back against this from the business side. Or maybe it’s that the giant US companies are so multi-national they don’t see any reason to worry. Can’t find scientists and engineers in the US? We’ll go to India and China–they’re turning out tons of them per year. So what if the US turns into a landscape of rich aristocrats ruling over a population of subsistance farmers?

    Brazil with nukes? Heh. By the end of it, we’ll be lucky if we aren’t Africa, with a few rusted-out nukes sprinkled here and there.

  86. 86
    space says:

    Now there’s an argument from ignorance, Tim.

    Yes, I am ignorant of the GOP distancing itself from this nonsense. As for you, aside from whining about the Noonan example, I have no idea what you believe. So, ignorance again.

    What’s your point. Care to clarify what you actually think about the flat-Earth nonsense??

  87. 87
    Zifnab says:

    Run off the evangelicals and you’ll be able to hold the GOP’s 2008 convention at a Denny’s.

    Hardly. 80% of America identifies themselves as Christians. If you can get a ‘Christian Spokesperson’ to rally the masses – be he an evil Dobson or a benevolent Olsteen – and you can get said spokesperson to rally Republican, you will inevitably seize a respectable portion of the electorate. That’s what Republicans have discovered. Fiscal Conservatives just aren’t the sizable voting block they appear to be. Libertarians hate government, and are surprising difficult for ANY politician to win over. Free Traders and traditional foreign policy conservatives can swing too easily, so the just require too much gosh darn effort. Evangelicals are easy. God says vote Republican. Say it in a single church and **bam** you’ve got 300-2000 votes in your back pocket.

  88. 88

    Nope, wrong. How well-known that guy is absolutely germane to your argument of his being a “leader,” isn’t it? If your point is that this guy is some kind of Republican “leader,” then it is your burden to prove that he is, well, a “leader.” If I’ve never heard of him, if 99.999% of Americans have never heard of him, your claim of his “leadership” powers are just silly. You might as well have picked some undersecretary of housing that no one’s ever heard of.

    Would you say the same is true for Markos Moulitas, George Soros, Moveon.ORG and Michael Moore?

    If not, then it doesn’t seem to me you have any credibility on this issue.

    BlogsForBush isn’t the biggest Bush loving blog out there, but it’s not some fringe one either. It’s got a fair sized following, and from the comments there it’s clear a lot of people agreed with Noonan.

    I think once again you’re grasping at straws in a bizarre attempt to defend Republicans. I feel genuinely sorry for you.

  89. 89

    What I’m surprised at is there hasn’t been more push-back against this from the business side. Or maybe it’s that the giant US companies are so multi-national they don’t see any reason to worry. Can’t find scientists and engineers in the US? We’ll go to India and China—they’re turning out tons of them per year. So what if the US turns into a landscape of rich aristocrats ruling over a population of subsistance farmers?

    I think you are right on that one.

  90. 90

    To be clear, Mac. I’m quite certain you are apalled at Noonan and his anti-science theory.

    But the problem is, it’s out there, and it’s pretty much the mainstream view within the Republican party. Rather than attacking us for pointing it out, you would be better served in trying to purge this idiocy from the Republican party.

    So please, take your time to go over to BlogsforBush and berate Noonan.

  91. 91
    Zifnab says:

    How well-known that guy is absolutely germane to your argument of his being a “leader,” isn’t it? If your point is that this guy is some kind of Republican “leader,” then it is your burden to prove that he is, well, a “leader.”

    I just remember when Pat Robertson called for the assassination of Hugo Chavez, which created a bit of an uproar in the media community. Naturally, everyone was shocked – simply shocked – at the idea of ruthlessly murdering a man simply because he was a world leader we disagreed with. Fox News ran a day long promo asking whether Pat Robertson was truly relevant in today’s politics and if he could even qualify as a legitimate voice in the Republican Party.

    I think he was back on as a pundit about a week later.

  92. 92
    Lex says:

    Hank P: “It never fails to amuse me to see people who … “

    So, Hank, you’re saying you see this a LOT? ;-)

  93. 93
    Mac Buckets says:

    Yes, I am ignorant of the GOP distancing itself from this nonsense.

    So can I assume that anything the Democrats don’t actively “distance” themselves from is therefore the de facto stance of the party “leadership?” I’d think carefully before answering that one, if I were you.

    Care to clarify what you actually think about the flat-Earth nonsense??

    I, like all the GOP “leadership,” believe that the sun is a fire monster which revolves around a flat (well, actually, frisbee-shaped) earth. Duh!

  94. 94
    Mac Buckets says:

    Would you say the same is true for Markos Moulitas, George Soros, Moveon.ORG and Michael Moore?

    The same what? That they aren’t “Democratic Party leadership?” Of course they aren’t, although they are all more powerful than some 24-year-old pressie.

    I think once again you’re grasping at straws in a bizarre attempt to defend Republicans. I feel genuinely sorry for you.

    The only straw being grasped here is that a blogger that few people read and a NASA press officer who nobody’s ever heard of are given as example of who the GOP is “led by.” That’s a very thin straw.

  95. 95
    neil says:

    So can I assume that anything the Democrats don’t actively “distance” themselves from is therefore the de facto stance of the party “leadership?” I’d think carefully before answering that one, if I were you.

    How about this one: any decision made by Democratic leaders or government functionaries who work for Democratic leaders counts as a stance of Democratic leaders.

    George Deutsch was _a subordinate_ of the Bush administration, charged with implementing their policy. He wasn’t a minor player setting out on his own crusade. He wasn’t a would-be leader unfurling a banner and hoping people would line up behind him. He was a functionary and he was doing his job. To try to write him off as ‘just a bad apple’ or inconsequential is missing the point, but in a way that Republicans have honed to an art in the last few years.

  96. 96
    neil says:

    I mean, it’s not at all inconsistent to say that George Deutsch isn’t typical of the Bush administration as a whole. This is the same group of people who accused soldiers of masterminding torture plans that Rumsfeld signed off on; accused the CIA of cooking up bad intelligence on Iraqi WMDs when they really just refused to listen to the people who were correct; etc, etc, etc. Basically, George Bush has never failed, only been failed. He’s surrounded by incompetents, but of course this isn’t his fault — what is he supposed to be, a leader or something?

  97. 97
    DecidedFenceSitter says:

    The Other Steve Says:

    What I’m surprised at is there hasn’t been more push-back against this from the business side. Or maybe it’s that the giant US companies are so multi-national they don’t see any reason to worry. Can’t find scientists and engineers in the US? We’ll go to India and China—they’re turning out tons of them per year. So what if the US turns into a landscape of rich aristocrats ruling over a population of subsistance farmers?

    I think you are right on that one.

    Listening to NPR a couple of three weeks back. R&D spending hasn’t decreased for the international corporations; however, it has decreased in the US, now they are opening research facilities in Shang-hai, India, etc.

    So yeah, exactly. Why should big business care? They aren’t tied to America, their interests aren’t America’s interests. Their interests are the bottom line, profit, and well, that’s occasionally not good for America.

  98. 98

    […] Noonan is not the person to write about science. He describes the Discovery Institute as “a Seattle based, non-profit, non-partisan, public policy think tank.” (Hat tip to Baloon Juice) Science offers a method for discovering the truth based upon objective facts as opposed to personal biases or religious teachings. Scientists may sometimes come up with the wrong conclusion, but this is corrected as theories are challenged and updated as new facts are discovered. Science is required to make accurate predictions about the world, and should  a scientific theory fail at this it will be discarded for a more accurate theory. Scientific theories are not maintained if shown to be incorrect, as opposed to fundamentalist religious views which some defend regardless of how irrelevant they may be to the real world. […]

  99. 99
    Ryan S. says:

    Of Course Mr. Noonan doesn’r run the GOP. By default the president does.

    So lets see the President’s track record on science:

    1 Virtually ignores the recommendations of the comission his own Administation set up of Global warming. And thinks that Micheal Crichton’s conspiracy theory is an “interesting” idea.

    2 Stem Cell Research…. Nough Said.

    3 Laughing stock appointments to posts in the FDA, NASA, and other agencies.

    4 No Child Left Behind( sounds like a bad novel title): Threatens school funding if the school doesn’t increase test scores, but doesn’t give schools the funding needed to increase standards or even pay for the printing of the tests.

    5 The manned missions that the president, is STRONGLY advocating, Hmm wonder why?

    6. On evolution lets quote Bush himself, “The jury is still out” (Oct 20, 2000). Then of course its an “accident” that eveolutionary biology is left off the grant list. I don’t see anyone tring to fix that one.

  100. 100
    Mike S says:

    Sunday’s LA Times magazine had a great piece on the La Brea Tar Pits. There was one part of the article that fits in here.


    One would not know from the wealth of information provided to museum visitors that the La Brea Tar Pits are at the center of a perfervid religio-scientific controversy, one that has been tormenting many souls in this problematic, anti-scientific, fundamentalist era. Creationist scientists (another contradiction in terms) have recently been asserting that the tar pits provide evidence of a global flood, the one Noah got caught in.
    Paleontologists have always assumed that the La Brea Tar Pits were simply large pools of asphalt dating back about 40,000 years, possibly covered with a layer of dirt and dust, and when stepped on by an animal of any weight would suck it down and asphyxiate it. This murderous aspect explained the presence of a cornucopia of fossil remains. It also explained why the ratio of carnivore to herbivore bones far exceeded what the ratio would have been among the animal population living in the area.

    It is believed that groups of carnivores, including carnivorous birds, were attracted to the pits by the smell of the decaying flesh of another animal—herbivore or carnivore—trapped in the tar, and that the birds, descending on the carcass, became entrapped themselves. The huge collection of remains of an extinct type of wolf in the pits—which no other postulate could explain—is one of many long-acknowledged proofs of this theory.

    But certain scientists today do not accept this received wisdom. These scientists, or pseudoscientists, have turned the tar pits into an unprepossessing but important battleground in their muscular attempt to drown out the voice of rational, non-faith-based science. Part of the creation-science movement, they claim the earth itself is younger than the generally accepted age of the tar pits (since Scripture describes at most, according to their calculations, only 10,000 years). The fossil remains in the tar pits, they assert—with much grave data, and many charts and drawings to accompany their assertions—were carried there by a huge flow of water, providing absolute proof of a global flood. Only this, for them, can explain the presence of such great numbers of carnivores: They were swept there by the flood.

    You’ve gotta hand ot to them. They just make shit up and call it “proof.”

  101. 101
    John D. says:

    The same what? That they aren’t “Democratic Party leadership?” Of course they aren’t, although they are all more powerful than some 24-year-old pressie.

    Mac,

    Define “powerful”. I’m serious.

    None of the people/organizations you list has any power in this government. All they can do is speak, and attempt to convince others of their point of view. If you dislike the “power” they have, perhaps you should look to see why it resonates with the populace.

    George Deutsch overrode scientists in their fields. The information NASA released was filtered and restricted through this guy. He restricted the access of reporters to one of NASA’s top climate scientists when Dr. Hansen’s publicly-funded research proved inconvenient for the Administration’s rhetoric.. He said the following in an email sent out to NASA’s scientists, explaining why they could no longer use the term “Big Bang” without appending “theory” to the end of it:

    “… The Big Bang is “not proven fact; it is opinion,” Mr. Deutsch wrote, adding, “It is not NASA’s place, nor should it be to make a declaration such as this about the existence of the universe that discounts intelligent design by a creator.” It continued: “This is more than a science issue, it is a religious issue. And I would hate to think that young people would only be getting one-half of this debate from NASA. That would mean we had failed to properly educate the very people who rely on us for factual information the most.”

    *That* is real power, and that is power used malignantly.

    Science should be apolitical — it is an effort to explain what *is*, not what we wish it to be. Science is never done — all we have are best explanations for observed phenomena, not revealed truths.

  102. 102
    Tim F. says:

    Mac, I see that you have decided to miss the point.

    The government has a few specific outlets for science, NASA is one of them. George Deutsch exerted real power at NASA, as demonstrated by his ability to manipulate the agency’s communications until he was outed as a fraud. In case you think Deutsch is some sort of outlier, it was not Deutsch personally but his superiors who made the strongest threats to Dr. Hansen. Like Santorum and Noonan he personally exemplified a larger problem in a stark enough way to make the basic idiocy obvious to everybody.

    Other scientific agencies have faced exactly the same problem as NASA, particuarly at the FDA. It has simply become a matter of policy to stifle politically-inconvenient science. Take for instance the open declaration that AIDS grants that include language about sex workers will be denied. Heard about that? I doubt it. The president personally doubts evolution (yes, that translates into policy) and invites crackpot pop-science writers to advise him on climate science. Congressional leaders such James Inhofe regularly make revoltingly anti-scientific pronouncements. Steve Benen has an extremely handy list if you want to read more.

    The point of all this is that important attitude changes that have occurred in government of which you seem basically unaware. That does not invalidate your specific point about cherrypicking examples but it does rob it of any larger meaning.

  103. 103
    Mac Buckets says:

    I’m quite certain you are apalled at Noonan and his anti-science theory.

    I’m not sure it’s as broadly “anti-science” as people here are representing it to be (certainly, John selectively quoted for maximum outrage).

    From Noonan:

    The truth will out – and that means that the quest for the truth will continue, and that will mean that efforts in science will continue to yield results…but the Age of Science is over, killed off by lies. I don’t regret its passing – hopefully we will soon start to really educate people, so that even as they pursue science, they keep it in perspective, and in relation to the real human condition.

    I took this piece as an assault on a subset of science (what he perceives as advocacy science, which gets the conclusion first and then manufactures evidence to support it) rather than an assault on the bulk of scientific research. I don’t think it’s a terribly well-supported argument — he should’ve gone further into the examples he chose to make a better case.

    I do think it’s silly and possibly a kingsize strawman to declare the “Age of Science,” defined by Noonan as the enshrining of science “as some sort of god-like arbiter of right and wrong,” (which I’m not sure it ever has been, anyway) finished — especially, without even hinting at what on earth might replace it.

    Certainly, he’s not advocating the end of medicine, research, or exploration. He’s not saying science has no legitimate standing or purpose. He’s just become suspicious of the motives of certain members of the scientific community. I’d put it to him that those suspicions have always existed, and science as a discipline has not really suffered.

  104. 104
    Pooh says:

    I think Mac is just lazy – he’s fully capable of making logically coherent arguments, he would just rather release the jackalopes because either it’s easier or he just enjoys the chaos which ensues.

  105. 105

    So please, take your time to go over to BlogsforBush and berate Noonan.

    Mac, have you gone over to blogsforBush.com to berate Noonan yet?

    If so, can you link to your comments?

    If not, why not? Are you afraid of what they might say to you?

  106. 106
    Darrell says:

    I think Mac is just lazy – he’s fully capable of making logically coherent arguments, he would just rather release the jackalopes

    jackalopes = substantive arguments for which liberals have no good response.

  107. 107

    I took this piece as an assault on a subset of science (what he perceives as advocacy science, which gets the conclusion first and then manufactures evidence to support it) rather than an assault on the bulk of scientific research.

    Strange, because that’s not what Noonan wrote, and in fact in the comments he makes the case for Intelligent Design over Evolution.

    It’s not at all unreasonable to argue that Intelligent Design is actually what you call advocacy science. Taking something they want to sell and then fabricating evidence to support it.

    I would have to say you are in deep denial. And I don’t mean the river.

  108. 108

    jackalopes = substantive arguments for which liberals have no good response.

    Right. Intelligent Design is a substantive argument, and our response that it doesn’t follow the scientific method is not a good one.

  109. 109
    Pooh says:

    I love when Darrell demonstrates my point for me, though jackaloping a definition of jackalope is verging on too meta.

  110. 110
    Pb says:

    The case against Intelligent Design as science is solid, well-documented, and damning. Also look at the links at the end, especially this one.

  111. 111
    Ryan S. says:

    jackalopes = substantive arguments for which liberals have no good response.

    *Slaps forehead* Even when there’s like 90 posts on a thread, with all manner of evidence except maybe a mathematical proof. You are forever consistent.

    Someday, when I become ruler of The Universe. I want you as my spokesperson.

  112. 112
    Darrell says:

    Right. Intelligent Design is a substantive argument

    Yeah Steve, that’s EXACTLY what Mac was arguing – he was fiercely defending the merits of intelligent design. As usual, you dishonestly misrepresent the actual arguments being made.

  113. 113
    Mac Buckets says:

    Mac, I see that you have decided to miss the point.

    Perhaps if you’d do more than just say, “Do you know who George Deutsch is?” you might be able to make your point clearer.

    The government has a few specific outlets for science, NASA is one of them. George Deutsch exerted real power at NASA, as demonstrated by his ability to manipulate the agency’s communications

    He may be a big deal to you because NASA is one of your pet interests, but to the vast majority of the Republican Party, George Deutsch is a nobody. If you asked the top 100 Republicans in Washington to name 100 leaders of their party, Deutsch’s name (or anyone a NASA, for that matter) would never, ever, ever get mentioned. So just because a guy can make NASA write “Theory” after “Big Bang” doesn’t make him a leader of the Party.

    Besides, I thought John’s thesis here was that a blogger, and hence, the GOP leadership, think “science is dead.” Have Deutsch and his theocrat superiors (who you say are the real problem — ummmm, so why’d you mention Deutsch, again?) dismantled all NASA’s “scientific” programs to divert funds into an effort to send a manned craft to Heaven? Of course not. Do they think “science is dead?” Of course not.

    Take for instance the open declaration that AIDS grants that include language about sex workers will be denied. Heard about that? I doubt it.

    I think you’re misrepresenting that, from what I read. The NYT says the National Institute of Health itself is steering researchers clear of “controversial” language in their grant requests, but that there is no policy or “open declaration” regarding the language.

    Come on. This whole point is stretched beyond reason. If I posted all the scientific efforts that this government has proposed and funded, it would take hours and make your list seem miniscule by comparison.

    So, does the GOP leadership think “science is dead?” Of course not. If you disagree, say so plainly.

    Steve Benen has an extremely handy list if you want to read more.

    The page you linked to is an extremely dishonest reading of Noonan’s blog post that John cites here. I’m sure you meant to link to a different page, although now I’m not confident in what Benen has to offer.

  114. 114
    Pooh says:

    As usual, you dishonestly misrepresent the actual arguments being made.

    Do you get paid per instance of overbroad generalizations and inflamattory adjectives in your posts?

    And goodness knows, neither Mac nor yourself has ever misrepresented an argument being made.

  115. 115
    Pooh says:

    The page you linked to is an extremely dishonest reading of Noonan’s blog post that John cites here. I’m sure you meant to link to a different page, although now I’m not confident in what Benen has to offer.

    Well that settles it. Would you care to demonstrate, or is the onus on me to find your evidence for you?

  116. 116
    John D. says:

    He may be a big deal to you because NASA is one of your pet interests, but to the vast majority of the Republican Party, George Deutsch is a nobody. If you asked the top 100 Republicans in Washington to name 100 leaders of their party, Deutsch’s name (or anyone a NASA, for that matter) would never, ever, ever get mentioned. So just because a guy can make NASA write “Theory” after “Big Bang” doesn’t make him a leader of the Party.

    You seem to be conflating Tim and I (you’re responding to him, but referring to points that I made), but whatever.

    My post said nothing about “leaders”. It talked about POWER. Deutsch’s restrictions on the scientists — not letting them comment on the results of their research, for example — represents real power. It does not matter that he was a 24 year old lying hack that nobody had heard of before, and nobody will remember. It does not matter that he’s not a “leader”. It does not matter that he’s a nobody to “the vast majority of the Republican Party”. He still had real, tangible power, and misused it in the name of an agenda, that coincidentally advanced the interests of his Party.

    I wasn’t aware that this was still in question.

  117. 117
    jg says:

    Darrell Says:

    I think Mac is just lazy – he’s fully capable of making logically coherent arguments, he would just rather release the jackalopes

    jackalopes = substantive arguments for which liberals have no good response.

    Where did you find that line and how long have you been waiting to use it?

  118. 118
    Zifnab says:

    My post said nothing about “leaders”. It talked about POWER. Deutsch’s restrictions on the scientists—not letting them comment on the results of their research, for example—represents real power. It does not matter that he was a 24 year old lying hack that nobody had heard of before, and nobody will remember. It does not matter that he’s not a “leader”. It does not matter that he’s a nobody to “the vast majority of the Republican Party”. He still had real, tangible power, and misused it in the name of an agenda, that coincidentally advanced the interests of his Party.

    What bothers me most is that if/when Democrats regain control of government, the federal beaurocracy will be absolutely littered with these guys. Assuming a Congressional win in ’06 and a Presidental win in ’08, I suspect there will be hundreds of “unnamed whistleblowers” spilling out of the walls of the Pentagon, the EPA, the NSA, the FCC, and every other three letter government organization crying wolf or calling foul for years to come.

    The Democrats are poised to win a powerbase full of landmines.

  119. 119
    Mac Buckets says:

    Strange, because that’s not what Noonan wrote,

    It is what he wrote. I quoted what he wrote. John quoted what he wrote. Sorry if you don’t understand it. Here are the relevant bits again.

    What killed science was when its strongest advocates stopped telling the truth… So many bogus theories, dressed up as science, and greeted by the believers in science as the be-all and end-all of existence…Science is now so intertwined with myth and political gamesmanship that whatever judgements are pronounced under the cover of science are immediately suspect

    It’s not at all unreasonable to argue that Intelligent Design is actually what you call advocacy science.

    No, ID isn’t any kind of science, and it’s thoroughly beside the point Noonan was making, regardless of what was said in his comments section. I don’t care if he believes that the earth came from the vaginal canal of the Star-Wolf, it does’t change the fact that he is not, despite some of the howling efforts to dishonestly misconstrue, advocating the end of scientific study.

  120. 120
    Mac Buckets says:

    My post said nothing about “leaders”. It talked about POWER.

    No, I wasn’t specifically responding to you, because you’re largely off-topic. The entire thesis of this post revolves around the notion that a blogger wrote the words “the end of the Age of Science,” and how, to John (whom I respect and with whom I agree on many topics, but who, in my opinion, tends to go off quarter-cocked on issues involving “religionists”), that means “the GOP… is currently led by hacks, frauds, religionists, self-concerned activists, and deluded fools.” Because of a guy on a blog (oh, and because the GOP’s control of all three branches of government has allowed it to ban all abortions, outlaw the Pill, kill all the homosexuals and adulterers, stop the teaching of evolution, and has made mandatory the thrice-daily Worship of Baby Jesus).

    As to power, almost everybody in Washington has power to one extent or another. Washington is chockablock with “powerful” people, especially if you define “power” as “what a NASA press officer has.” What it is not full of is Party Leaders, which is what we were discussing.

  121. 121

    No, ID isn’t any kind of science

    That’s kind of jackaloptic, Mac, although, in this case, unintentionally so. ID isn’t any kind of science, but it is “advocacy in the guise of science”, which is the meaning of the term Noonan created to describe real science.

  122. 122
    LoafingOaf says:

    The Other Steve:

    Sorry, but I’ve never seen Michael Moore claim there was a grand conspiracy behind 9/11 and the government actually did it. His only complaint in Fahrenheit 9/11 was that we gave special privileges to the Saudi royal family following, and then we invaded Iraq to get the oil and reconstruction projects. Not particularly extravagent claims.

    I said 9/11 conspiracies are flourishing under the influence of the Michael-Morons. I did not say Michael Moore himself said Bush did 9/11. Michael Moore has said many conspiratorial things, such as the disgusting lie that we went after the Taliban so Unocal could have a pipeline in Afghanistan.

    Besides, if you were really concerned with conspiracy theories you would have been crying about the Vince Foster claims made by the Republicans throughtout the 1990s. Or well for that matter, the cocaine imports, the state troopers bringing whores, and any of the other false stories.

    Now how come you didn’t say anything? Curious question.

    You didn’t hear me say anything because I wasn’t posting comments on blogs at that time.

    From your rant, it appears you are frightened by Islamic Fascists who are hiding under your bed ready to leep out and grab you while you sleep. The misdirected rants about conspiracy theories, and the bizarre attacks on George Soros.

    Keep pretending Islamic Fascism is a figment of the imagination, and then keep pretending each election you lose is because the fix was in.

    Why it appears your whole argument is you’re a scared little pussy fuck, and you base your voting off emotional arguments in a vein attempt to make you feel better.

    I think the link I provided to David Kopel’s web site about Michael Moore’s movie makes a good point about who the real fearmongerers are. But I know you didn’t click to it you’d rather not go outside your echo chamber.

  123. 123
    LoafingOaf says:

    John S.:

    What really sends a shiver down my spine are people like you that think that Michael Moore and people who think the moon landing was faked are a graver threat to America – and the world – than a bunch of warmongering zealots who are determined to have us knee-deep in conflict for the rest of our lives.

    Warmongering zealots sounds like the Islamic Fascists to me. You know, the enemy you wanna pretend doesn’t exist?

    Michael Moore wanted people to believe that enemy doesn’t exist. He said, after 9/11, that no one in Afghanistan is a threat to him.

    That’s the sort of serious thinker you abide.

  124. 124
    LoafingOaf says:

    ThymeZone:

    What you are trying to do is establish your weak righty creds by putting up a Moore blast, as if it were part of a secret handshake. That just makes you look like an ass.

    What I was trying to do was to say that John Cole attempted to say the GOP is run by hacks, fools, frauds, etc., by holding up some irrelevant Noonan fellow who has stupid things to say about science because his religious beliefs are on the defensive, and that this is B.S. And that it’s particularly amusing to see 100 comments from folks who have no problem elevating Michael Moore, MoveOn.Org, George Soros, Cindy Sheehan and the whole sorry lot and charlatans, propaganists, conspiracy buffs, and those who overtly side with the enemy as “respectable.” These people are being nuts and liars on the most important issue of our time. But you folks see nothing wrong with that, while you say Noonan is proof of how deranged the GOP is. I see who the fools are.

  125. 125
    LoafingOaf says:

    John Cole:

    So, no, this post does not specifically link to hundreds of examples that the Republican party is insane.

    Well, gee, we both could be her all week and post ten thousand examples of Democrats or Republicans to try and propagandize that either of those parties is insane.

    I don’t think either of the major parties is “insane,” and would question the intelligence of anyone putting forth the argument.

    But if the question is which of the two major parties has a bigger problem with nutters, I’d say it’s the party that embraces Michael Moore and MoveOn.Org.

    Obviously other will disagree.

    Point being, as you all have a chuckle at this Noonan fellow who can’t resolve his religious beliefs with science, maybe you should notice the nuts in the Democrat Party. I just saw a post today at the Huffington Post where a Democrat blogger says maybe it will help prove to the American people that Bush is not protecting America if the Islamic Fascists pull off a terrorist attack on the eve of the November elections. That kind of thinking is far more scary to me, so I know where my vote will go if someone asks which party is more infested with insane people.

  126. 126
    John S. says:

    Warmongering zealots sounds like the Islamic Fascists to me.

    There are two sides to the warmongering zealot spectrum. And you know, one side consists of people with their finger on the trigger of tactical nukes that you wanna pretend don’t exist? Ah, but that’s just as much of a bullshit statement as:

    You know, the enemy you wanna pretend doesn’t exist?

    Isn’t it? I mean, I know you’re just as aware of the Bush administration’s warmongering zeal as I am aware of our enemy’s warmongering zeal. So let’s dispense with the hyperbolic crap.

    Michael Moore wanted people to believe that enemy doesn’t exist. He said, after 9/11, that no one in Afghanistan is a threat to him.

    I don’t know what you raging hard-on for Moore is, but you seem to care far more about what he thinks than I do. Seeing as how he doesn’t make policy, doesn’t command a military and has no power other than a public voice, I’m not really all that concerned about him. That you want to elevate him to some sort of ‘American mullah’ status speaks volumes about your paranoia and fear.

    On the other hand, George Bush sent our men and women in to fight a threat that didn’t exist while shaping a foreign policy around the notion that no one in Afghanistan is a threat to the United States, because the mastermind behind 9/11 just isn’t that important. And when confronted with the error of that decision and its consequences, the best he can come up with to rectify the situation is to abrogate all responsibility to the next president.

    That’s the sort of serious thinker you abide.

  127. 127
    John S. says:

    I see who the fools are.

    The trouble is, you do see who the fools are. You just don’t seem to comprehend who the fools are.

  128. 128

    Hmmm… Given that Bush has issued but one veto while in office, and that the veto in question restricted scientific study by limiting funding for stem cell research, what could possibly move one to claim that ““the GOP… is currently led by hacks, frauds, religionists, self-concerned activists, and deluded fools?” Does Bush lead the GOP? Then the statement is true.

  129. 129
    DougJ says:

    Noonan just bumped this article late last night, claiming

    We seem to be having a lot of fun with this one – well, truth be told, we on the right are having fun with this, while most of the lefties are having fits over it – so I’ve bumped it in to Sunday so we can keep it going – MN

    Does that mean he is now trying to claim it is a joke? I can’t tell.

  130. 130
    DougJ says:

    I don’t think either of the major parties is “insane,”

    I think both are and that anyone who thinks otherwise is an idiot. I say that as someone who spends 10+ hours a week working for a Democratic camapaign.

    How can anyone look at how both parties have treated the war in Iraq and not conclude that both parties’ representatives are largely insane? Seriously.

  131. 131
    DougJ says:

    the GOP… is currently led by hacks, frauds, religionists, self-concerned activists, and deluded fools.

    Are you seriously questioning this? It’s obviously true. I’d say the same of Democrats with “religionists” replaced by “overpaid consultants”.

    That doesn’t mean that you’re any of those things Mac. It’s your party leadership we’re talking about.

  132. 132
    SeesThroughIt says:

    Does that mean he is now trying to claim it is a joke? I can’t tell.

    No, he thinks it’s a joke that those damn stupid leftist Darwinists are trying to argue against his impermeable logic. He honestly does not have the awareness to realize that the joke is completely and fully on him. Which is why I encourage him to keep talking about it.

  133. 133
    orion says:

    It is satire, and horribly written at that. The fellow says science is dead because people disagree. The whole world would be dead by that logic. It’s just a joke. Stop taking it seriously.

  134. 134
    John D. says:

    Sorry about delay in responding to this, but I was out of town for weekend.

    No, I wasn’t specifically responding to you, because you’re largely off-topic. The entire thesis of this post revolves around the notion that a blogger wrote the words “the end of the Age of Science,” and how, to John (whom I respect and with whom I agree on many topics, but who, in my opinion, tends to go off quarter-cocked on issues involving “religionists”), that means “the GOP… is currently led by hacks, frauds, religionists, self-concerned activists, and deluded fools.” Because of a guy on a blog (oh, and because the GOP’s control of all three branches of government has allowed it to ban all abortions, outlaw the Pill, kill all the homosexuals and adulterers, stop the teaching of evolution, and has made mandatory the thrice-daily Worship of Baby Jesus).

    Mac, go upthread and look at my first post.

    Note that I responded to *you*. Note that I quoted *you*.

    Now, explain to me how I am “off-topic”. You brought up the concept of power, specifically related to your handy laundry list of left loons against George Deutsch. I merely pointed out that of the 2 groups, one had the potential for real power, one exercised real power, and it was not the one you claimed to be “more powerful”. So if you wish to assign me the status of “off-topic”, I respectfully suggest that you relegate yourself to that same list.

    I was not responding to John. I was responding to *you*. If you are going to make asinine claims with absolutely no evidence to support it, I’m going to call you on it, whether it hews to the main thesis of the post or not. Since, you know, you decided not to stay on-topic either.

  135. 135

    […] Matt Margolis and Mark Noonan (yes, that Mark Noonan) have a a new book titled “Caucus of Corruption,” which ostensibly highlights rampant Democratic corruption. The cover of the book features a quote from Tom DeLay. […]

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Matt Margolis and Mark Noonan (yes, that Mark Noonan) have a a new book titled “Caucus of Corruption,” which ostensibly highlights rampant Democratic corruption. The cover of the book features a quote from Tom DeLay. […]

  2. […] Noonan is not the person to write about science. He describes the Discovery Institute as “a Seattle based, non-profit, non-partisan, public policy think tank.” (Hat tip to Baloon Juice) Science offers a method for discovering the truth based upon objective facts as opposed to personal biases or religious teachings. Scientists may sometimes come up with the wrong conclusion, but this is corrected as theories are challenged and updated as new facts are discovered. Science is required to make accurate predictions about the world, and should  a scientific theory fail at this it will be discarded for a more accurate theory. Scientific theories are not maintained if shown to be incorrect, as opposed to fundamentalist religious views which some defend regardless of how irrelevant they may be to the real world. […]

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