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Climate Contrarians Seek Leadership of House Science Committee 518

Posted by Soulskill
from the wouldn't-want-to-get-any-science-in-it dept.
An article at Ars examines three members of the U.S. House of Representatives who are seeking chairmanship of its Committee on Space, Science, and Technology. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) said in an interview, "My analysis is that in the global warming debate, we won. There were a lot of scientists who were just going along with the flow on the idea that mankind was causing a change in the world's climate. I think that after 10 years of debate, we can show that that there are hundreds if not thousands of scientists who have come over to being skeptics, and I don't know anyone [who was a skeptic] who became a believer in global warming." James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) has a similar record of opposing climate change, as does Lamar Smith (R-TX). Relatedly, Phil Plait, a.k.a. The Bad Astronomer, has posted an article highlighting how U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), a member of the Senate's Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, has declined to answer a question about how old the Earth is, calling it "one of the great mysteries."
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Climate Contrarians Seek Leadership of House Science Committee

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  • Richard Muller (Score:5, Insightful)

    by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn.gmail@com> on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @09:02PM (#42049703) Journal

    I don't know anyone [who was a skeptic] who became a believer in global warming.

    You mean like Richard Muller [slashdot.org] who quite famously denounced anthropogenic global warming [nytimes.com] only to come to the same conclusion by his own means? Yeah, that opinion piece by him opens with "Call me a converted skeptic."

    Oh, I get it, after it turns out that his research didn't back up your "beliefs", he must never have been a skeptic to begin with, right? Or perhaps when you made that statement you meant that you just don't know Richard Muller personally?

    Political word games have always been such a pain in the ass.

    But you are right that while peer reviewed journals move one way, the population moves the other [yale.edu]:

    The most striking result is the increase in the proportion of Americans who express strong doubt or rejection of the reality of global warming through their free associations. In 2003, only 7% of Americans provided “naysayer” images (e.g., “hoax,” or “no such thing”) when asked what thought or image first came to mind when they heard the term “global warming.” By 2010, however, 23% of Americans provided “naysayer” images.

    • Re:Richard Muller (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ColdWetDog (752185) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @09:17PM (#42049865) Homepage

      My analysis is that in the global warming debate, we won.

      I'm not sure what he thinks the prize is going to be. But I'm willing to wager that it will indeed be a surprise. A big one.

      Although it sounds rather inflammatory and is really, really stupid, the fact that the House has jammed up that committee with people having the intellectual prowess of fleas really doesn't change things. It's pretty clear that the US government is unable and unwilling to be particularly proactive about this. It's also not very clear that we CAN do anything substantive about climate change.

      Hang on to your butts!

      • by Sir_Sri (199544)

        Well that's the trick with republicans retaining control of at least one part of government. They can jam up the process on anything inconvenient. That was the point for them all along.

        I agree that it's not clear what Obama and the democrats in general would do if given the chance anyway. We can all pontificate over what they think they might want to do, but I have no idea what they'd actually be able to wrangle their own party into given the opportunity.

        • Re:Richard Muller (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Doctor_Jest (688315) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @10:40PM (#42050483)

          The reason our federal government is set up this way is PRECISELY for keeping the mob rule (House) or the aristocracy (Senate) from becoming a battering ram to shove whatever agenda they see fit through the process. The process is geared towards compromise. The Founders meant for it to be this way (ever wonder why it's so damn hard to amend the Constitution? Same logic.) If you read the Founders' writings (Jefferson and Adams in particular) you'll see that their purpose was not to create a "juggernaut" that trampled over anything in its path, but a slow tortoise that didn't rush into legislation and learned from compromise rather than intimidation.

          Granted, there are exceptions to the rule, but the point being, we don't WANT a speedy federal government (remember the PATRIOT Act?)... we want a lukewarm slow moving behemoth that doesn't fuck things up every 2 years.

          • Re:Richard Muller (Score:5, Insightful)

            by davester666 (731373) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @11:33PM (#42050881) Journal

            Except R isn't interested in compromise.

            For example, way back when Obama started with redoing health care, he invited the Republicans to participate and said "Lets start with the plan from one of YOUR people, John McCain." The response was that that plan was unacceptable and that they wouldn't participate AT ALL.

            For every issue that actually matters, R largely is "Either you do what we say or we will block everything you want to do".

          • Re:Richard Muller (Score:5, Informative)

            by pitchpipe (708843) on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @12:39AM (#42051343)

            ... we don't WANT a speedy federal government (remember the PATRIOT Act?)

            So how come they're really fast to take away our freedoms when confronted with imaginary threats, but with *real, actual threats they act like a toroise with its fucking legs cut off?

            * Like car crashes (PDF): [dot.gov]

            In 2010, 32,885 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes in the United States - the lowest number of fatalities since 1949

            That's ten times the number that were killed in 9/11, and that was the lowest year in a long time!

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Muller was never a skeptic.

      No skeptic I’ve met said that “ carbon dioxide from burning of fossil fuels will prove to be the greatest pollutant of human history. It is likely to have severe and detrimental effects on global climate.” (Richard Muller, 2003). So perhaps he became a skeptic later? Not so much. Richard Muller, 2008: “There is a consensus that global warming is real. it’s going to get much, much worse.”

    • Re:Richard Muller (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Gadget_Guy (627405) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @10:10PM (#42050237)

      I don't know anyone [who was a skeptic] who became a believer in global warming.

      It is a rather telling quote. If the skeptics are so entrenched in their beliefs that none ever change then they are not skeptics. They are deniers. If that term is deemed to be offensive, then they could choose disbelievers. But "skeptic" implies a willingness to be convinced, and this is obviously not happening.

      It also ignores the real skeptics: scientists. These are the people who do studies that reproduce other studies to see if their data matches so they can confirm or deny the original claims. These are the people who do studies to test their basic assumptions (that seem so obvious that the public often laugh at them), just in case they were false truisms. These are the real skeptics.

      • Re:Richard Muller (Score:5, Insightful)

        by jc42 (318812) on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @12:30AM (#42051295) Homepage Journal

        Perhaps it might help to point out that people are using "skeptic" with two rather different meanings in this discussion. The word means something different in common English than it does in technical/scientific English.

        In common speech, a "skeptic" is someone who actively disbelieves something. And note that in common speech, "disbelieves" and "doesn't believe" are synonyms.

        In technical English, neither of these is true. A skeptic is rather someone who believes that something should be challenged, even if there's pretty good evidence that it's true. There is a lot of scientific history showing the value of challenging accepted theory, and challenges sometimes turn up important exceptions or qualifications. The poster child for this is Einstein's Relativity, which was based on experimenters testing Newton's theories/equations/mechanics, uncovering a number of exceptions. Newton's mechanics are still taught in schools, with the qualification that they're only approximations that are useful under "ordinary" (here on Earth) conditions, but at high speeds or accelerations become inaccurate. Similarly, even the most "devout" believers in climate change will agree that a lot of further research is needed, and our understanding of climate is still rather limited. So there's a lot of room for skepticism withing the field of climatology, if skepticism is taken in its scientific sense of "needing further research" to improve the accuracy of the equations.

        The "disbelieves" vs. "doesn't believe" dichotomy is also important. In common speech, everything is typically either true or false. But scientists live in a world where a lot of things are in an "unknown" state. Disbelieving something therefore doesn't mean that you believe it's false. To a scientist, disbelief means that you don't think we know all the facts, and further testing is needed before we accept something as "theory". It's not uncommon for a scientist to express disbelief in even their own results, and insist that further research is needed. (Funding organizations are very familiar with this phenomomenon. ;-)

        One of the clear cases of a long-lasting state of disbelief was back in the 1980s, when as a result of recent paleontological discoveries, birds were finally reclassified as a branch of the dinosaurs. This wasn't a new idea; it was suggested back in the 19th century by none other than Charles Darwin, as well as by numerous colleagues. The similarities between those newly-discovered dinosaur fossils and bird skeletons couldn't be missed, and the discovery of the few Archeopteryx fossils in Germany just added to the suspicion that they were close relatives. But until the 1970s, no further ancient bird fossils were found. So scientists said "Yeah, it looks like a real possibility, but we need a lot more evidence." Most biologists expected that it would be found true, but they remained officially skeptics until more evidence turned up. Then Mao died, China opened up to field research, and several beds of ancient avian fossils were found there. After a few decades and a few thousand more avian fossils, the skeptics finally said "Yeah; we've got the evidence now", and what everyone suspected all along was made official theory. But this followed more than a century of skepticism on the part of most biologists.

        Also, note that some biologists continue to express skepticism about the bird-dinosaur link. It's mostly of a pro-forma nature, but it's generally considered proper if done scientifically. Compared to other kinds of critters, birds still have a very sketchy fossil record. Their thin bones just don't fossilize well. So various biologists continue to challenge the details of the classification, with the hope that funding will be found to collect the evidence. Thus, recent DNA studies have verified that the ratites are birds and not a separate branch of dinosaurs. Other studies have shown that cockatiels really are close relatives of cockatoos, and not an independent early bra

        • by Xest (935314)

          Good post, and exactly the sort of which there is not enough of on Slashdot these days. I was going to add however that I'd caution against reading into too much from taxonomic changes. Taxonomy is, in my opinion, rather a "dangerous" discipline in this respect when used as a basis for factual discussion.

          The problem with taxonomy is that it tries to apply classification in a uniform manner, when the evolutionary tree is anything but uniform. As such, classification all too often ends up being nothing more t

    • "Oh, I get it, after it turns out that his research didn't back up your "beliefs", he must never have been a skeptic to begin with, right?"

      Nor was he much of a Scotsman.

    • Re:Richard Muller (Score:4, Informative)

      by phantomfive (622387) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @11:55PM (#42051083) Journal
      I really don't think Muller was a skeptic, at least I can't find any old reference where he said he denounced global warming. The closest he came was doubting that the hockey stick graph was real. Here is what he said in 2004 [technologyreview.com]:

      If you are concerned about global warming (as I am) and think that human-created carbon dioxide may contribute (as I do), then you still should agree that we are much better off having broken the hockey stick.

      As far as I can tell, he's been concerned about global warming for a long time.

  • My two cents... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I do believe global warming is happening, however, I am not sure mankind is responsible for a majority of it. However, I do believe we must cut pollution for the sake of pollution regardless of whether it puts a dent into the overall problem of global warming.

    • Re:My two cents... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by pauljlucas (529435) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @09:26PM (#42049935) Homepage Journal

      I do believe global warming is happening, however, I am not sure mankind is responsible for a majority of it.

      At all other times in the planet's history when there have been periods of warming, it's taken orders of magnitude longer than the current period. The difference? This time is post industrial revolution and the wide-spread burning of fossil fuels. How do we know? Ice cores. But don't let the actual facts get in the way of your skepticism.

      • by MightyYar (622222)

        Don't let them wrap you up in a correlation game. Real researchers put together a model and compare it to past data - the science has advanced well beyond simple correlations. Everyone who has taken the time and effort to build a model has come to the same conclusion.

        • by Troed (102527)

          Real researchers put together a model and compare it to past data

          As a start, sure. Real researchers then use that model to make a prediction from their original hypothesis, and wait until reality has either disproven or not disproven the hypothesis.

          • by MightyYar (622222)

            True - and that has been happening over the last 30 years or so. Since the mid 90s, the models have been looking pretty good.

            It could be a fluke, though - which is why it is still good to look at thousands of years of historical data rather than putting too much weight on any single decade.

      • Re:My two cents... (Score:5, Informative)

        by Troed (102527) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @10:07PM (#42050205) Homepage Journal

        At all other times in the planet's history when there have been periods of warming, it's taken orders of magnitude longer than the current period.

        No.

        http://www.esd.ornl.gov/projects/qen/transit.html [ornl.gov]

        How do we know? Ice cores.

        No.

        http://www.climate.unibe.ch/~stocker/papers/bereiter09grl.pdf [unibe.ch]

    • My two cents... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @09:33PM (#42049973)

      It's interesting to see how fragmented the anti-science people are.

      That 23% of people who express doubt, are actually a bunch of different doubters. People who think it's not happening and lah-lah-lah (fingers in ears).
      People who believe it IS happening but its natural.
      People who believe it's man-made , but there's nothing we can do about it.

      If you watch Fox (it's the only US news I see on my cable), they can't keep their story consistent between which of these they are. I suspect all they really care about is that you use fossil fuels as wastefully as possible at as high a price as possible. Whenever energy efficiency comes up, they're all screaming 'unAmerican' as if anyone would be against doing the same thing for less money!?

      But it does show that you don't actually have 77%-23%, you have a more fragmented 77%-10%-10%-2%

      • by erroneus (253617)

        It's not that they are "anti-science." It's that they don't value things they don't understand and more importantly, aren't as interesting as other things.

        In a way, these types exhibit unreal amounts of arrogance. They know that without the sciences, their comfortable lives could not be what it is today. (Though in their prayers, they thank god for things other people did... even for things they did themselves.) They know the things they don't understand have a profound impact on their current lives. I

        • by ridgecritter (934252) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @11:31PM (#42050875)

          You wrote: "They know that without the sciences, their comfortable lives could not be what it is today."

          I suspect a large fraction doesn't know that. I doubt these are people who, when they flip a light switch or run hot water in their kitchen or flush a toilet, even occasionally think of the infrastructure that lets them do those things. They not only don't know what they don't know, they aren't curious about it. Much less capable of changing their minds in light of scientific evidence that conflicts with their faith/beliefs.

    • Re:My two cents... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sg_oneill (159032) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @09:57PM (#42050113)

      Serious failure of Occams razor going on here AC.

      Lets take three things we know;-

      1) You say climate change is happening. Well we agree on that. Lets put that into "Known knowns".

      2) We know CO2 significantly traps infra red radiation. This was known since the 1800s when researchers first started putting alarm bells out about climate change after Fourier first demonstrated CO2s effect on IR spectrum light in the laboratory.

      3) And we are putting staggering amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere. Something in the range of 35000 teragrams per year.

      Yet.

      4) You dont think humans are responsible for most of the climate change.

      The question I ask then, is what mechanism are you proposing that is stopping physics from doing its thing here.

      This is the thing the "Humans are not having an effect" people seem to miss here. Thats a huge claim which breaks a tonne of very old and very established physics, and for the "we are not causing climate change" thing to be true, novel physics needs to be proposed to provide a mechanism that causes CO2 to stop absorbing IR light.

      I should note some caution here. If a mechanism is proposed, a LOT of things break. Huge amounts of our knowledge of chemistry , astronomy (absorbsion lines, etc) , and so on are dependent on our understanding of how gasses absorb light, and we'd be throwing out perhaps entire fields of science, because holy crap have we got a lot of things wrong? All that stuff we learned from staring at black lines on rainbows shitting out of our telesopes? Wrong wrong wrong. All the whacky stuff we've learned bouncing light through gasses in laboratories? Wrong wrong wrong. Chemistry wrong, physics wrong, astronomy wrong, biology wrong, its exaustive.

      To wit;- Big claims require big evidence.

      And I'm not seeing that evidence, instead I'm seeing frauds like "lord" monkton, a guy whos entire scientific/mathematical education was finishing highschool, being paraded around by right-wing think tanks as a "renowned mathematician". I'm seeing incredibly detailed frame ups of researchers involving multiple right-wing thinktanks pushing campaigns of deliberate misrepresentation of peoples emails. I'm seeing polls of scientists, in such dead-on fields as "political science" and "marketing" denouncing basic observational physics and not a single damn qualified climate scientist in sight.

      I'm actually not seeing shit. Theres almost no legitimate reason left to doubt climate change and our role in it anymore. Its happening, its real. That debate ended 150 years ago in Fouriers laboratory.

      • by bunratty (545641)
        It certainly could be true that the excess carbon dioxide is not having the predicted warming effect. For example, the warming should cause the humidity to increase, and we have observed this increase in humidity. The increased moisture in the atmosphere might create more clouds, which could possibly reflect more sunlight into space, causing a negative feedback to limit the warming. It's all a perfectly good hypothesis, but then we need 1) evidence to support it, such as observations of more clouds and pred
        • by tconnors (91126)

          It certainly could be true that the excess carbon dioxide is not having the predicted warming effect. For example, the warming should cause the humidity to increase, and we have observed this increase in humidity. The increased moisture in the atmosphere might create more clouds, which could possibly reflect more sunlight into space, causing a negative feedback to limit the warming.

          Negative feedback either places limits on an external forcing mechanism serving to reduce the deviation from a natural state (b

  • If you can't beat scientists on the F of Facts, then go by the F of Funding..

  • by Randym (25779) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @09:29PM (#42049959)
    Back in the 1980's, the [so-called] Moral Majority spent a lot of time stealthily taking over local school boards. By stealthily, I mean they concealed their true colors, while running, then used their winning of elections to argue that they had a mandate to undermine the teaching of science and critical thinking in public schools. The fact that people can be elected to Congress and make such fatuous statements with a straight face makes me think that they -- in a certain sense -- did "win": these Congresspeople are the children of that age. It's sad, of course, that people think that "winning" means one has the right to determine the conceptual course of the nation's children -- regardless of actual facts.
    • Yeah... it is a great mystery, but the bible says less than 10k years, which is obviously wrong, and obviously what is being fished for in the question. And to think that religion is really about seeking truth. I went to the creation museum -- intellectual vapid bunch if ever there was. Funny how the "holy" can be so disingenuous about their motives. I'm sure Jesus would tear town their temple and decry the corruption of the Pharisees.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @09:35PM (#42049991)

    Senator Barack Obama in 2008:

    What I've said to them is that I believe that God created the universe and that the six days in the Bible may not be six days as we understand it... it may not be 24-hour days, and that's what I believe. I know there's always a debate between those who read the Bible literally and those who don't, and I think it's a legitimate debate within the Christian community of which I'm a part. My belief is that the story that the Bible tells about God creating this magnificent Earth on which we live—that is essentially true, that is fundamentally true. Now, whether it happened exactly as we might understand it reading the text of the Bible: That, I don't presume to know.

    http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2012/11/rubio_and_obama_and_the_age_of_earth_politicians_hedge_about_whether_universe.html [slate.com]

    These guys are politicians. Part of being a politician is to not annoy anyone who might vote for you, unless you have a really good reason. Privately, both Rubio and Obama might well believe the science is settled and that the literal word of the Bible is just wrong... but why would they say so? Why not just give a non-answer that annoys the fewest number of people?

    So, is it stupid and wrong when Rubio does it, but okay when Obama does it? If you have that kind of double standard, then shame on you.

  • by Sarten-X (1102295) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @09:39PM (#42050013) Homepage

    Hi. Nice to meet you, Dana. I go by the name Sarten X, often represented with a hyphen.

    When The global warming concerns were first being voiced, I was skeptical. Surely humans' influence couldn't be that severe? Then I started learning. I learned about how CO2 traps heat. I learned how human CO2 production has been increasing exponentially. I learned how small shifts in ocean temperatures put far more moisture into the air, producing more severe storms.

    I learned too much to doubt. Even if half my knowledge turns out to be wrong, the other half still leads to the same conclusion: Our society is royally screwed because of global warming, and we're making it worse every day.

    I hope I'm wrong. I hope that we've been terribly mistaken in our analysis. I hope the solar system drifts into a previously-unknown dust cloud, and the greenhouse gasses save us. Hope, though, will not explain to my great-grandchildren why they can't leave the tunnels during storm season.

    At this point, I am still skeptical of many of the claims. A world covered in poison ivy by 2015? I doubt that. The east coast of the United States submerged in a decade? Probably not. Regardless of what preposterous scare-tactic forecasts are made, there is still too much evidence for me to ignore. Though the outcome is uncertain, the trend is clear. We, as the current dominant species on this planet, should do what we can to reduce the approaching threat of a warming planet. We should strive to make our pollution as harmless as we can, and keep our industrial processes as flexible as we can to allow future change if similar problems are discovered. We should have been more cautious in our designs over the past century, and we may not even have another century to live if we do not change our ways now.

    I am Sarten X. I was a skeptic of global warming, and I now support the efforts to fight it.

    • by MightyYar (622222)

      You are on the same track as me. The next step is to realize that you can't fight it any more than you can convince locusts to peacefully leave a field alone. Currently, I want politicians to talk about mitigation... can we try to predict what will happen and what we can do about it? For instance, New Jersey and New York just got walloped by a hurricane that wiped out thousands of houses in low lying areas. It would be nice to have some idea whether it is cost effective to rebuild and wait for the next 100-

  • I don't believe (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ygtai (1330807) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @10:03PM (#42050181)
    BTW, I don't believe in global warming. Facts just show that it is happening.
  • by Crypto Gnome (651401) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @10:07PM (#42050207) Homepage Journal
    I agree with what he says, "I think parents should be able to teach their kids what their faith says, what science says.".

    However this is not what he (and his accomplices) actually mean.

    Despite what the words say, the underlying intention is radically different.

    - not "parents should be able to teach..." but "schools must be forced to teach"

    - and not just teach, but with every word imply ABSOLUTELY equal standing with science (eg Intelligent Design, which is nothing more than christian creationism with SCIENCE branded all over it)

    And, of course, the WORST part of their hypocrisy is that they want THEIR religion mandatorily taught everywhere, but not any OTHER religion.

    You want the worldview of your religion taught in schools, sure - GO AHEAD - as long as EVERY other religion also gains equal airtime and equal status.

    For Example:
    - Hindus
    - Buddhists
    - Mormons
    - Zoroastrians
    - and yes, even Scientologists.

    It's called having a secret agenda and they're doing the same thing with Global Warming.
    The entire "debate" has nothing to do with science, and everything to do with MONEY.
  • "The science of age of the Earth is the basis of nuclear medicine & power. Should our leaders understand it?" Maybe not understand it mathematically, but I think everyone should understand what 'radiation' and 'nuclear' are. There are so many misconceptions that some people fear everything other don't fear anything. People don't understand just how many discoveries and applications nuclear physics and nuclear medicine has brought. Bill Nye is being polite, since I'm online, I won't. If he wants to d
  • by Grayhand (2610049) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @10:14PM (#42050281)
    The main reason for global warming denying is to avoid having to change how rich corporations do business. Energy companies want to keep burning coal and auto companies preferred to make gas guzzlers. The joke is the very ones denying global warming tend to be the ones buying beach houses. Those same beach houses won't be around in 50 or 100 years due to global warming. They can assume it'll happen after they are dead but like what just happened in New Jersey many will be lost in the next 25 years. In truth I think the majority of deniers believe it's happening they just don't want to change how they live so it's easier to just claim it's all a lie.
  • by mbone (558574) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @10:15PM (#42050283)

    It is a pity when insane people are allowed to embarrass themselves in public so.

  • by rrohbeck (944847) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @10:17PM (#42050301)

    Watch this
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gE6zipFWmo [youtube.com]
    and you'll know why you're a "skeptic."

  • by kawabago (551139) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @10:36PM (#42050459)
    or can anyone get in?
  • The problem is, we've turned most every science question into a political one and so its turned into:

    If AGW exists and it will negatively impact my quality of life if new legislation is enacted, then it only makes sense that those people will deny that AGW exists, irrespective of the evidence for or against AGW.

    If AGW doesn't exist and it will negatively impact my quality of life if the government doesn't do something (for example, if they don't subsidize "alternative" energy and you've got a large
  • I believe the universe was created by an omnipotent, antisocial hedge-maze 3.5 years ago. Science can do nothing to prove me wrong. You actually *can't* know the truth in these types of questions, which is why it's called faith. Please stop confusing the two.

    Oh, and when religious types can't define their faith in non-disprovable ways they are rank amateurs, and should be ridiculed for their ignorance. Attack ignorance, not faith. We'll all just get along better.

    -Your friendly neighborhood theological

  • by NEW22 (137070) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @11:00PM (#42050623)

    This whole business is a large part of why I can not vote for a Republican, at least in national races. Between the people mentioned in this story, and we all remember Todd "In the case of a legitimate rape" Akin and Paul "Lies straight from the pit of hell" Broun, both who were/are also on the House Science committee. I mean, a Republican can say, "Hey, yeah, that is looney, but we're not all looney!". But I have to ask, "Who let these people serve on the science committee, and what does that say about... their concern for the nation?" Its this unbelievable horror story that these people are in an elected office, just utterly baffling. Sometimes I expect Rod Serling to step out from around a corner and tell us all that this was all just an odd trip into the Twilight Zone.

    • by WGFCrafty (1062506) on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @01:31AM (#42051617)
      I was impressed when John Huntsman (R) plainly said "I believe in evolution and I trust scientists on global warming."

      It's sad you have to make sure you say that so people don't mistake you as the typically wrong thinking (in this aspect and much more) republicans.

      He's a Mormon but he also created Dream Theater day in Utah when governor and is the ambassador to China. Funny thing is if he had been made VP you would alinate the far right but gain so much at the middle. Instead their strategy was to alienate not just a political spectrun but 47% of Americans which includes a large part of Republicans. Maybe they just didn't want to vote after that.

      Funny thing, Paul Ryan maintained he loved Rage Against the Machine and it was funny how Tom Morello called him out and basically told him he was a hateful ass they didn't want as a fan. Bitch slapped by your favorite band, and a guy with a Harvard education.
  • by Arancaytar (966377) <arancaytar.ilyaran@gmail.com> on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @12:04AM (#42051151) Homepage

    Why do we still pretend it is okay for uneducated people to make policy decisions?

    Before politicians are elected (and particularly before they get into any committee with science in its name) they should have to pass a written examination.

The study of non-linear physics is like the study of non-elephant biology.

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