|email - April 2017|
|by Do-While Jones|
Opposition to fake science isn’t support for President Trump.
I enjoy reading your monthly newsletter. However, I'm distressed by your blatant statements supporting Trump appearing in the most recent one. Although science can sometimes become politicized when it should not be, it isn't necessary to enter the fray. Trump is a very controversial figure, and I know that I am not the only Christian that subscribes to your newsletter who is adamantly opposed to him because of his horribly unchristian character and dangerous behavior as a head of state. Trump, and issues relating to him, appear all over the place. It would be refreshing to have one thing where he isn't somehow invoked. So, in a kindly spirit I'm asking if you could please keep your personal politics out of the newsletter. Whether you do or not is entirely up to you, but if you bring in political viewpoints it detracts from the issues made in the newsletter and can make it difficult to digest other points.
Thanks for your time.
We do not support (or oppose) President Trump. We are very careful not to make any value judgment about his policies, or his character. We realize that he is very controversial, and evokes strong emotional reactions in some people. The fact that an emotional reaction can be confused for news was precisely our point.
Please read these two paragraphs from our last newsletter with the same amount of care as we used when we wrote them. Notice what we highlighted last month, and what we didn’t highlight.
You may have noticed that certain news outlets spend almost all their time on what they fear President Trump is going to do, and hardly any time on what he has actually done. In the same way, science tabloids are filled with fantastic stories about what might be discovered in the future and what might have happened in the past, and hardly any stories about what real scientists have actually discovered.
If President Trump cuts a lot of waste out of the science budget, that will be news. The fear in the scientific community that he will actually do that is fake news because it hasn’t happened yet, and may never happen. 1
We did not say cutting the science budget would be good (or bad)—we said major cuts to the science budget would be news, if they happen. But the science budget has not yet been cut. Fearful speculation about cuts that haven’t happened, and may never happen, is not news. It isn’t news—or science—if it didn’t happen.
The theory of evolution isn’t science because it didn’t happen. Nobody saw it happen in nature or in the laboratory. Experiments attempting to make it happen have all failed. Those failed experiments have, instead, revealed valid scientific reasons why the theory of evolution can’t be true.
It is true, computer simulations tell how species would evolve—if species could evolve. But computer simulations can also tell us how pigs would fly—if they could fly. Just tell the computer how big you assume the pigs’ wings are, how strong you assume the pigs’ wing muscles are, how often you assume the pigs flap their wings, how much you assume the pigs weigh, and the computer will simulate their flight. With high definition graphics, the simulation will look very convincing. A computer can simulate anything; but the simulation is meaningless unless it can be experimentally verified.
We weren’t reacting to Trump so much as we were reacting to the fearful statements in the professional literature like those below, which we regret not quoting in the original article. All the professional science journals we receive are filled with statements like these:
The proposed cuts could cause EPA’s research office “to implode,” warns a senior EPA official. “This is serious stuff. We’re all concerned about what might happen, not just to our livelihoods, but to our ability to support the agency’s mission,” says the official, who does not have authorization to speak to reporters and so requested anonymity. 2
“The nation would lose research and researchers in a way that would not be recoverable,” Hudson says. “It is pretty terrifying.” 3
The point we were trying so hard to make is that, like news, science should be based on what actually happened, not what someone fears might happen, or wishes had happened. We were not supporting or opposing something that hasn’t happened yet, and might never happen.
Eric said, “Although science can sometimes become politicized when it should not be, it isn't necessary to enter the fray.” Evolution (which isn’t really science) is almost always politicized. Since evolution is the fray into which we have entered, sometimes it is necessary to point out that the arguments in favor of evolution don’t come from science—they come from politics.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), which publishes the journal, Science, frequently sends me letters asking for donations, and they promise to use my donations to lobby congress for more science funding. The AAAS is a political action committee which publishes a professional journal to raise money for political purposes.
In the United States, decisions about what can legally be taught in public school science classes are made by judges, not science teachers. Because the theory of evolution cannot stand critical analysis, judges have ruled that it cannot be questioned, and must be taught as undeniable fact.
As much as we try to keep religion and politics out of our newsletter, we have to acknowledge that the driving forces behind the theory of evolution are religious and political, not scientific. Many people believe in evolution because they fear the religious alternative. Many scientists publish articles about evolution (and other topics) because they depend upon federal funding and are pressured to produce pseudo-scientific stories that advance a political agenda. The examples of foolish federal science spending we cited in the last newsletter were necessary to prove our claim that some scientists actually do unnecessary research simply to generate income.
Eric rightly points out that many Americans have very passionate opinions about the current president, and the mere mention of his name can distract from the fact that the scientific evidence is against the theory of evolution.
We are pro-science. We hope that the next budget will fully fund legitimate scientific research. We will risk being too political by saying that we hope for the total elimination of funding for fake science because the primary example of fake science is the theory of evolution, and we don’t want tax dollars wasted on it.
Biological studies of the anatomy of similar species is valuable because it leads to a better understanding of life, which often has application in medical or engineering applications. That’s real science. Funding for biological research should be a high priority—but not a penny should be wasted on foolish speculation about how one species evolved into another similar one.
Long-time readers know that we review current scientific research related to evolution. Unfortunately (for us), federal money seems to be shifting towards trying to prove global warming and the psychological danger to fragile college students posed by free speech, so there hasn’t been much evolutionary news for us to cover lately.
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Disclosure, March 2017, “Fake Science”
2 Warren Cornwall, Science, March 3, 2017, “Trump plan for 40% cut could cause EPA science office ‘to implode,’ official warns”, http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/03/trump-plan-40-cut-could-cause-epa-science-office-implode-official-warns
3 Science News Staff, Science, March 16, 2017, “A grim budget day for U.S. science: analysis and reaction to Trump's plan”, https://www.science.org/content/article/grim-budget-day-us-science-analysis-and-reaction-trumps-plan