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May 26, 2010 06:31 PM UTC

Ignorati Proclaim There Is Not Evidence That Science Exists

  • by: ardy39

(Flat Earth Society keeping it real – promoted by Colorado Pols)

As reported yesterday by Ralphie here and here, the Ignorati are targeting schoolchildren in Mesa County. But don’t relax just because you live on the other side of the hill. They’re also after YOUR little darlings in all of Colorado. And your dog Toto, too.

Who’s They? The anti-science, anti-education movement that un-ironically calls themselves [un]Balanced Education for Everyone (or [u]BEE). (Careful readers will note they left out the word “fair” from their name.)

From the Denver Post:

GRAND JUNCTION – A national group that thinks global warming is “junk science” and that teaching it is unnecessarily scaring schoolchildren brought its first petition effort for “balanced education” to Mesa County Schools on Tuesday night.

[Unsuccessful school board candidate Rose] Pugliese’s efforts have made her the poster girl for the group Balanced Education for Everyone and have pinpointed Mesa County as a national test case for keeping the teaching of humans’ influence on global warming out of science classes. [emphasis added]

OK, let’s be clear here. I completely agree that teachers should check their political perspectives at the classroom door. Especially at the science classroom door. But that’s not really what these petitions and “battles” are about, are they?

The goals of people like Rose Pugliese and [unsuccessful Lt. Gov. candidate] Janet Rowland and Marcia Neal (see below) and [u]BEE are to promote particular political perspectives and to eliminate consideration of factual information that might call these ideologies into doubt.

Contrast Real Estate Attorney Rose Pugliese’s claim reported in the Denver Post:

“It (global warming) is not a proven scientific theory. There is not evidence to support it.”

With the joint conclusions from the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and the National Research Council:

The scientific understanding of climate change is now sufficiently clear to begin taking steps to prepare for climate change and to slow it.

Who to believe? Scientists who have long careers built upon rationally evaluating evidence? Or an ideologue? Oooh, will this question be on the CSAP?

But if you want conspiracy theories, the professional climate scientists who are actually studying the issue can’t hold a candle to the lawyers and politicians who don’t even have a concept of their own ignorance.

Pugliese, who has the backing of Colorado State Board of Education member Marcia Neal, said she hopes to expand her campaign to attack curriculum issues on a larger scale.

“This is just a small battle in a larger battle,” Pugliese said. “I really hope this inspires more people to get involved in our schools.” [emphasis added]

I’m inspired. Are you?

If you care about the education that your children and children all over Colorado will receive, then it behooves you to keep on alert for the names that were reported in the Denver Post article. Attend your local school board meetings and speak up for rational, evidence-based thought. Please.

Are you inspired?

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35 thoughts on “Ignorati Proclaim There Is Not Evidence That Science Exists

  1. In Virginia the newly elected attorney general has been on a different path to eliminate science – put the scientists in jail.  The first step is to bring the ower of the state to discredit research and the researchers. The second is to bring fraud charges against researchers and the state power to imprison is threatening.

    Cuccinelli subpoena

  2. Which theories of science does Pugliese believe are proven? Evolution? Black holes? Relativity? Big bang? Have any of those been “proven” or is there just overwhelming evidence supporting of the theories and accepted by a vast majority of scientists?

    I mean, a real estate attorney? Next she’ll be informing us that tobacco is good for our throats.


      1. … and I actually bought my kids a coloring book showing Adam and Eve riding on dinosaurs. Sadly, I’m not kidding. One of my kids them brought it to school, though, which probably made the teacher think “her daddy must be ONE OF THOSE”

    1. I read this legislation. Very interesting that these legislators seem to want to show off their ignorance in so many ways – they do not seem to know that the term “astological” refers to astrology and not astronomy. They also have a grammatical error in the bill – using “effect” instead of “affect.” Yep, they should certainly dictate the specifics of what is taught in schools.

  3. why my wife and I were so depressed after watching Idiocracy.  Would have been a funny movie if it didn’t feel so real at times.

  4. were going through family boxes in the basement. we came across the History books our mom bought for us in the 80’s. Some for children and some written for HS/College.

    At first the mission was to throw away as much as possible.

    then coming across those books we (half jokingly) agreed to save them somehow. like donating to a museum or a High school.

    As with the crazed right wants to rewrite History to such an extent Those books are now a treasure to future generations as to what actually happened in US history!

    even if they are 30 years old.

  5. “Scientists who have long careers built upon rationally evaluating evidence”

    As a scientist myself, who works on the type of mathematical models used to model the climate, I can tell you that this is often not the case. Scientists have a predisposition to favor results that will result in more government grants. As the models are not sufficiently accurate yet to yield conclusive evidence either way, they can easily be spun in the direction which will increase the flow of money. Thus it is the people in government controlling the grant money that have the most influence, rather than scientists “rationally evaluating evidence”. Climategate is a good example of this process.

    1. HOWEVER, all scientists are constantly competing for grants and attention, so one would hope that in this genuine “free market place of ideas” that the closest thing to truth would out.

    2. But, bjwilson, I do not understand why someone should discount (or ignore) the research supporting climate change because of perceived undue influence of the government grant money decision makers, but accept, or at least give equal weight to, the minority research, funding by the energy lobby, that denies climate change.  There is no doubt in my mind that the energy industry is going to require certain results from the research/opinions it funds. On the other hand, I do not understand why “the people in government controlling the grant money” would have anywhere near the same incentive to demand a specific result.

      School should teach critical thinking.  I would have no problem with a teacher including your perspective on a lesson plan on climate change.  But what is being proposed, if I understand correctly, is a black out on this issue because it is not “junk science.”  That is too easy a brush to tar any idea that you disagree with.

    3. … if you didn’t blow it out of the water by mentioning the so-called “Climategate”, which in the final analysis was ruled by three separate panels to be 99.9% hot air by global warming deniers.

      Scientists have agendas, just like anyone else.  Most spend some amount of time trying to ensure that their agenda doesn’t infect their data; thus, when they get to the peer-reviewed journals, other scientists can evaluate the data and the math and decide whether the research is valid or not.

      Many scientists are driven to some extent by their paycheck – be it from a government grant, private salary, or contract payment.  When the man with the money asks for research on a specific topic, the scientist is pretty much bound to follow the request.  That’s how we wound up with so much junk science on tobacco.

      To accuse government of being the major (and biased) driver of science is horse hockey.  

    4. Come on, bjw, do you really believe in global conspiracies?

      One thing that has been clear for quite some time is that climate models that EXCLUDE anthropogenic forcings completely fail to track recent climate. Only when anthropogenic forcings are included does modeled climate resemble observed climate.

      Here’s an older image you may recall (from NCAR by way of UCAR):

      You might also recall that following two investigations, the scientists with CRU have been absolved. Whatever-gate has been great for the Investigative Panel industry, but the actual science has come out clean.

      From the first investigation:

      Conclusion 2 In addition, insofar as we have been able to consider accusations of dishonesty-for example, Professor Jones’s alleged attempt to “hide the decline”- we consider that there is no case to answer. Within our limited inquiry and the evidence we took, the scientific reputation of professor Jones and CRU remains intact. We have found no reason in this unfortunate episode to challenge the scientific consensus as expressed by Professor Beddington, that “global warming is happening [and] that it is induced by human activity”.

      From the second investigation:

      Conclusions: We saw no evidence of any deliberate scientific malpractice in any of the work of the Climatic Research Unit and had it been there we believe that it is likely that we would have detected it.

      So, tell me again, what is Whatever-gate a good example of? How a band of know-nothings with funding from the likes of Exxon-Mobil &/or Koch Industries can attempt to ruin the reputations of scientists?

      (Look, I’m not denying that scientists are human, and thus irrational decisions are made. However, given the competitiveness for grants, if Scientist A draws irrational conclusions, Scientist B will be sure to point it out.

      And, given that the route to scientific fame is by publishing solid research that demonstrates that your peers have been wrong, there are untold numbers of graduate students working to show the failings of climate change projections. Where is that published research?)

    1. Do you realize that somewhere in the world there exists a person who qualifies as the worst doctor? If you took the time, by process of elimination you could actually determine the worst doctor in the world. And the funny part is knowing that someone has an appointment to see him tomorrow.

      That wouldn’t be you, would it, Mr. Fake MD?

  6. while we may laugh at these crazies, if we don’t find a way to stop them in their tracks right now, our future is to be the world’s bumpkins, entirely dependent on foreign trained scientists and engineers for pretty much everything  moving into the 21st century. It’s not just global warming.  It’s a seething hostility to the whole idea of scientific inquiry as opposed to Christian faith, to real history vs Jingoism.  

    How is the world’s supposedly unrivaled super power going to keep it all together with a population educated to function in a world from some time before the age of enlightenment, one that no longer exists for the rest of the world’s modern industrialized societies?

    These people have a lot more in common with illiterate Afghan and Pakistani villagers and the folks who burned scientists as heretics than they do with contemporary Europeans, Chinese, Japanese or people in any other culture that has joined the 21st (or even the  20th ) century world.   And they are well on their way to subverting all public education for their regressive ends.  

    Just  look at Texas.  If text book publishers go along with their standards, as they usually do since it’s a huge state  that sets standards at state level, most public school text books are going to be marching our children back to the dark ages.  They’ll learn that scientific inquiry and people who look for evidence via the scientific method  instead of  just trusting absolutely in the literal truth of ancient religious writings are the enemy.  They won’t learn anything that will help us keep up, much less lead.    

    1. We have to stop them in each and every school board election in each district.  The only way to do that is to find and support good candidates in school board elections.

      School board elections are historically very low turnout.  Nearly anyone can steal one.  In District 51, its not common for candidates to run unopposed.

    2. They were not stupid.  They were wary of the unintended consequences of new technology, as should we all be.   However, in a subsistence culture, one only survives by being observant and empirical.  FYI

      1. Was referring to their lack of a particular sort of education, literacy being rare in Afghanistan and much of Pakistan, and subsequent unquestioning acceptance of their religious leaders’ interpretations of the myths and legends of ancient religious texts. It’s a very limiting sort of education, one that encourages blind faith and discourages the kind of questioning that is the glory of the human capacity to think creatively.   It leaves them at a great disadvantage in taking part in and exercising any control over the scientific and technological advances that would allow them to compete on the world stage.  

        We could probably learn much of value from those South American villagers of yours but they are not in a position to wield power in the larger world and will be at the mercy of those who can.

        It certainly isn’t a matter of intelligence.  When it comes to the skills needed to survive without all the conveniences provided by science and technology that a person like me is used to, I’m sure I’d prove dumb as a post.  

        The trouble we so often get ourselves into in the management of the application of science and technology (just look at the destruction of an entire region, ecology and way of life in our Gulf) is proof that knowledge and technology without wisdom can be a very dangerous thing and wisdom is, as always, illusive and rare.

        On the other hand, things like modern sanitation and dentistry, are very nice compared to the alternatives and those with advanced technology have always had the advantage, especially in terms of raw military power, while those without are at their mercy. Our children must be educated to function and compete in the advancing world, not to retreat to the dark ages. The world will not belong to them if they do. They will belong to someone else.

        1. IEDs are a “primitive” weapon compared to our advanced technology….and yet, we are getting our asses kicked by those “primitive” afghas… did Russia before us.  Just an observation.

          1. but we are in no serious danger of a foreign invasion from them.  I mean a real invasion not attempts at acts of terror.  We aren’t living in a war torn country right now with foreigners dropping bombs on us and invading our houses in the middle of the night because of our superior position of power in the world.  There is no comparison between our circumstances in the world and theirs.  

            You may put “primitive” in quotes, not that I ever used it, but would you want your children to be living in such a society?  Do you think either being entirely uneducated or being taught only the Koran is a good thing?  I don’t and I don’t want American children to be taught based only on some fundamentalist’s interpretation  of what the bible allows.  

            Do you think the lot of women in Afghanistan is a good one? Would you like to see your daughter living that life?  Please. And  I simply meant the villagers with whom you were familiar in South America.  

            We may get ourselves into all kinds of trouble with advances in science and technology mixed with greed and stupidity but chidren don’t survive cancers that used to kill them because some strict Christian fundamentalist who doesn’t believe in evolution or some kid who was only allowed to learn the Koran came up with a solution.

            1. I am sorry if I implied otherwise.  It is complicated.  But it is also a side issue and I did not mean to sidetrack the main discussion.

  7. Knowledge is power.  So, if politicians cannot understand science, they are at a disadvantage; destroying that science makes them powerful, again.

    Of major concern to me,  is the elevation of the Confederacy as a legitimate, honorable endeavor in the Texas textbooks.

    FYI.  Rand Paul is way ahead in the polls in Kentucky.

    You know, one of the principles of physics is that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.  I hope to hell that we are not seeing that demonstrated in the political area with the election of the first black president being the initial reaction.

  8. This group has nothing to do with balancing education. They’re against teaching global warming. That’s it!

    I wonder if we’ll ever run out of smarmy organization names that have little to do with the purpose of the organization.

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