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Finally; the tide appears to be turning against the clowns who think that their 'beliefs' trump science. According to The Daily Telegraph (in a story amusingly headlined 'BBC staff told to stop inviting cranks on to science programmes '):

BBC journalists are being sent on courses to stop them inviting so many cranks onto programmes to air ‘marginal views’

The BBC Trust on Thursday published a progress report into the corporation’s science coverage which was criticised in 2012 for giving too much air-time to critics who oppose non-contentious issues. The report found that there was still an ‘over-rigid application of editorial guidelines on impartiality’ which sought to give the ‘other side’ of the argument, even if that viewpoint was widely dismissed.

Some 200 staff have already attended seminars and workshops and more will be invited on courses in the coming months to stop them giving ‘undue attention to marginal opinion.’

“The Trust wishes to emphasise the importance of attempting to establish where the weight of scientific agreement may be found and make that clear to audiences,” wrote the report authors.

As Raw Story points out:
Similar criticism of U.S. media has been offered by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson who told CNN’s Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter that his network needed to stop giving “equal time to the flat Earthers.”

“What responsibility do you think the members of the media have to portray science correctly,” Stelter asked Tyson.

“The media has to sort of come out of this ethos that I think was in principle a good one, but it doesn’t really apply in science,” Tyson explained. “The principle was, whatever story you give, you have to give the opposing view. And then you can be viewed as balanced.”

“You don’t talk about the spherical Earth with NASA, and then say let’s give equal time to the flat Earthers,” he added. “Plus, science is not there for you to cherry pick.”

Unless, of course, you're a Republican Koch-sucker...

Originally posted to Retroactive Genius on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 02:56 AM PDT.

Also republished by Climate Change SOS and Climate Hawks.

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Comment Preferences

  •  About time somebody called them on this (62+ / 0-)

    "equal opportunity" crap. I wish it was the US, but the BBC is good too.

    Side note..Canadian Prime Minister Harper has stopped the government funded meteorologists from talking about climate change. Environment Canada is where all Canadian news services gets their weather reports from. If they're not talking , then all the meteorologists on any Canadian news service won't be talking about it either.

    A fo ben, bid bont. - Welsh proverb. ( translation: If you want to be a leader, be a bridge.)

    by Gwennedd on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 03:48:44 AM PDT

    •  OTOH, I hope this is a made up stat (23+ / 0-)

      but 5% of Americans think the moon is made of cheese.  I can believe that sort of stat when 48% doubt evolution is a fact and 27% are convinced Obama is a Kenyan

    •  "Non-contentious issues?" (10+ / 0-)
      the corporation’s science coverage which was criticised in 2012 for giving too much air-time to critics who oppose non-contentious issues.
      Well, now, anthropogenic climate change is hardly a "non-contentious issue." If it was, we wouldn't be having this discussion. Put more accurately, it is a highly contentious issue whose detractors ignore or distort (or both) the science for the sake of their own personal agendas.

      So the BBC, and Tyson, are both partly right and partly wrong. Climate denialism, creationism, anti-vaccinism, and all the rest are completely non-scientific belief systems (indeed, anti-scientific belief systems), and so they certainly shouldn't be given 'equal time,' alongside real science, in scientific media coverage or in science teaching. And yet the controversies they reflect most certainly do exist, and have huge impacts on our moral, political, and personal lives, so please let's not just dismiss them out of hand and not talk about them as though they don't exist. They should be acknowledged, and both their foundations and their logical consequences should be discussed critically (in the sense of 'analytically', not in the sense of 'disparagingly')...but only as politics and lifestyle issues, not as science. Within science education and science media their only legitimate relevance regards their important characteristic of being 'pseudo-science'....a very important topic indeed. But yes, by all means let us please stop presenting them as viable alternative scientific positions, which they are not.

      No person is free except in the freedom of other persons, and that man's only real freedom is to know and faithfully occupy his place -- a much humbler place than we have been taught to think -- in the order of creation. (Wendell Berry)

      by DocDawg on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 06:44:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Unfortunately, if it happened here. . . (4+ / 0-)

        Our denialists would enlist it as further proof it is a hoax that needs to use smoke and mirrors to explain.

        I respect the principle and the underlying reasons - perhaps it will work in the UK.

        It may be the right thing to do, but it would have the opposite desired effect here. We have a huge portion of our society that is already deeply into CT.

        Blessed are the peacemakers, the poor, the meek and the sick: The "party of Jesus" wouldn't invite him to their convention - fearing his "platform."

        by 4CasandChlo on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 07:49:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  They were talking about science programs. (11+ / 0-)

        If it is a political program, it's important to discuss contentious issues, respectfully if possibly, but not on science shows. Climate change requires us to stop subsidizing the highly profitable fossil fuel industries, and that's a political choice.

        For every occasion there is a song, and for every song, an occasion.

        by mww01833 on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 08:10:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I know, when they discuss xtianity... (12+ / 0-)

          Let's insist they include pagans of all sorts to talk about how xtianity is a fraud.

          When they talk about the glories of capitalism, let's insist they include Marxists to give the counter point of view.

          When they talk about how great America is, let's insist they include people who despise America to tell the "truth."

          The point is that the right has its "truths" that must not EVER be questioned, much less any counter argument offered to the public. And yet they feel they have a "right" to offer their own lies and gobbledy-gook to obfuscate the facts and pretend that there is controversy when there is none, on climate change, evolution, etc.

          And, oh, what a surprise, the lords and masters of the right all make gobs of money from the "controversy."

          •  because it's not about facts, it's about POWER. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            KenBee

            "Facts", whether actual facts or made-up bullshit, are merely bullets in the war.

            And the right has also figured out that if they dangle some logic-bait, it attracts all of us progressives, liberals, and lefties, to run for the bait and spend endless amounts of time gnawing at it, while the right is off and running on its next power-grab.

            The answer to climate denialism should be to reply "You're either stupid or you're a liar, which is it?" and then waste no further time on arguing with them, and instead put the effort into getting them thrown the flying f--- out of office at the next election.

            Power.

            Power.

            Power.

            Don't forget that.

            We got the future back. Uh-oh.

            by G2geek on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 04:59:55 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Fools or liars or both? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              G2geek, reasonshouldrule

              The perpetual question that must be raised about all conservative ideas.

              •  i wouldn't even go that far. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Gwennedd

                The analysis that's most relevant is "who gains power and who loses power?" and then make that the center point of political organizing:

                "Hey so-and-so:  That guy over there wants to take power from you and give it to his crony!  Fight back!"

                Money, power, same thing:  "That guy over there wants to take money from you and give it to his crony!"

                Then when "that guy" tries to weasel-word, our comeback is "those are weasel-words for the sake of taking away your power and money."   No need to argue whether any of those weasel-words are or aren't true or logical in any sense.  

                Argue pure consequentialism: "taking away your money and power."   That cuts through everything else and gets to the core issue.

                And people are bloody well willing to fight ferociously when it comes to protecting what's theirs.

                This is the lesson our adversaries have learned long ago and put to good use.  We need to catch up on that front.  And when we do, the results are going to speak for themselves.

                We got the future back. Uh-oh.

                by G2geek on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 07:17:46 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  The agree with your sentiment, but in the (8+ / 0-)

        current hyper-partisan environment we need to be very clear WHY unqualified individuals will not be allowed on air to "challenge" a scientific consensus. To accomplish that would probably require every major news outlet to give its audience a tutorial in how science is conducted - the ferocity of debates within the scientific community on issues that are scientifically contentious, and the mechanisms in place to reward new thinking, and punish the crooks.

        This is a culture most Americans know nothing about - their assumption, learned from politics, is that its all about the money, the megaphone and the tribe. Since knowledge is power, unscrupulous politicians know how to manipulate the media environment, and aggressively recast scientists as political actors, subject to the same tribal agendas as everyone else. They brazenly seek to cow scientists like Micheal Mann with legal actions or absurd FOI requests - with no political consequence at all.

        I applaud the BBC finally coming to its senses on this, but I fear that unless they undertake to educate their audience about how scientists handle genuine contention, their actions will be easily cast as censorship in favor of a political agenda.

        •  Science is exciting (5+ / 0-)

          The fight to even get the tools to do science, the sometimes lonely road to discovery, documenting and publishing, defending your work, testing your ideas against the world community. Above all the discipline of evidence and results adding to what we call the truth. There's all kinds of passion and exciting stories that can be concentrated from the daily drudgery. The media could do a lot more to communicate what the scientific method is inside of popular stories.

          If How to Train Your Dragon can do it, the BBC sure can!

        •  As a scientist myself, I agree with you. (10+ / 0-)

          I love the fact that popular science shows, like Tyson's Cosmos, exist, and infuse enthusiasm for science into new generations. But I am routinely disappointed  by how they inevitably fail to teach how science happens, and what it is, mechanistically speaking. A short cartoon interlude of a medieval astronomer spending long lonely nights in his tower window, culminating in being burned at the stake, isn't very edifying in this regard. Of course, the real thing doesn't make for very good teevee. In the day-to-day grind, for 99.9% of scientists, science is a typically tedious affair, but how it's done is important for people to understand, because only then can they understand why it works so dang well, and how deeply embedded in the scientific process are the error detection and correction mechanisms that insure that the sometimes inevitable nonsense, puffery and chicanery (which every human discipline has its share of) doesn't last long.

          As a scientist, I always have to laugh at the conspiracy-theorist's notion that 97% of scientists are conspiring to (whatever). As if. Getting two scientists to just agree on what appetizer to order is dang near impossible. A conspiracy of thousands is about as laughable a notion as could be imagined. But because most people don't know any scientists or anything about what they do and how they do it, they don't realize this.

          No person is free except in the freedom of other persons, and that man's only real freedom is to know and faithfully occupy his place -- a much humbler place than we have been taught to think -- in the order of creation. (Wendell Berry)

          by DocDawg on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 11:18:50 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I see this all the time on RealClimate.org, (4+ / 0-)

            A blog written by Gavin Schmidt that includes the latest research on climate. Yikes, can those scientists squabble!

            It is a really good site though. It has a tag on the upper left that says "start here" that explains how science works, how it is peer reviewed, and has a very detailed explanation on climate change.

            Worth a look:

            http://www.RealClimate.org

            A fo ben, bid bont. - Welsh proverb. ( translation: If you want to be a leader, be a bridge.)

            by Gwennedd on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 12:51:37 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  You must not have watched the new Cosmos (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            G2geek

            very carefully. Did you not see the episode with the information about Galileo (real, not apocryphal this time), the lead controversy (I'm a geologist and appalled I didn't know the story of Clair Patterson --- a story fortunately many people should know.)

          •  what i think is needed, is a big-picture... (4+ / 0-)

            ... explanation of the paradigm behind scientific method.

            Observe, hypothesize, test, publish, refine.

            Nature is lawful, nature is observable, and hypotheses are testable statements.

            Controlled experiment.  Alter one variable at a time.

            Falsification.  This one is difficult for most people to get, because it involves thinking in negatives, something the human brain has not evolved to do very effectively.

            This stuff could be illustrated by animations and graphics, with a few complete examples from start to finish.  At least one of those examples should be basic cog sci perception stuff that people can go out and check for themselves, for example something to do with optics and vision.

            The key here is to get people accustomed to thinking this way and applying it in their daily lives.  

            We got the future back. Uh-oh.

            by G2geek on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 05:13:44 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  "Alter one variable at a time" (6+ / 0-)

              God love ya; I spent half a lifetime trying to pound this into grad students' and post-docs' heads...often with limited success. Easy to say, but (for most people) remarkably hard to actually do. It turns out the world is full of 'hidden' uncontrolled variables, which many folks just don't seem to have an eye for. I finally came to the conclusion that first-rate experimentalists are born, not made.

              The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves

              by DocDawg on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 09:29:07 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  I love this idea (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Gwennedd

              Catchy, innocuous/insidious (b/c informative) and perhaps most importantly, entertaining PSAs: a series along the lines of Schoolhouse Rock might do the trick!

              It'd be an uphill battle, though. :sigh:

          •  Cosmos included a good deal of the tedium (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kfunk937

            you request, such as cataloging the spectra of hundreds of thousands of stars (produced entirely by a group of women, Pickering's" Harvard Computers"), then deriving the temperatures of stars from that data, then working out stellar evolution from that. Scientists then applied large amounts of atomic mass and radioactive decay data to work out fusion chains and thus the sources of energy for each phase of a star's life.

            Or the decades during which Clair Patterson sought out every form of lead contamination in his laboratories in order to measure the age of the Earth, followed by further decades running down all the sources of lead in the environment, from deep oceans to Antarctic ice, in order to show that leaded gasoline was poisoning us and get tetraethyl lead banned, against corporate-funded denialism exactly like that for tobacco causing cancer and CO2 causing Global Warming.

            Or the years of collecting followed by decades of analysis behind Charles Darwin's theories of Natural Selection and Sexual Selection.

            Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

            by Mokurai on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 10:02:57 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Darwin had it easy. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Gwennedd

              Years of collecting birds is not tedium...at least not compared to years of carefully transferring very small volumes of water from one container to another while gowned and gloved at a lab bench under fluorescent lights (which is what most biological research today usually amounts to).

              Tip of the hat to my field biology friends...I know, I know, field work isn't nearly as romantic as it seems from the outside. But it still beats all to hell a lifetime spent moving water back and forth, 50 microliters at a time.

              The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves

              by DocDawg on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 05:36:28 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Compare the US National weather service Web sites (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      G2geek

      to their Canadian counterparts and the US sites are far more informative and detailed.  There is very little historic climate data on Canada's weather service sites, while the US sites have it in great detail and often post links to current weather events putting them into the context of historical climate.

      •  That might have something to do with Harper (5+ / 0-)

        I commented above on his ban on stating anything about climate change by meteorologists and I think the service may be chronically underfunded thanks to our PM and his dislike for science and love of budget cutting.

        Environment Canada has historical data and so does the app I use for weather forecasts.

        A fo ben, bid bont. - Welsh proverb. ( translation: If you want to be a leader, be a bridge.)

        by Gwennedd on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 03:16:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  what if the US National Weather Service.... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NoMoreLies, Gwennedd

          ... started producing weather data for Canada, and doing a better job of it than the Canadian weather service?  

          Could that attract enough attention in Canada to show up the deficiencies of Harper's Folly?

          We got the future back. Uh-oh.

          by G2geek on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 05:16:32 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's an idea. Right now most of Canada is in (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            G2geek, NoMoreLies, kfunk937

            waiting mode. Elections happen in just over a year from now(October 19th, 2015), and signs of electioneering are happening already.

            Harper's Folly is apparent to everyone. His barely skirting being investigated for tampering with the last elections ( robo-calls used to misinform voters of polling places), three of his cronies in the Senate being investigated for fraud who have pointed the finger at the PMO. He's a bully with right wing Christian leanings. I could go on and on about how bad he is, but that would fill pages.

            Re the Weather Service:...I don't know how that would work. Our weather service is a part of the government office ( Ministry) of Environment Canada. It is more closely tied to and answerable to that Ministry that it's US counterpart. That's why Harper was able to tell them to zip it on climate change.

            A fo ben, bid bont. - Welsh proverb. ( translation: If you want to be a leader, be a bridge.)

            by Gwennedd on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 07:02:35 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  most interesting. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              NoMoreLies, kfunk937, Gwennedd

              OK, so we watch & wait from south of the border, and cheer for progressives in Canada, and hope y'all throw out Harper and his cronies and elect someone sane.

              Between now and then we can also hope that his legal troubles catch up with him.

              We got the future back. Uh-oh.

              by G2geek on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 07:20:10 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  That's all we can do mostly...watch and wait. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                kfunk937, G2geek

                Meanwhile we throw whatever stumbling blocks we can find in his way. All the usual stuff; protests, petitions,etc.

                Then we vote! And kick his ass out.

                A fo ben, bid bont. - Welsh proverb. ( translation: If you want to be a leader, be a bridge.)

                by Gwennedd on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 10:08:59 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gwennedd, CaffeineInduced

      Thank you for publishing this.

      Complacency and ignorance - the two most dangerous conditions among the electorate.

      A celibate clergy is an especially good idea, because it tends to suppress any hereditary propensity toward fanaticism. -Carl Sagan

      by HSans on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 10:57:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  this also applies to all other sorts of cranks (21+ / 0-)

    such as creationists, YE types, anti-vaxxers, various CT theorists and other such staples of US cable tv.  It appears rationality is making headway in other areas in GB as well:
    http://www.politics.co.uk/...

    Pity we will never see a similar movement in US tv.  A local science teacher was telling me since the mockumentary, "Mermaids" aired locally, she is unable to convince several of her students that mermaids do not exist.  Several parents have called her to ask why she was denying "established scientists"
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/...  

    •  Sad but true.. (24+ / 0-)

      ...also on Raw Story:


      Atlanta biology teacher: Evolution from Satan and the cause of racism, divorce, gay people

      Students in a freshman biology class in Atlanta’s Grady High School were shown a PowerPoint presentation that linked evolution to Satan, abortion, divorce, racism, and homosexuality.

      The Grady High student newspaper, the Southerner, reported that Anquinette Jones used the PowerPoint presentation to teach the theory of evolution to her students during a freshman biology class last spring.

      One slide in the 52-slide presentation included an illustration that shows creationism and evolution as two sides in a war between good and evil. Creationism is shown to be from Christ, while evolution is from Satan. The illustration suggests evolution is the driving force behind euthanasia, homosexuality, pornography, abortion, divorce, and racism — social ills that are all defeated by creationism and Christianity.

      The Atlanta Journal-Constitution noted the PowerPoint presentation also includes “grammatical errors and odd illustrations including a photo of Octomom,” along with the creationism picture.

      ...so, yeah: an uphill struggle, I'm afraid.

      Lightly Seared On The Reality Grill

      by Retroactive Genius on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 04:57:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  we need to do the same thing HERE (6+ / 0-)

      We, alas, have our share of anti-science kookers too, everything from anti-vaxxers and "alternative medicine" quacks to the lunatic fringes of the anti-GMOers and anti-nukes. Heck, we even have our share of "cellphones cause brain cancer" crackpots.

      They should have no place here, and should be treated the same way as creationists and flat-earthers.

      The left is, sadly, no more immune to anti-science dumbfuckery than the right is, and some of us pick and choose our "science" on ideological grounds just like the rightwing does.

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 06:04:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The venue is informal and open enough (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NancyWH, Gwennedd, kfunk937

        that the problem isn't those people posting, but other people agreeing. If they only posted here, they wouldn't be infecting others.

      •  Lenny Flank - To be clear, the general AGW theory (10+ / 0-)

        is pretty much settled science, although there are a lot of unresolved questions about specifics.
           "Anti-nuke" people are not anti-science. They aren't saying that nuclear reactors don't work. They're arguing about their desirability and feasibility for generating electricity.
           GMOs raise a whole host of questions about environmental issues involved in massive application of herbicides, effects of BT plants on beneficial insects, etc. So anti-GMO is not anti-science.
           Cellphones and cancer? Probably not. But I've followed the progress of medical science on other issues, so I wouldn't rule out a sudden reversal of current medical opinion.
           Anti-vaxxers are clearly wrong about vaccinations and autism. But vaccines are not 100% safe. However the tiny risk is far outweighed by the risks from disease. I think pubic discussion of relative risks would actually be beneficial.
           "Alternative medicine" is actively dangerous (ask Steve Jobs.)
           The artificial controversy about climate change features a veritable zoo of cranks and crackpots who are given credibility by media. But exclusion of these professional liars from media should not be an excuse to exclude critics in other scientiffic/political controversies.

        •  I am both anti-nuke and anti-GMO (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sir Roderick, Naniboujou, G2geek, kfunk937

          But most of the "scientific arguments" made by both are just evidence-free CT crackpottery, mostly based on a rigid anti-corporate ideology (and I have no love for corporations, either).

          Making "science" arguments that are not only simply wrong and incorrect, but are fundamentally anti-science (all the "science is a corporate conspiracy !!" nuttery) doesn't help us. At all.

          In the end, reality always wins.

          by Lenny Flank on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 01:49:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  pot, kettle, reactor pressure vessel... (0+ / 0-)

            You're anti-nuke?  After calling me a crackpot for bringing up two people I know who both got brain cancer next to where they held their cellphones?

            "Lions & tigers & bears, oh my!"

            By all means let us know why you're anti-nuke, and what exactly you propose for baseload power in areas that don't have adequate wind or sunlight.

            BTW, I've spent a couple of years doing design eng. work on @ 300 MW of utility-scale wind, so my positions on energy are not idle speculation.

            Nobody ever got sick or died from ditching their cellphone.

            Plenty of people have gotten sick and died from failure to vaccinate or failure of herd immunity due to anti-vaxxers.

            And the total number of deaths from the entire nuclear power fuel cycle including reactor accidents, in the entire history of nuclear power, is less than 20% of the number of deaths that occur each year in the USA alone, due to respiratory illnesses caused by burning coal.  

            Word to the wise:  When making a case against a particular item as being dangerous pseudoscience, it's best to not bring in a laundry-list of other items that vary from contested science to fringe science to overt pseudoscience, because lumping all of those together will only result in further arguements about the status of each.

            We got the future back. Uh-oh.

            by G2geek on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 05:44:35 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  yes (0+ / 0-)

              I was fighting both nukes and Monsanto, as a Greenpeace organizer, since before most of the people here at DKos were still pooping their diapers.

              And yes, people who think cellphones cause brain cancer, are crackpots.

              In the end, reality always wins.

              by Lenny Flank on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 07:04:57 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  ooh, we're going to have some.... (0+ / 0-)

                .... interesting arguements around here in the years to come, someone needs to set up a popcorn franchise;-)

                We got the future back. Uh-oh.

                by G2geek on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 07:22:52 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  no we won't (0+ / 0-)

                  Arguing with crackpots is a waste of time.

                  All we can do is laugh at them.

                  In the end, reality always wins.

                  by Lenny Flank on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 07:49:09 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  A difference (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Gwennedd, G2geek

                    As you rightly point out, science is evidence based. Many of the CTs are based on a mis-understanding of risk. Thus the risk of serious injury from vaccinations is negligible but side-effects, including deaths, can occur in a very small number of cases. Nobody can therefore guarantee 100% that any particular injection is totally safe. That statement of scientific fact then gives the anti-vaxers carte blanche to invent all sorts of conspiracies and false links like the one to autism.

                    There are however other fields where no proof of harm can result in action being taken. In many cases there is a difference between the position in the USA of "ban if shown to cause harm" to the EU one of precautionary bans if it cannot be shown to be 100% safe. The example I would give here is the EU ban on certain neonicotinide insecticides because of some evidence that they are implicated in the loss of bees. Similarly GMOs are much more controlled because of the "precautionary principle". Again though, this is based on the scientific method but placing more emphasis on a lower level of evidence of harm.

                    "Come to Sochi, visit the gay clubs and play with the bears" - NOT a Russian advertising slogan.

                    by Lib Dem FoP on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 07:46:45 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  alas, anti-science CT nuttery is still (0+ / 0-)

                      anti-science CT nuttery, no matter how one tries to dress it up.

                      And we are  no more invulnerable to it than the rightwingnuts are. The crackpots on the left pick and choose the science they want to believe, just like the rightwingers do.

                      In the end, reality always wins.

                      by Lenny Flank on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 03:49:24 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  so let's see... anti-nuclear... hmm... n/t (0+ / 0-)

                        We got the future back. Uh-oh.

                        by G2geek on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 09:33:23 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  you should maybe read my comments before (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          G2geek

                          making yourself look like such a moran.

                          You might even have seen this:

                          But my reasons for opposing GMOs and nukes are economic, social, and political, not scientific. Most of the "scientific" arguments against them are flat-out horseshit that shouldn't fool a tenth-grader. The anti-corporate ideologues believe it because they WANT to believe it, even though it's crap.
                          But then, you do have the habit of seeing what you want to see, instead of what's actually there.  (shrug)

                          In the end, reality always wins.

                          by Lenny Flank on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 09:41:00 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  OK, that's fair enough. (0+ / 0-)

                            Economic, social, and political.

                            But as for seeing what one wants to see, I'd seriously suggest looking at pots & kettles.

                            "Moran" is ad-hom, minus two points, next round.

                            We got the future back. Uh-oh.

                            by G2geek on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 11:34:18 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  ps--since I have no interest in a personal (0+ / 0-)

                          pissing contest, I won't even bring up the "cellphones cause brain cancer !!!" crackpottery.

                          I'll just laugh at it to myself.

                          In the end, reality always wins.

                          by Lenny Flank on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 09:43:16 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                    •  just so's you know... (0+ / 0-)

                      ... you're arguing with someone for whom everything is black or white with no shades of gray, and who is always right.

                      We got the future back. Uh-oh.

                      by G2geek on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 09:38:18 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  wow, you really seem to want to make this personal (0+ / 0-)

                        Bug up your ass, or something?

                        In the end, reality always wins.

                        by Lenny Flank on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 09:51:01 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  or are you STILL just pissed because I told you (0+ / 0-)

                          that your brain isn't any better than anyone else's, and you're not a special snowflake--you have six points just like all the billions of others?

                          Sorry if I hurt your fee fee's. You'll get over it. (shrug)

                          In the end, reality always wins.

                          by Lenny Flank on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 09:53:12 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  now now, let's at least have a sense of humor. (0+ / 0-)

                            I see you penned your "moran" comment ten minutes before your "bug up the arse" comment, so as far as "personal" is concerned, pots & kettles apply here as well.

                            Really.  I thought we might make a pretty good comedy tag-team around here, or at least a offer bit of humorous relief in the middle of otherwise-serious topics.  Maybe not.  Either way works for me.

                            The fact that we agree wholeheartedly about a range of things, and disagree sharply about a few others, should at least be good for some clever feistyness to perk up occasional threads.

                            Gotta go, need to put my snowflakes back in the freezer before they melt;-)  

                            Ta ta....

                            We got the future back. Uh-oh.

                            by G2geek on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 11:44:57 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

        •  A neat illustration here.... (0+ / 0-)

          ....of what the diarist may have meant.

          GMOs raise a whole host of questions about environmental issues involved in massive application of herbicides, effects of BT plants on beneficial insects, etc. So anti-GMO is not anti-science.
          This is a good example of the logical fallacy called composition. The examples given are not relevant to GMO as a whole. They are relevant to a discussion of the GMO-related practices of a certain company that has worked hard to earn its notoriety.

          This is the landscape that we understand, -
          And till the principle of things takes root,
          How shall examples move us from our calm?

          (Mary Oliver, "Beyond the Snow Belt.")

          by sagesource on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 05:59:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  they are also scientific baloney, since no (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kfunk937

            scientific study has demonstrated any harm of any sort to anything from GMO genes.  None. Not a one.

            But my reasons for opposing GMOs and nukes are economic, social, and political, not scientific. Most of the "scientific" arguments against them are flat-out horseshit that shouldn't fool a tenth-grader. The anti-corporate ideologues believe it because they WANT to believe it, even though it's crap.

            In the end, reality always wins.

            by Lenny Flank on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 07:58:09 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  flies (3+ / 0-)

              honey etcetc

              not to wave the Finger of Nanny but name calling is not helpful, here on dk especially, you're a good teacher and know tons of stuff, I know this drives you nuts, but...well..

              anyway I thought  you did a good job not responding with a pyefight in a recent bucket when someone rare there nagged you about something or other, it made me grumpy enough to leave..:>

              This machine kills Fascists.

              by KenBee on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 12:14:30 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  alas, I have been fighting creationists and (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                KenBee

                anti-science kooks since 1982. There are times when my patience with them reaches zero.  ;)

                To be fair, most of them are harmless cranks--nobody listens to them anyway, and the only real damage they do is separating the gullible from their money. But a few of them--such as the anti-vaxxers, KILL people with their nuttiness. I have no mercy for them.

                In the end, reality always wins.

                by Lenny Flank on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 05:54:17 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  Tyson Is Damned Near as Wrong as He Is Right. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mightymouse, mkor7, NonnyO, penguins4peace
    ethos that I think was in principle a good one
    No, it was the worst ethos there is.

    Science is being treated the way it is because it is reality not because it's science. There's nothing unique about science that creates the lies and opposition to facts "counterbalancing" it in the media.

    And the reason we're in such dire political straits hamstrung from discussing much less responding to climate science, is because so many people like Tyson regard history, mathematics, economics, and current events as matters of pure opinion. Because they believe it's been a "good" principle to balance reality with "the other side" and never, as major news anchors and leaders have stated they must not do, "picking and choosing" between competing claims of fact.

    Tyson would let us return to the world of King Arthur where he could be the wizard, but the rest of us would be serfs lucky to live to have gray hair.

    I think we have another Nate Silver conservative or libertarian in Dr. Tyson.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 05:12:31 AM PDT

    •  To be fair to Tyson... (15+ / 0-)

      ...I think (I hope) that what he was saying was that the media took their commitment to being 'fair and balanced' (ie; telling both or all sides of a story) too far and applied it to verifiable facts.

      Not, of course, that the media ever were 'fair and balanced'; the media are owned by rich men and corporations and they have their own agenda. But the principle isn't inherently a bad one...unless we're talking about objective facts. The speed of light in a vacuum; the boiling point of water at sea level etc etc.

      What we've ended up with is:

      Gravity: Fact or Fiction? A Fox News Special with Louis Gohmert and Michele Bachman
      Or near enough...

      Lightly Seared On The Reality Grill

      by Retroactive Genius on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 05:33:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Reality doesn't get viewers (5+ / 0-)

        Faux "controversy" is what makes the knuckle-draggers turn on the TV.  I think Tyson was trying to be polite about the idea of a second opinion (so as not to turn off the knuckle-draggers who reject the notion they're wrong), but it works against those who seriously talk about climate change.  There isn't any "other side" to the subject.  Disaster looms down the road and no one wants to face it.

        With "reality TV," America has created a subculture of people who live to watch people fighting, even if it's only over imaginary crap that no one really cares about.

        If they can't have single or multiple people fighting (reality TV and sports), they will watch cock fighting, dog fighting, and if it were still in vogue, they'd watch bear-baiting.

        Science is genuine reality, and in many respects that's pretty boring because it consists of facts that can be proved as correct (or not).  As such, testing, re-testing against variables, getting dry statistical data, etc., is really quite tedious, but it's the only way to arrive at facts which are pretty mundane things, all in all, even if it proves coastal areas are going to be underwater in the not-too-distant future and that weather patterns are in the process of changing and will change more in the future....

        What will government do when so many people living in coastal areas will all have to be relocated...?  Who is going to pay for that?  [My "theory" about why more money wasn't sunk into New Orleans and the region after Katrina is that "someone" in government actually believed the scientists and realized millions/billions of dollars spent on levees and whatnot would be underwater because of rising seas in the future.  No one dared openly suggest people need to relocate because then the subject of 'who's going to pay for the relocation' would come up....]

        What will happen when soil and water are so polluted from fracking that vast areas will be uninhabitable and unable to grow crops to feed an already-overpopulated world...?

        What will happen if/when fracking in the US and Canada disrupts the tectonic plates beneath Yellowstone and the Yellowstone Caldera erupts, killing millions of people and permanently changes the landscape?  That's going to involve some really serious climate change for a very long time.

        There are a lot of serious subjects that need to be discussed.  The point of no return has arrived as far as climate change, and "someone" has to do "something' about alternative sources of energy, mass transit, relocating people away from low-lying coastal areas, etc.  I think politicians and corporations are hoping people will finance their own relocation so they don't have to pay for it.

        Let's face it, even the knuckle-draggers "know" something serious is afloat, they reject the reality of it all because they can't do anything (primarily because they don't have the brain capacity to do so), so they turn on the TV, veg out, and get their adrenalin rushes from faux controversies (religion vs science) and fighting (reality TV and sports).  From this, corporations profit....

        I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

        by NonnyO on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 10:04:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  beacuse humans get addicted to emotions. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kfunk937, NonnyO, CaffeineInduced

          The more emotions the better.

          Not just "pleasant" emotions.  Any emotions will do.  Why do you think that "drama" and "tragedy" sell so well at the box office?  "Oh boy, let's go see a film that ends with the main character committing suicide after his son gets brutally killed, what fun!"

          Not just polite emotions.

          Primal ones.  Fear and hatred, lust and conquest, total domination and abject surrender, the more blood and semen the better.

          Asian philosophies have a phrase for the attitude: "the drunken-monkey mind."

          I have a phrase for the behavior:  "monkeys and coconuts," where the monkeys get off by bashing each other with coconuts.

          Unfortunately it's more difficult to face down and stop, than if it was an entire nation full of meth-addicts and junkies, because the meth is adrenaline and the opiates are endorphins.  Putting the entire society on beta-blockers might help; good luck with that.  And trying to get the media to tone it down, even where it produces hate spew that leads to cops getting shot, is almost a non-starter even on the left that worships "speeeech" with the same lack of thought that the right worships guns.  

          It's a formula for cultural self-destruct.

          And anyone who even dares to take the Bodhisattva's vow to work for the enlightenment of all sentient beings, may as well be signing up to clean up the horse-shit after a parade, while equipped with a toothbrush and a teaspoon.

          None the less, we must at least try.

          We got the future back. Uh-oh.

          by G2geek on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 06:00:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Now you know why... (0+ / 0-)

            ... I very rarely go see movies (loathe the special effects crap and violence and spurting blood), and why my TV has been permanently turned off for close to a year now (and I didn't watch much before that, and I've never had cable because I adamantly refuse to pay to receive ads I also loathe).

            The FEW TV shows and movies I watch are on Hulu or YouTube.

            I like foreign films.  The Brits can usually be counted on to have great scripts for their comedies, mysteries, dramas.  IF they have violence it's either spoken of - police dramas like the Danish-Swedish version of The Bridge, or Wallander, the Swedish TV series - or shown only partially and of short duration - not the endless crap of special effects that go on for many minutes to waste time in American film.

            I have a great little media library of films I can turn to if I need a fix for good entertainment, it spans several decades, and includes musicals, comedies, dramas, history, etc.

            I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

            by NonnyO on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 01:48:00 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  I was quite put off of Through the Wormhole (0+ / 0-)

        with Morgan Freeman by the amount of pseudoscientific woo that routinely gets included, including the episode Is Gravity an Illusion?

        Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

        by Mokurai on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 10:21:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Wow, Gooserock, I have never gotten that (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Naniboujou, kfunk937

      Sense of him in all the times I have seen him talk.  I think he has a superb command of the English language that makes him a great ambassador of the scientific community. And some times I think he has struggle to not say things like "Why are you all so stupid?" He remains civil at all times, like R. Maddow. If he has an undercurrent of smugness and self-satisfaction I'd say he has earned it.

      We want you to terminate the GOP's command. With extreme prejudice. (from "Utopia Soon")

      by oddmike on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 07:04:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Damage already done. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, NancyWH, thanatokephaloides

    Damage already done.

  •  Too little too late nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NancyWH, thanatokephaloides

    I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

    by a2nite on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 06:53:25 AM PDT

  •  News Producers Try To Show Compelling Content (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NancyWH, thanatokephaloides

    Think the he said, she said, views differ approach is not meant to be the best way to convey information as much as it is what news producers thinks make for good TV.  Don't know about the BBC but the defense that it makes me for compelling TV can't be made in the States when you see how low ratings for news shows and news channels are.

  •  We must teach about Hollow Earth in Geology (9+ / 0-)

    classes.  I saw a movie once.  It has dinosaurs.

    "The opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth.”" -- Paul Dirac

    by Rikon Snow on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 07:13:49 AM PDT

  •  Good. The correct way to deal with science-deniers (14+ / 0-)

    ...is to shame the fuck out of them and refuse to allow them to have a platform to spew their batshit.

    Whether we're talking about climate-change deniers, creationists or Flat Earthers, the response should be the same - treat them as if they're fucking crazy. Because they are.

  •  T'd R'd Repub'd. I fear tho, u might be optimistic (4+ / 0-)

    This is only a panel recommendation.

    BBC just like NPR/PBS, has long been partially contaminated by the prevailing commercial-media climate of pandering to those perceived as powerful or dangerous within your society, plus going after sensation for its own sake.

    It will still be up to program editors, anchors, producers, etc., whom to invite or not, and how to frame issues. I will feel better when the network as a whole officially adopts this recommendation.

    •  "Panel"????? (5+ / 0-)

      The BBC Trust is the supreme governing/oversight body in the BBC. They have the final say on policy matters.  

      The former Board of Governors's functions were split in the latest Royal Charter so the day-to-day administration is dealt with by a  Executive board.

      The Trust, for example, has ultimate say over the proposal to change the BBC Three television channel from an ordinary broadcast service to on-line delivery only. They are there to ensure the BBC complies with its public service broadcast duties and mission set out in the Charter. The main one, as it has been from the days of the first Director General is to "educate, inform and entertain" - the so-called Reithian values.

      They approve the Editorial Guidelines among other policy guidelines and monitor how these have been applied. The report is one of a series on different aspects of the BBC's output. Also in June they published a draft for a new unified set of guidance regarding the BBC's commercial activities. These include joint ventures like BBC America.

      To some extent this is old news as this is a progress report on the 2011 decisions regarding a paper by Prof Steve Jones on the BBC's science coverage as a whole. (.pdf) The recommendations about addressing the sometimes over-zealous application of the impartiality guidelines were a fairly small part of that. It focussed on improving the BBC's coverage of science matters.

      Finally, it is not solely up to "program editors, anchors, producers, etc who to invite ...". The Guidelines apply to the whole Corporation and breaching them can and has resulted in dismissal. They must apply the guidelines in both the choice of guests and questioning - for example the "due weight" guideline could result in a climate change denier being questioned significantly more abrasively.

      "Come to Sochi, visit the gay clubs and play with the bears" - NOT a Russian advertising slogan.

      by Lib Dem FoP on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 10:34:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The BBC Trust isn't a panel, it's the final aut... (4+ / 0-)

      The BBC Trust isn't a panel, it's the final authority of all things BBC.

  •  So we only get one side of the story? (0+ / 0-)

    And the BBC, the propaganda outlet?  
    We all just need the truth, BBC isn't going to do that.

    "Fragmented and confused, we have no plan to combat any of this, but are looking to be saved by the very architects of our ruination."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 09:35:33 AM PDT

    •  There is only one side to the story. (7+ / 0-)

      That's the point.

      What do you base your assertion that the BBC is a propaganda outlet on?

    •  Do you even watch or read the BBC? I find it ha... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      thanatokephaloides, G2geek

      Do you even watch or read the BBC? I find it hard to believe you do and could maintain such a inexplicable view.

      •  Give specifics (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Gwennedd

        If you feel that there are contraventions of the editorial guidelines, you are perfectly free to complain, initially to the BBC administration and then to the BBC Trust. The details of how to do so are on their web sites.

        What have you complained about to them? I think we can all guess the answer.

        One of the Public Purposes of the BBC set out in addition or perhaps better put to expand to the mission to educate, inform and entertain is "Bringing the UK to the world and the world to the UK".

        There are areas where the BBC is deficient; particularly in their coverage of South America and non-Anglophone sub-Saharan Africa. Al Jazeera is strong in those areas, deliberately on their part in order to provide a unique perspective. I always recommend a combination of the two for the best coverage of world affairs.

        To suggest they follow some sort of government line currently is complete nonsense and it is certainly not their mouthpiece; unlike a certain other international broadcaster we could mention which has two rather than three initials in their name.

        "Come to Sochi, visit the gay clubs and play with the bears" - NOT a Russian advertising slogan.

        by Lib Dem FoP on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 08:14:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Just wanted to say... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    thanatokephaloides

    Neil deGrasse Tyson is my hero!

  •  Oh, how progressive. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BigAlinWashSt

    Don't like opposing views, so let's just ban them and get one step closer to looking like a theocracy or National Socialists.

    Best Scientist Ever Predicts Bacon Will Be Element 119 On The Periodic Table

    by dov12348 on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 10:26:35 AM PDT

  •  For those interested in Global Warming arguments.. (6+ / 0-)

    ...and responses you can go to:

    Skeptical Science and Climate Denial Crock of the Week.

    Don't get confused by the name "Skeptical Science", they believe in man-made global warming.

    A million Arcosantis.

    by Villabolo on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 11:29:22 AM PDT

  •  BBC is to be commended. (4+ / 0-)

    BBC is to be commended. Let us hope this gets traction with other media, both print and broadcast. Unfortunately it won't stop Rupert Murdock-type infotainment TV and print media from misleading, obfuscating, twisting facts and presenting quasi-scientific theories as science-based fact.

    I would rather spend my life searching for truth than live a single day within the comfort of a lie. ~ John Victor Ramses

    by KayCeSF on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 12:05:07 PM PDT

  •  Love the comments (4+ / 0-)

    on the telegraph site. It's good to know that 'skeptics" in the UK are just as inane and easily disproved as the ones here.

    They do seem to be slightly more competent in their bizarre reasoning that climate change isnt a thing, but that's only because they don't have nearly as many zealots.

    Here they can just get away with screaming "Nu uh!" because there are enough of them to make a lot of noise that way.

    No light, no dark, no up, no down. No life. No time. Without end. My people called it The Void. The Eternals called it The Howling. But some people call it The Tea Party.

    by kamrom on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 12:30:54 PM PDT

  •  it's all about eyes and ears (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    G2geek

    on their station.

    Controversy attracts eyes and ears.

    Crackpots are entertaining and cause controversy.

    Hence...............they sell more Toyotas.


    "I want to die in my sleep like my grandfather ....... Not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car ..." - Emo Philips

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 02:22:18 PM PDT

  •  Yes Yes Yes... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    G2geek, Situational Lefty

    and the media must go much further. Most of the rights talking points are unfounded bull shit. Why even give them air time ?

    One of the things that holds back our society, indeed our country, is lowering the discourse to topics that have no merit...creationism, Reagonomics, tax cut panaceas all need to be flushed down the toilet.

    -7.5 -7.28, Jesus was a socialist

    by Blueslide on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 02:32:26 PM PDT

  •  Hurray (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    G2geek

    For BBC.

    Now if the ignrnt USA USA press with edumakate themselves about what science is.....

  •  Science can be blinding n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    msdrown, kfunk937
  •  As I wrote elsewhere earlier tonight: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Naniboujou, kfunk937

    "A Spokesman for Europe's Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, religious leaders and political dissidents say they were interned in Nazi concentration camps, and that millions of them were killed. When reached for comment, the press secretary for the Nazi party said the claims of concentration camps are untrue. The controversy will continue."

    "Fair" and "balanced."

    Two sides. Equal coverage. No judgments -- I mean, it's not the reporter's job to decide which story is more credible, or who's right and wrong, right?

    •  There were some astounding (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kfunk937, Gwennedd

      Holocaust Denial court cases in Canada (Ernst Zündel) and the UK (Irving Fisher), among other countries. The Denialists lost in court, although the Canadian False News law was later declared unconstitutional.

      Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

      by Mokurai on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 11:05:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  love me some Neil deGrasse Tyson! (0+ / 0-)

    Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
    Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

    by TrueBlueMajority on Sun Jul 06, 2014 at 08:52:26 PM PDT

  •  Krugman's Monday Column Relates (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Retroactive Genius, kfunk937

    Beliefs, Facts & Money

    On Sunday The Times published an article by the political scientist Brendan Nyhan about a troubling aspect of the current American scene — the stark partisan divide over issues that should be simply factual, like whether the planet is warming or evolution happened. It’s common to attribute such divisions to ignorance, but as Mr. Nyhan points out, the divide is actually worse among those who are seemingly better informed about the issues.

    The problem, in other words, isn’t ignorance; it’s wishful thinking. Confronted with a conflict between evidence and what they want to believe for political and/or religious reasons, many people reject the evidence. And knowing more about the issues widens the divide, because the well informed have a clearer view of which evidence they need to reject to sustain their belief system.

    As you might guess, after reading Mr. Nyhan I found myself thinking about the similar state of affairs when it comes to economics, monetary economics in particular.

    The Nyhan piece that Krugman referenced.

    Economics has seen their field penetrated by conservative economists who benefit from the corporate benefactors who fund their departments and chairs.  Prize winning economists like Krugman and Stiglitz views are ignored because they don't fit with the conservative economic view. Use to be Economics 101 that recessions were a problem of inadequate demand. Remember Ben Stein getting in trouble on FOX news at the start of the 2008 crisis by insisting that cutting spending then would have been the worse thing to do. Maybe once the BBC deals with climate change they can tackle their economic coverage and put an end to the austerity madness. Then maybe they can export it to CNN.

  •  A truth proved over and over again (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kfunk937
    The problem, in other words, isn’t ignorance; it’s wishful thinking. Confronted with a conflict between evidence and what they want to believe for political and/or religious reasons, many people reject the evidence. And knowing more about the issues widens the divide, because the well informed have a clearer view of which evidence they need to reject to sustain their belief system.
    "Faced with the choice between changing one's mind or proving there is no need to do so, almost everyone get busy on the proof."
                                                       John Kenneth Galbraith

    "Yes, I'm alone, but I'm alone and free" - Queen Elsa

    by fourthcornerman on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 02:40:19 AM PDT

    •  Why I mostly don't argue with people (0+ / 0-)

      about how transparently moronic it is to believe in an actual deity. If they haven't figured it out on their own, no one can make them.

      I call it the "gift of unfaith"--as opposed to the other, which I view as a curse because it offers up beautiful but false promises that mostly just waste our time and misdirect our efforts, at best. At worst, well, genocide.

      "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

      by kovie on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 06:01:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  this is standard effect of the tribal chimp brain (0+ / 0-)

      that all humans carry around in their heads. And so do you and I.

      See my diary here:

      http://www.dailykos.com/...

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 06:15:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  C-Span. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kovie, Gwennedd

    Having seen this post yesterday, last night I found C-Span having an interview with two people, a sane person and a dickhead from the Heritage Foundation for "balance."

    Can people please contact C-Span and get them to use their brains like the BBC???

    •  And if the sane person dared mock or ridicule (0+ / 0-)

      the crazy/dishonest person, they get chided for being uncivil--as if there's any other way to deal with a crazy/dishonest person in such a context!

      "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

      by kovie on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 05:58:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Now if we could only do the same (0+ / 0-)

    for people who peddle other nonsensical claptrap like how there's this invisible bearded white dude in the sky who picked our planet out of the trillions in the known universe to hand down his uptight moral code, to a people who mostly don't give a rat's ass about it no matter how much they pretend to--in fact all the more so if they pretend to. I.e. stop meekly deferring to "people of faith" as if it makes them even a nanobit better than everyone else--it DOESN'T.

    "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

    by kovie on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 05:57:02 AM PDT

  •  Equal time (0+ / 0-)

    This equal time for opposing viewpoints is getting out of hand.

    The BBC's staff who had to follow 'courses' on this topic obviously missed 'Logic 101' in kindergarten.

    A celibate clergy is an especially good idea, because it tends to suppress any hereditary propensity toward fanaticism. -Carl Sagan

    by HSans on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 10:56:38 AM PDT

  •  I can already hear the plaintive cries: (0+ / 0-)

    "You're just bigoted against us because we're wrong!"

  •  Climate change deniers... (0+ / 0-)

    Should have the right to discuss their opinions and beliefs in the public forum. Of course, right-wing radio, television and publications feature the global warming naysayers so often, I suppose the sane, reasonable media outlets don't have to give them equal time, unless the hosts/writers are in the mood for a little fun via mockery and sarcasm. You know, just for shits and giggles.

    Neil deGrasse Tyson HAS to be #1 on the Christian Right's hit list. His name is anathema in the Bible Belt.

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