December 31, 2002
BUZZFLASH READER COMMENTARY
It just never stops with the Bush administration, does it? Their contempt for science is corrupting our scientific and governmental institutions. I can't even begin to enumerate the number of incidents in which science has taken a back seat to their backward and narrow-minded politics.
The latest incident is the appointment of the "scantily credentialed," bible-thumper, and anti-choice Dr. W. David Hager to the FDA's panel on women's health policy. But I suppose that if he advocates prayer as a legitimate method of treatment, maybe the FDA ought to start regulating it. (Hey, now there's an idea we ought to look into!)
Then there's the new plan to replace wetlands. The National Academy of Science (NAS) has come out against it, but we are assured by the Bush administration that "regulators may find that 'it's a numerical loss, but it's an ecological gain'". Right!
Bush and his hacks have managed to corrupt the NIH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by "sprucing up" their websites to make them more palatable to the religiously insane who oppose all sex, contraception, or any hint of a woman's right to choose.
The National Academy of Science has a different viewpoint regarding stem cell research as well, which the administration ignored because it doesn't understand biology and opted instead for a nearly useless plan that no one is happy with and is counterproductive.
And of course there's the issue of global warming which, in light of rapidly shrinking polar ice caps and retreating glaciers, is a point I hardly need to belabor. But the NAS has expressed an opinion on this issue as well, which was promptly ignored because it was found to be inconvenient.
Our National Academy of Science is a highly respected institution, comprised of members from all fields of science who were selected on the basis of their widely acknowledged and proven expertise. Selection for membership is a high honor, one which most scientists can only dream of. Yet this administration continues to systematically ignore the recommendations of the NAS because the NAS isn't telling the administration what it wants to hear. The only conclusion we can draw is that the administration has nothing but contempt for science. And how can they reconcile that with their often repeated insistence on quality education? In fact, they're interested in nothing of the sort. What they're interested in is not education but indoctrination.
Manipulating things so they conform to one's own preconceived notions isn't science. In fact, it's antithetical to science. No matter how much one might wish the world to be flat, it has been conclusively proven that it is not. It is time to demand an end to this constant pressure to portray things in ways that are inconsistent with scientific findings as well as the selective disregard of findings that don't support political positions.
BUZZFLASH READER COMMENTARY
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