Science, regulation, and a matter of denial

The journal Nature is getting a lot of notice for their latest political diatribe. Lumos notes that Nature equates science with regulation and describes why he thinks so and what it means.

Science has nothing whatsoever to do with regulation. Science cannot tell us what priorities we should hold dear. Science cannot tell us what is “universally” bad and what is “universally” good. The good and the evil always boil down to the personal interests of people and their groups and, more generally, to moral values that extrapolate the experience and that transcend these interests. However, the moral values cannot be scientifically determined because they always depend on subjective considerations. And if there are disagreements about moral values, the confrontation between the different opinions is always a matter of politics, not science.

But that doesn’t mean science cannot be used as a weapon. Consider how many times you will see stories about what some “scientist says” or “scientific research” or other headlines or explanations where science is used as a qualifier, often even a redundant qualifier. It is part of an effort to invoke a mantle of authority, which is a logical fallacy.

Politics and people’s purely politically motivated efforts to impose regulation of many types may be realized and is being realized in many other disciplines besides climate science.

This is why the whitewash efforts are so transparent and the ad hominem so prominent. As noted in Nature uses the D-word, the climate change defense appears to have chosen denier as its favorite epithet. That is to impugn anyone who questions man caused climate change with the religious bigots who deny evolution. It may be a form of projection. Dr. Sanity has provided the professional view of the role of denial in recent political discussion. Perhaps the authors of the Nature opinion should read that blog while looking in the mirror?

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