Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Anti-science is party neutral

I didn't mention it in my post yesterday, but part of the impetus to my father sending me the link about the water fluoridation was an ongoing discussion we have about the reputation of Republicans as "anti-science".  I actually get asked about this a lot, and my standard answer tends to be something along the lines of "I think almost everyone is anti-science".

If it's a topic that interests you, I suggest you check out Harriet Hall's latest post at Science Based Medicine about progressive mythology in science.  Lots of "natural is always better" type fallacies.

Some people in the comments are noting that libertarians and lefties can frequently wind up on the same side of some of these issues (like with water fluoridation), but I think it's slightly different for the libertarians.  At least the ones that I know don't so much think water fluoridation is bad, as that the government should be letting individuals choose.  That's annoying to public health people, but it's a political opinion, not a scientific one.

1 comment:

  1. I will repeat my usual observation that it is a largely cultural battle about who one believes. Few of us could prove the earth goes around the sun. It sure doesn't look that way. But that belief fits with other things we have learned, so we believe it. I couldn't prove evolution to you, but I believe it because it fits with what I know from other fields.

    With medicine, there is resentment because some people make lots of money doing things people think should be holy and noble and free, so that no children will ever be sad again. It becomes easy to believe that those already morally suspect people are dismissing simpler and cheaper treatments mostly out of self-interest. Narrative trumps science - again.