Human Exceptionalism

There They Go Again: Scientists and Engineers for America’s Hack Political Advocacy

The SEA, which claims to be “pro science” but which is merely a garden variety special interest lobbying organization, has issued a list of questions its “members” should ask people to get them to vote for Democrat, er, I mean “pro science” candidates. (I put “members” in quotes because you can join merely by signing up for e-mail alerts.) What is a hoot is that the group, which decries supposed government dishonesty about scientific questions, isn’t honest itself. For example:

Question 2 asks: “Do you support lifting the President’s ban on the use of federal funding for embryonic stem cell research given appropriate ethical guidelines?” Of course, there is no “ban” on federal funding of ESCR. Indeed, last year the NIH gave about $50 million for human embryonic stem cell research and tens of millions more for animal studies.

Question 3: “Should emergency contraception as recommended by FDA scientific staff and advisory committees be available over the counter for all women of childbearing age?” Women, can already receive the contraception without a prescription. But underage girls, cannot. What the SEA deceptively obscures by using the term “women of childbearing age” is that they clearly support giving 11 or 12 year-old girls open access to Plan B, since girls that young can get pregnant. In any event, whether a girl should have access to Plan B is not a question that “science” can answer.

Most of the other questions are aimed at grabbing a blank federal check with which to pay scientists to conduct research–which is the true purpose of the SEA–or deal with political policy issues about which reasonable people can differ. Thus question 8 asks, “Should the United States ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and stop all work on new nuclear weapons?” Again, one can answer the question either way and not be anti science.

The SEA is a hack political action committee masking as a mere booster of promoting good science in government decision making. But by profoundly misleading people in the name of promoting science, it actually corrodes science while providing a vivid demonstration that science is devolving–or we might say, is being unintelligently designed–into a mere, money-grubbing special interest.

Einstein is rolling over in his grave.

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