I love the Scientific American. It is absolutely my favorite magazine. And I owe it a lot for what I have learned over the years. But I do not like the idea of infallibility, and Scientific American does make errors, some of which I have pointed out in the past. This time, though, the error is more glaring, and it is made by none other than the skeptic I admire the most, Michael Shermer. The title of Shermer’s piece is “the liberals’ war on science”.
The gist of the claim is that the political left is no better than political right, or, if anything, it is worse, when it comes to handling matters of science. Shermer starts by laying out the bad things on the right: denial of climate change and evolution. He then points out that creationism and climate science denial exist among Democrats as well. Here are the first two errors. First, The problem is not comparable among the Democrats to the Republicans by its scope: yes, it is pretty bad among the democrats, but it is not as dominant, as is the case for the Republicans. Unlike Republicans, Democrats at least pay lip service to climate change. Second, as everyone knows, “liberal” and “Democrat” are not synonymous. Creationism and climate change exist among Democrats but tend to be more dominant among the more conservative ones.
Shermer then goes on to talk about denial of evolutionary psychology among the liberals. It is true, and it is unfortunate. Yet again, I don’t see popular liberal characters in the media attacking evolutionary psychology, or calling the teaching of evolutionary psychology “fascism”, like conservatives such as Bill O’Reilly do for evolution as a whole.
Shermer then proceeds to tear up liberals, for more alleged misdeeds.
On energy issues… progressive liberals tend to be antinuclear because of the waste-disposal problem, anti–fossil fuels because of global warming, antihydroelectric because dams disrupt river ecosystems, and anti–wind power because of avian fatalities.
I don’t believe this is true. Concerning nuclear power, it does have very serious public safety problems, not necessarily limited to waste disposal (have we forgottenFukushima already?). As for global warming, well, let’s just say action is long overdue. And as it pertains to renewables, despite whatever isolated incidents you can find of someone objecting to hydroelectric or wind power, liberals are often accused of having done too much when it comes to renewables, not too little.
Written By: SkepticInkcontinue to source article at skepticink.com