Wednesday, August 31, 2005

In the latest issue of The New Republic, Bruce Chapman, president of the Discovery Institute, a big-time ID backer, states, "All ideas that achieve a sort of uniform acceptance ultimately fall apart, whether it’s in the sciences or philosophy or politics, after a few people keep knocking away at it."

How revealing. The implication being no matter the facts, if one "knocks away at it" long enough, eventually the general public will begin to cave and give way to the side which is relentlessly battering away. This pound-into-submission tactic has been the GOP's strategy of choice for really anything, whether it be John Kerry, John McCain, global warming, Social Security, Iraq -- you name it. Spread lies, spread them again, and again, and soon enough the MSM picks up on it and helps to further spread the manure.

Also, unlike what Chapman asserts, most of the ideas and facts in science don't fall apart; rather, it's the acceptance in the public forum that begins to crack due to persistent, politically-driven attacks. As mentioned, the GOP goal is to simply instill a degree of doubt, or at the very least confusion. Like at a court trial, if a defense attorney can establish doubt at any level, he/she has won.

Those that attack science demand the impossible: 100% certitude. Has it ever been proven absolutely that smoking causes cancer? No, but science has shown there exists a very strong linkage between the two, and everyone seems to accept that less than 100% probability. Have they 100% linked air pollution to the increased rate of asthma in children? No, but they've shown a strong link. If those with an agenda don't get the beyond-doubt result that they want, they simply label it "junk science" and toss the conclusions completely.

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