The following was prompted by this Facebook post by a friend and is actually a good example of why the Right is often mocked as being anti-science but also says even more about the Left's misuse of science.
The left calls conservatives 'anti-science' yet pushes consensus in science. Science is black and white, rigid. There is no such thing as consensus in science, there is theory and fact. Liberals and progressives on the left are phony and ignorant.
Sorry (Name Withheld
), I’m going to have to disagree with you on a lot of points on this one. Our side has been falling into this language trap too long. Science isn’t an established fact about something. Science is a study; an ever evolving quest for knowledge through testing and examination. The use of the word ‘theory’ in science has a different meaning than many on our side put on it (don’t worry, you are in good company, I hear folks like Rush do this a lot). In science, a ‘theory’ is related to the word ‘theorem’. Theorems are something that are used as baselines to expand study on but can be a constant base in an equation if you are trying to look at a related subject. A consensus comes in when enough scientists study a subject and test against it to conclude it can be used as a constant base. This doesn’t mean it is a ‘fact’. A good example of this is the ‘Theory of Gravity’. That is something we consider such a constant base, our entire world is built on it. We launch space ships and satellites. We predict the paths of objects fired from a gun. We predict how a building will fall when being demolished, and so on.. Even with that, the ‘Theory of Gravity’ is always being studied and challenged and we add to the knowledge about it every day. Sometimes even changing some of our original assumptions.
Here is where the fault lies. Politicians will use this ‘consensus’ to try to create public policy around something assuming that consensus means ‘final’. If they were acting this way in Wright Brother’s time, they would have probably banned any attempts at flight due to it going against the Theory of Gravity. Of course, there are many scientists who go along with this because they know there is a lot of public funding available and they are trying to lock in their study over someone else’s.
Too often we wrongly mock the ‘science’ when in reality, it is the politicians misusing it that should be mocked. Like with Global Warming, they take a relatively new study, believe a couple of former politicians who say it is ‘established science’ (oxymoron) and create public policy around it with billions of dollars (or more) of financial impact around it.
There is a famous tape going around of the original ‘food pyramid’ study that is a great example of this. Some scientists had written a paper regarding nutritional studies and the politicians decided to make public policy around this. On the tape, the scientists are pleading before Congress not to make it in to law, that more study is needed and the Congressman says, in essence, ‘we don’t have time for more study, it is established, we need to make these regulations now’. That pretty much sums it all up.