The march of nescience

Two more items for the bulging Less Science file.
Adjust the facts, Ma’am
Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa) wants to forbid the Weather Service from publishing its forecasts, which would henceforth be available only from places like Accuweather. (See Neil Johnson, “Senate Bill Hobbles Weather Service”, tbo.com News 28 May 2005.)
Stranger Fruit summarizes a survey of scientists at NOAA by the Union of Concerned Scientists. The tale is one of interference from above, alteration of reports, and an atmosphere of intimidation.
I may be wrong, but it seems to me that there was, when NOAA and other agencies were established, an understanding among Democrats and Republicans alike that the government, if it is to make reasoned decisions in the best interests of the country and its people, needs accurate information. Disagreement about policy is one thing; polluting the data is another. That understanding is being undermined by the current administration, with no greater interest in mind than the profit of a few.
The real “science war”
Pharyngula (P. Z. Myers) and others comment on a series of interviews at The New Republic Online. The topic was evolution. Myers helpfully classifies the respondents according to their positions on the intellectual tree of ascent from sheer stupidity to getting One Thing Right. The worst, I think (in agreement with Myers), are those who can’t bring themselves to say that evolution is true or false, or that they have no basis for an opinion, but instead cravenly waffle.
See also Myers’ response to Todd Zywicki and Jacques Distler’s list of awards (example: the Unclear on the Concept Award goes to Patrick Buchanan for saying “I don’t believe evolution can explain the creation of matter”; though who knows?—maybe he has Gustave Le Bon in mind).

LinkJuly 10, 2005 in Current Affairs · Science · Unenlightenment