Phil Plait, the Bad Astronomer, weighs in on the difference between how politicians use information and how scientists use information. And there’s that pesky word “truth” coming up again.
“I donâ€™t care if youâ€™re Republican or Democrat, whatâ€™s happening in the U.S. is a wholesale dismantling of one of our most precious resources: the scientific ability to sort truth from fiction. This ability is what my website (and blog) are all about, so I intend to be more active in this field in the future.”
Although in the concluding paragraph, I would have used “fact” in place of “truth,” Phil Plait’s point is still very well taken, though, and that is that there is a distinct difference between how the typical politician and the typical scientist feels about truth.
His post reminds me of a certain scene in that cute movie, Sneakers. “There’s a war out there, old friend. A world war. And it’s not about who’s got the most bullets. It’s about who controls the information. What we see and hear, how we work, what we think… it’s all about the information!”
The war that scientists face today is not a war about the information, it is a war over the method we use to obtain it. On the same note as yesterday’s post, many politicians care only about claims, and not about supporting the way that you convert truths into falsehoods.
David Brin, on the other hand, suggests that there is one politician who cares about learning the facts…