View Full Version : I Heart Scientific American

Chang Style Novice
04-02-2005, 05:26 PM
Okay, We Give Up
By The Editors

There's no easy way to admit this. For years, helpful letter writers told us to stick to science. They pointed out that science and politics don't mix. They said we should be more balanced in our presentation of such issues as creationism, missile defense and global warming. We resisted their advice and pretended not to be stung by the accusations that the magazine should be renamed Unscientific American, or Scientific Unamerican, or even Unscientific Unamerican. But spring is in the air, and all of nature is turning over a new leaf, so there's no better time to say: you were right, and we were wrong.

In retrospect, this magazine's coverage of socalled evolution has been hideously one-sided. For decades, we published articles in every issue that endorsed the ideas of Charles Darwin and his cronies. True, the theory of common descent through natural selection has been called the unifying concept for all of biology and one of the greatest scientific ideas of all time, but that was no excuse to be fanatics about it.

Where were the answering articles presenting the powerful case for scientific creationism? Why were we so unwilling to suggest that dinosaurs lived 6,000 years ago or that a cataclysmic flood carved the Grand Canyon? Blame the scientists. They dazzled us with their fancy fossils, their radiocarbon dating and their tens of thousands of peer-reviewed journal articles. As editors, we had no business being persuaded by mountains of evidence.

Moreover, we shamefully mistreated the Intelligent Design (ID) theorists by lumping them in with creationists. Creationists believe that God designed all life, and that's a somewhat religious idea. But ID theorists think that at unspecified times some unnamed superpowerful entity designed life, or maybe just some species, or maybe just some of the stuff in cells. That's what makes ID a superior scientific theory: it doesn't get bogged down in details.

Good journalism values balance above all else. We owe it to our readers to present everybody's ideas equally and not to ignore or discredit theories simply because they lack scientifically credible arguments or facts. Nor should we succumb to the easy mistake of thinking that scientists understand their fields better than, say, U.S. senators or best-selling novelists do. Indeed, if politicians or special-interest groups say things that seem untrue or misleading, our duty as journalists is to quote them without comment or contradiction. To do otherwise would be elitist and therefore wrong. In that spirit, we will end the practice of expressing our own views in this space: an editorial page is no place for opinions.

Get ready for a new Scientific American. No more discussions of how science should inform policy. If the government commits blindly to building an anti-ICBM defense system that can't work as promised, that will waste tens of billions of taxpayers' dollars and imperil national security, you won't hear about it from us. If studies suggest that the administration's antipollution measures would actually increase the dangerous particulates that people breathe during the next two decades, that's not our concern. No more discussions of how policies affect science either. So what if the budget for the National Science Foundation is slashed? This magazine will be dedicated purely to science, fair and balanced science, and not just the science that scientists say is science. And it will start on April Fools' Day.

Okay, We Give Up

THE EDITORS editors@sciam.com

Royal Dragon
04-02-2005, 07:16 PM
OK then...

Mr Punch
04-03-2005, 05:32 AM
Yeah, when are all these **** lying self-serving scientists gonna stop telling us that we've used up a third to four-fifths of our natural resources in the last 200-20 years and we're all going to choke on our own garbage and excrement, almost literally, and that global warming exists and even a one degree rise in average temperatures world over could result in catastrophic disasters?

When we die I suppose. Well **** them, I'm gonna listen to George Bush, Wolfowitz and Bolton! Who needs science anyways!?

(jumps in 11-seater SUV with aircon, TV, fridge, and heated bed... to drive to Walmart - at least we're nailing those **** terrorists world over! - global warm those scientific RnD solutions, towelheads!!!)

04-03-2005, 07:56 AM
That was fabulous Chang Style Novice. Thanks for posting it. :)

04-03-2005, 08:19 AM
The attitudes described in that article are so prevalent now it is spooky. I can't count the number of people I try to have debates with who refuse to behave rationally and/or logically. Science and proof and laws and thinking and considering a new position or information are all foreign to most people I speak to. A large majority of them are like the people described in the article. What they believe and the heck with contrary evidence that proves they are making mistakes.

I been going around the internet talking to people for about 4 or 5 years. In all that time I have come across about 20 people that could talk about a controversial subject in a rational way. Or be open to completely new ideas and patient enough to spend the time to try to understand them. Or willing to examine new ideas for flaws.

I bet in 4 or 5 years on the internet I have come across 100,000 people in various forums. What is that percentage wise? 20 out of 100,000? .002%? Is it too early in the morning for me to attempt mental mathmatical calculations? ;)

04-03-2005, 03:14 PM
Um, Happeh....

Don't quite know how to break it to you but I'd suggest that people who live in glass houses would be wise to avoid throwing stones.

{Points to a foolish fighter is one who cannot appreciate the idea of internal martial arts thread.}