Discussion in 'Politics and the Topics of the day' started by gonzo8402, Jul 11, 2009.
Typical conservative response, grouping all 'Black people'.
It's classic that you don't see the irony in your own statement.
I wonder how you are considered a functioning adult.
Didn't you group all black people together when you questioned my blackness because I said something you disagree with completely?
Are you conservative since you live to group black people together?
. Troll 1
Damn you right wingers are sensitive. Truth hurt?
Quality-responses on this board have certainly gone down over the years.
Maybe you've been preaching to the choir for too long.
Well then step up your responses and engage with facts instead of ideology!
So it's not a fact that, in this thread, you actually grouped black people in the same way you accused me of doing?
‘Science Guy’ Bill Nye says religious-based
dismissal of evolution endangers US science
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The man known to a generation of Americans as “The Science Guy” is condemning efforts by some Christian groups to cast doubts on evolution and lawmakers who want to bring the Bible into science classrooms.
Bill Nye, a mechanical engineer and star of the popular 1990s TV show “Bill Nye The Science Guy,” has waded into the evolution debate with an online video that urges parents not to pass their religious-based doubts about evolution on to their children.
Nye has spent a career teaching science to children and teens with good-natured and sometimes silly humor, but has not been known to delve into topics as divisive as evolution.
Christians who view the stories of the Old Testament as historical fact have come to be known as creationists, and many argue that the world was created by God just a few thousand years ago.
“The Earth is not 6,000 or 10,000 years old,” Nye said in an interview with The Associated Press, citing scientists’ estimates that it is about 4.5 billion years old. “It’s not. And if that conflicts with your beliefs, I strongly feel you should question your beliefs.”
Millions of Americans do hold those beliefs, according to a June Gallup poll that found 46 percent of Americans believe God created humans in their present form about 10,000 years ago.
Nye, 56, also decried efforts in recent years by lawmakers and school boards in some states to present Bible stories as an alternative to evolution in public schools. Tennessee passed a law earlier this year that protects teachers who let students criticize evolution and other scientific theories. That echoes a Louisiana law passed in 2008 that allows teachers to introduce supplemental teaching materials in science classes.
“If we raise a generation of students who don’t believe in the process of science, who think everything that we’ve come to know about nature and the universe can be dismissed by a few sentences translated into English from some ancient text, you’re not going to continue to innovate,” Nye said in a wide-ranging telephone interview.
The brief online video was not Nye’s first foray into the combustible debate, but “it’s the first time it’s gotten to be such a big deal.”
“I can see where one gets so caught up in this (debate) that you say something that will galvanize people in a bad way, that will make them hate you forever,” he said. “But I emphasize that I’m not questioning someone’s religion — much of that is how you were brought up.”
In the video he tells adults they can dismiss evolution, “but don’t make your kids do it. Because we need them.” Posted by Big Think, an online knowledge forum, the clip went viral and has 4.6 million views on YouTube. It has garnered 182,000 comments from critics and supporters.
It drew the ire of the creationism group Answers in Genesis, which built a biblically based Creation Museum in Kentucky that teaches the stories of the Old Testament and has attracted headlines for its assertion that dinosaurs roamed alongside Adam and Eve.
The group produced a response video featuring two scientists who say the Bible has the true account of Earth’s origins, and that “children should be exposed to both ideas concerning our past.”
Nye, who is prone to inject dry humor into scientific discussions, said Earth is about 4.5 billion years old.
“What I find troubling, when you listen to these people ... once in a while I get the impression that they’re not kidding,” Nye said.
Ken Ham, a co-founder of Answers in Genesis, said dating methods used by scientists to measure the age of the earth are contradictory and many don’t point to millions or billions of years of time.
“We say the only dating method that is absolute is the Word of God,” Ham said. “Time is the crucial factor for Bill Nye. Without the time of millions of years, you can’t postulate evolution change.”
America is home to the world’s biggest creationist following, Ham said, and the $27 million Creation Museum has averaged about 330,000 visitors a year since it opened just south of Cincinnati in 2007.
How did he say this and nobody caught it?
I thought the first time we launced crafts into space and took pictures of the planet, that was proven.
Who is debating these?
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Republican Lawmaker Says Evolution
Is a Lie “Straight From the Pit of Hell”
Rep. Paul Broun doesn't have a Democratic challen-
ger for next month's election. Photo by Paul Morigi/
Getty Images for Ovation
Rep. Paul Broun, who serves on the House Science Committee, told a church-sponsored banquet in his home state of Georgia that the theories of evolution and the big bang are “lies straight from the pit of hell.” Broun has long been known as one of the most conservative members of Congress, and an outspoken conservative Christian. He wanted to declare 2010 “the year of the Bible,” points out NBC News. Still, the comments from the medical doctor who also has a degree in chemistry are
Rep. Paul Broun, (R - Ga.) who serves on the House Science Committee, told a church-sponsored banquet in his home state of Georgia that the theories of evolution and the big bang are “lies straight from the pit of hell.”
Broun has long been known as one of the most conservative members of Congress, and an outspoken conservative Christian. He wanted to declare 2010 “the year of the Bible,” points out NBC News. Still, the comments from the medical doctor who also has a degree in chemistry are getting lots of attention after the Bridge Project, a progressive political watchdog group, began distributing video of the remarks.
Broun says “all that stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and the Big Bang theory” was part of a ploy to hide how old the Earth really is, “to try to keep me and all the folks who were taught that from understanding that they need a savior.”
The House Science Committee had already come under scrutiny recently after Rep. Todd Akin, another one of its members, made the now-infamous remarks about “legitimate rape,” points out Talking Points Memo.
Broun plays off on his qualifications and degrees to add credence to his views:
You see, there are a lot of scientific data that I've found out as a scientist that actually show that this is really a young Earth. I don't believe that the earth's but about 9,000 years old. I believe it was created in six days as we know them. That's what the Bible says.
And what I've come to learn is that it's the manufacturer's handbook, is what I call it. It teaches us how to run our lives individually, how to run our families, how to run our churches. But it teaches us how to run all of public policy and everything in society. And that's the reason as your congressman I hold the Holy Bible as being the major directions to me of how I vote in Washington, D.C., and I'll continue to do that.His comments were greeted with applause at the Sept. 27 Sportsman’s Banquet at Liberty Baptist Church in Hartwell, Ga. Broun’s reelection is assured next month since he doesn’t even have a Democratic challenger, reports NBC.
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Are these people fit to govern?
Ironically this guy's district includes the University of Georgia. So much for higher learning!
source: Huffington Post
Marco Rubio: Actual Age Of Earth Is 'One Of The Great Mysteries'
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) isn't qualified to answer a question about how old the earth is, he told GQ in a recent interview.
"I'm not a scientist, man. I can tell you what recorded history says, I can tell you what the Bible says, but I think that's a dispute amongst theologians and I think it has nothing to do with the gross domestic product or economic growth of the United States," Rubio told GQ's Michael Hainey. "I don't think I'm qualified to answer a question like that. At the end of the day, I think there are multiple theories out there on how the universe was created and I think this is a country where people should have the opportunity to teach them all."
Rubio continued, refusing to take a stance on the planet's age, which scientists have long estimated at 4.54 billion years.
"Whether the Earth was created in 7 days, or 7 actual eras, I'm not sure we'll ever be able to answer that," he said. "It's one of the great mysteries."
Republicans have often been forced into an awkward balancing act when answering this question, having to take into account a large number of supporters who may take literally the biblical account that the earth's age is in the thousands of years.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) famously danced around the question last year, claiming that he didn't "have any idea" about the earth's age.
"I know it's pretty old," he said. "So it goes back a long, long way. I'm not sure anybody actually knows completely and absolutely how old the earth is."
But Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.) provided a more concrete answer on the question during an event earlier this year, happily stating his belief that the earth was only 9,000 years old.
The Danger of Making Science Political
Many more scientists identify as Democrats than as Republicans,
but threats to scientific thinking can come from any quarter.
What must be preserved is the pursuit of science,
away from irrational dogma.
The Albert Einstein Memorial Statue at the National Academy of Sciences [Hyungwon Kang/Reuters
By Puneet Opal
January 19, 2013
Over the past few years, and particularly in the past few months, there seems to be a growing gulf between U.S Republicans and science. Indeed, by some polls only 6 percent of scientists are Republican, and in the recent U.S. Presidential election, 68 science Nobel Prize winners endorsed the Democratic nominee Barack Obama over the Republican candidate Mitt Romney.
As a scientist myself, this provokes the question: What are the reasons for this apparent tilt?
Some of this unease might be because of the feeling that the Republicans might cut federal science spending. The notion is certainly not helped by news-making rhetoric of some Republicans against evolution in favor of creationism; unsubstantiated claims that immunization aimed at preventing future cervical cancer cause mental retardation in young girls; and unscientific views of how the female body can prevent pregnancies under conditions of rape.
These comments might represent heartfelt beliefs of the leaders in question; however, some might simply be statements designed to placate the anti-science sections of their base, as part of the political calculus.
A recent opinion in the leading science journal Nature, written by Daniel Sarewitz, a co-director of the Consortium for Science Policy and Outcomes at Arizona State University, suggests that this polarization of scientists away from the Republicans is bad news. Surprisingly -- as he tells it -- most of the bad news is the potential impact on scientists.
Because scientists, he believes -- once perceived by Republicans to be
a Democratic interest group -- will lose bipartisan support for federal
science funding. In other words, they will be threatened with funding
cuts. Moreover, when they attempt to give their expert knowledge for
policy decisions, conservatives will choose to ignore the evidence,
claiming a liberal bias.
The comments of Sarewitz might be considered paranoid thinking on the part of a policy wonk, but he backs up his statement by suggesting a precedent: the social sciences, he feels, have already received this treatment at the hands of conservatives in government by making pointed fingers at their funding. Therefore he says that a sufficient number of scientists must be seen to also support Republicans for the sake of being bipartisan. To be fair to Republicans, no politician has actually targeted science funding in this vindictive manner. But this assessment only goes to show how science is quickly becoming a political football.
I would argue that this sort of thinking might well be bad for scientists, but is simply dangerous for the country. As professionals, scientists should not be put into a subservient place by politicians and ideologues. They should never be felt that their advice might well be attached to carrots or sticks.
Indeed, this is a sure way to taint their counsel with devastating consequences for us all. This subjugation of science to a political agenda is best seen in totalitarian states. In Stalinist USSR, for example, a whole agricultural movement was driven by an ideology that denied scientific genetic theories. Pseudoscientists such as Trofim Lysenko were rewarded with support and influence at the expense of critics who were silenced. Biology in the USSR languished for decades.
We in democracies should make every effort to promote the objectivity of scientists so they can seek and communicate the best approximation of truth in the natural world, using their training and resources. And the approximation, is only because we will never know reality, but we can get amazingly close with scientific evidence and logical thinking.
Political choices can be made after the evidence is presented, but the evidence should stand for what it is. If the evidence itself is rejected by politicians -- as is currently going on -- then the ignorance of the political class should indeed be exposed, and all threats resisted.
This should be the case regardless of where across the political spectrum the ignorance is coming from. This might seem to be a diatribe against conservatives. But really this criticism is aimed at all unscientific thinking.
Just to be sure, there are a number on the left who have their own dogmatic beliefs; the most notable are unscientific theories with regard to the dangers of vaccinations, genetically modified produce, or nuclear energy.
It is also important to note that there have been exceptional Republican champions of science. In the U.S. Senate, the late Arlen Spector and in Congress, John Porter were two who stood out, lauded by scientists as advocates for scientific inquiry.
In other words, threats to scientific thinking can come from any quarter. What must be preserved is the pursuit of science away from irrational dogma. In that sense scientists should be completely nonpartisan. After all, the universe is what it is. The hurricanes, the flu epidemics, indeed all of reality does not really care about our political affiliations, but we distance ourselves from scientific thinking at our own peril.
As citizens, those of us who care about science should encourage policies that promote education to increase the number of scientifically literate people. This includes supporting our currently embattled public research universities, and federal research agencies that fund science education. Slowly this will increase the numbers of a scientifically literate populace. Politicians then will no longer fear the shrinking base of anti-science ideologues; rather they will quake at the backlash of a scientific literate populace.
40% Of Americans, Majority Of Republicans, Reject Evolution
Why Has Republican Belief in
Evolution Declined So Much?
There's been a drop of more than 10 points—to just 43 percent—in the last four years.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich visits Kanzi, a 25-year-old Bonobo,
at Great Ape Trust of Iowa in 2005. (Steve Pope/Associated Press)
In November, Mischa Fisher took to this space to criticize the notion that Republicans are the anti-science party. Plenty of Democrats hold views that contradict empirically established facts, and Republican skepticism is overblown, he wrote.
And yet ...
The Pew Research Center released new numbers Monday on how Americans view evolution. (The question was asked in a way to include those who believe God or a supreme being guided the process.) About six in 10 accept it, the poll found, but the partisan divide is wide:
It's not surprising that Republicans are less likely to believe in evolution that Democrats are; while the numbers vary from survey to survey, there has been a consistent gap. Republicans are also less likely to believe that the earth's climate is warming, or, if they accept that it is, to believe that the change is caused by human activity. But belief in climate change is actually on the uptick, among both Democrats and Republicans, having reached a nadir in 2009. (Some academics believe the recession helped to depress belief in warming, as people's worries about their immediate livelihood trumped longer-term concerns.)
What's surprising in the new Pew evolution numbers is the trend—a more than 10-point drop in belief among Republicans. What explains it?
Pew doesn't speculate but remarks on the confusing result:
One possibility is that respondents who identified as Republican and believed in evolution in 2009 are no longer identifying as Republicans. Fewer scientists, for example, are reportedly identifying with the GOP, and the [color]overall trend[/color] is for fewer Americans to call themselves Republicans. But both Gallup and separate polling from Pew found approximately the same party ID in 2009 and 2013.
Another is that the rise of "intelligent design" education has helped to swing younger Americans against evolution. Yet the age breakdown remains similar in 2009 and 2013, with respondents ages 18 to 29 most likely to believe in evolution.
What does that leave? Maybe the gap represents an emotional response by Republicans to being out of power. Among others, Chris Mooney has argued that beliefs on politically contentious topics are often more rooted in opposition to perceived attacks than anything else—an instance of "motivated reasoning." Given that Democrats have controlled the White House and Senate since 2009, this could be backlash to the political climate, though it will be hard to tell until Republicans control Washington again.
Of course, motivated reasoning might help explain why many Democrats also believe in evolution.
Why do liberals like abortion so much?
Do they like it, or do they simply prefer that be a personal choice ???
Another drive by post.
The GOP’s Denial of SciencePrimed Them for the Illogic of Trump
Seems like a good idea to me. Photo illustration by Phil Plait. Photo by Shutterstock/ImagePixel.
Part of the problem with being a vocal advocate for critical thinking is deciding just which facet of nonsense to spend time fighting. The forces of anti-reality present a huge number of fronts, making triage a necessity.
As an astronomer I of course have certain pet projects; I’ve taken on astrology, Moon landing deniers, cosmic doomsday promulgators, and geocentrists. But a background in science allows me to broaden that approach, and I will happily help shoulder the load to debunk the claims of climate change deniers, anti-vaxxers, homeopaths, and young-Earth creationists.
Some of these present a more pressing need than others, of course. Astrology is a minor issue compared with, say, someone who supports abstinence-only education.
But they’re all there, all the time, creating a background buzz of hogwash, an atmosphere of denial of science, evidence, and rational thinking … and that can have devastating consequences.
We are awash in that miasma, where people can say almost anything, no matter how ridiculous, and not be confronted, not be challenged. Many of these purveyors of poppycock wind up surrounding themselves with throngs of people willing and eager to suspend their disbelief and support the foolishness. Cults certainly can form in such an atmosphere … and when the person spouting the nonsense is a politician, that’s when things get very sticky indeed.
And now here we are, with Donald Trump the nearly inevitable champion of the Republican Party.
This is no coincidence. An interesting if infuriating article in New Republic very clearly lays out how the GOP has spent decades paving the road for Trump by attacking the science that goes against their prejudicial ideology. I strongly urge you to read it, but one section jumped out at me in particular:
There’s another factor at work here: The anti-intellectualism that has been a mainstay of the conservative movement for decades also makes its members easy marks. After all, if you are taught to believe that the reigning scientific consensuses on evolution and climate change are lies, then you will lack the elementary logical skills that will set your alarm bells ringing when you hear a flim-flam artist like Trump.
The Republican “war on science” is also a war on the intellectual habits needed to detect lies.
Yes, precisely. This is exactly what I have been saying for years now. When we erode away at people’s ability to reason their way through a situation, then unreason will rule. And not just abut scientific topics, but any topics. We see nonsense passed off as fact all the time by politicians, including attacks by Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, on theNational Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, claims by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, that there’s been a pause in global warming, the GOP attacks on Planned Parenthood, and more. People will still believe what these politicians say, long, long after the claims have been shown to be completely false.
Months ago, early on in the presidential campaign, I made light of Trump, saying that his particular candidacy would crash and burn when he inevitably said or did something so outrageous and horrific that people would flee his side.
I was wrong. I underestimated just how thoroughly the GOP had salted the Earth. Philosophical party planks of climate change denial, anti-evolution, anti-intellectualism, intolerance, and more have made it such that Trump can literally say almost anything, and it hardly affects his popularity.
The good news is that even the party elders are terrified to support him, and many seem to be accepting what looks like the inevitable wave coming this November, and instead are hoping to recoup in 2020.
Perhaps that will come to be. Trump’s numbers are certainly slumping, and I see no way he will be able to pivot toward anything resembling reality, no way for him to gather more middle-of-the-road votes. His racist, bigoted, misogynistic, xenophobic narcissism is too firmly entrenched for it to be otherwise.
The GOP isn’t to blame for Trump existing—we can lay that at his own feet—but the path he’s taking was certainly smoothed by them.
The fact is, this is the candidate the Republicans have sown, and so shall they reap. My hope is that the majority of the electorate will see through the nonsense, the distortions, the lies, and use their critical thinking skills on Nov. 8. Reality doesn’t give a damn about our beliefs, and so we must instead give a damn about reality.
Want to know more about how to think critically? I have some thoughts on that:
How Critical Thinking Affects Society
Qualia Soup: Critical Thinking
How to Get Kids to Think Critically
Vaccines: Opinions Are Not Facts
Some Bad Science Can Make You Laugh, and Some Kills
The World Is Subtle, and That's Why It's Beautiful
FactChecking Science in 2016
By Vanessa Schipani
Posted on December 20, 2016
SciCheck likely will have no dearth of false and misleading claims to cover next year, when a new Congress convenes and takes up the agenda of President-elect Donald Trump. The incoming president has vowed to reverse eight years of Democratic policies, and he has a Republican majority in Congress to help him accomplish his goals.
But, for now, here are some of the more questionable science-related claims from 2016 on topics such as climate change, Zika, GMOs, marijuana and the human mind.
Scientific Consensus: Both the president-elect and his nominee for the head of the EPA, Scott Pruitt, made two of the most common false claims about climate change — that scientists disagree about both the connection and extent of climate change that’s due to human activity. Trump made his claims in November and Pruitt back in May. Numerous surveys of thousands of climate scientists have found that about 97 percent of them believe global warming is real and human activity is the main cause. The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change also concluded in its fifth assessment report, published in 2013, that it’s “extremely likely” that more than half of the global temperature rise since 1950 is due to human activities.
Trump on Climate Change, Nov. 23
The Facts on Trump’s EPA Nominee, Dec. 14
Climate Science, Not Pseudoscience: Ted Cruz said in January that “climate change is the perfect pseudoscientific theory because it can never, ever, ever be disproven.” That’s false. For example, if researchers found strong evidence to suggest gases like carbon dioxide don’t trap the sun’s heat (the greenhouse effect), then climate change would be disproven. But the likelihood of this occurring is minute because the greenhouse effect has been verified time and again since it was first proposed in 1824. In fact, part of that verification includes the design of heat-seeking missiles, which relies on an understanding of the greenhouse effect.
Cruz’s ‘Pseudoscientific’ Climate Claims, Feb. 1
No Warming ‘Halt’: Rep. Lamar Smith, the chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, claimed in March that a study published in Nature Climate Change “confirms the halt in global warming.” That’s false. The authors of the paper write, “We do not believe that warming has ceased.” Scientists disagree over the extent of a potential slowdown in the rate of global warming, but there is no evidence for a full-on warming halt. Smith also made a similar claim last year.
Smith Still Wrong About Warming ‘Halt,’ March 30
The Zika Epidemic
Blinded by Zika: Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid falsely claimed that Zika “affects everyone” because recent research found that it “causes people to go blind.” Temporary vision impairment is a symptom of Zika, a virus primarily spread by mosquito bite, but no adult has gone blind because of the virus. In fact, many people who contract Zika have little to no symptoms. However, it’s important to note that studies have shown that women who contracted Zika while pregnant have given birth to babies with severe vision impairment. Reid made his claim, and other similar claims, during a partisan battle over funding to combat the Zika epidemic.
Does Zika Cause Blindness?, Sept. 20
No U.S. Epidemic: In April, also during the debate over Zika funding, North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp warned about traveling in the U.S., claiming that the Zika virus will be transmitted “everywhere in the United States.” At the time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention projected local clusters of Zika transmission on U.S. soil via mosquito bite, but not a widespread epidemic. As of Dec. 7, the CDC’s projections have held true. Puerto Rico primarily, but also the U.S. Virgin Islands, Florida, American Samoa and Texas have seen locally acquired cases, the CDC reports. Every state in the continental U.S. has seen travel-associated cases, however, which means those residents contracted the virus in areas of local transmission out-of-state.
What Zika Means for Americans, May 6
Legalization: Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson said in August that “marijuana-related” traffic deaths, hospital visits and school suspensions in Colorado have “not significantly” increased since the state legalized the drug. Reports do show substantial increases, but data limitations make it impossible to know how many cases were directly caused by marijuana. On traffic accidents — unlike alcohol, a positive test for marijuana doesn’t entail intoxication at the time of an accident. The drug can stay in a person’s system longer than its effects. On hospital visits — medical billing codes for marijuana signify a “marijuana-related” hospital visit in reports. But these codes don’t prove the drug was the reason for the visit, and one Colorado doctor said they are often assigned arbitrarily. On school suspensions — the Colorado Department of Education collects data on drug-related suspensions in general, so it’s not clear that the increase was due solely to marijuana.
Unpacking Pot’s Impact in Colorado, Aug. 19
Medical Research: In April, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said that “you can’t do any research about” marijuana because it’s a Schedule I drug. That’s false. Schedule I classification makes it difficult to conduct research on a substance, but not impossible. For example, the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research, based out of the University of California, San Diego, says its mission is to coordinate “rigorous scientific studies to assess the safety and efficacy of cannabis and cannabis compounds for treating medical conditions.”
Clinton on Marijuana Research, April 22
California’s Very Real Drought: Trump falsely suggested in May that “there is no drought” in California because the state has “plenty of water.” The state is in its fifth year of a severe “hot” drought, the type that’s expected to become more common with global warming. Trump also said water is being shoved “out to sea” to protect a “three-inch fish” at the detriment to farmers. But the state’s officials release fresh water from reservoirs primarily to avoid salt water contamination to agricultural and urban water supplies.
Trump’s Dubious Drought Claims, June 9
Fracking Fray: Sen. Jim Inhofe, chairman of the Senate environment committee, falsely claimed in November that a new report “confirms” that fracking “has not impacted drinking water” in Wyoming. The industry-funded report couldn’t reach “firm conclusions” due to a lack of water quality data before oil and gas exploration. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency also found numerous issues with the draft report, some of which weren’t resolved in the final version. For example, the report didn’t conclusively determine whether the sources of water contamination were naturally occurring or caused by humans in some cases.
More False Claims About Fracking, Dec. 2
Trump and His Hairspray: In May, Trump falsely said that using hairspray in his apartment, “which is all sealed,” would prevent banned ozone layer-depleting chemicals from escaping into the environment. But these chemicals, chlorofluorocarbons, would still make their way out, multiple experts said. Trump made his claim while also arguing that “hairspray’s not like it used to be” due to the CFC ban. Experts also said these global bans didn’t effect the quality of hairspray. These global bans appear to be reversing damage done to the ozone layer. The ozone layer protects the Earth’s inhabitants from the sun’s ultraviolet radiation, which is linked to skin cancer and other problems. Located between 6 to 30 miles above the planet’s surface, the ozone layer differs from ground-level ozone.
Trump on Hairspray and Ozone, May 17
Ozone and Asthma: Louisiana Rep. Ralph Abraham claimed in June that “thousands of studies” refute the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s conclusion that ground-level ozone exacerbates asthma attacks. That’s false. A link between ground-level ozone and asthma exacerbation is well-documented in the scientific literature, which both the American Lung Association and the World Health Organization acknowledge. Ground-level ozone is a component of photochemical smog, which is produced when sunlight reacts with various air pollutants. The sources of these pollutants include coal power plants, paint and cleaning products, and car exhaust.
Distorting the Ozone-Asthma Link, July 6
The Human Mind
Ineffective Torture: Trump said both in February and July that enhanced interrogation, or torture, “works.” But scientists have shown that the stress and pain induced by techniques like waterboarding can impair memory, and, therefore, inhibit a person from recalling information. Stress causes the release of hormones like cortisol, which impair the function of brain regions vital to memory formation and recall, sometimes even resulting in tissue loss. Scientists also point out that it’s difficult to know whether the information provided is true. It is not clear what policy on torture Trump will support as president. His choice for defense secretary is James N. Mattis, a retired Marine Corps general. Trump said that Mattis told him he has never found torture to be useful, the New York Times reported in November.
Trump on Torture, July 28
Implicit Bias for All: Vice President-elect Mike Pence implied in October that Hillary Clinton was wrong when she cited the fatal shooting of a black man by a black cop as a case of implicit, or unconscious, bias. But research shows African Americans are not immune to implicit bias against members of their own racial group. Implicit bias refers to unconscious and automatic features of judgment, while explicit bias entails conscious judgments. Thus, a person could explicitly believe that white and black Americans should be treated equally, but implicitly judge situations counter to that explicit belief. A group of Harvard scientists found “even numbers of Black respondents showing a pro-White bias as show a pro-Black bias.”
FactChecking the VP Debate, Oct. 5
Other Notable Claims
Ninth Month, Final Day: Trump claimed during the final presidential debate in October that under Clinton’s position on abortion, “you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb in the ninth month on the final day.” First off, Clinton had said she was open to restrictions on late-term abortions, with exceptions for cases involving the mother’s health issues. Second, abortions on the “final day” don’t occur. Daniel Grossman, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of California, San Francisco told Politifact, “Nobody would talk about abortion on the woman’s due date. If the mother’s life was at risk, the treatment for that is delivery, and the baby survives.” Third, late-term abortions in general are rare, as only 1.2 percent of all the abortions in the United States occur after 20 weeks gestation, according to the Guttmacher Institute.
FactChecking the Final Presidential Debate, Oct. 20
Birds and Wind Farms: Trump said in May that wind farms in the U.S. “kill more than 1 million birds a year.” Reliable data are scarce, but current mean estimates range from 20,000 to 573,000 bird deaths per year. In his claim, Trump also misleadingly compared bird deaths at oil drilling operations with those at wind farms. But a 2012 Bureau of Land Management memo states that oil field production kills an estimated 500,000 to 1,000,000 birds a year. This suggests oil production alone (i.e. not including the production of coal or gas) can kill the same, if not more, birds per year than wind farms in the U.S. Even still, there are greater threats to birds than energy production, including cats and buildings.
Trump’s Hot Air on Wind Energy, June 2
Frankenfish: Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski said in March that she opposes federal approval of genetically engineered salmon “for the health of both consumers and fisheries.” But no scientific evidence suggests GE salmon will pose a significant risk to either. Scientists engineered GE salmon to grow faster than non-GE farm-raised salmon by inserting genes from two other fish into the genome of an Atlantic salmon. With these changes, the GE salmon remained nutritionally and physiologically comparable to non-GE salmon, so the Food and Drug Administration deemed GE salmon “safe to eat.” GE salmon have also been rendered sterile — meaning they can’t interbreed with wild salmon stocks. Geographical and physical confinement measures also limit the likelihood that the GE fish will escape, survive and impact wild fisheries.
False Claims About Frankenfish, March 23Editor’s Note: SciCheck is made possible by a grant from the Stanton Foundation.
They are actually the same, but global warming was the first label given and anytime we got a snow storm the used it as proof that it was false.
Basically. I think there is also a fear in the back of some minds that there is something that will "prove" that God doesn't exist or cause people to abandon god. The bible doesn't teach this though.