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Spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of science... the thrill of discovery... and the agony of failed experiments... the human drama of scientific advancement... This is the Blue Streak Science Podcast!

Aug 20, 2015

Blue Streak Science News

  • Australia’s emissions target panned both home and away (boo!)
  • Scientists protest Scotland’s ban of GM crops
  • What, me worry-.Retinal changes may serve as measures of brain pathology in schizophrenia
  • Octopus genome reveals secrets to complex intelligence
  • Matter and antimatter are mirror images
  • Do bears freak out when they see a UFO?

The Jackass of the Week

In the United States there is a war going on. This time it’s the war against science.

It’s no secret that among American conservatives scientific illiteracy has become a source a pride. When faced with science that runs contrary to their cherished views the default position is belligerent denial. From former Senator Todd Akins’ infamous “legitimate rape” statement to virtually anything pumped out by the Heritage Foundation, conservatives have turned the anti-science position from a liability to a winning political strategy.[read more]

When you think of a typical science denier, who comes to mind? For me, it’s a conservative who toes the party line on anthropogenic global warming. But the greatest distance between science and the general public is actually over one of the far left’s favorite causes, genetically modified organisms, GMOs.

Last January a survey was released by Pew Research that showed 88% of AAAS scientists, think that GMO food is safe to eat, but only 37% of the public agrees with that.

Let’s look at a few other places where the extreme left have checked their brains at the door and put on the tin foil hat. I mentioned anti-GMO. There’s also the infamous anti-vaccine crusade, acupuncture, biodynamic agriculture, even most organic agriculture, and homeopathy.

One very broad form of science denialism embraced by many in the far left is “chemophobia”. Think The Food Babe. But this chemophobia can have deadly consequences for its adherents.

Ariane Forster, better know as Ari Up, of the influential punk band The Slits died in 2010 from breast cancer. According to her stepfather, John Lydon, who himself fronted Sex Pistols. Yes, her stepfather was Johnny Rotten. Lydon told Sky News, “Ariane didn’t need to die. She knew she had cancer and she deliberately ignored it and went for lunatic left-wing crackpot theories. And that will kill you stone dead every single time.” 

There are countless more examples where innocent, but scientifically illiterate people have suffered terribly and died needlessly because they eschewed the science and instead opted for what some celebrity or website told them. They did their research on the Internet.

Is there a progressive war on science? No, not really, insofar the anti-science sentiments on the left are disorganized and have little influence on public policy like it does among conservatives.

Climate science denial carries great weight in national Republican politics as evidenced by its prominence in the GOP platform. No equivalent anti-science stance exists in the national Democratic platform.

But don’t be fooled. Science denialism and willful ignorance are alive and well on the liberal side. It’s up to us to go where the science leads us, wherever it lead us./read]

Today the Blue Streak Science Jackass of the Week, another collective JOTW, are the anti-science moonbats of the political left, wherever you may be.

Shout-outs and Acknowledgments

"Never Mind the Bollocks" by the Sex Pistols

The Story Worthy Podcast at www.storyworthypodcast.com

Please visit BioDetectives as they track life science stories from Down Under to Up North.

This episode of Blue Streak Science Podcast comes to you from Sydney, Australia; Atlanta, Georgia; and Sonoma County, California!