As I’ve been skimming my way around the Internets today, I came across an article on Nature’s news blog, “Legislation Seeks to Restrict NSF’s Social Science Programmes.” Once again, conservative US legislators are cutting science funding. No surprise there, right?
One comment in the article alludes to social sciences being perceived by those conservatives as not having scientific value, and that’s why they’re clearly being defunded.
That’s not it. Not even close. The real issue here is that nearly all of scientific endeavour is 100% against conservative values. The best evidence for the okayness of gay marriage is from science. The best evidence against Creation stories comes from science. Evidence for climate change and the impending catastrophe is also from science. Proof that women are just as capable as men has also come from scientific research.
Science has a way of destroying old and cherished beliefs. Certainly, there are examples of science being used for evil (c.f. Nazi Germany and eugenics), but the general pattern leans toward bringing us closer together and eradicating ideas such as race, sexism and that core beliefs should be based authoritatively on ancient manuscripts with no deep examination. Some, myself included, say science is the ultimate disproof of any gods humanity has ever imagined. The result is that science that might lead to similar earthshakers must be stopped, at least in the conservative mind.
Facts are hard to take sometimes. The temptation for those on the losing side of reality is to deny reality, and this is what we see in the US governmental defunding of most areas of science, excepting those directly relating to defense or saleable goods.
The only way to reverse this trend is to start voting the bums out.