Saturday, June 23, 2007

What is science?

Right now, I worry, no, despair for the state of science in society. If I may merge two mostly unrelated topics I consider important: autism and the environment. Right now, there is a trial in the Federal Court in the United States concerning whether thimerosol, a mercury-based preservative long used in vaccines such as the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine. Or at the very least, take a rather panicked approach to treatment.

On the other hand, people like me are too willing to believe what scientists are telling us about global warmingl, yet, some people seem willing to dismiss it easily. One side seems to be working for the oil companies when they dismiss anthropomorphic climate change as pure fantasy, while the other side may be exaggerating such claims for their own monetary gain. Both sides seem to be driven by ideology as well, free-market capitalism vs. every other point of view. It seems quite possible that both sides of these issues pervert science for their own ends, and nothing can really be proven conclusively true or false.

This is likely what makes human intellectualism so limited. Everything is subjective. Sigh!


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Anonymous said...

I tend to believe more what I see more than what I hear and read. What I see is an absolutely phenomenonal change in the climate in the past 30 yrs and even 15. I would suggest it is better to err on the side of caution if one is going to err in this debate.

The stakes are too high to err on the other side. Besides, I don't see how pursuing and implementing renewable resources can do much harm except of course to those who have billions invested in non renewable.

As far as the ethanol and corn scare is concerned, this is only some issue if we maintain status quo with internal combustion engines. How come so little thought is being put into that aspect of the fear mongering?