But Rick Perry is on my radar with his stance on Global Warming. Not because I Love Al Gore, but because of Perry's line of reasoning.
From the Huffington Post:
That's right. According to Rick Perry, Scientists cook the data.
But wait, that's not all!
The WaPo goes on to report the next day:
“They have seen the headlines in the past year about doctored data related to global warming,” Perry writes. “They know that we have been experiencing a cooling trend, that the complexities of the global atmosphere have often eluded the most sophisticated scientists, and that draconian policies with dire economic effects based on so-called science may not stand the test of time. Quite frankly, when science gets hijacked by the political Left, we should all be concerned.”
Good thing science is never manipulated or hijacked by the Right. Never. Never ever.
Now, I'm not saying scientists should never be questioned, or that science is always right, or that science knows everything about a given topic (let alone global warming) right now. There are too-frequent reports of people who have falsified data and lost their positions, issue retractions, damage other careers, etc. This is very, very bad. Even one report is too-frequent, given the nature of scientific research to build upon the findings of others.
But this is discovered through the process of competition, further experimentation, and peer review.
Not by politicians.
Just because a poll says a majority of people don't believe a theory (Global Warming, for example) is not true, doesn't mean that their theory is any more correct. Popular opinion does not a truth make. Ask Copernicus.
It's the collection and evaluation of evidence - which can be a long, gradual process - that should influence our interactions with (and actions on) the world.
Perry uses general terms when he talks about these Scientists Gone Wild, if you watch the clip (at the end of the post). "Substantial number." Which then becomes "some cases". He points to the emergence of scientists that question the working hypothesis as evidence that the theory is false - thereby furthering the implication that the data is false and politicized.
No, it's science.
Scientific development comes from trying to prove or disprove a working hypothesis. Perry is merely taking the flip side of what he's accusing liberals of doing - that is, politicizing global warming - only he's doing it at the expense of science's credibility in the eyes of the public.
And I didn't hear any disclosures, Governor Perry. Come on, even "scientists" do that.
I'm not sure if it's willful ignorance, or a belief that the public is not interested in specifics behind his accusations, or the desire to capitalize on a popular idea about science.
And in a way, that's what's most alarming about Perry. His comments reflect a fundamental problem in the perception of science - which, in turn, leads me to believe this is an attitude he's likely to carry into the White House.
The prejudice that scientists would fabricate data to funnel in research dollars doesn't bode well for the future of research in America. Clearly, Perry has never tried to apply for an NIH grant.
It's not about global warming, Perry. Sorry.
Here's a video of his answer so you can judge for yourself. The question takes a while and is hard to understand, but Perry is loud and clear.