Author Topic: A common anti-intellectual dodge  (Read 48 times)

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Offline wright

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A common anti-intellectual dodge
« on: Yesterday at 03:21:20 PM »
This isn't exactly news to most here, I know. Still, some thoughts on a standard qualifier some commentators, particularly politicians, like to use:

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2014/10/24/im-not-a-scientist-is-not-an-excuse-to-believe-in-nonsense/

http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2014/10/i_m_not_a_scientist_excuse_politicians_don_t_need_to_be_experts_to_make.html

From the Slate article:
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When politicians say “I’m not a scientist,” it is an exasperating evasion. It’s a cowardly way to avoid answering basic and important policy questions. This response raises lots of other important questions about their decision-making processes. Do they have opinions on how to best maintain our nation’s highways, bridges, and tunnels—or do they not because they’re not civil engineers? Do they refuse to talk about agriculture policy on the grounds that they’re not farmers? How do they think we should be addressing the threat of ISIS? They wouldn’t know, of course; they’re not military generals.

And from the post at The Friendly Atheist:
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The same people who can’t admit to the scientific consensus on life’s origins because they’re not scientists have no problem commenting on (and limiting) women’s healthcare despite not being physicians.

There's certainly nothing wrong with admitting ignorance about a given topic. But as both Shiffman and Ford point out, to use that as an excuse to disregard expert opinion is wrong.
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Offline Backspace

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Re: A common anti-intellectual dodge
« Reply #1 on: Yesterday at 08:02:48 PM »
"Cowardly" is too generous...

Quote
Biology Major Bobby Jindal (R-LA) Pleads Ignorance On Evolution And Climate Science

What happens when a highly educated guy who did study science in college wants to run for national office in a party that increasingly stands against facts and science? In the case of Louisiana Governor and perennial presidential wannabee Bobby Jindal (R), you act dumb and make tortuous statements...

As an aside, recall that last year, Jindal gave a big speech saying the GOP “must stop being the stupid party.”

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/09/18/3568580/jindal-climate-science-evolution/

« Last Edit: Yesterday at 08:04:48 PM by Backspace »
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Offline wright

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Re: A common anti-intellectual dodge
« Reply #2 on: Yesterday at 09:16:16 PM »
^^^Yep, Jindal is specifically mentioned by Ford in her piece.
Live a good life... If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones. I am not afraid.
--Marcus Aurelius