Wednesday, May 25, 2016

"Science" On Your Side?

Most important rule of politics: Do what it takes to win. Whatever it takes. Part of that rule is claiming that your side is the one that is comporting with "science". As far as I can tell, either side will make claims to that effect, most of which demonstrate their ignorance of how science is done and what it can or cannot tell us. I love this quote:

Put aside the fact that there is no such thing as settled science. Scientists are constantly questioning their understanding of things; that is what science does. All the great scientists of history are justly famous for overturning the assumptions of their fields. The real problem is that in politics, invocations of science are very often marketing techniques masquerading as appeals to irrefutable authority. In an increasingly secular society, having science on your side is better than having God on your side – at least in an argument.

Much of the rest of the article is skippable, until you get to this little demonstration of New York values:

In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio is pushing to fine businesses that do not address customers by their “preferred name, pronoun and title (e.g., Ms./Mrs.) regardless of the individual’s sex assigned at birth, anatomy, gender, medical history, appearance, or the sex indicated on the individual’s identification.” The NYC Commission on Human Rights can penalize offenders up to $250,000.

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