Government can manipulate the laws of society, but not the laws of natureSubmitted by Delysid on Wed, 08/21/2013 - 10:30
The politicization of science is the greatest mistake I see from all ideological fronts. Authoritarian progressives notoriously and frequently pervert the scientific method in order to justify State control over society, while many (so-called) libertarians frequently reject the scientific method and established scientific theories in their opposition to the State. Both sides are wrong.
Science has been historically (and rightfully) thought of as the methodical study of the natural world- physics, chemistry, and biology. Science in this regard is apolitical and universal. During the Space Race, for instance, the laws of nature were the same for both the Soviet Union and the United States (and of course remain the same today). The mathematics governing rocket science aren't communist or capitalist. Scientists, regardless of their intent, cannot violate nature.
During the Progressive Era, statists, in an attempt to control and centrally plan society, successfully expanded and perverted the idea of "science" from the neutral study of the natural world to the politicized study of human behavior. Fields such as economics and politics transformed from philosophical to 'scientific' and became the greatest excuse ever devised by statists to defend statism, as the philosophically unethical could be twisted to be 'scientifically sound' actions justified by reckless and irrelevant application of the scientific method.
Many libertarians (and those of related ideologies) have realized that the 'social sciences' are being used irresponsibly and unethically to control society and have (rightfully) rejected many of their conclusions. Many economists in the Austrian School of Economics, for instance, outright reject Econometrics as a discipline because it is an inappropriate model for studying economic reality. Human beings and their behavior cannot and should not be measured in the same regard as inanimate particles and other non-human agents because of free will.
Unfortunately, some libertarians have gone beyond the rejection of the study of the soft social sciences to the outright rejection of the hard sciences of the natural world. There is a very large group within the liberty movement with the general sentiment of "the government lies about the social science, so it is also lying about the hard sciences." This is a mistake, because the government cannot manipulate the laws of nature. Healthy skepticism about how science is being applied to the laws of society is important, but then there is the aggressive paranoid contrarism that seems to dominate the discussions.
There is perhaps no greater waste of time for the liberty movement than alarmist pseudoscience. As the State steadily destroys individual freedom, there are those in the liberty movement who insist that the most important issues are those regarding vast science conspiracies involving HIV/AIDs, genetic engineering, nuclear power, vaccines, the science (not ethics) of public water fluoridation, et cetera and relentlessly bombard every forum with antiscience sensationalism. What do people think they are going to accomplish by this? They aren't conducting any original research or trying to advance scientific understanding. What is the point?
Any jackass can write in a blog or make a Yoube video or a semi-professional documentary to spread their propaganda (including me, which someone will no doubt point out). There are activists such as Jeffrey Smith, a man who appears to have never taken a post-secondary science course, trying to subvert the principles of molecular biology in order to support his fallacious, superstitious worldview regarding naturalism. It is amazing to me that many of the people who view all of the information reported by the mainstream media with skepticism will often accept the propaganda of alternative media blogs with unwavering blind faith. The only sources that are more misleading with disinformation than the mainstream media are the alternative media blogs.
Antiscience populism is not helping the liberty movement. Some new people might be recruited by the fear-mongering, and a few friends and neighbors may even share and repost the gibberish on Natural News, WorldTruth.tv, thetruthwins, economiccollapseblog, CorbettReport, and other obscure fringe sites, but ultimately the scientific thinkers are going to reject the alarmist pseudoscience conspiracies. The liberty movement needs more intellectuals and scientists, not demagogues. The liberty movement needs more players, not protestors.