Monday, March 03, 2008

John McCain is against Reason

McCain is not a rationalist.
Immune to the Facts - The Opinionator - Opinion - New York Times Blog

...“At a town hall meeting Friday in Texas, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., declared that ‘there’s strong evidence’ that thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative that was once in many childhood vaccines, is responsible for the increased diagnoses of autism in the U.S. — a position in stark contrast with the view of the medical establishment,” writes Tapper. “McCain was responding to a question from the mother of a boy with autism, who asked about a recent story that the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program had issued a judgment in favor of an unnamed child whose family claimed regressive encephalopathy and symptoms of autism were caused by thimerosal.”...
I recall McCain also favors teaching creationism in schools.

No big surprise. The GOP has a strong anti-science bias, McCain is their man.

1 comment:

Pidgas said...

John McCain believes in evolution and does not think that creationism should be taught in SCIENCE class. However, he also does not believe that the federal government should prohibit school districts from exposing children to creationism in school. That is not unreasonable, nor does it reflect an anti-science bias.

His comments on thimerosol are misguided and wrong. They are hard to interpret in any favorable way for the Senator, but they do not necessarily represent an "anti-science" bias. Besides, ignorance of the facts or willingness to pander is hardly unique to Republicans. How else can we explain Obama's support for corn-based ethanol subsidies. McCain opposes corn-based ethanol subsidies, a position supported by both social and natural scientists.

Your post can be seen as part of a larger move to paint McCain into the over-arching "Republicans are anti-science" narrative currently en vogue on the left. However, the left should be careful as they are playing with a two-edged sword. Fredrick Hayek's described socialism's "fatal conceit" as concluding that knowledge of a system implied predictive capacity and the ability to intervene. Many conservatives aren't so much "anti-science" as they are skeptical of scientists prescribing policy. The failures of such policy prescriptions are legion and occasionally spectacular.

John Young at Pure Pedantry has an excellent post on the relationship between conservatives and science that is definitely worth reading.