Bright Ideas: PZ Myers

In an ideal world, science and politics would be kept distinctly separate, much as we try to with church and state. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. In fact, the intersection of politics and science can be bizarre, filled with vague agendas, exchanges of money, and other things you don't want anywhere near a scientist who is striving for objectivity. Throw in some debates on evolution, and you have a media firestorm. These will be the topics of conversation for MPR's latest installment of Bright Ideas. During this hour-long talk, host Stephen Smith will chat with PZ Myers, author of the immensely popular science blog Pharyngula, where the associate professor at the University of Minnesota, Morris, explores subjects ranging from the opinions of Stephen Hawking to atheism in the media to inaccuracies in creationism arguments to octopus-inspired art (or cephalart, as he calls it). Be prepared for rational thoughts on often-crazy discourses. This event is free, but reservations are required. Call for tickets. (Photo by Sachitha Obeysekara)
Tue., May 31, 7 p.m., 2011
 
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19 comments
Tim Fuller
Tim Fuller

In an ideal world, all of PZ Myers appearances would be live streamed to the web where we could all watch/listen in real-time.Enjoy.

Boadinum
Boadinum

In an ideal world, science and politics would be kept distinctly separate, much as we try to with church and state..." Why should science and politics be kept separate? We need more scientists, artists, free-thinkers...way fewer lawyers and politicians. As for the separation of church and state...in America? The Constitution be damned, church and state are inseparable in this country.

ellieban
ellieban

We may not want politics muddled up in science, but we could certainly do with getting some good science into politics...

Mike De Fleuriot
Mike De Fleuriot

It boils down to accountants providing money for engineers and engineers providing reasons for money. Let both examine the arguments and convince each other based on facts.

Rob
Rob

Congrats to PZ Myers. The Pharyngula Blog is awesome.

Mike Hunt
Mike Hunt

Will the event be recorded and posted on the web?

Maple Leaf
Maple Leaf

The government of Canada retains scientists to advise on fish stocks, hunting limits, climate change and its effects, geology and its relevance to siting nuclear plants, invasive species, planning for healthcare, education, and a host of other interactions with the real world. I am sure that the U.S. government has its scientists, too, and it ignores them to its peril: it ignored Ivor van Heerden's warnings about New Orleans and hurricane floods. It's wise to include the real world in your decision-making process.

Politics should be kept out of decision-making, e.g. the space shuttle rockets that "had to" be built in the right senator's state, even though that meant they had to be made in pieces for easier shipping--and O-ring failure.

John A. Davison
John A. Davison

I agree with Jon Jermey. There has never been a place either for politics or religion in the scientific process. Paul Zachary Myers and his alter ego Clinton Richard Dawkins each abandoned science long ago to seek notoriety as "community organizers" for Universal Atheism, a venture doomed to failure from the outset. Neither is fit to wear the mantle of scientist. For an antidote to their shared contempt for the roots of Western Civilization, I recommend my website and my book "Unpublished Evolution Papers of John A. Davison." Lulu publishers.

jadavison.wordpress.com

Notagod
Notagod

Wouldn't it be a positive development if government officials were obliged to justify their woo with evidence and objective reasoning?

discordianstooge
discordianstooge

Perhaps she should have said that politics should be kept out of science.

JP
JP

Yes, yes, yes, we wouldn't want to corrupt politics with facts, reason, or a tested methodology for learning and knowing how things really work!What in the world is up with the first sentence of this article?

Mitch Swan
Mitch Swan

I agree with the other three comments. The unfortunate thing is that REAL science and politics don't intersect more often. Usually, vague ideas and money changing hands happens when PSEUDOscience intersects with politics, as in cases with climate change denialism, reduction in reproductive rights, and promotion of creationism in public schools.

Jon Jermey
Jon Jermey

Yes, this is really bizarre. We have one and only one method for making the best possible decisions in ANY field, and that is to gather and examine the empirical data, and logically deduce from that the likely outcomes of our choices. That's the scientific method. There is no better alternative, regardless of the subject area.

Ichthyic
Ichthyic

yes, this article starts off as complete fail, not only misconstruing how science and politics can, have, and SHOULD work hand in hand on many legislative issues, but then goes immediately on to use a fallacy of equivalence to religion.

Jessica? You really need to amend your understanding of how everything in your first sentence actually works, or even SHOULD work, otherwise your concept of an "ideal world" apparently is one filled with ignorance.

Guest
Guest

Science and politics should be separate??? No, no, no. I think you meant science should inform political decisions...

savory
savory

You must be pulling our onomatopaeical legs. If I were called 'Mike Hunt', I'd be off to change my name as soon as Gina did (the lady who worked for the Veteran Administration, V.A.Gina) ;-)

J Kallis
J Kallis

So right. The sad truth is that we are already in this "ideal world" where politics & science are kept seperate. And it is a disaster because of that.

Valkyrie607
Valkyrie607

Excellent point... in MY ideal world, all political decisions would be informed by science.

 
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