PolySciFi Blog

Sunday, October 02, 2005


Contempt for Reality

This is a little dated but I just saw it today; a Washington Post editorial about yet another case of the Bush Administration flat-out lying to please social conservatives. In this case, White House officials claimed that at least three scientists had done research that questioned the efficacy of needle exchange programs in slowing HIV infection; when the Post contacted these researchers, they found that quite the opposite was true.

The Clinton administration was also unwilling to support needle exchanges as a practical way to slow HIV transmission, for pretty much the same reason as Bush and Co.: fear of backlash from social conservatives. I am not sure I support needle exchanges in the United States, myself. But I don't question empirical evidence suggesting that they lower HIV transmission, and I certainly wouldn't misrepresent other people's research in an attempt to claim the mantle of scientific legitimacy. Neither did Clinton (their response was more along the lines of "yeah, but what're you gonna do?")

For more examples of Bush's deliberate misinterpretation of scientific evidence, see "Intelligent Design" and "Global Warming." Money quote from the editorial: "incomplete scientific evidence does not confer the freedom to ignore the knowledge we do have." That about sums it up.


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