Saturday, March 9, 2013


Michael Rosen, reviewing Science Left Behind, notes that there are a lot of "anti-science" folks out there other than the usual suspects. From the review of Science Left Behind: Feel-Good Fallacies and the Rise of the Anti-Scientific Left:
A meta-study that appeared in the Annals of Internal Medicine last September found no “strong evidence that organic foods are significantly more nutritious than conventional foods.” A dozen Stanford researchers combed some 237 studies that analyzed food consumption and health outcomes among thousands of people, only to conclude (in the words of the study’s senior author) that “there isn’t much difference between organic and conventional foods, if you’re an adult and making a decision based solely on your health.”
In the weeks that followed, progressive foodies and activists were, predictably, apoplectic. The study was “an exercise in misdirection” and “junk science” that “conveniently obscur[ed] important features of organic agriculture,” according to Mark Bittman of the New York Times, who likened the Stanford findings to “declaring guns no more dangerous than baseball bats” and to “comparing milk and Elmer’s glue on the basis of whiteness.”
When scientific facts collide with the ingrained worldview of left-wing activists like Bittman, chaos ensues—and it is such disorder among progressives that Alex Berezow and Hank Campbell capably catalogue in this penetrating, entertaining world tour of what they label the “anti-scientific left.” ....
Berezow, who holds a doctorate in microbiology and is the editor of Real Clear Science, and Campbell, founder and editor of Science 2.0, traverse the unplowed terrain of left-wing Luddism—ranging from vaccine refuseniks to nuclear energy opponents to anti-animal-testing zealots to ANWR lovers to Keystone XL haters—methodically demonstrating how progressives seek to “replace scientific research with unscientific ideology.” A prime example is genetically modified (GM) organisms, which present no significant health risks but which promise better, cheaper, and more environmentally friendly living for humanity, especially for those mired in poverty. As the authors point out, “GM crops are spreading across the entire continent of Africa because of the numerous advantages they confer over conventional crops.” ....

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