If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(Cracked)   Since politicians think they can be scientists too, here are four crazy scientific theories that were brought up by them   (cracked.com) divider line 84
    More: Amusing, Todd Akin, Paul Broun, lead paint, female genitalia, Genghis Khan, medical doctors, Young Earth creationism  
•       •       •

4989 clicks; posted to Politics » on 16 Oct 2012 at 10:55 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



84 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

Archived thread

First | « | 1 | 2 | » | Last | Show all
 
2012-10-16 11:57:29 AM  
Every year the non-profit I work for publishes photos of an annual gala that's thrown during an annual meeting that we hold jointly with FDA. Thanks to the Tea Party and idiocies spewed by Republicans during the election cycle we've been told by our programs department that publishing these pictures is now verboten because you just know that someone with an R next to their name is going to hold these images up of various government employees holding up wine glasses and beer bottles (after hours, mind you) and go on about how they are doing it on the tax payer's dime or something ridiculous like that.
 
2012-10-16 12:00:57 PM  

quatchi: FTA: Wind is God's way of balancing heat. Wind is the way you shift heat from areas where it's hotter to areas where it's cooler. That's what wind is. Wouldn't it be ironic if in the interest of global warming we mandated massive switches to energy, which is a finite resource, which slows the winds down, which causes the temperature to go up?"

*beats head into desk until unconscious*


Want to really beat your head look at the committees this rocket scientist is on and up till recently he chaired the Committee on Energy and Commerce and became such an embarrassment that the leadership convinced him to step down as chairman. He was the one who apologized to BP for letting a clean up of the Gulf get in their way in the BP oil spill.

Chair Emeritus of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Health, Subcommittee on Energy and Power, Subcommittee on Environment and Economy
 
2012-10-16 12:01:32 PM  

Fluorescent Testicle: lousyskater: As a Wind Turbine Technician, this one really rustled my jimmies.

gulogulo: Yeah, well, trying being an ecologist. ... In my field, most laypeople are convinced they know better than the scientists studying it. See: climate change, deforestation, fragmentation, invasive species, cats.

My degree was in palaeontology. Imagine how I feel about creationism. :P


Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal sums it up quite nicely here...

Theory of Revolution
 
2012-10-16 12:02:43 PM  

qorkfiend: Fluorescent Testicle: OneTimed: I think it's more important that our politicians are scientifically literate, not necessarily scientists.

I would be happy with one simple yes-or-no question.

"Do you believe in evolution?"

If they answer "No," they're either forced to take a high school science class or banned from politics for life.

I don't think it should be "believe". A better question might be "Do you understand the scientific basis and reasoning behind the theory of evolution?"


Even betterer question: 'When you reach an unknown, do you study it, perform tests, analyze results and reach a likely conclusion based on the current tools available to us, or do you Because Jesus?'
 
2012-10-16 12:04:11 PM  

Erix: Yeah, that "purity of sciences" comic from xkcd makes sense, but it's also missing the fact that with increasing purity comes an increase in reductionism. The more pure sciences end up stripping away the complexities that make real world application feasible. Physics is "pure" and extremely useful, but say very little about the way humans, ecosystems, and other complex systems actually work.


It's true. In fact, as a natural scientist, I'm starting to read up on social sciences. "Purity" itself is a purely human constructed value. Much of what we decide what is important to study, and what is not, already removes the ostensible objectivity of our science away. It gets complicated fast.
 
2012-10-16 12:04:28 PM  

NeverDrunk23: qorkfiend: Fluorescent Testicle: OneTimed: I think it's more important that our politicians are scientifically literate, not necessarily scientists.

I would be happy with one simple yes-or-no question.

"Do you believe in evolution?"

If they answer "No," they're either forced to take a high school science class or banned from politics for life.

I don't think it should be "believe". A better question might be "Do you understand the scientific basis and reasoning behind the theory of evolution?"

Even betterer question: 'When you reach an unknown, do you study it, perform tests, analyze results and reach a likely conclusion based on the current tools available to us, or do you Because Jesus?'


Well, of course. They frequently study it out.
 
2012-10-16 12:05:39 PM  
I used to be religious, I look back now and often wonder "how the hell did I believe that stuff"?
 
2012-10-16 12:06:08 PM  
Craptastic: /also, what kind of screwed-up place names the roads "1st St, 2nd St, 3rd St" in one direction, and "1st Ave, 2nd Ave, 3rd Ave, etc." in the other direction.

www.johnderbyshire.com
 
2012-10-16 12:17:11 PM  

Erix: Yeah, that "purity of sciences" comic from xkcd makes sense, but it's also missing the fact that with increasing purity comes an increase in reductionism. The more pure sciences end up stripping away the complexities that make real world application feasible. Physics is "pure" and extremely useful, but say very little about the w


Well, my physics field (nanophysics) isn't super-pure. In part because I'm doing experimentalism, and in part because chem, biology, and physics all sort of ram into each other at that scale.
 
2012-10-16 12:18:45 PM  

gulogulo: Erix: Yeah, that "purity of sciences" comic from xkcd makes sense, but it's also missing the fact that with increasing purity comes an increase in reductionism. The more pure sciences end up stripping away the complexities that make real world application feasible. Physics is "pure" and extremely useful, but say very little about the way humans, ecosystems, and other complex systems actually work.

It's true. In fact, as a natural scientist, I'm starting to read up on social sciences. "Purity" itself is a purely human constructed value. Much of what we decide what is important to study, and what is not, already removes the ostensible objectivity of our science away. It gets complicated fast.


Yeah, it helps to see what needs to be done in order to accurately describe complex systems like societies, and what kinds of liberties need to be taken that pull them out of the hard sciences.

As an aside, this thread gave me two more science folks to favorite in cyan2. Always nice to be able to pick out in the science threads!
 
2012-10-16 12:21:15 PM  

Erix: gulogulo: Erix: Yeah, that "purity of sciences" comic from xkcd makes sense, but it's also missing the fact that with increasing purity comes an increase in reductionism. The more pure sciences end up stripping away the complexities that make real world application feasible. Physics is "pure" and extremely useful, but say very little about the way humans, ecosystems, and other complex systems actually work.

It's true. In fact, as a natural scientist, I'm starting to read up on social sciences. "Purity" itself is a purely human constructed value. Much of what we decide what is important to study, and what is not, already removes the ostensible objectivity of our science away. It gets complicated fast.

Yeah, it helps to see what needs to be done in order to accurately describe complex systems like societies, and what kinds of liberties need to be taken that pull them out of the hard sciences.

As an aside, this thread gave me two more science folks to favorite in cyan2. Always nice to be able to pick out in the science threads!

Felgraf: Erix: Yeah, that "purity of sciences" comic from xkcd makes sense, but it's also missing the fact that with increasing purity comes an increase in reductionism. The more pure sciences end up stripping away the complexities that make real world application feasible. Physics is "pure" and extremely useful, but say very little about the w

Well, my physics field (nanophysics) isn't super-pure. In part because I'm doing experimentalism, and in part because chem, biology, and physics all sort of ram into each other at that scale.


Yeah, I don't mean to disparage the purer sciences in any way, I just also can't stand it when those people look down on the biologists and ecologists. It's all useful and necessary, even if you can't always apply the scientific method in the same way. And, of course, it's all incredibly awesome.

/science!
 
2012-10-16 12:21:48 PM  
i232.photobucket.com
Obvious obligatory reference
 
2012-10-16 12:23:09 PM  
Can we please give these people a basic science test before they get into a science-based committee?
 
2012-10-16 12:24:30 PM  

OneTimed: birchman: If congress were filled with scientists instead of psychopaths this country would be 100x better off.

Just because someone is proficient in a certain area doesn't mean they would have any idea how to govern.

I think it's more important that our politicians are scientifically literate, not necessarily scientists.


How about this then, our congress is made up of 95% lawyers. That's not in our best interest. We need a better representative sample of different professions across the spectrum.
 
2012-10-16 12:24:57 PM  

Erix: Yeah, I don't mean to disparage the purer sciences in any way, I just also can't stand it when those people look down on the biologists and ecologists. It's all useful and necessary, even if you can't always apply the scientific method in the same way. And, of course, it's all incredibly awesome.

/science!


Oh, agreed! I get really pissed at the stereotypical (and, unfortuantely, a stereotype for a reason) physicist that looks down on engineers or biologists, or, heck, even non-scientists (A friend of mine from college? Couldn't pass pre-calc to save his life. Linguisticaly? I'm absoltuely CERTAIN he was a certifiable genius. The guy taught himself *intro arabic* *for fun*).

I will admit I sometimes get frustrated at certain parts of the social sciences. Largely when I see papers going "We've proven that X behavior goes by Y!", when they don't, er, have a control group. To be fair, its newspapers taking the journal articles and saying "X proves Y!", but still...

/That's more of a "THAT EXPERIMENT WAS NOT DESIGNED PROPERLY ARRGGHHHH" gripe than anything else, though.
//Which I admit has in the past caused me to get irritated at Mythbusters. >.>
 
2012-10-16 12:26:20 PM  
Fails without young earth creationism.

/I just microwaved a hot pocket. It got hot ∴ your book, and by proxy your God, is a lie.
 
2012-10-16 12:26:28 PM  

PsyLord: Can we please give these people a basic science test before they get into a science-based committee?


Dumbass tea partier's would claim it was a liberal conspiracy......plus the whole can't use religion as a litmus test for eligibility....which they would claim a scientific test was.
 
2012-10-16 12:27:06 PM  

Craptastic: also, what kind of screwed-up place names the roads "1st St, 2nd St, 3rd St" in one direction, and "1st Ave, 2nd Ave, 3rd Ave, etc." in the other direction.


It makes sense in cities because you know that 51st street will be right after 50th street. Plus, since streets and avenues are at right angles to one another, just knowing the address can tell you a lot about how to find it.
 
2012-10-16 12:27:14 PM  

Craptastic: "Wind is God's way of balancing heat. Wind is the way you shift heat from areas where it's hotter to areas where it's cooler. That's what wind is. Wouldn't it be ironic if in the interest of global warming we mandated massive switches to energy, which is a finite resource, which slows the winds down, which causes the temperature to go up?"

Clearly, this man has never walked in Phoenix during July. I was there a few years back for a convention, and when the wind picked up, it felt like someone was holding a giant hair dryer on me.

/also, what kind of screwed-up place names the roads "1st St, 2nd St, 3rd St" in one direction, and "1st Ave, 2nd Ave, 3rd Ave, etc." in the other direction. I was trying to walk from my hotel to the convention center, and ended up of Joe Arpaio's front porch. Had to ask the hotdog vendor for directions.


A place that uses a logical system for laying out the streets in a grid. In my city, avenues run east-west with the numbers increasing as you head north. The streets run north-south with their numbers increasing as you head west. It makes finding an address so much easier than "320 Bumfark Blvd between Stupid Street and WTF Ave." Grid systems for cities are so much easier.
 
2012-10-16 12:28:44 PM  
Interesting article, but the author pretty much just copied this op-ed:

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/23/the-crackpot-caucus/

/Creationism bad
//Lazy writing also bad
 
2012-10-16 12:32:00 PM  
It always pisses me off to hear people reject Darwin and natural selection. People don't understand just how reinforced Darwin's theory really is. Remember, everything we know about genetics and inheritance didn't exist for Darwin. Mendel's work was essentially ignored until the 20th century. Darwin's theory existed before the actual method that precisely explained its action was known. And every fossil recovered since then has fit the model. And all of the new technologies we have devised have all fit Darwin's model. Carbon and uranium dating? Fit right in. As new species are discovered - they lock right into the position we expected them to be. We went looking for man's common ancestors with the apes and we found them - exactly how we expected them to look at the different stages and at the right times. There is no missing link. Every time I talk to these knownothings I am reminded of my sevne year old daughter who spent 20 minutes yesterday morning INSISTING that it was really Saturday and not Monday - because she didn't want to go to school. She wanted to watch TV and ride her bike.
 
2012-10-16 12:36:58 PM  

madgonad: It always pisses me off to hear people reject Darwin and natural selection. People don't understand just how reinforced Darwin's theory really is. Remember, everything we know about genetics and inheritance didn't exist for Darwin. Mendel's work was essentially ignored until the 20th century. Darwin's theory existed before the actual method that precisely explained its action was known. And every fossil recovered since then has fit the model. And all of the new technologies we have devised have all fit Darwin's model. Carbon and uranium dating? Fit right in. As new species are discovered - they lock right into the position we expected them to be. We went looking for man's common ancestors with the apes and we found them - exactly how we expected them to look at the different stages and at the right times. There is no missing link. Every time I talk to these knownothings I am reminded of my sevne year old daughter who spent 20 minutes yesterday morning INSISTING that it was really Saturday and not Monday - because she didn't want to go to school. She wanted to watch TV and ride her bike.


Many people don't understand how the concept of "testable and repeatable" can be applied to historical sciences like evolutionary biology and paleontology, which makes it much easier to just say "well, no one was there, so we can't know!"

You just outlined many of the reasons it's difficult to be civil with creationists.
 
2012-10-16 01:00:10 PM  

Erix: madgonad: It always pisses me off to hear people reject Darwin and natural selection. People don't understand just how reinforced Darwin's theory really is. Remember, everything we know about genetics and inheritance didn't exist for Darwin. Mendel's work was essentially ignored until the 20th century. Darwin's theory existed before the actual method that precisely explained its action was known. And every fossil recovered since then has fit the model. And all of the new technologies we have devised have all fit Darwin's model. Carbon and uranium dating? Fit right in. As new species are discovered - they lock right into the position we expected them to be. We went looking for man's common ancestors with the apes and we found them - exactly how we expected them to look at the different stages and at the right times. There is no missing link. Every time I talk to these knownothings I am reminded of my sevne year old daughter who spent 20 minutes yesterday morning INSISTING that it was really Saturday and not Monday - because she didn't want to go to school. She wanted to watch TV and ride her bike.

Many people don't understand how the concept of "testable and repeatable" can be applied to historical sciences like evolutionary biology and paleontology, which makes it much easier to just say "well, no one was there, so we can't know!"

You just outlined many of the reasons it's difficult to be civil with creationists.


Don't forget there has actually been a *lab experiment* showing how completely new traits can, and DO, evolve (the whole getting E-coli to evolve to survive in citrates experiment)
 
2012-10-16 01:09:39 PM  

Felgraf: Erix: madgonad: It always pisses me off to hear people reject Darwin and natural selection. People don't understand just how reinforced Darwin's theory really is. Remember, everything we know about genetics and inheritance didn't exist for Darwin. Mendel's work was essentially ignored until the 20th century. Darwin's theory existed before the actual method that precisely explained its action was known. And every fossil recovered since then has fit the model. And all of the new technologies we have devised have all fit Darwin's model. Carbon and uranium dating? Fit right in. As new species are discovered - they lock right into the position we expected them to be. We went looking for man's common ancestors with the apes and we found them - exactly how we expected them to look at the different stages and at the right times. There is no missing link. Every time I talk to these knownothings I am reminded of my sevne year old daughter who spent 20 minutes yesterday morning INSISTING that it was really Saturday and not Monday - because she didn't want to go to school. She wanted to watch TV and ride her bike.

Many people don't understand how the concept of "testable and repeatable" can be applied to historical sciences like evolutionary biology and paleontology, which makes it much easier to just say "well, no one was there, so we can't know!"

You just outlined many of the reasons it's difficult to be civil with creationists.

Don't forget there has actually been a *lab experiment* showing how completely new traits can, and DO, evolve (the whole getting E-coli to evolve to survive in citrates experiment)


Yeah that's great stuff too, but it's easier for them to write off (stupidly) as "only microevolution". The fact that the historical sciences can be predictive and testable is the part that flies over too many heads.
 
2012-10-16 01:16:27 PM  

birchman: How about this then, our congress is made up of 95% lawyers.


False. I didn't find the info for the current (112th) Congress, but lawyers made up just a bit less than 40% of the 111th Congress. That's still a lot and it might be a problem, but 95% has as much relevance to the discussion as any other piece of shiat you might pull out of your ass.
 
2012-10-16 01:16:30 PM  
In a metaphysical way, Shimkus (#1) is correct. The environment is the environment. It can't be destroyed because whatever new state it turns into, that becomes the environment. What most people mean, when they say the environment is destroyed, is that the environment may become inhospitable to humans or other currently existing flora and fauna. When the environment changes, other species and living beings could take advantage of the new environment and live in it. But existing ones may not.
 
2012-10-16 02:03:14 PM  

dericwater: In a metaphysical way, Shimkus (#1) is correct. The environment is the environment. It can't be destroyed because whatever new state it turns into, that becomes the environment. What most people mean, when they say the environment is destroyed, is that the environment may become inhospitable to humans or other currently existing flora and fauna. When the environment changes, other species and living beings could take advantage of the new environment and live in it. But existing ones may not.


Good point. If we had an environment like Venus (800 degrees F, with sulfuric acid rain) or Titan (-290 degrees F, with methane rain) it would still be an environment. It's very reassuring.
 
2012-10-16 02:09:16 PM  
I wonder if these bozos are put on science committees to keep them off more real world focused committees like intelligence? My understanding (someone correct me if I'm wrong) every congress critter has to be on some committee. Maybe science committee is where they send the ones that they all collectively acknowledge are intellectually lacking. Then again probably not Bachman is on the intelligence committee.
 
2012-10-16 02:19:31 PM  

Peppermint Rose: I wonder if these bozos are put on science committees to keep them off more real world focused committees like intelligence? My understanding (someone correct me if I'm wrong) every congress critter has to be on some committee. Maybe science committee is where they send the ones that they all collectively acknowledge are intellectually lacking. Then again probably not Bachman is on the intelligence committee.


Which is terrifying, if true. I've heard it before also, by the way. This is the committee in charge of deciding what the government should push for improving our lives. improving the future, and increasing the sum total knowledge of mankind. And half of them seem to be barely qualified for twiddling their lips and going "brbrbrbrbrbr", if that.
 
2012-10-16 02:51:12 PM  

Spanky_McFarksalot: I'm gonna go out on a limb and say...republicans?


The article goes out of the way to not name party. It even stated that looking at party is part of the problem. But, yeah, all four are Republicans.
 
2012-10-16 03:00:19 PM  

Felgraf: Erix: madgonad: It always pisses me off to hear people reject Darwin and natural selection. People don't understand just how reinforced Darwin's theory really is. Remember, everything we know about genetics and inheritance didn't exist for Darwin. Mendel's work was essentially ignored until the 20th century. Darwin's theory existed before the actual method that precisely explained its action was known. And every fossil recovered since then has fit the model. And all of the new technologies we have devised have all fit Darwin's model. Carbon and uranium dating? Fit right in. As new species are discovered - they lock right into the position we expected them to be. We went looking for man's common ancestors with the apes and we found them - exactly how we expected them to look at the different stages and at the right times. There is no missing link. Every time I talk to these knownothings I am reminded of my sevne year old daughter who spent 20 minutes yesterday morning INSISTING that it was really Saturday and not Monday - because she didn't want to go to school. She wanted to watch TV and ride her bike.

Many people don't understand how the concept of "testable and repeatable" can be applied to historical sciences like evolutionary biology and paleontology, which makes it much easier to just say "well, no one was there, so we can't know!"

You just outlined many of the reasons it's difficult to be civil with creationists.

Don't forget there has actually been a *lab experiment* showing how completely new traits can, and DO, evolve (the whole getting E-coli to evolve to survive in citrates experiment)


I once got into an online argument with an evolution denier. He maintained that evolution has never been shown to cause new species. I sent him a link to an article Science that showed the results of an experiment that resulted in speciation. His response was, "Very good. You've made your one point, but you really haven't disproven what I said."
 
2012-10-16 03:00:52 PM  

birchman: If congress were filled with scientists instead of psychopaths this country would be 100x better off.


While we'd be better off with the non-psychopaths, congress is a management job, not a science job. We need people with enough grounding to collect advice competently and understand the literature, but using actual specialists would only be marginally better than what we have now.
 
2012-10-16 06:13:08 PM  

Felgraf: will admit I sometimes get frustrated at certain parts of the social sciences. Largely when I see papers going "We've proven that X behavior goes by Y!", when they don't, er, have a control group. To be fair, its newspapers taking the journal articles and saying "X proves Y!", but still...

/That's more of a "THAT EXPERIMENT WAS NOT DESIGNED PROPERLY ARRGGHHHH" gripe than anything else, though.
//Which I admit has in the past caused me to get irritated at Mythbusters. >.>


Social science has been a complete mind fark for me. But, I'm trying to be more integrative. There's been widely accepted recognition of a problem, at least in the natural scientists, that we stay in our silos, and don't play well with others. We'll try to tackle a problem that has a human society component and impinge our scientific method on it with disastrous results. We recognize the need for social scientists, but yeah, they have been maligned or marginalized in any 'integrative efforts' so far, insomuch as they are brought in to 'satisfy some quota of social input' and aren't really equal members of the team. So..I'm trying to reprogram my brain.
 
2012-10-16 07:48:18 PM  

Graffito: Craptastic: also, what kind of screwed-up place names the roads "1st St, 2nd St, 3rd St" in one direction, and "1st Ave, 2nd Ave, 3rd Ave, etc." in the other direction.

It makes sense in cities because you know that 51st street will be right after 50th street. Plus, since streets and avenues are at right angles to one another, just knowing the address can tell you a lot about how to find it.


Not in downtown Phoenix, they're not. The "streets" and "avenues" all parallel to each other. Street to the left, Avenues to the right (depending on your orientation).
 
Displayed 34 of 84 comments

First | « | 1 | 2 | » | Last | Show all

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


This thread is archived, and closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »






Report