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Monday, July 12, 2004

 
A couple of paragraphs from today's online edition of The Register:


'The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), in a new report, has again expressed its feeling of "embarrassment and disgust" over the way the Bush administration uses - or misuses - science when making policy decisions. The scientists have found that the administration often ignores the recommendations of advisory panels and "suppresses, distorts and manipulates" scientific work. In particular, the group is concerned about Bad Science affecting environment, emergency contraception and endangered species policies.'

'UCS issued a previous complaint in February with 62 signatures but has amassed over 4,000 signatures for its latest report released this month. The signers include 48 Nobel laureates, 62 National Medal of Science recipients and 127 members of the National Academy of Sciences.'

'"The actions by the Bush administration threaten to undermine the morale and compromise the integrity of scientists working for and advising America’s world-class governmental research institutions and agencies," UCS said. "Not only does the public expect and deserve government to provide it with accurate information, the government has a responsibility to ensure that policy decisions are not based on intentionally or knowingly flawed science. To do so carries serious i'mplications for the health, safety, and environment of all Americans."'


War is a scientific undertaking. It requires precision, accuracy, loads of observations, and an adaptability of tactics to the "data" at hand. I am particularly suspicious of what this total disregard for science and the scientific method portends for the fight against terrorism. Putting aside my objections to the war, the war itself has been fought on shaky principles, based on bad science and poor research. Making U.S. troops, for instance, enter battle with tons of unecessary chemical and biological weapons gear was a minor, but preventable, miscalculation based on bad science. Bad science let to U.S. forces focusing on the search for WMDs and chemical/biological weapons while the Iraqi insurgence was looting its way to military effectiveness. U.S. forces haven't lost a single soldier to chemical or biological weapons. The same can't be said about casualties caused by IEDs that use looted artillery shells and other weapons. Where did the insurgency get rocket launchers, rocket-propelled grenades, mortars? If the U.S. continues to make errors like this, the terrorists really have won.

Andrew 10:36 AM : |



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