Friday, September 14, 2007

The Decline and Fall of Science

What has happened to “science”? Does it exist anymore or has the pressure on professors to “publish or perish” become so intense that the long and arduous effort necessary to do effective research is being bypassed in favor of “statistical” studies many of which are simply data mining activities with no scientific basis. Worse we are being bombarded by “studies” that are so ridiculous that one must wonder if they were intended as joke or a satirical comment on other similar studies. One of these ridiculous studies was recently published that purported that the brains of political liberals were more developed and had greater reasoning ability than the brains of political conservatives. That isn’t a joke, so stop laughing – this was a serious study conducted by a --- dare I say it --- professor --- now don’t roll your eyes like that – he really was a professor at NYU.

This was a real “scientific” research project that consisted of showing students a card with a design and then flashing that design on the screen for a tenth of a second and the student had to push a button if the designs matched. This experiment was divided into two phases. In phase one the designs matched every time and in phase two they never matched. The objective of the experiment was to determine the ability of the individual to make snap judgments in limited time. Once the results were tabulated it seems that all of the students got 100% right in the first phase but in phase two those students who professed to be “liberal” only make errors 34% of the time while those students who classified themselves as “conservative” made errors 44% of the time, thus demonstrating that the “liberal” brain is more capable of making quick and accurate decisions than the “conservative” brain. Stop laughing – really now – I did not make that up. Furthermore, this experiment was based on a total of 43 students with half (please stop laughing – I KNOW that 43 is a prime number so there wasn’t an even division) of the students being selected from a West Coast University and the other half (maybe they used two midgets and classed them as one person – you never can tell when it comes to professors) were from Eastern Universities. Where they found conservatives in these bastions of learning and group think is beyond me, but the professor assures us this was a balanced study.

Of course this entire exercise – which you can be assured, was paid for in some way by the taxpayers – is completely laughable. Not only is the total number of students studied miniscule to the point of being statistically irrelevant the selection of students only from East and West Coast universities further compromised whatever this was. Of course the difference of 10% points on such a small sample further compromises any the activity but the most ridiculous point was the conclusion that liberal students are more capable of making considered and reasoned decisions than conservative students who simply react like trained monkeys. This same experiment run with different students across the country and incorporating smaller colleges and universities, including military cadets, would undoubtedly yield a different set of results – most likely showing that there is no difference in the brains of people or how they use them. Although the brains of college professors might actually be smaller and more ossified.

This brings us to the other popular liberal cause and that is global warming, which has replaced the hysteria over global cooling so those giant liberal brains have now connected the two and assure us that global warming is driving global cooling and the warmer it gets the more it will cool – or is that vice versa – the colder it gets the warmer it will become. It really doesn’t matter because none of these liberal cause apparatchiks really research any of this stuff anyway. The thing that amazes me is it is widely believed that much of the Earth was once covered by ice. This was called the “ice age” and there appear to have been several of them. During this period animals grew long hairy coats and in spite of PETA the human let their hair grow and wore fur clothes which they took from these poor defenseless animals. This tendency to grow long hair in times of stress can be observed on most college campuses – especially on the East and west Coasts.

However, the ice ages did occur and glaciers did appear to have covered much of North America. The long haired animals seem to have disappeared along with – are you ready for this astonishing observation -- the ice!! The ice sheets and glaciers are gone and we are left to speculate on where they went. Of course we are left with only two possibilities migration or melting – I choose melting. Now I guess we could assume that all of those cave people built big fires to melt all of that ice but there doesn’t seem to be any evidence of that while there is evidence that the entire climate got warmer. Sort of a Paleolithic global warming that occurred seemingly without any human assistance since the earliest of these occurred before humans graced the Planet. In fact, there is evidence that this warming was so great that Antarctica was NOT covered by ice.

Of course these are the inconvenient facts not addressed by the deep thinkers who are determined to indict Western Civilization for all of the ills of the world as they demand The US sign the Kyoto treaty before it is too late. What they aren’t telling you is that the Kyoto Treaty will not reduce CO2 nor will it have any impact on Global Warming at all, it just redistributes who can make the CO2 so the total remains the same. Just remember when you hear these ridiculous claims that they are coming from the same universities who gave us Ward Churchill and the scientific proof that liberals are smarter.

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