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View Diary: Today, I became a Democrat. (268 comments)

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  •  All very good examples, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NCrissieB, Inspector Javert

    and you'll get no disagreement from me!

    This in particular hits home, since I'm a true science junkie (not to be confused with a "junk scientist") - always have been:

    theories that seemed to be supported by evidence, but were later disproved by better methodology.

    I'm old enough to have been taught the Bohr Atom diagram as the "real" representation of atomic structure; nobody could accurately call Neils Bohr a "junk scientist", but in 1913 his model sufficed to explain certain phenomena and it wasn't until much later that more sophisticated quantum mechanics and the valence shell atom supplanted the inaccurately simple Bohr model.

    Young children were still being taught the Bohr model even in the 1960s, probably because it was considered "close enough" and the complicated reality was beyond a ten-year-old's abilities.

    Politics also turns "junk science" into "real science" - or at least attempts to do so. What is going on in climate science and in evolutionary science is disgraceful; it makes the persecution of scientists by the Church in the time of Galileo look tame - because in these modern times, we don't have the excuse of ignorance that the clerics and politicians had in Galileo's time. But Republicans have seized the yoke of junk science, and have enlisted an army of media and religious entities to promote truly junk science and perhaps irreparably harm the advancement of sound science-based education and policy.

    Teaching the Bohr atom is no worse, really, than teaching Euclidean geometry as the "only" geometry; for all practical purposes, it suffices, and both Bohr and Euclid correctly explained subsets of their larger disciplines.

    The creationists and the climate change deniers, however, have no science on their side; their lies and distortions are 100% based on political and religious corruption and celebrate ignorance...yet they enjoy large followings.

    Shameful, and frightening.

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