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Only One Kind of Science

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Only One Kind Of Science

In a letter titled “Daylight exacerbates warming” on the April 16 editorial page of the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, a lady from Hot Springs noted March 2007 as the warmest on record. To “any reasonable person” this should come as no surprise, she says, because Daylight Saving Time was started almost a month early this year. Congress should have known what a warming effect an extra hour of daylight would have on our climate...or maybe our liberal Congress did know, and it’s part of a plot to make us believe that global warming is a genuine menace? Of course implicit in this rationale is the solution to global warming. Would it take a scientist to realize we only need to set our clocks back a few hours, and the decrease in daylight the planet receives will be our deliverance?

Though the letter was satiric, coming from deep in Bush country made it virtually impossible to tell. After all, the islamofascists hate us for our freedoms. Brownie did a heckuva job after hurricane Katrina. Our “decider” has an open line to God. The invasion and occupation of Iraq has nothing to do with oil—Saddam was in cahoots with Bin Laden, and now we must deliver freedom and democracy to the good people of Iraq. Mission Accomplished (or was that Accomplishmented?) No child left behind. Nineteen Arab boys with box cutters defeated the defenses of world’s mightiest nation (apparently because somebody didn’t do a heckuva job)—the leader’s passport was even found on the sidewalk near one of the twin towers, having flittered down a sacred white pigeon, supernaturally protected from the fires of hell. A Boeing airliner punched a hole in the Pentagon you couldn’t squeeze a Volkswagen Beetle through—without even mussing up the lawn.

And chocolate milk? Polls suggest the number of Americans believing it comes from chocolate cows is sobering. Bread comes from the store. Gas comes from the pump. Presidents are who most of the people voted for. Noah built an ark, then it rained like a son-of-a-b*tch on this planet now over six thousand years old.... Sometimes humorous, sometimes pathetic, often mind-boggling, rarely boring—the profound ignorance plaguing America can get deadly serious when it comes to science.

Could a reasonable person with any grasp of physics watch the controlled demolition of the World Trade Center’s building number 7 (WTC7), and not understand that it was, in fact, a classic controlled demolition? [1] New WTC leaseholder Larry Silverstein even said on Public television that they made the decision to “pull” number 7, then watched the building collapse.[2] A BBC reporter was scrambled off the air while describing the collapse of the Solomon Building, or WTC7, with the building still standing in clear view out the window behind her! [3] Twenty minutes early on the report. OOPS! Would it take a scientist to make the intuitive creep into wondering why WTC7 was wired for demolition before 9-11? Would a general population with any perspective beyond YIKES! TERRORISTS! accept FEMA’s official position that, after extensive and expensive scientific investigation they are...ahem...not really sure why WTC7 collapsed? Must’ve had something to do with a diesel tank in the building that had quite a bit of potential energy. Every bit as reasonable and scientific an explanation is: Seeing what happened to the Twin Towers terrified WTC7 into spontaneously collapsing into its own footprint at nearly free-fall speed....

A stalwart ally of the perpetrators of 9-11 remains the public’s ignorance of science, which nurtures belief that, on 9-11, there must have been some kind of science going on that even scientists don’t really understand. Shrug. But there is only one kind of science--that which has given us scientific “miracles” we adore. Unfortunately, it has, lately, been telling us things we don’t want to hear regarding the way we’ve been programmed to live.

Bush people hate science. Scientists employ the Scientific Method, presenting testable theories, evidence and proven facts. Their reality-based guff runs counter to that of Bushentists, who create their own realities, and consider political dogma, religion, special interests and public relations the cornerstones of science. For example, instead of trying to reconcile the design of the Twin Towers with their preposterous collapse explanations, Bushentists simply changed the designs to fit their reality. Never mind that the Towers were built around massive concrete cores reinforced with 3-inch steel rebar—cores massive enough to coat 3 square miles of Manhattan with 3 inches of concrete dust after demolitions converted the cores to roiling gray clouds reminiscent of another Mt. St. Helens eruption. How could measely, starving fires in the Towers (most of the jet fuel burned off in those Hollywood fireballs on impact) pulverize the cores (for which FEMA substituted Wal*Mart trusses) and run detonations up and down the Towers that spit out precision-cut steel beams before relaxing into pools of molten steel seething at 1400 degrees Fahrenheit a week later? [4] The Bushentists have already explained.

What is science? It has two parts, actually, one being, simply, the application of the scientific method:  basically, the observation and description of things, followed by a hypothesis to explain them and make predictions, which are tested by experiments for truth. [5] Let’s say your observation is:  My car won’t start. Applying the scientific method, you hypothesize explanations such as dead battery if it won’t crank, to no gas if the battery performs, to more detailed hypotheses if the engine cranks and the tank has gas...hypotheses that may lead to a mechanic finding a problem with the fuel pump relay. Application of the scientific method is very simple; most of us do it often. The other part of the definition of science: The body of knowledge acquired through application of the scientific method, and that’s where things can get incredibly complicated. However, basic understanding of the scientific method gives a person all that is needed to know what science is...and key to solving the problem of ignorance of science.

Regarding that complicated part, the body of knowledge, science has the simplest foundation:  Truth. The scientific method reliably cleanses the body of anything but truth. Consider some of the great scientific achievements, such as the Voyager missions. Any fudging of anything at any time would’ve meant failure. Nature cannot be fooled. By adhering to truth at all times, the achievements were amazing. But, truth is based on the “reality thing”, and the Bush administration, in creating its own reality, is based on lies. Reports from the EPA, FDA and other federal agencies engaged in science are routinely suppressed, or altered to mesh with administration realities. Industry hacks with zero scientific training are appointed to positions formerly occupied by people with scientific backgrounds. The results continue to be very disturbing, even injecting into the American reality that there are different kinds of science. “Junk” science has become very popular as that which tells us things we don’t want to hear, such as about global warming. Bush said of our enemies, “They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.” [6] One of the most insidious harms might be in making the people constantly fearful of being scammed by government, a fear polluting even our most crucial refuges of truth. Bush people use cherry-picked intelligence to invade other countries and steal their resources, just as they use cherry-picked science (take what you want, deny the rest) to fit things into their reality.

Once again, science is science, everything else is not science. Junk science is simply an oxymoron, as are all the other kinds of science invading our vernacular. We embrace marvels science has provided, but when science tells us that through our culture of consumption we are consuming ourselves and especially our descendants out of a home, we start throwing epithets at science.  In making over-consumption of resources our descendants will need simply to survive the focus of our culture certainly strengthens the theory that consumerism causes stupidity. Americans have so little understanding of science, yet their opinions regarding things scientific are inexhaustible. We deny certain things science is telling us, while at the same time believing that science will somehow bail us out of the nightmare into which we are consuming ourselves. Those “mini-storage” compounds popping up everywhere, receptacles for all the stuff we are running out of places for, they represent one of the country’s fastest-growing industries. Another industry growing like mad is that of private prisons, which are becoming slave-labor installations guessed it, make more stuff that we’re running out of places for.

We have one planet with finite resources. There is only one science, and when it tells us what damage consumerism has wrought, perhaps instead of calling it bad names, we should simply learn what science is, listen and think.


[1] Controlled demolition of WTC7
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Rand Clifford lives in Spokane, Washington. His novels and earlier essays can be found at
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