As Hurricane Irma slammed in Florida, the thoughts and prayers of the nation were focused on those whose lives were impacted by the massive storm.
However, some took the opportunity to politicize the storm. One of those was
scientist and hurricane expert comedian Michael Ian Black who had a few thoughts to tweet.
As a massive hurricane bears down on us, please remember that one American political party literally does not believe in science.
— Michael Ian Black (@michaelianblack) September 9, 2017
This is a common refrain on the left: We over here on the right side of the aisle do not believe in science.
The fact that people like Black believe we can appease the sea gods if we pass enough legislation or participate in enough international agreements is not relevant. The fact that Conservatives and Republicans have stopped listening to the doomsday sayers on the left is proof that we do not believe in science. Just do not ask them about all their failed predictions over the decades.
Even if Black and his fellow “science believers” are right, that does not guarantee that the answer is to give more money and power to the Environmental Protection Agency so that it can act as an American equivalent of a politburo.
On the larger argument, “believe in science” is a funny phrase. People like Black seem to think that if scientific data shows A, then Public Policy B logically follows. But this is simply not the case.
For another scientific issue in contemporary politics that might appeal to Black, let us look at the transgender movement. The transgender movement says that if a biological woman think she is a man then she is, and therefore men can get pregnant.
Now if Black, to paraphrase his own words, believes in science, he would say that it is preposterous to believe that men can get pregnant. Which leads us to the three probable ways to treat transgender individuals.
One way is to bully, humiliate and publicly shame them. A second option is to fully embrace the idea that a man can become a woman and vice versa based on feelings and emotions. The third way is to believe that in order to respect gender confused individuals, you need to be honest with them, which means not furthering the delusion that a man can become a woman and a woman can become a man. Or we can just pretend that Option 2 is beneficial.
Science cannot give you a satisfactory answer as to why one of the above ways is better than the other two. Only a moral code that defines right and wrong can do that.
Science is a helpful tool in the progress of civilization. For example, scientific advancements have led to life saving medical treatments and rid us of some old-time superstitions. But science is not a worldview. It provides no grounding for a moral code. That moral code being what civilization depends on to survive.