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Bush Revisionist Health Information

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#1 cxwq

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Posted 29 December 2002 - 03:27 PM

NYT link... sometimes requires free login:

U.S. Revises Sex Information, and a Fight Goes On

Choice quote:

"The National Cancer Institute, which used to say on its Web site that the best studies showed "no association between abortion and breast cancer," now says the evidence is inconclusive."

So whatcha think about basing national health information on political ideology?
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#2 WebbZter

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Posted 29 December 2002 - 08:45 PM

I think the information that is made available to people should not be affected by political agendas. What we know is what we know. 1+1 is 2 to both republicans and democrats.
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#3 Groove

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Posted 29 December 2002 - 09:03 PM

I think the information that is made available to people should not be affected by political agendas. What we know is what we know. 1+1 is 2 to both republicans and democrats.

If 1+1 is 2 to Democrats, I still think they'd call for a re-count.

*Da-dum Chink!*
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#4 Sacapuntas Cabesa

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Posted 29 December 2002 - 09:10 PM

So whatcha think about basing national health information on political ideology?

Why not? Isn't everything else based on political ideology?
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#5 Paradox

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Posted 29 December 2002 - 10:48 PM

:)
You'd trust the federal government with your health? I hope you enjoy your life... Cause its gunna be short. Another good reason to stay republican... Don't give them more money than they absolutely need.

Anyways... Got anything ELSE? How do you know that it wasn't biased by political idealogy when it was created and now someone has fixed it? Or that they really don't have a clue?

The New York Times? Ok... Now you're just biased in the oppisite direction. That publication is pratically a Democrat Propaganda rag (of course, it has a great reputation because the rest of the liberal media endorses it).
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#6 WebbZter

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Posted 29 December 2002 - 11:01 PM

I was thinking about whether or not the paper was biased in the first place but the question was whether or not health information should be based on political ideology. This article was just an example.
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#7 merlinski

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Posted 29 December 2002 - 11:09 PM

The New York Times? Ok... Now you're just biased in the oppisite direction. That publication is pratically a Democrat Propaganda rag (of course, it has a great reputation because the rest of the liberal media endorses it).

Spoken like a true conservative conspiracy-theorist. As for health information being based on political ideology, I think that any attempts to control the progress of science because of political (or religious) beliefs is both harmful to humanity and, in the long run, an excercise in futility.
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#8 cxwq

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Posted 29 December 2002 - 11:27 PM

National science has most definitely been influenced by politics for as long as there have been scientists who wanted funding. That said, would you prefer to have scientists overestimating the effects of global warming or the CDC no longer promoting condom use to fight the spread of STDs? Either way people lose trust in science but the latter seems inherrently more dangerous.
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#9 Paradox

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Posted 30 December 2002 - 11:14 PM

The New York Times? Ok... Now you're just biased in the oppisite direction. That publication is pratically a Democrat Propaganda rag (of course, it has a great reputation because the rest of the liberal media endorses it).

Spoken like a true conservative conspiracy-theorist. As for health information being based on political ideology, I think that any attempts to control the progress of science because of political (or religious) beliefs is both harmful to humanity and, in the long run, an excercise in futility.

No, the New York Times is and has been blatently pro-liberal and pro-left and pro-democrat for years. Same goes for most 'major' newspapers.

Heh... Another fun thing to do is to watch network news.
"Alright folks! Lets see what causes cancer today!"

Ironically, other studies show that condoms have a far higher falure rate than previvously publicized. Something like 17% was the last figure I heard. Of course, they're biased too, but condoms are far from foolprooff. Unlike not engaging in sex with multiple parteners or not using unsterlized needles (meaning for drug injections, meaning not using drugs). Which will protect you from STDs, pretty much garunteed.

There really isn't a point in this topic... Once a leftist is in office no doubt 'science' will reverse (and betcha there will be no peep out of the NY times, or if there is it will be very much in support of the conclusions).
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#10 merlinski

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Posted 30 December 2002 - 11:32 PM

There really isn't a point in this topic... Once a leftist is in office no doubt 'science' will reverse (and betcha there will be no peep out of the NY times, or if there is it will be very much in support of the conclusions).

Yes, reverse in the direction of uninhibited progress, and hopefully a renewed effort in the area of stem cells, which are the future of medical science. Religous or political groups interfering with scientific progress is, like I said, a harmful thing. Religions change with time. Science does not, and our perception of science only becomes clearer.
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#11 cxwq

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Posted 31 December 2002 - 01:32 AM

I'd love for someone to cite some real examples of a consistent liberal bias in the media. Please don't bother submitting Yet Another Conservative Funded Watchdog Site. I'll wholeheartedly agree that many media outlets have a bias of some sort but I don't buy the whole "leftist-media" scam.

The NYT broke the whitewater story.

The NYT was all over the Lewinsky story.

The NYT has been one of the biggest sources of Hillary Clinton bashing.

Other papers? Ever heard of Rupert Murdoch? One of (if not the) biggest media tycoons in the world. He endorsed Bush. He pays the salaries of many of those ultra-conservative talk radio people. He is anything but liberal.

So give me the dirt already.
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#12 Paradox

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Posted 31 December 2002 - 01:07 PM

"Yes, reverse in the direction of uninhibited progress, and hopefully a renewed effort in the area of stem cells, which are the future of medical science. Religous or political groups interfering with scientific progress is, like I said, a harmful thing. Religions change with time. Science does not, and our perception of science only becomes clearer."

So, I'd geuss you'd say that the now-disproven forgone conclusion that nuetrinos don't have mass was just a case of reaching greater clarity? Or the forgone conclusions about the fossil record and the way layers of earth build were just a little out of focus, given that labratory experiments show they do not build in the generally accepted way. Or the little-reported fact that people with stem-cells implanted to cure (sorry, forgot the name, the disease Micheal J. Fox has) improved for about 6 months before having a relapse that was far worse than the original symptoms.
Actually, come to think of it, science has always been motivated by politics. Military R&D created spads of minor inventions in WW1 and WW2, not to mention the first Nuclear weapons which lead to Nuclear power. Even if you believe its bad, its still probably the most important invention in history.

---
And on that article, what'd they say that jepordizes people's lives? Nothing... Quite the oppisite, they're retracting statements. In fact one of them, if it is wrong, errs on what you say you want; the side of safety! They're saying now they're not sure wether or not abortion is linked to breast cancer. Ok... What exactly is so dangerous, health-wise, about that? And since no one really has a clue about why cancer happens, and the media seems to come up with a new food, activity, or type of pollution that may cause cancer at least once a week; its not unreasonable. It is safer and more logical than simply leaping to the conclusion that abortion and breast concer are unlinked.

"The surest way to avoid transmission of sexually transmitted diseases is to abstain from sexual intercourse, or to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested and you know is uninfected. For persons whose sexual behaviors place them at risk for S.T.D.'s, correct and consistent use of the male latex condom can reduce the risk of S.T.D. transmission. However, no protective method is 100 percent effective, and condom use cannot guarantee absolute protection against any S.T.D."

What exactly is so unresonable about that? Again, they're erring on the side of safety, if they are erring at all! Its completely true and its safer than condoms, whose failure rate was dumbed down because of the idealogy of the previvous controlling party!

That very article is a perfect example. They're saying the right allows its idealogy to influence its science. It claims that its dangerous to say that theres inconclusive evidence about linkage between breast cancer and abortion. They are saying its somehow dangerous to promote abstainance. All the while hypocritically ignoring that original positions may well have been idealogically motivated and that the new positions are not claiming anything outrageous.

The entire spin is against the right and (without any evidence of a quid pro quo) against pro-life movements and religious, even though the left is guilty of the same things, and arguably their statements hold more potential danger.

And, if you want to argue that these actions are setting precedent for more extreme actions to be take later, I've got a few things.
Firstly, Bush is a politician, as such he probably doesn't really care all that much. Or rather, if he DOES care it doesn't make much difference because everything pro-right he does is going to get construed like this decision was. The most Presidents and parties in power can do at this time in American history is nibble around the edges of each other.
Secondly, even if he's re-elected, its too short a time to massively change public opinion, so extreme-right actions are pretty unlikely (which is what people actually seem to be fearing, rather than health concerns). First he's gotta get re-elected and then he's gotta keep at least a 50% decent perception of himself by the public on leaving office. America's diversity and diversified power because of democracy and private ownership of means of production prevent that sort of thing.
Third, who's coming up with the conspiracies now? The media being biased is mocked as a conspiracy but you're willing to believe that there is concerted effort in the Bush Adminstration to do some kind of irreversible damage to
Fourth, Bush's (pro-right) domestic policy track record pretty much stinks. He is so in to the War on Terror that he's caved on a lot of domestic issues to the left, again doing anything more extreme is unlikely. And what they have gone through with is actually not all that right-wing, like this 'office of homeland security'. What I believe the right is about is the rule of law and small government. So creating big, powerful, organization with the potential to invade privacy isn't very right-wing. Its also completely unrelated to moral policies like abortion.
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#13 merlinski

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Posted 31 December 2002 - 04:28 PM

"So creating big, powerful, organization with the potential to invade privacy isn't very right-wing."

So, by your definition, John Ashcroft wouldn't be very right-wing?

"So, I'd geuss you'd say that the now-disproven forgone conclusion that nuetrinos don't have mass was just a case of reaching greater clarity?"

Of course it was. Like I said, science didn't change, our perception just got clearer. as time progresses, our understanding of science improves. There will always be instances when we are wrong, but we reach greater clarity through correcting mistakes. Pointing to examples of initially incorrect theories that were proven wrong only proves my point that science doesn't change and our understanding only advances.
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#14 Paradox

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Posted 31 December 2002 - 05:19 PM

No, most people that are part of a political party in the United States don't completely agree with all that party's actions, policies, or agenda. For example, some people that are generally pro-abortion don't support abortion in the third trimester because the infant has brainwaves. Some people support contraception but not abortion. Basically, its not so cut-and-dried. I believe the department for homeland security is a potential mistake, and the very idea is too big-government. But I believe that was my point; they're all politicians and they do what makes them look good next week or next year. They are shortsighted, in general, in my opinion.

---
So why can't you apply the same principle to religion and morals? In fact, some people do... There are multitudes of religions based around the idea that revealation is incomplete. There are lots of people that aren't members of a particular religions but do have a set of morals, that they change based on experience. Which is exactly what you're claiming is scientific. And most often it is those religions or moral systems that adopt modern social and ethical changes most readily.

Of course there are many religions whose underlying postulates haven't changed in centuries, or even millenia. And continue to apply their basic morals and systems to the modern world. I have no idea, but I assume that that is what you actually meant, religions that don't change enough to satisfy scientific progression.

In this particular occurance, it is rather moot. The issue is, again in my opinion, fairly minor. Promoting abstaination and single-partner sex before condom usage is not only moral according to the current administration, but its also just common sense. Its also a way of covering their collective ass when you think about it. If the possibilty of condom failure is played down too far by the CDC there is potential for litagation if someone gets an STD despite condom use. Admittadely, less potential for the CDC or the government to get sued but it is present to some extent. The alteration of the abortion statement may only be political, but then again it could be scientific. Or at least as scientific as any cancer research can be. Which is not very in my experience. Well, people actually researching cancer with scientific experimentation are, but people that wander around telling the public that coffee and fast food are to blame for cancer are a few bricks shy.

As far as stem cells are concerned, I feel like that gets misconstrued too often. The point isn't the cells, it is the way they are obtained. Human cloning, which is a field with treamondous potential both for good and evil, much like splitting atoms. Didn't the PRC implant rabbit genes in a human egg? Where is it going to go is what bothers people. There are people unscrupulous enough to do terrible things with such technology. What if you started cloning or altering people? Say, people good at signal analysis. That could be a big-ass edge for a country, but at the expense of abusing human beings. Or started making docile people to take over domestic work, in other words: slaves. Of course, that is not too likely to happen any time soon, or maybe even ever. But until there is some way to prevent such action its better to hold off. Especielly if there are other ways, such as other ways of getting stem cells. And especielly in the case of human cloning. Look at technology turned to the service of war, its not that much of a stretch to envision human cloning technology abused.
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#15 merlinski

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Posted 31 December 2002 - 06:38 PM

What I meant by the statement "religions change" is that while scientific principles remain the same for hundreds of thousands of years, the dominant religion of the world, a culture, or a region will shift eventually. Religions are man-made beliefs, and once a belief has outlived its period of usefullness for a culture, they will discard it. Most ancient religions focused on explaining the why and how of things, because people couldn't understand it. Now that we have reached high levels of advancement, the reason that religion survives is because of moral reasons, people want to feel safe and confident about immorality in the world that we live in. In 5000 years, I have no doubt that christianity will have much fewer followers than it does now. It has already been surpassed by Islam in the category of total followers. However, scientific principles that hold true then will have held true today. Human beliefs change. The scientific makeup of the world does not.
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#16 Paradox

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Posted 31 December 2002 - 11:03 PM

...In your opinion that is what religion is. And in my opinion, so little is actually understood and so much is assumed, based on idealogy, politics, religion, emotion, and the posturing of academics, about the unchanging makeup of the universe that it is irrelevent to this discussion. I also believe that there is an absolute truth, which is what you are saying. But we will never understand it the way you're suggesting. There is simply too much data and too much imagination to effectively explain it. And I also feel like the people that are supposed to be pursuing these goals are locked into set thinking more than some religious.

Physcian, heal thyself.

From this topic; science to you, is your religion. You believe science is the absolute truth, you believe that unfettered scientific research will basically lead us into paradice, science makes you feel safe... which is why people tampering with it bothers you. But the people that say others are tampering with it tamper with it also. And, in the continuing age of mass literacy which give partial but incomplete understanding, invalid scientific viewpoints will continue to appear, and gain support, and obfuscate the truth. And when such an invalidity solidifies in the mainstream, no doubt later scientists will in turn base hypothesies and theorems upon it; and will resist when others attempt to disprove what they see as an underlying fact. Again, this only serves to destroy the progression of science. My point? I won't sit here and watch someone attempt to take the infinently flawed scientific high ground. Everything uttered by a scientist should be carefully qualified, but most of it is presented as fact. Also, I'd like to note that the processes of discovery and defining of scientific principles are purely human.
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#17 merlinski

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Posted 01 January 2003 - 01:34 AM

It is true, that science is essentially my religion. However, it is not because it makes me feel safe. The infiniteness of the world, the fact that we don't know limits to the universe, the fact that we have only scratched the surface of understanding, these things both fascinate and scare me. However, I believe that these questions are far too complicated and important to be answered by a simple faith. Religion in my opinion is only man's attempt to answer these questions.

You have consistently stated that science is full of flawed ideas. Of course it is. But look at how far we have come. You cannot say that science is flawed, when you look at the progress it has resulted in. Our understanding of so many things has improved infinitely throughout the course of human evolution. These higher understandings have come through the introduction of new theories, the new theories being disproved, then modified. This concept of certain theories being wrong which you so often point to is the essence of science, the fact that you can even point to that is an indicator of our progress.
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#18 Paradox

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Posted 01 January 2003 - 01:32 PM

Flawed ideas are not the problem. It is academic's acceptance of flawed ideas and resistence to the antithesies of those ideas. In other words, human error. I do not doubt that scientific principles will remain the same, however the understanding and acceptance of them is based on human interpretation. Which can easily be flawed.

And how do you define such progress? Obvivously political and social groups oppose other branches than stem-cells and human cloning. Enviromentalists oppose many areas of scientific endevour, that are arguably just as valid as any as long as they produce knowledge. Pascificists would oppose weapons research. Do you have sympathy with any such group? Say these things about those that oppose your interpretation of scientific progress?

We've gone pretty far afield. I believe the point was that
"Religous or political groups interfering with scientific progress is, like I said, a harmful thing. Religions change with time. Science does not, and our perception of science only becomes clearer."
And my counterpoint was that even advocates of unhibbeted scientific research doubtless have their own agendas. Because the researchers themselves have political, social, moral, and religious or antireligious ties. This condom usage CDC statement is case-in-point. Previvously the CDC may've underplayed the fact that condoms can fail, because they were biased in the oppisite direction.
Is that uninhibbeted scientific progress? Or science turned to serve a political or social agenda?
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#19 merlinski

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Posted 01 January 2003 - 04:28 PM

"And my counterpoint was that even advocates of unhibbeted scientific research doubtless have their own agendas. Because the researchers themselves have political, social, moral, and religious or antireligious ties. This condom usage CDC statement is case-in-point. Previvously the CDC may've underplayed the fact that condoms can fail, because they were biased in the oppisite direction.
Is that uninhibbeted scientific progress? Or science turned to serve a political or social agenda?"

Uninhibited scientific progress does not happen in individual cases. As you have said, there will always be political and religious bias present. Uninhibited scientific progress is the absolute progress, which can not be achieved in an individual instance. It is the progress of science as a whole, the level of human development as a whole. Absolute scientific progress is what has occured since we first started using rocks as tools. Absolute scientific progress is what has allowed us to reach greater understandings of both the infinitely large (the universe) and the infinitely small. Every small step is biased, as you have stated, but every small step contributes to our absolute understanding. And despite the fact that human interpretation is flawed, we have reached the level that we are at now. This, more than anything else, is evidence that despite human error science progresses.

As for whether I would oppose a group based on their feelings towards scientific research, it would depend on whether I agree or disagree with their goals. My political beliefs play a huge part in whether I would agree with a group when they object to scientific research.
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#20 Paradox

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Posted 01 January 2003 - 11:30 PM

"Uninhibited scientific progress does not happen in individual cases. As you have said, there will always be political and religious bias present. Uninhibited scientific progress is the absolute progress, which can not be achieved in an individual instance. It is the progress of science as a whole, the level of human development as a whole. Absolute scientific progress is what has occured since we first started using rocks as tools. Absolute scientific progress is what has allowed us to reach greater understandings of both the infinitely large (the universe) and the infinitely small. Every small step is biased, as you have stated, but every small step contributes to our absolute understanding. And despite the fact that human interpretation is flawed, we have reached the level that we are at now. This, more than anything else, is evidence that despite human error science progresses."

In that case, wouldn't such progress transcend immediate politics? Making it rather irrelevent if a field was temporarily blocked, or slowed in some way? After all, a reversal is more or less inevitible.

"As for whether I would oppose a group based on their feelings towards scientific research, it would depend on whether I agree or disagree with their goals. My political beliefs play a huge part in whether I would agree with a group when they object to scientific research."

...And so if a majority of people agreed that they did not approve, becuase they believe it can be abused (or when an elected representitive feels that way), of a field of scientific endevour would it not be appropiate to speak out against or enact laws as precaution against abusive use of a technology? I am speaking in general terms. If you wish to reserve the right to object to a form of what may be termed as scientific progress others must have that right also.
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#21 merlinski

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Posted 02 January 2003 - 12:42 PM

"In that case, wouldn't such progress transcend immediate politics? Making it rather irrelevent if a field was temporarily blocked, or slowed in some way? After all, a reversal is more or less inevitible."

To a degree, yes. However, blocking research tends to slow progress, and I am very interested in seeing where science will progress to in my lifetime. Hence, if I don't agree with the reason science is being blocked, I will oppose the people who are trying to do so.

"...And so if a majority of people agreed that they did not approve, becuase they believe it can be abused (or when an elected representitive feels that way), of a field of scientific endevour would it not be appropiate to speak out against or enact laws as precaution against abusive use of a technology? I am speaking in general terms. If you wish to reserve the right to object to a form of what may be termed as scientific progress others must have that right also. "

Others do have the right to object. Whether their objections should be listened to, and acted upon, is a different matter entirely. Naturally, if I disagree with someone's motives, I feel that they should not have a right to change policy, because I feel that they are wrong. So ultra-conservatives (not saying you are one, just giving an example) can object to research in the field of stem-cells (just an example) all they want, but I do not believe that their objections should be acted upon because I disagree with the reasons for their objections.

With your point about a majority of people agreeing on something, you bring up something that really bugs me about modern politics. The goverment of the United States was created with the intention of protecting the people from themselves as well as listening to them. This means that the government has a responsibility to, when the general public is temporarily very enthusiastic about certain things (war after 9/11, for example), it is the government's responsibility to think things out, and sometimes make the unpopular decision that is better in the long run. It is their responsibility to protect the country from "mob-rule". Unfortunately, modern politics have come to a point where most politicians in both parties are too scared to enact any measures that are not popular at the time, for fear that they would lose support. It is unfortunate that politicians are no longer brave enough to sacrifice a certain degree of immediate support to help the country in the long run.
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