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Entire new fields of scientific inquiry, like stem-cell research, with potential for path-breaking medical breakthroughs, are denied federal funds because of fundamentalist religious objections ... THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE.
Scientists whose findings conflict with corporate interests or policies of the Bush Administration face threats of retaliation or denial of funding. There have been "gag orders" forbidding government scientists from talking publicly about important scientific questions and, at times, even mentioning terms like "global warming." In studies by government scientists on global warming and its potentially devastating consequences for the planet and humanity, titles of reports have been changed and whole sections deleted by high political officials. There are repeated efforts by government officials to over-rule scientists on such things as which plant and animal species to include on the "Endangered Species" list, which natural habitats are in critical need of preservation, how to set air and water quality standards, and so on ... THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE.
In a practice many have denounced as "Scientific McCarthyism," scientists who are candidates for scientific advisory boards and panels have been asked how they voted or whether they support particular policies of the Administration, and some have been denied appointments because of their political views. THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE.
Official government-run bookstores at the Grand Canyon have carried books promoting as fact the literalist Biblical notion that the Grand Canyon was formed only a few thousand years ago by "Noah's Flood," in direct contradiction to the overwhelming geological evidence and scientific consensus that the Grand Canyon contains rocks that are billions of years old and that the Canyon itself was carved out by a river, over a very long period of time, millions of years ago ... THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE.
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The welcome verdict in the Dover lawsuit over teaching intelligent design clearly does not mean an end to the attacks on evolution, let alone scientific thinking. In Kansas, the State Board of Education changed the very definition of science to open the door to supernatural causes. What is centrally and crucially involved in Kansas and in relation to the overall attacks on science is a battle over the whole question of the scientific method and whether that is going to be upheld and applied, or whether--even in the realm of science itself--that method is going to replaced by something else, which is antagonistically opposed to the scientific method. The need to mount powerful and determined defense of science is greater than ever.
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