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Abuses of Science Political Cartoon Contest

CmdrTaco posted more than 8 years ago | from the now-thats-a-strange-idea dept.

345

AngryNick writes "The Union of Concerned Scientists has announced a cartoon contest for amateur and professional artists. 'The absurdity of political interference in science is fertile ground for satire,' said Dr. Francesca Grifo, Director of the UCS Scientific Integrity Program. 'We hope these contests encourage amateur and professional cartoonists alike to express concern--through humor and art--about the impact of the abuse of science on our safety, health and environment.' A celebrity judge panel will select twelve finalists and the public will then choose the Grand Prize winner. The winner will receive a host of prizes, including $500 and an all-expenses-paid trip to have lunch with the celebrity judge of his or her choice. You can read Contest details, sample topics and the list of celebrity judges."

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Here's an idea, you just need to draw it (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15466535)

Al Gore as a sheperd, leading a bunch of sheep-people to see his movie projected on a wall. While they're busying looking at the movie, they don't realize they're being led of a cliff!

Re:Here's an idea, you just need to draw it (1)

schtum (166052) | more than 8 years ago | (#15466891)

Wait, is he leading them to a wall or to a cliff? You've clearly put as much thought into this as you have into your blind hatred of Al Gore.

Re:Here's an idea, you just need to draw it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15466924)

No, you're clearly one of his sheep. See... imagine you have a canyon... you project the movie on to the canyon wall... across the CANYON... which sheep people fall into. Get it? It's not very complicated.

Re:Here's an idea, you just need to draw it (3, Funny)

schtum (166052) | more than 8 years ago | (#15466975)

Wow, you got me. I've fallen into the deep canyon of environmental responsibility. Please save me from my recycling bin and my daily walk to work through the park (or the bus on rainy days). Please open my eyes to the dangers of NOT polluting the air I breathe. Oh, what a fool I've been!

My winning entry (5, Funny)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 8 years ago | (#15466543)

Well, if I had any artistic talent...

A cartoon of Darwin with a turban except the turban is actually a bomb with a lit fuse.

Mod parent up! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15466581)

Both the funniest and most insightful comment I've read on slashdot this year... hell, in the whole last 12 months proberly.

Re:My winning entry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15466604)

How about a baby with a Republican tatoo driving an enormous tractor?

Re:My winning entry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15466672)

For those of you that didn't get it -- Context [wikipedia.org]

Re:My winning entry (2, Insightful)

Chordonblue (585047) | more than 8 years ago | (#15467077)

The caption for such a cartoon should be: "Not Mohammed"

Betting pool started (1)

MECC (8478) | more than 8 years ago | (#15466549)

Any bets on what percentage of total entries will contain characterizations of George Bush Jr.?

Re:Betting pool started (1)

Illbay (700081) | more than 8 years ago | (#15466656)

A corollary of Godwin's Law [wikipedia.org] , to be sure.

Re:Betting pool started (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15467029)

If only your love of George Walker Bush was matched with your knowledge of him. His father is George Herbert Walker Bush so he is not, in fact, a junior.

Can we start.... (4, Insightful)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 8 years ago | (#15466550)

If we're talking political abuse-of-science, can I link to this essay by Michael Crichton [michaelcrichton.com] about "environmentalism as religion" just to remind everyone that things like this cut both ways?

Re:Can we start.... (1)

sco08y (615665) | more than 8 years ago | (#15466673)

If we're talking political abuse-of-science, can I link to this essay by Michael Crichton about "environmentalism as religion" just to remind everyone that things like this cut both ways?

Nope. Note in the rules:

The subject of the cartoons must relate to political interference in science in the federal government.

In other words, the subject of the cartoons must be the Bush administration.

It's not a religion 'till someone dies. (1)

FatSean (18753) | more than 8 years ago | (#15466693)

How many people have been killed by enviro-weenies?

Re:It's not a religion 'till someone dies. (1)

paulthomas (685756) | more than 8 years ago | (#15466801)

I just finished reading the essay, and he addresses this. He gives the example of people dying (I assume he means from malaria) because of the ban on DDT.

This was actually a topic on /. not too long ago.

Re:It's not a religion 'till someone dies. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15467048)

He gives the example of people dying (I assume he means from malaria) because of the ban on DDT.

It's the malaria that's killing them, not the ban on DDT. Stupid.

Re:It's not a religion 'till someone dies. (4, Informative)

rogerz (78608) | more than 8 years ago | (#15467053)

Are you serious? There is no question that the U.S. Ban on DDT has resulted in supply shortages such that millions of Africans and South Americans are dying each year from malaria. This site [fightingmalaria.org] and this reference at the the CDC [cdc.gov] are good places to start.

Even the New York Times [nytimes.com] has begun to accept the truth on this.

What is worse is that the philisophical routes of this ban were explicitly anti-human. Rachel Carson barely mentioned any negative impact on humans in 'Silent Spring'. Certainly, there were no such studies at the time (and studies since then have shown 0 ill effects to humans). Carson's main complaint was that DDT weakened the shells of bird eggs, thereby disrupting their cycle. This too has been disproven.

So, we have essentially sacrificed the lives of millions of humans in the name of speculation regarding the potential damage to birds! If that's not religion, I don't know what is.

Re:Can we start.... (1)

MustardMan (52102) | more than 8 years ago | (#15466707)

How is this an example of how things "cut both ways"?

Politicians ignore science to further their own goals. Hippies further their own goals by ignoring the facts. Where are the scientists abusing anything here?

Sure, I can't think of a better subject to pick. (5, Insightful)

Valdrax (32670) | more than 8 years ago | (#15466718)

Heck, if we're talking abuse of science, I can't think of any better subject to discuss than the author of Andromeda Strain, Prey, and State of Fear. The man's been mangling science for years and then making his books look better by tossing a gratuitous biblography of all the papers he supposedly read to justify his plots. (Alien crystal viruses, grey goo, and local cooling disproving global warming, oh my!)

Michael Crichton doesn't know what he's talking about. State of Fear is filled with junk science. [csicop.org] Read a more thorough debunking here. [realclimate.org]

The essay you link is nothing but an attack on the argument by attacking the source of the argument as being from zealots. He accuses the environmental movement of being responsible for massive deaths, and claims that they're distorting facts without backing any of it up with "facts" of his own -- except for "facts" like the harmlessness of second-hand smoke. Crichton's a loon and an asshole for making that last argument in particular, but the bulk of the essay argument is that environmentalists are wrong in their assertions (without any justification of why) and thus religious nuts for asserting something that his holiness Crichton declares to be wrong. (Oh, he could cite mainstream articles, but you wouldn't believe him anyway, so why back up his bald-faced lies?)

He attacks environmentalists as being the same as people who romanticize primativism, use errors on predictions of a socially affected phenomena like population growth show that scientists who care about the environment can't be trusted. He claims that DDT is harmless because it's not a carcinogenic (when it's the liver, immune, and nervous toxicity that actually caused it to be banned). He states that we can't totally roll back carbon emissions without fusion technology, so it's a waste of time to bother reducing them in the meantime. He falls back on the old saw of the environment being a complex system that's hard to understand as justification for not erring on the side of safety.

His speech is nothing but a litany of half-truths, distortions, unbacked assertions, and ad hominem attacks. So, yes, let's start our discussion of abuse of science with a discussion of Crichton. It's only appropriate.

Re:Sure, I can't think of a better subject to pick (0)

WrongDecision (803195) | more than 8 years ago | (#15466838)

My, my, my, aren't we jealous.

Re:Sure, I can't think of a better subject to pick (1)

HiThere (15173) | more than 8 years ago | (#15466959)

Or possibly accurate? I have to admit to being underwhelmed by Mr. Crichton. He seems to be totally unconcerned with truth in the pursuit of ??? At one point I thought it was either artistic or commercial success, but currently a political agenda appears more likely. (Of course, there's no reason it couldn't be some combination of the suspects.) However, the common element is a disregard of the truth.

That said, Andromeda Strain was an exciting movie, and I enjoyed it. I *never* thought it would be used as a scientific policy theme any more than I thought the same of "Forbidden Planet" or "War of the Worlds". They meet the same standard of scientific accuracy. I suspect that of the three "Forbidden Planet" is dramatically the best, "War of the Worlds" had the best press coverage, and "Andromeda Strain" had the best special effects. None of those qualify any of them to set science policy.

Re:Sure, I can't think of a better subject to pick (2, Insightful)

Corbets (169101) | more than 8 years ago | (#15466960)

He falls back on the old saw of the environment being a complex system that's hard to understand as justification for not erring on the side of safety.

You had me interested until that point. Come on, that's just a little too obviously biased to let slide - side of safety for whom? Future generations who might be affected? Or current generations whose economic interests *will* be significantly affected?

I'm not arguing against the theory of global warming, but merely stating that "playing it safe" is an arbitrary term. Some of the anti-global-warming-hype people do think they're playing it safe, but they're looking out for different interests than those you espouse.

Obligatory Simpsonism reply (1)

Raul654 (453029) | more than 8 years ago | (#15466979)

"Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter"

Geee (-1, Troll)

Pu'be (618443) | more than 8 years ago | (#15466557)

A celebrity judge panel will select twelve finalists

I wonder if we are going to see only one side, overly liberal people who believe whatever people say is science as long as they are saying the right and/or republicans are ignoring it, abusing it, etc etc.

This is stupid, and does not belong on Slashdot at all. It will not be an open minded critique of science and politics, it will be a right/republican bashing contest. And sorry to say for all you super liberals here on Slashdot not everything the right or republicans do or say in regards to science is wrong, nor is either all the stuff the left or democrats say is correct either.

I remember when Slashdot use to be about science and geekyness.....

Re:Geee (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15466563)

Geee, you're not biased.

Hey... you just gave me a cartoon idea...

Re:Geee (1, Insightful)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 8 years ago | (#15466564)

To mix environmental concerns with the frantic fantasies that people have about one political party or another is to miss the cold truth---that there is very little difference between the parties, except a difference in pandering rhetoric. The effort to promote effective legislation for the environment is not helped by thinking that the Democrats will save us and the Republicans won't. Political history is more complicated than that. Never forget which president started the EPA: Richard Nixon. And never forget which president sold federal oil leases, allowing oil drilling in Santa Barbara: Lyndon Johnson. So get politics out of your thinking about the environment.
-- Michael Crichton.

Re:Geee (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15466662)

The effort to promote effective legislation for the environment is not helped by thinking that the Democrats will save us and the Republicans won't.

Except that the Republicans aren't, and the Democrats did (when they were in power.)

Lyndon Johnson's Record (4, Interesting)

Valdrax (32670) | more than 8 years ago | (#15466861)

Michael Crichton once again shows how focusing on local differences and exceptions and extrapolating them as a trend is an intellectual folly. If you want to seriously argue that the EPA budget-cutting, pro-mercury in the air, pro-arsenic in the water, pro-relaxation of pesticide rules Republicans that adamantly refuse to entertain the idea of ratifying Kyoto treaty are no different from the Democrats, then you're deliberately cherry-picking your facts to bolster your dellusional worldview -- you know, like Michael Crichton does.

Nixon was moderate to liberal on a number of domestic issues from wage controls to gun control to affirmative action to establishing the EPA, OSHA, and NOAA. He supported a lot of market regulation in a time period that pundits were saying that conservatism was dead. He was very different from many conservatives today, and many of his policies were great successes that were overshadowed by his personal corruption.

As for Johnson, he did open up a pristine area to drilling. However, he also said the following when signing the Clean Water Act:

"No one has the right to use America's rivers and America's Waterways, that belong to all the people as a sewer. The banks of a river may belong to one man or one industry or one State, but the waters which flow between the banks should belong to all the people."

Johnson's record on the environment was overall quite good. His wife Lady Bird Johnson was a tireless environmental advocate. It was Johnson's administration that first started looking into the environment as a matter of air and water pollution instead of just protected land conservation. Nixon just kept the ball rolling that Johnson kicked off. From the Wikipedia, here is a list of environmental regulations kicked off in the Johnson era:

  • Clear Air, Water Quality and Clean Water Restoration Acts and Amendments
  • Wilderness Act of 1964
  • Endangered Species Preservation Act of 1966
  • National Trail System Act of 1968
  • Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968
  • Land and Water Conservation [Fund] Act of 1965
  • Solid Waste Disposal Act of 1965
  • Motor Vehicle Air Pollution Control Act of 1965
  • Aircraft Noise Abatement Act of 1968

To suggest that Johnson (and thus Democrats) are and were not environmentalists based on one single action against shows Crichton's lack of intellectual integrity.

Re:Geee (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#15466605)

Given the fact that you posted it I have to presume that you are unaware of the fact that your post is a reasonably good example of why this contest is a good idea and the sponsoring organization is necessary.

KFG

Re:Geee (3, Insightful)

Pu'be (618443) | more than 8 years ago | (#15466635)

Given the fact that you posted it I have to presume that you are unaware of the fact that your post is a reasonably good example of why this contest is a good idea and the sponsoring organization is necessary.

Yes, you are right. (That was sarcasm)
If you take the time to read the sponsoring organization they are clearly promoting a liberal socialist agenda. One side, anti Bush, Anti republican, etc etc. The kind of organization they are would not let out cartoons critiquing their side.

But ultimately this has no place on slashdots main page. Let people only listen to one side, I do not care. I take the time to read both sides, and I understand both sides are morons. Thank you for proving though that you have no clue about one sided propaganda.

Re:Geee (1)

Alfred, Lord Tennyso (975342) | more than 8 years ago | (#15467006)

Liberal, I'll grant you. Anti-Bush, ditto. But where do you find "socialist"?

Re:Geee (2, Insightful)

Blondie-Wan (559212) | more than 8 years ago | (#15467047)

If the present administration were a Democratic one and interfered with science the way the Bush administration has, then it'd make sense to hold a similar contest criticizing that administration's approach to science.

Don't like it when Republicans are criticized on science? Fine. Then get your Republican leaders not to downplay all climate research that doesn't reflect corporate interests, and not talk about evolution and "intelligent design" as though they were competing ideas of roughly comparable credibility, or treat evolutionary theory as though it were some radical, unsubstantiated idea that wasn't accepted by the overwhelming majority of biologists.

Yes, science has been politicized terribly by people and governments at both ends of the political scale, and I won't hesitate to acknowledge one of the worst examples I can think of came from Soviet-style "communism," in which Soviet geneticists were hobbled by a state mandate to adhere to a hopelessly outdated and long discredited model of inheritance because it was thought to provide a natural parallel and support for elements of Soviet doctrine.

However comma in the US, which is a major venue for scientific research and technological innovation (not to mention simply being an enormously powerful and influential nation), as well as the area in which the organization sponsoring this contest is based, political constraints upon or interference with science have typically come from the political right - sometimes because scientific findings are thought to pose a challenge to religious belief, sometimes because they have implications for social policy that don't reflect conservative ideals or that challenge corporate interests, and so on. The Bush administration has repeatedly shown it is one of the worst offenders in this regard.

Re:Geee (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15466619)

Well what did you expect from a leftist front organization? Truth? Honesty? The UCS has a wonderful track record of pretty much always being wrong. Cause they're just communists in disguise.

And the people running slashdot (as well as a large percetage of the readers) are mostly left wing idiots as well. That's why so much junk science gets posted here these days.

Re:Geee (1)

Mathiasdm (803983) | more than 8 years ago | (#15466967)

Left wing?

Here in Europe, the Democrats would be considered right (and the conservatives probably extreme-right).

Re:Geee (3, Insightful)

Cheapy (809643) | more than 8 years ago | (#15466623)

When the Republicans (not necessarily the Right) try their hardest to subvert science, then I would expect scientists to lampoon them.

Re:Geee (1)

ckokotay (206080) | more than 8 years ago | (#15466740)

And most certainly the Democrats do this with this nonsensical almost religeous-like bonding to "global warming" - a claim which utilizes more dubious models, and political agenda than any real science.

But of course, I am sure you will cite Al Gore's nonsensical film which is brimming over with lies, half truths, manipulated statistics, garbage-in garbage out models, massive unknown parameters, etc.... - as a masterpiece of science. Gimme a Break. So, I can certainly lampoon a moron like Gore who subverts real science to promote his nutty envirowacko agenda.

But I am aure all you "global warming" evangelists will come out in force and attack. Like I said, it is nothing more than a fruity religeon.

Re:Geee (1)

Manchot (847225) | more than 8 years ago | (#15466917)

The scientific community has reached the same conclusions as many so-called "envirowackos" regarding global warming. It's the politicians (mostly Republicans) who have turned the issue into a "debate." Somehow, those on the Right have managed to convince many people (yourself included) that there is a substantial debate within the scientific community, but that is simply not the case. Sure, there are fringe people who disagree with the mainstream, but any scientific theory has people on its fringe. The key is to not let the voice of the minority distract you from the voice of the vast majority.

If you'd like another example of how the Right has managed to convince people of the existence of a "debate" where there is none, consider the whole "controversy" behind Evolution and Intelligent Design.

Re:Geee (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 8 years ago | (#15467026)

Sure, there are fringe people who disagree with the mainstream, but any scientific theory has people on its fringe.

It was once fringe thinking that the earth revolved around the sun. There are some people that STILL believe that our solar system is at the center of the universe. That's what is important about science. It doesn't matter who believes what, the only thing that matters is what you can PROVE.

If these fringe scientists are so wrong, it should be easy to disprove their conclusions. Right?

LK

Re:Geee (3, Insightful)

dasunt (249686) | more than 8 years ago | (#15466955)

From what I've seen, any area on the political playing field will try to attack science if it hurts their sacred cows.

Bring up the cost/benefits of Kyoto, and most of the objections won't be from Republicans.

Sometimes one side IS actually wrong (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15467060)

Bias, Balance, & Bullshit: "Balanced" news is making you stupid [buffalobeast.com] by Allan Uthman

Last issue of The BEAST contained our annual "50 Most Loathsome People in America" list, by far our most popular feature. As always, once it hit the internet, it was unstoppable, and still pervades the "blogosphere" as I write this. E-mails are streaming in by the hundreds, and surprisingly enough, most are positive. But, of course, there are a lot of angry messages from conservatives, too, each giving us a piece of their mind, most of whom hardly seem able to spare it.

By far the biggest complaint is that old chestnut, liberal bias. Any list that doesn't include Michael Moore, or Ted Kennedy, or Howard Dean, or Cindy Sheehan, etc., is obviously the product of partisan bias, they say. Of course, it seems kind of stupid to expect some kind of dispassionate ideological "balance" from this tiny biweekly, which is called, after all, The BEAST. But beyond that, the very idea that the list cannot be considered legitimate unless it contains the same number of Democrats as Republicans is just silly, a symptom of what I think is a national neurosis, a logical virus that infests modern political discourse in America. That virus is "balance," or rather, the exaltation of balance, the glorification of balance, to the point that truth itself is subjugated or simply dismissed as unknowable, or nonexistent, or just plain irrelevant.

Syndicated columnist John Leo's most recent piece, which actually cites the Loathsome List (though he calls us a "left blogger"), is a good example. Titled "The Left Now Joins the Right in Attacking Mainstream Media," the column indicates, among other things, that Leo is incredibly out of touch with liberal thinking:

Liberals wage many battles, but have you heard which one is the major struggle now? Brace yourselves: It's the campaign "against the established media and its bizarre relationship with the right wing and the truth." That's from the Daily Kos, a popular liberal blog. No, it's not a satire. Just when conservatives thought they were getting somewhere against the entrenched liberalism of the newsroom culture, it turns out that the newsroom has been reactionary all along. The real lonely insurgents fighting for media balance and truth are liberals. The mind reels.

Droll stuff. Leo imagines that liberal complaints of conservative media bias are a brand new development. He also seems to think the charges are ludicrous. But what is truly ludicrous is the assertion that the mainstream media--of which The BEAST is clearly not a member--leans left. It's obvious, from the speed with which White House scandals drop from the radar, and the lack of outrage over clearly illegal executive policies, that the "MSM" has been much, much softer on this president than the last, considering their respective performances. Contrary to conventional wisdom, congressional corruption is much worse than ever before, but you would hardly know it from the kid-gloved coverage it receives.

It may not be that news sources suffer from a right-wing bias as much as a corporate bias. Relaxed FCC regulations have paved the way for the consolidation of huge media conglomerates--publicly traded juggernauts with a vested interest in the deregulation agenda of the GOP. But the real distinction in my eyes between the bias complaints from the right and from the left is in their very nature. Liberal complaints mainly focus on lies, distortions, and sins of omission, while conservatives complain about "balance." The left wants a press that insists on facts, while the right wants an even presentation of partisan versions of reality. But there aren't just two sides to each issue; sometimes there are many, and sometimes there is only one that rings true.

The balance fallacy is hurting the country. Presenting every issue as a he said/she said dispute, an unending, irresolvable argument, sounds fair, but what happens when one side really is wrong? Some questions are not eternal. Pretending that they are is a disservice to the public. When editors and producers live in fear of the bias accusation, beating them into submission is as simple as organizing a letter-writing campaign.

This leads news sources that wish to be perceived as politically neutral to adopt patently absurd positions in pursuit of such "balance." For instance: despite the fact that Jack Abramoff simply hasn't donated a single dollar to a Democrat, every major news outlet says he has.

Wolf Blitzer was visibly frustrated when Howard Dean insisted that Abramoff, a man who said about the Left, "it is our job to remove them from power permanently," naturally hadn't given any money to Democrats. Katie Couric just wouldn't accept the assertion, insisting--incorrectly--that "Abramoff and his associates" had given $1.5 million to Democrats. Washington Post ombudsman Deborah Howell twice asserted that Abramoff "had made substantial campaign contributions to both major parties." None of this was true. When pressed on this, the fallback position--for Howell, the Today Show and Bill O'Reilly, among others, was that while Abramoff may not have personally donated to Democrats, his clients--Indian tribes, some of which he is charged with defrauding--had done so for him.

It is true that tribes affiliated with Abramoff have given money to Democrats, just as tribes not connected to Abramoff did. But a new study gives the lie to allegations that Abramoff directed such donations. The study, done by nonpartisan research firm Dwight L. Morris and Associates and commissioned by the American Prospect, shows that tribes' donations to Democrats decreased significantly after Abramoff took them on as clients, while, as the Prospect's Greg Sargent writes, "the majority of them dramatically ratcheted up donations to Republicans." Sargent continues: "This pattern suggests that whatever money went to Democrats, rather than having been steered by Abramoff, may have largely been money the tribes would have given anyway."

Morris himself puts it this way in Sargent's report:

"If you're going to make the case that this is a bipartisan scandal, you have to really stretch the imagination," says Morris. "Most individual tribes were predominantly Democratic givers through the last decade. Only Abramoff's clients switched dramatically from largely Democratic to overwhelmingly Republican donors, and that happened only after he got his hands on them."

In other words, the idea, stated as fact in nearly every newspaper and TV report on the scandal, that Abramoff funneled money to Democrats through these tribes, is simply not true. So why would the press lie about it? Because the truth is not "balanced" enough. In the current media climate, it's just not acceptable to tell the truth about this issue. Desperate to avoid accusations of partisan bias, mainstream news agencies find it preferable to tell a reassuringly bipartisan lie.

Of course, the Democratic Party isn't a morally pure bastion of integrity. It's pretty much impossible to get elected to congress without engaging in some influence-peddling and favor-trading. But to say that they share equal guilt, or really any guilt, in the Abramoff scandal is to tell a lie--a lie we are being told daily, and not just by the media figures we expect such lies from--the Limbaughs and O'Reillys--but by figures generally considered to be neutral, or even liberal by some--Katie Couric, Wolf Blitzer, the Washington Post, Time Magazine.

By no means is this an isolated incident. The incessant "liberal media" accusations have had a gradual, building impact on the way news is covered, continually pushing the idea of "balance" further to the right, to the point that it doesn't even make logical sense. After Bush's lackluster State of the Union Address Tuesday night, MSNBC's Chris Matthews hosted a panel that consisted of himself, Pat Buchanan, Tucker Carlson, and a sole Democrat, Hilary Rosen--a former record industry lobbyist whose only apparent qualification for representing the Left is that she's a lesbian. The panel on CNN was similarly skewed three to one, with the more capable Dem hack Paul Begala weathering the ideological beatdown. Fox News is becoming redundant.

What's going on here? Imagine the reaction if even one of the cable networks aired a post-speech discussion between Ralph Nader, Bill Moyers, Paul Krugman and any random Republican. The sheer volume of outrage would be enough to trigger weeks of on-air soul-searching about media bias. But all three can host blatantly Right-weighted discussions, and nobody seems to notice. And still charges of liberal bias continue? It doesn't make sense. Not even a little. But it is still an effective tactic, and it keeps on working.

Where does it end? Will news agencies ever have enough of this bullshit, or will they allow themselves to be pushed further and further right, until they're trying to achieve "balance" between Neocons and Christian Dominionists? Will Joe Lieberman be marginalized as a "far left liberal?" Or will journalists finally be forced to address the fact that some people are just wrong, and that their opinions shouldn't be heeded, and remember the fact that they're supposed to be informing, not indoctrinating, their audience? Already, ideas that are just plain stupid are being presented alongside established truths as if on equal footing--the Intelligent Design/Evolution "debate," for instance.

All kinds of polluted thinking are tolerated today as never before. "Balance" is the wedge, but the goal is a total perversion of reality, a world where 2+2 may equal whatever you--or they--want it to. It's affirmative action of ideas, where weaker, less viable arguments are propped up, artificially strengthened by repetition and volume, and lots of money. But the bottom line is that it is stupid, and it's making America stupid.

Do we really want to be this stupid?

The truth is not partisan. But sometimes it reflects poorly on one party more than the other. That's not bias; that's reality.

Re:Geee (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15467039)

Ha! The same thing that happened to Science has happend to Slashdot!

I predict your post will be modded down to Troll for having the audacity to point out the obvious.

Abuses of Science? (4, Interesting)

deft (253558) | more than 8 years ago | (#15466562)

Abuses of science.... poorly worded?

Wow, did anyone else read that headline and think that they were inviting people to make their political attacks on science in a cartoon?

I expected a cartoon attacking stem cell research, of maybe a mushroom cloud over hiroshima with the caption "scientific progress".

Of course, it's completely the other way, as I would hope... but yeah, title misleading!

Re:Abuses of Science? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15466594)

I don't know, [...] about the impact of the abuse of science on our safety, health and environment., that sounds like something the intelligent decision morons would say. I don't think this is legit.

Re:Abuses of Science? (1)

strider44 (650833) | more than 8 years ago | (#15466641)

No, rather I immediately wondered how a science political cartoon contest can be abused. Some money laundering has clearly been going on here, surely the work of terrorists.

Re:Abuses of Science? (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#15466998)

Actually, I read it as "Abuses of" a "Science Political Cartoon Contest"

I was looking forward to seeing how people managed to abuse the contest rules.

cool, i like cartoons and comics (5, Funny)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 8 years ago | (#15466583)

dupe this story when the results & cartoons are ready, please :)

The Union of Concerned Scientists... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15466589)

Are neither Scientists, nor very concerned. To be honest they're just another Socialist/Communist POLITICAL organization. If you examine their positions closely you'll find there's little if any SCIENCE backing them up (Well beyond junk science), but one heck of a lot of left wing politics.

And they've been WRONG on pretty much everything they've taken a stance on since their inception. One hell of a record for 'scientists' isn't it?

Anon cause telling the truth gets you modded down here on /.

Re:The Union of Concerned Scientists... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15466614)

A very scientific rebuttal you made. You were so caught up in your fit of scientific aptitude that you totally forgot to cite any sources and show any proof!

Re:The Union of Concerned Scientists... (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 8 years ago | (#15466724)

Of course not. 'Sources' and 'Proof' are absurd liberal myths and 'reality' has a strong liberal bias.

Mod Abuse Yet Again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15466950)

Somebody telling it like is getting is modded down again for expressing an opinion the moderators simply don't like. What a shock.

Meanwhile, if you check out the UCS's site, you'll see on the front page issues like fuel economy, global warming, nuclear attack against Iran. Nope, no political agenda there, just scientific ones.

I'd like to also know how someone would think the parent comment was "offtopic" when he explains exactly what the UCS is.

Re:The Union of Concerned Scientists... (0)

Dasch (832632) | more than 8 years ago | (#15467101)

Since when has global warming ever been a communist issue? Let me guess, you're American? It's hilarious how some think socialism is evil (when in fact some of the richest and most stable countries in the world have strong socialist influences) and that all people who don't think nukes are the best thing since sliced bread are communists.

If you would actually bother reading about socialism, you would find out that it is in fact NOT a global conspiracy to destroy entrepreneurship, but rather a very beautiful set of ideas of how to free people from the last remaining form of slavery; poverty.

The fact that pretty much all communist (communist != socialist) regimes have been extremely authoritarian simply goes to show that such ideologies (communism) can only be implemented violently, thus making the society totalitarian.

Two Days Before the Day After Tomorrow (2, Funny)

jabster (198058) | more than 8 years ago | (#15466593)

Clearly the winner.

Or maybe ManBearPig.

Nah.....definately Two Days.

-john

Re:Two Days Before the Day After Tomorrow (1)

LiMikeTnux (770345) | more than 8 years ago | (#15466697)

are you SERIAL?!?!

Re:Two Days Before the Day After Tomorrow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15467123)

SUPER Serial!

dihydrogen monoxide (4, Funny)

schwit1 (797399) | more than 8 years ago | (#15466607)

We need a cartoon that depicts an email recipient reading about the dangers of dihydrogen monoxide with a send this to everybody you know footer.

Re:dihydrogen monoxide (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 8 years ago | (#15466759)

Why, why, why won't "Hydric Acid" catch on? it sounds so much more menacing. Besides, surely everyone and their brother has used the DHMO name by now.

electricity (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15466609)

inventor: I've found this thing i call electricity!

politician: what is it good for?

inventor: you can tax it!

I only wish I had the artistic talent to draw it.. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15466629)

Usama Bin Laden [fbi.gov] sodomizing George W. Bush [wikipedia.org] while a smiling Bush pisses on the Bill of Rights [state.gov] and The Constitution [house.gov] sitting on a flag draped coffin (2474) [antiwar.com] . "Oh, I thought you said weapons of ASS destruction".

Bush and the Neo-cons don't give a fuck about any facts. If they say the sky is not blue, you are expected believe it as a matter of faith, even if the Neo-cons do not believe it themselves.

Science....IDOL (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15466631)

Yes, I "get" the "why"....
But
the association of the two words ...is disquieting

from many perspectives.

And I speak as a true-quill Geek.

The bluntness of scientists and possible offense (4, Insightful)

spineboy (22918) | more than 8 years ago | (#15466632)

I worked at N.I.H (National Institutes of Health) in Washington, D.C. for 4 years doing research and let me tell you - scientists love cartoons! - everyones lab door had four or five cartoons on it (usually The Farside). They can also be pretty blunt and to the point. I'm pretty sure some of these cartoons will ruffle some feather quite a bit, which is what we need I guess. Unfortunatley, media portrayal of scientists is not always ideal, and may further serve to spread the barrier between rational thought and the great number of uneducated people who may be religious/creationists. I happen to be Catholic and couldn't be happier on the Vaticans stance that evolution is a valid scientific theory, and that the earth isn't 6,000 years old.

Please no flame wars about the old churches stance on celestial mechanics - we've all seen it before, no need to bring it up and get side tracked. We are talking about todays political climate.

And please let's not limit this discussion to evolution and creationists - there's been a great deal of interference on the topic of global warming. The old Republican party stance that it's not occurring has been disproven by the vast majority of atmospheric/climatologists scientists, and have shown it to be a fact. I hate that because Al Gore (A Democrat) is pro-environment, that many Republicans feel that they have to take an opposing viewpoint - what gives!? Yes, I'm sure the Dems do the same with other issues, but we are talking about science here, so let's keep our egos and passions aside and behave like rational thinkers.

Re:The bluntness of scientists and possible offens (2, Insightful)

MustardMan (52102) | more than 8 years ago | (#15466663)

Right.... the republicans are raping the environment because they want to stick it to the democrats. It has NOTHING to do with the millions of campaign dollars contributed by companies that profit from the destruction of the planet.

Re:The bluntness of scientists and possible offens (2, Insightful)

Illbay (700081) | more than 8 years ago | (#15466695)

FWIW, I don't think that (1) global warming has definitively been established, and (2) that there is anything even approaching a definitive establishment as to cause.

Me, I do believe it's happening--but that human activity has absolutely nothing to do with it. Rather, it's part of the natural cycle that has been in effect since before there WERE human beings on earth.

The notion that it is caused by what puny humans can do is just laughable. One has only to look at the phenomenon of Mt. Pinatubo and Mt. St. Helens--both of which put more particulates into the atmosphere in DAYS than humans have throughout their history--to realize the earth is a self-regulating system.

Global warming, if it is really happening, is a natural occurence, and will bring as much benefit as it does harm.

However, socialist politicians, who lust for the power to establish their order in the lives of individuals, are using it as a pretext for a power grab. This must NEVER be allowed to happen.

Re:The bluntness of scientists and possible offens (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15466765)

FWIW, I don't think that (1) evolution has definitively been established, and (2) that there is anything even approaching a definitive establishment as to cause.

Re:The bluntness of scientists and possible offens (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15466826)

Umm actually I think world-wide, scientists DO believe both 1) and 2) have been established. We have seen the enemy and it is us.

The tired old line "lil' po' us couldn't possiblly affect the climate of the world" doesn't really hold water. Who would have thought lil' po' us could consume so much oil that it is very likely that we will run out in the next century or so? Unless you believe this recent patch of higher oil prices is "cyclical" as well.

Re:The bluntness of scientists and possible offens (0)

ultranova (717540) | more than 8 years ago | (#15466874)

The notion that it is caused by what puny humans can do is just laughable. One has only to look at the phenomenon of Mt. Pinatubo and Mt. St. Helens--both of which put more particulates into the atmosphere in DAYS than humans have throughout their history--to realize the earth is a self-regulating system.

Dunno what those "particulates" are - maybe you meant "particles" ?

In any case, it doesn't matter. Particles aren't the problem (with global warming), carbon dioxide is.

Global warming, if it is really happening, is a natural occurence, and will bring as much benefit as it does harm.

Yup. Finally 100% percent of the population will know how to swim ;).

However, socialist politicians, who lust for the power to establish their order in the lives of individuals, are using it as a pretext for a power grab. This must NEVER be allowed to happen.

Personally, I value survival higher than political ideology. But don't worry, when the major population centers get flooded, and the population flees to higher ground and starts fighting for food (since the best farmlands are underwater too), the resulting chaos will destroy any semblance of order.

Re:The bluntness of scientists and possible offens (2, Insightful)

Millenniumman (924859) | more than 8 years ago | (#15466702)

There is significant evidence for global warming, but less showing that it is caused by people. It seems to me that scientists are politically pressured to support global warming, just like evolution (Which I don't necessarily disagree with, but I doubt many scientific organizations would give support to a scientist with another theory, even if it wasn't in any way similar to intelligent design.).

Evolution and Popperianism (1)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 8 years ago | (#15466845)

I've been thinking about whether evolution is a scientific theory lately. Maybe it's that I'm insufficiently imaginative, or maybe that biologists are less inclined to Popperian philosophies of science than people from a physical science background, but I can't see how theories about speciation over millions of years could be either falsified or tested repeatedly. In what sense, then, are they scientific?

Re:Evolution and Popperianism (1)

FLEB (312391) | more than 8 years ago | (#15466983)

"Testing" doesn't have to be some experiment that happens after the theory is created.

If a theory of evolution is laid out, its points can be tested and adjusted based upon evidence from the past. It's like the "experiment" of evolution had already been run (or is running), and scientists are examining the results, and refining theories to understand and fit that existing evidence. Not every theory would sync with that evidence, and as more evidence is uncovered, the theories either pass or fail.

Re:Evolution and Popperianism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15467000)

That is a good question. It is true that you have to go a little deeper than Popper to see where it fits. Evolution is not a scientific theory when it comes to untestable spans. Instead, in those cases, it is a logical theory with premises that are other scientific theories.

And note that for questions like "Were humans evolved into being?", science does not answer them directly. Science approaches them by providing a way to demonstrate that the event is consistent with nature; that is, the event is possible.

Re:Evolution and Popperianism (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 8 years ago | (#15467018)

but I can't see how theories about speciation over millions of years could be either falsified or tested repeatedly. In what sense, then, are they scientific? - well, we actually observe speciation happenning in real life, and not only in bacteria.

In abalone for example, we have observed actual speciation taking place. We understand exactly HOW it happens in them as well. Speciation in this case involves a population splitting into two population and genetically drifting from each other, so that they can't interbreed.

Speciation is not an unexplained mystery, it is an understood phenomena.

Re:The bluntness of scientists and possible offens (1)

PunterGreg (978603) | more than 8 years ago | (#15467106)

Multiple choice 11th grade science test (the answer determines what college you will attend):

THE WORLD REVOLVES AROUND:

A) The family
B) The U.S.
C) Democratic principles
D) All of the above

No Politics? (0)

Illbay (700081) | more than 8 years ago | (#15466647)

Yeah, people love to use Gallileo as a definitive example of how politics (and religion) should never mix with science.

But bring up the Nazi eugenics experiments--and bear in mind the eugenics is scientifically established--and they just mumble and walk away.

Re:No Politics? (2, Insightful)

JanneM (7445) | more than 8 years ago | (#15466689)

But bring up the Nazi eugenics experiments--and bear in mind the eugenics is scientifically established--and they just mumble and walk away.

Um, Nazi Germany was a self-avowed christian society; atheists were harassed and killed right along with other "undesirables". Does that make christianity bad?

Re:No Politics? (1, Troll)

Illbay (700081) | more than 8 years ago | (#15466721)

Nazism was not "Christian," and you won't be able to find any evidence of that (aside from some website run by such as yourself, making yet more undocumented claims to that effect).

Nazis were SOCIALISTS, and to the extent they had any religion other than the state, they practiced mysticism--more akin to today's "wicca" than anything else.

So your assumptions, being false, make your entire premise invalid.

On top of that, they don't even address the question as to whether science ought to operate without any constraints of religion or morality. This is what the Nazis believed. Eugenics is demonstrably correct. You can, indeed, "improve" human beings the same way you can livestock.

The question is, ought that to be allowed?

This is the notion that people like you will ALWAYS side-step.

Re:No Politics? (4, Informative)

cozziewozzie (344246) | more than 8 years ago | (#15466771)

Nazis were SOCIALISTS

Actually, no they were not, although there seem to be many poorly educated people in the US who think they were.

Hitler took over a small party which started his rise to power, and this party had socialist elements in it. But nothing Nazis did after getting into power had anything to do with socialism.

Slave labour has nothing to do with socialism.

Re:No Politics? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15466806)

That was some mighty strange socialism then.

Re:No Politics? (1)

JanneM (7445) | more than 8 years ago | (#15466821)

"socialists" (which National Socialists never where in any case; it's a right-wing, not left-wing delusion) are not antireligious per se. And yes, the German nazis were ostensibly christian, complete with christian slogans ("Gott Mitt Uns", for example). Again, I'm not saying they're representative of christianity - anymore than they are representative os science. Just because a rabid pack of the criminally insane say that they are christian, or building a scientific society, doesn't mean that they speak for anybody but themselves.

On top of that, they don't even address the question as to whether science ought to operate without any constraints of religion or morality. This is what the Nazis believed. Eugenics is demonstrably correct. You can, indeed, "improve" human beings the same way you can livestock.

The question is, ought that to be allowed?


You are doing a classic mistake - confluencing religion with morality, and making the assumption that without religion there are no morals. Of course there is. There is no difference between deeply religious people and atheists in things like crime rate, spousal cheating, drug use, charitable donations and so on.

No, science should not - and does not - operate without the constraints of morality. It should - and in most advanced societies does - operate without the constraints of religion. Again, these are orthogonal concepts. Until you seprate the two you will remain trying to debate non-existent issues.

Re:No Politics? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15466939)

The "National Socialists" (Nazis) were not socialist anymore than the "Democratic People's Republic of Korea" is democratic. They were pure state capitalists. OTOH, they were essentially atheist.

Re:No Politics? (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 8 years ago | (#15466986)

You do realize that socialists were sent to the concentration camps just as gays, Jews, and other undesirables were, right?

Re:No Politics? (2, Insightful)

Otter (3800) | more than 8 years ago | (#15466790)

Well, there's an enormous difference between religion and politics attempting to decree scientific fact (Galileo, creationism) and religion and politics attempting to define biomedical ethics (eugenics, stem cells, euthanasia).

But as the quote a few stories down, praising Michael Bloomberg for "It is impressive how he very directly demonizes those that would politicize stem cell research, global warming, Terry Schaivo, and evolution" demonstrates -- the lure of conflating them in order to reduce everything to A War On Science is irresistible to a lot of lazy thinkers.

(I love, by the way, the notion that "demonizing" ideas marks one as an advocate of science against religion.)

The Scientific Method (3, Insightful)

erexx23 (935832) | more than 8 years ago | (#15466677)

People of religion have been studying science for decades.

There is no disparity.

Those who seek conflict only search to reaffirm their own personal beliefs about the world.

The "debate" deserves parody.

Re:The Scientific Method (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#15467055)

I'm not sure what you mean by "There is no disparity"

There are some people who study science just to dig up facts that support their position, whether it is valid or not.

Doesn't matter what the issue is, there's always going to be at least one person who will stand directly opposite the facts and yell "You're wrong", if for no other reason than to get attention &/or be difficult.

At least UCS is embracing its true purpose (2, Informative)

HBI (604924) | more than 8 years ago | (#15466679)

It is a political, not a scientific organization.

Those of you not old enough to remember its 'fellow traveler' support of the Soviet Union and its geopolitical aims can do some reading instead of mouthing off. Learn something.

Re:At least UCS is embracing its true purpose (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15466819)

Really? Informative? What, exactly, is the poster's point?

Jesus would have been pro-science. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15466680)

When I read the New Testament, one thing that really stands out to me is the emphasis Jesus placed on always asking questions. He never told his followers to obey him obediently. He wanted them to question his actions and words. He wanted them to think for themselves, and analyze the world around them, for themselves. That's the very essence of science: understanding nature via observation and experimentation.

A common theme throughout the Gospels is somebody asking Jesus a question, and Jesus telling them to look. Sometimes they would have to look inside themselves, but other times they were told to look at the world around them. They could find the answers there. All they had to do was look.

Frankly, we don't need comics to prove wrong those Republicans, neoconservatives, evangelists, etc., who have perverted the teachings of Christ. As Christ taught us to do, all we need to do is look! We can look for ourselves at his very teachings just to see how perverted some people's interpretations of them are. And we can use his wisdom in our pursuit of science. As scientists, we always need to be continuously observing, experimenting, and otherwise understanding the world around us. That's exactly what Jesus encouraged his followers to do.

Re:Jesus would have been pro-science. (1)

Citizen of Earth (569446) | more than 8 years ago | (#15466811)

He wanted them to question his actions and words. He wanted them to think for themselves, and analyze the world around them, for themselves.

Jesus was also very anti-theocracy and wanted people to develop their own, individual spirituality and not to repeat hymns by rote. He said his followers should just speak to God and mumbled off the Lord's Prayer on the spot as an example of how to speak to a diety.

It's funny how his message was perverted by those who stood to gain from said perversion. Well, actually, it's not funny; it's 100% expected.

Re:Jesus would have been pro-science. (3, Insightful)

radtea (464814) | more than 8 years ago | (#15466919)

When I read the New Testament, one thing that really stands out to me is the emphasis Jesus placed on always asking questions. He never told his followers to obey him obediently. He wanted them to question his actions and words.

You must be reading a different New Testament from the rest of us. For example, Christ's pronouncements on divorce look nothing like your description above. [religioustolerance.org]

Mark 10:2-12: "And the Pharisees came to him, and asked him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife? tempting him. And he answered and said unto them, What did Moses command you? And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away. And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. And in the house his disciples asked him again of the same matter. And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery."

There is no questioning nor observation nor experiment here. There is a bald pronouncement: divorce is forbidden (there is a hotly contested description of the same exchange in Matthew that may permit divorce on some grounds if we could only figure out how to translate the Greek word "pornei" unambiguously.)

The key to this passage is the question of scriptural authority vs the authority of Christ. Jesus is saying that even though the scriptures permit divorce, God doesn't approve of it and the time has come to end it. Jesus is claiming arbitrarily and without a shred of empirical evidence that God wants married people to stay that way. Period. He does not mention social ills or practical problems. He simply invokes what God wants. This why Christianity is religion, not science.

There is no practical way within the Christian framework to challenge Jesus' flat-out prohibition on divorce. To do so you either have to avail yourself of Matthew's ambiguous loophole, or you have to deny the validity of Christ's words in this instance, possibly invoking the fact that we know prohibiting divorce can lead to various social ills, the exploitation and/or battering of spouses, etc, and Jesus was clearly against that kind of thing.

But once you have done that you are well on your way down the interpretive slippery slope that leads to secular humanism. You'll find lots of friendly people ready to greet you with open arms when you reach the bottom!

Well... not really. (1)

DwarfGoanna (447841) | more than 8 years ago | (#15467058)

"He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." -John 3:36


Since understanding the world around us is probably the best defense against God's wrath. =)

How about (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 8 years ago | (#15466739)

If someone can draw, how about drawing a scientist in a maze made out of patents and lawyers carrying him through it, labeled "A good study needs good supporters"?

Dangerous (1, Funny)

no_choice (558243) | more than 8 years ago | (#15466741)

Won't the Christians riot?

pot, kettle, black (0, Flamebait)

airuck (300354) | more than 8 years ago | (#15466768)

Ironic how the "Union of Concerned Scientists" invites criticism of political influence over science when that is precisely what they do. Take a look at their efforts and you will see a group that would be more aptly called "the fervent minority of environmental reactionaries". Start with the publications of Margaret Mellon or Jane Rissler.

So what about the cartoons? Do they hope to endear themselves with the scientific community? To the public? Maybe they have a chance with the latter, but the former is more likely to understand the concept of reletive risk and reward.

zajrzyj (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15466769)

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So.. (2, Insightful)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 8 years ago | (#15466773)

So abuse of science, how far does that stretch?

Could I not argue that science invented weapons so the Iraq invasion is an abuse of science.

Could I argue that nuclear power was invented to save people, so using it as an excuse to pressure Iran is an abuse of science?

We could push this so far it's insane.

Get science off the dole (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15466793)

If you want politics out of science, stop having political processes funding so much basic research. We need research charities where the public can place their bets. Righties and lefties both pervert with religion and junk science to justify nannying. Cartoon contests are the last thing we need.

$500 isn't much... (2, Insightful)

jd (1658) | more than 8 years ago | (#15466804)

...for a contest that could potentially draw an entry from virtually every scientist, academic, researcher, or otherwise pro-understanding individual in the United States. The potential exists for a few tens of millions of entries, especially given the current disillusionment.


eg: NASA is currently cutting back or eliminating many science missions in order to pay for the next-gen shuttle, which assumes Congress won't cut NASA's budget over the next ten years -and- there are no cost overruns anywhere, according to the New Scientist.


eg: The US has spent a miniscule fraction of what it pledged and committed in the fight against bird flu, according to the World Bank. Whether an epidemic ever occurs is irrelevant in this. What matters is that even hard-nosed financial institutions are getting concerned. When the economists think Government is spending too little, it's time to be worried.


(I'm not singling out the US because it's particularly bad amongst nations - it actually does better than most - but because that's what the contest is about. Had this been an international contest, I'm sure I could find alarming attitudes in every civilized nation on the planet. It wasn't that long ago that the South African Health Minister promoted garlic as a cure for AIDS. Although I suppose there might be a lot of vampires in South African politics.)


I just don't know how this project can possibly reach its true potential with such limited backing. Most who could enter a truly biting cartoon won't be bothered, because there won't be any perceived value. If getting into the final rounds constituted a publication in a peer-reviewed forum, then perhaps there would be more interest. Money from pro-science organizations towards prizes would have been good, too.


For those on Slashdot with no artistic talents - enter anyway. Most scientists can't draw worth a damn, so it'll be purely down to the ideas in the cartoon anyway. Besides, there are valid reasons for believing the readers here have a broader understanding of the state of science and the attitudes around it - those focused totally on their subject won't have time to read up on anything much outside of their speciality and so won't be able to so easily draw on attitudes and perceptions that are universal.

wish I could draw... (3, Insightful)

clambake (37702) | more than 8 years ago | (#15467024)

Somone steal this and submit it:

Devil holding up a sign, "My gandpa ain't no monkey!" in a group of evolution protestors. One guys turns and says, "YOU'RE here too?" And the devil replys, "What? And let even MORE people see how brilliant he can be?"

Abuses of Science (1)

paper tape (724398) | more than 8 years ago | (#15467080)

I'm betting that cartoons lampooning the scientific hoaxes of the last year won't be well recieved.

how about a cartoon on genetics (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 8 years ago | (#15467086)

How about a cartoon showing how genes sometimes mutate randomly and allow creation of different species (an ape becomes a man.) And then another cartoon showing that a scientist modifies a gene by design to enhance some specific quality of an organism (a scientologist trying to become a rationalist.) A signature underneath this: 'Evolution: 4*10^9 years. Intelligent design: 40 years, so this may take a while.'
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