Chris Mooney on the origins of the Discovery Institute

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As previously blogged, PT buddy Chris Mooney has a new book out. See blog attention from Thoughts From Kansas, Pharyngula, Science And Politics (Helpful tip: “Buying thrillers written by the other Chris Mooney is not going to help the cause.…”), Stranger Fruit, TPM Cafe, and others.

An adaptation of his chapter “Creation Science 2.0” is now up at American Prospect Online. It is entitled “Inferior Design.” In my previous post I quoted Mooney’s setup for his chapter, which describes what happened to “two talented young political thinkers,” liberal Republicans at Harvard who made the case for reforming Republicanism in the 1966 The Party That Lost Its Head.

In “Inferior Design,” Mooney gives the punchline:

Their critique was both prescient and poignant. But the authors – Bruce Chapman and George Gilder – have since bitten their tongues and morphed from liberal Republicans into staunch conservatives. Once opponents of right-wing anti-intellectualism, they are now prominent supporters of conservative attacks on the theory of evolution, not just a bedrock of modern science but also one of the greatest intellectual achievements of human history. Chapman now serves as president of the Discovery Institute; Gilder is a senior fellow there.

So not only have Chapman and Gilder become everything they once criticized; their transformation highlights how the GOP went in precisely the opposite direction from the one that these young authors once prescribed – which is why the anti-intellectual disposition they so aptly diagnosed in 1966 still persists among modern conservatives, helping to fuel a full-fledged crisis today over the politicization of science and expertise.Chris Mooney (2005), “Inferior Design,” American Prospect.

44 Comments

Hey, where did all the trolls from the Krugman thread go? No website dedicated to hating Chris Mooney? Someone is slacking over there.

On a broad array of issues—stem cell research, climate change, abstinence education, mercury pollution, and many others—the Bush administration’s positions fly in the face of overwhelming scientific consensus.

Some little fellows always seem to find any murmurings about “being scientific or somethin’” quite overwhelming. It would seem that they are easily overwhelmed. They are those who want to medicalize everything to treat inanimate objects as if they are persons and animate persons as if they are inanminate objects. (E.g. guns and “the poor” respectively, the one is an inanimate object which Leftists scientists tend to blame as if a gun can shoot of its own accord and the other is a group of people that the average progressive treats as objects.)

Yet one can choose an example from this progressive littany and see what knowledge and scientia is to be had about it. Abstinence, those who seem to enjoy murmuring about science more than seeking or dealing with what is true tend to forget that a change in circumstance can result in a change of mind and it is often the animate mind that generates human behavior patterns. In that case those seeking to medicalize and treat symptoms without changing behavior may cause yet more problems, especially if they take to the Leftist notion of “science” that used to be at the root of the eugenics movement as it seems to be found among fellows like the writer above. The way that they murmur about science you would think that they actually know some scientific evidence on the issues that they bring up, yet they do not seem to.

Example, medicalizing to treat symptoms leading to the symptoms of medicalization:

…Otten and colleagues showed that rates of prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases doubled in a group of patients who had a negative HIV test and counselling for prevention. Early studies on the likelihood of HIV transmission through oral sex suggested that transmission by this route was insignificant, which led to widespread advocacy of oral sex as a safer alternative to anal sex for gay men. [You make people feel safe, then they take more risks. They are not inanimate objects to “treat” as such.] Since then there has been a steady increase in the number of transmissions attributed to oral sex, which has led epidemiologists to revise upwards their estimates of the likelihood of transmission from oral intercourse. In an interesting theoretical paper Blower and McLeann have argued that a suboptimal HIV vaccine might increase transmission if lowered risk perception in the target population led to increased risk behaviour.

(Margaret A. Fischl, et al, “Heterosexual Transmission of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV): Relationship of Sexual Practices to Seroconversion,” III International Conference on AIDS, June 15, 1987, Abstracts Volume, p. 178)

E.g.

A vigorous condom-promotion policy could increase rather than decrease unprotected sexual exposure, if it has the unintended effect of encouraging greater sexual activity (figure 3). The figure shows the potential effects of increasing condom use among soldiers posted overseas for 6 months, when the condom failure rate is 10%. [Note, a low estimate.] Data are derived from the work of Hopperus-Buma and colleagues, and use the equation: total number of acts of unprotected sexual intercourse=total number of all acts of sexual intercourse (1minus c)doplus(cxf) , where f is the proportion of acts in which the condom fails, and c is the proportion of acts in which a condom is used. Point A shows that if sexual intercourse takes place on a mean of two occasions per soldier, there will be 1100 acts of unprotected sex per 1000 soldiers if condom use is 50%. Point B shows a fall in unprotected sex of 33% to 740 acts, which could be achieved by increasing condom use from 50% to 70%. Point C shows that if, as a result of condom promotion and availability, the mean number of episodes of sexual intercourse per soldier increased from two to three, the benefit of increasing condom use from 50% to 70% would be lost. Point D shows that a doubling of acts of sexual intercourse (from two to four) would lead to a substantial(35%) increase in the amount of unprotected sex if condom use is increased to 70%. Point E shows that condom uptake would need to increase to at least 81% to bring the level of unprotected sex back to baseline. Points Aprime to Eprime relate to a baseline situation of 10% condom use. In this case, to reduce the total number of unprotected sexual acts, condom use must increase to at least 44% if the total number of acts increases by 50%, and to at least 61% if the total number of acts doubles. ….These findings can be generalised.

(The Lancet; 355 (9201): 400-403 January 29, 2000 Condoms and seat belts: the parallels and the lessons Department of Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Royal Free and University College Medical School, The Mortimer Market Centre, Mortimer Market, London WC1E 6AU, UK Richens, John; Imrie, John; Copas, Andrew)

Leftists will go on believing that handing a teenager a piece of plastic while telling them, “This let’s you have sex safely.” will solve social problems no matter what. The issue is not scientific, they just enjoy murmuring about “science.”

One could choose another example from the Leftist littany…but the rubric of “global warming”…surely he’s joking.

Speaking of the DI, they will reportedly be starring in an ABC “Nightline” show on ID tonight.

Rest assured the producers have done their homework: they promise a climax featuring mano-a-mano scientific debate by those renowned experts on everything, Cal Thomas and George Will.

Nightline? Here’s the text of Nightline’s e-mail:

It’s a combustible mix – God, science, politics and the classroom. And last week, President Bush threw some fuel on that mix when he expressed support for schools to combine its traditional evolution lessons with discussions of “intelligent design,” the theory that the origin of life can be scientifically explained by an intelligent designer as opposed to natural selection.

But it’s not just the comments by the president that have thrust I.D. into the national conversation. Some states and school districts have been convinced to change their curricula so teachers can point out the criticisms of evolution. And if you’ve seen the cover of Time magazine this week, you know that efforts by a Seattle think tank called the Discovery Institute to push criticisms of Darwin into the nation’s schools are getting noticed.

The Discovery Institute is promoting an idea that all of the nation’s top biologists say has no scientific basis. But the Institute insists there’s a raging debate among scientists on both sides of the evolutionary divide. After a 1987 Supreme Court decision banned the teaching of creationism in public schools because it violated the separation of church and state, the Discovery Institute began a campaign for schools to question evolution. And with the help of some key people, including Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, the notion of intelligent design has gotten a boost in some quarters.

Tonight, correspondent Chris Bury reports on the campaign to bring I.D. to the national debate. And a debate, conducted by Ted Koppel, between two columnists who often agree, but not tonight: George Will and Cal Thomas.

We hope you’ll join us.

I’ll watch, but I don’t expect to be informed much better.

mynnym seems to have been heavily “medicalized” himself: besides the very general drift, can anyone tell if he has any point (besides paranoid hatred of evil “leftist” thinking). In reading it a second time (yes, it is worth reading more than once, if not for the reasons mynmyn has posted it here) I am struck by the, ah, how can it be described, “impermeability” of the prose. It’s been a while since PT has had such a textbook example of pure kookiness: it’s too silly, and too weirdly phrased. My favorites, so far: “Abstinence, those who seem to enjoy murmuring about science more than seeking or dealing with what is true tend to forget that a change in circumstance can result in a change of mind and it is often the animate mind that generates human behavior patterns.”

“One could choose another example from the Leftist littany…but the rubric of “global warming”…surely he’s joking.”

Was there a comment commenting about the lack of trolls?

mynym! Great stuff (in both senses of the word)! Keep ‘em coming!

Pierce Butler wroteSpeaking of the DI, they will reportedly be starring in an ABC “Nightline” show on ID tonight.I think Barbara Forrest (she of Creationism’s Trojan Horse fame) was also interviewed for the program.

RBH

Mooney: So not only have Chapman and Gilder become everything they once criticized;…

…so has the entire Republican party.

They’ve become (their stereotype of) the 60s left: tantrum-throwing elitists who whine over imaginary victimhood; economic parasites ungrounded in the real world; ignorant and disrespectful of sound traditions; fixated hysterics trying to push the rest of us into their insane, fantasy-based Utopias, on the premise that government programs can solve all problems and budgets are limitless.

Alan Watts once cited (or made up) a Hindu proverb to the effect that we should be very careful whom we hate, because we become what we hate. He may have been on to something.

Please be sure your irony meters are well shielded now.

John Wayne and J. Edgar Hoover must be rotating at supersonic speeds: According to officially embraced political definitions, the “conservatives” of the United States of America are … the “reds.”

And why doesn’t the post (which used the appropriate tags) look like the Preview?

”…besides the very general drift, can anyone tell if he has any point (besides paranoid hatred of evil “leftist” thinking).”

It’s not a dissertation, although I doubt you would understand that either. Your failure to understand is not necessarily my responsibility. I am curious about where your understanding breaks down, yet it is probably not worth asking since you are most likely a Leftist as you seek to avoid such definition. No mind will attempt to avoid definition quite like the Leftist mind, as definition is separation and distinction in one. The recent way that Darwinists have attemped to avoid the very word Darwinism has to be the most amusing example of the same pattern of thought.

The best ideas are impermeable, here is more for you to read sans an idea of what is written:

Plato knew more than all the earnest statisticians who would reduce science to an uninspired recording of observable phenomena. Man does not move himself; he does not struggle toward moral existence by Hartley’s ludicrous instrument of Association. No, man is drawn forward by a power outside himself, which works through Ideas. An Idea is an immutable spiritual truth communicated to man through the faculty of intuition: the dogmas of religious faith, the principles of morals, the rules of mathematics, and the laws of pure science are apprehended through the intuition (varying in its strength from one man to another), and by no other means can this knowledge be obtained. Ideas are beyond the grasp of the mere Understanding. And Ideas, well or badly apprehended, rule the world. The Benthamite mind, the political economists’ mind, reaches no higher than the useful but limited Understanding, and therefore never attains to general truth— only to particular means and methods. Without Faith to restrain Understanding (and Faith is the product of true Reason), mankind succumbs first to the death of the spirit and then to the death of the body. Coleridge, in the introduction to his second Lay Sermon, caricatures the Utilitarian as a dim-eyed old philosopher who “talked much and vehemently concerning an infinite series of causes and effects,” which turns out to be a string of blind men, one following another by clinging to his predecessor’s coat-tails, all striding confidently forward. “Who is at the head to guide them?” asks Coleridge; and the contemptuous sage informs him, “No one; the string of blind men goes on for ever without any beginning: for although one blind man cannot move without stumbling, yet infinite blindness supplies the want of sight.”

(The Conservative Mind: From Burke to Elliot Seventh Revised Edition (Regnery Publishing: 1985) :136-136)

Darwinists say the same of their Blind Watchmaker.

Dabible says something like “asketh and ye shall receiveth,” right? Well, I DID ask, didn’t I, and in mere minutes, I did receive.

“The best ideas are impermeable, here is more for you to read sans an idea of what is written…”

“sans an idea”! Poetry from the F. Dec school, indeed.

The way that they murmur about science you would think that they actually know some scientific evidence on the issues that they bring up, yet they do not seem to.

Indeed. I’ve been aksing creation “scientists” for over 20 years now to see their scientific theory of creation. I’ve been asking IDers for almost 5 years now to see a scientific theory of ID.

Never got any intelligible answer from either one.

I wonder why that would be . … . . ?

The way they murmur about science you would think that they actually know some scientific evidence on the issues that they rbing up — or at elast have an alternative scientific theoruy to offer. Yet they do not seem to. … . .

Leftists

We have Leftists in the US? Where have they been hiding since 1919?

…”sans an idea”! Poetry from the F. Dec school, indeed.

That means with no idea, in case you are wondering. A lack of ideas is typical to half-wits, which is why they do not focus on ideas and instead shift over to the littany of problems. For Al Gore it was: “…healthcare, the environment and education…” and for the fellow above it is “…stem cell research, climate change, abstinence education, mercury pollution…”

It might be good for those who have no idea what they’re talking about to get one thing correct first. Yet since they have no ideas, they create a littany instead. It seems they think it will work well politically, yet it doesn’t.

We have Leftists in the US? Where have they been hiding since 1919?

In the eugenics movement and the like, and then the Democratic party, which is why it is a National Party No more.

Never got any intelligible answer from either one. I wonder why that would be .….. ?

The answer probably lies in your denial that intelligence can be detected.

Your questions are questionable and that is, after all, quite a lie.

The way they murmur about science you would think that they actually know some scientific evidence on the issues that they rbing up —- or at elast have an alternative scientific theoruy to offer. Yet they do not seem to…

That’s probably because a lot of them do not have such a theory. Yet it seems that just about everyone likes to murmur about how scientific they are these days. (Although no one can compare to Darwinists…)

Mynym the reason the word ‘Darwinist’ is usually avoided is because the ideas it represents were replaced with the modern synthesis. You may aswell be complaining that we don’t call ourselves Lamarckists.

And whether intelligence can or can’t be detected (it can, incidentally, it’s just the IDers don’t seem to have any desire to apply any known science to their ideas,) does not have anything to do with whether there’s a theory of Intelligent Design.

-Schmitt.

Mynym, I’m intrigued that you call the Democrats Leftists. From an outside perspective they seem to be aligned with the parties of the right in two countries that I have lived in - New Zealand and Australia (in the latter, incidentally, called Liberals!). Maybe we are all just commies - NZ certainly told the good ole US of A where to stick its nuclear (should that be noocular?) ships. Could be grounds for invasion?!

But I digress. It seems that the polarising of people into left and right (with us or agin us) is actually passe. Most people hold views or have values that range from conservative through liberal or even radical, depending on the issue. Pigeon-holing is disingenious and is only used to separate them from us for purposes of power and domination, i.e. to demonise those that don’t agree with us, and to avoid the realities and complexities of issues.

As for labelling scientists who are comfortable with the concepts of biological evolution and their relevance to life “Darwinists” - the same applies. I don’t live my life by Darwin’s ideas or ideals, but appreciate the huge intellectual contribution he made to understanding the diversity of life, upon much of which my science (ecology) is based. We stand on the shoulders of giants and, in doing so, can see further.

Cheers

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darwinfinch Wrote:

half-wits … For Al Gore it was …

Gore has several times your wits. And he probably knows how to spell “litany”.

Oops, that was darwinfinch quoting mynym. Well, my comment applies to mynym, of course.

The answer probably lies in your denial that intelligence can be detected.

Your questions are questionable and that is, after all, quite a lie.

OK, so you don’t have a scientific theory of ID to offer either.

Got it.

Thanks for confirming that.

“We have Leftists in the US? Where have they been hiding since 1919?”

In the eugenics movement and the like, and then the Democratic party, which is why it is a National Party No more.

Leftists in the Democratic Party? BWA HA HA HA !!!! That’s pretty funny.

“The figure shows the potential effects of increasing condom use among soldiers posted overseas for 6 months, when the condom failure rate is 10%. [Note, a low estimate.]”

Actually, the failure rate of condoms in closer to 5%.

For example, http://www.agi-usa.org/pubs/journals/3108199.html

To quote a man I greatly admire, and yet in complete irony: mynym has nothing to say, and he is saying it: again and again and again and…

mynym, your blog is jus’ the cutest t’ing!!!!!

Moony is full of crap.

Only a faction within the Republican party is backing this creationism nonsense. The party as a whole has not endorsed it, and there are many Republicans who oppose it. And not just moderates. Charles Krauthammer and George Will well within the mainstream of the party, even in its right wing. If creation becomes a plank in the platform, Moony would have a point. But it’s not, so he doesn’t.

As far as the rest of the supposed anti-science positions of the Republican party, they are about either conomics or ethics, not science.

The dispute over global warming is about economics. Republicans take the position that the costs of drastically reducing CO2 emissions are higher than the benefits. While reasonable people can disagree on this, there is a strong economic case that can be made for the GOP posiion, even if one accepts the most models of global warming that assign the highest degree of responsibility to human-produced CO2.

Condom distribution in schools in a purely ethical issue. Most Republcans believe pre-marital sex is intrinsically immoral, and therefore it is immoral for the government to be a party to it. Even if condom distribution increases condom usage without increasing teen sexual activity is immaterial. The ends don’t justify the means. This position is not scientific, but neither is the contrary position that the ends do justify the means.

The same exact thing applies to embryonic stem research. It’s a dispute purely about ethics, not science. Most Republicans believe it is unethical to deliberately kill innocent living organisms belonging the speices Homo Sapiens. Whether the research is useful or not is immaterial. The GOP position that killing embryos is murder is not scientific, but it is no less scientific than the contrary position that it is not murder. Science cannot settle ethical disputes.

While you are correct that some of these issues like condom distribution are decided in absolute ethics terms, the Republicans have indeed engaged in a broad practice of distorting science, from global warming denial, to erroneous claims about holes in condoms. Mooney–not Moony–is correct in his thesis.

While you are correct that some of these issues like condom distribution are decided in absolute ethics terms, the Republicans have indeed engaged in a broad practice of distorting science, from global warming denial, to erroneous claims about holes in condoms. Mooney—not Moony—is correct in his thesis.

No, he’s not. Individuals in both parties distort science to suit their ends. Dems do it just as much as Republicans. Who denies the utility of standardized tests? Who goes around making histerical claims about the risks of asbestos and DDT? Who fought standard public health measures (closing bathhouses, mandatory testing and contact tracing) that could have stopped the HIV epidemic in its tracks?

Besides, condoms do fail (3-5% of the time), the extent to which global warming is man-made is a subject of real scientific controversy (unlike evolution), and there is no evidence that the benefits of Kyoto outweight the costs.

Take a look at that photo of Chris. Doesn’t he look like Wally Cleaver?

http://www.litb.com/wally1.jpg

So you are saying republicans Do distort science, Adam? And btw your buddy M&M disagrees with you, citing that a 10% condom failure rate is a low estimate.

Take a look at that photo of Chris. Doesn’t he look like Wally Cleaver?

No. Not nearly WASP-looking enough.

So you are saying republicans Do distort science, Adam?

Certain individual republicans do it, yes, just as certain individual democratics do. There are crackpots and unscrupulous individuals in all large organizations, and political parties are no exception. Does the party as a whole do it? No. If you want to claim otherwise, please cite a plank in the platform that distorts science.

And btw your buddy M&M disagrees with you, citing that a 10% condom failure rate is a low estimate.

I suppose it depends on who he’s talking about. I’ve seen numbers for teenagers as high as 25%. I’m not up on the latest research, though, so I’ll defer to you.

Now care to address my main points?

Yeah, I’m pretty sure whatever they wrote into their national platform, it was vetted and didn’t spell out “Distort science.” If GOP politicians regularly distort science, edit scientific reports, etc., then Mooney is justified. I don’t have to present the evidence, he did so in a 300 page book. IIRC, the Texas GOP platform called for teaching intelligent design. That’s prima facie war on science.

If GOP politicians regularly distort science, edit scientific reports, etc., then Mooney is justified. I don’t have to present the evidence, he did so in a 300 page book.

Indeed.

IIRC, the Texas GOP platform called for teaching intelligent design. That’s prima facie war on science.

URC. And it’s much worse than that. See, e.g., http://www.tfn.org/religiousright/gop2004/

And the Iowa and Oklahoma GOP platforms join Texas in calling for teaching creationism and/or intelligent design; see, e.g., http://nrcse.creighton.edu/Creat_Comics_GOP.html

But don’t expect any of this to change any of Adam’s beliefs or claims.

I’ve seen numbers for teenagers as high as 25%.

Then it would seem one is mostly talking about a failure in competence there, eg of application, and not a rate of failure in the condom itself at all. Fixing that requires more and better sex education. Something which certain factions are rabidly against.

ts:

Thanks for the info about the state platforms. It’s worse than I thought at the state level, regarding evolution.

Nevertheless, my broader point stands. All the other supposed examples of the GOP being “anti-science” are nothing more than the GOP taking an ethical or economic point of view difference from Mooney’s. Mooney is confusing science and philosophy.

SEF:

Conservatives are against teaching teenagers to use condoms for purely ethical reasons. They believe that pre-marital sex is intrinsically immoral, and they do not want to state to be a party to such an act. Conservatives also do not typically subscribe to consequentialist ethics, so the effectiveness of condom education programs is simply immaterial from their point of view.

Also, I’ve seen high failure rates cited even for teenagers who were given comprehensive sex education. That is, failure rates high even when they were properly taught how to use the things. It is not at all obvious, therefore, that increased education can bring those failure rates down.

All the other supposed examples of the GOP being “anti-science” are nothing more than the GOP taking an ethical or economic point of view difference from Mooney’s.

Is this a roundabout way of telling us to follow the money? I wonder what Adam would think if he DID follow the money.

Is this a roundabout way of telling us to follow the money?

No, it’s a direct way of saying that you can agree on the science but disagree on ethics or economic theory.

It is not at all obvious, therefore, that increased education can bring those failure rates down.

Yes, it is because something causes the grown-ups to be better. To be useful, the nature of that additional education would need to be identified more narrowly than just “experience”. Note that I advocated increases in both quantity and quality of education for precisely that reason.

Yes, it is because something causes the grown-ups to be better.

What makes you place so much faith in the proposition that this mysterious “something else” can be taught in a classroom?

Adam:

What I was trying to say was that the current administration has not been particularly forthcoming in funding science. Even beyond the stem cell policies, I read weekly in Science magazine that the administration is slashing funding for this or that, or maintaining funding levels recommended (by Congress)to be increased by a good deal, etc. Perhaps this, uh, highly unenthusiastic if not reluctant funding effort doesn’t directly mean that the GOP is “anti-science”, but it surely means that science is at the very most a low priority. If the funds to fight the Iraq war were diverted into science for ONE DAY, scientists in all fields would be dancing in the streets. That would represent approximately a tripling of annual science research funding.

Without knowing what it is, how can you be sure it can’t?! I think it quite likely that other countries don’t have the same condom “failure” rate because they definitely don’t have the same teen pregnancy rate (it would be necessary to subdivide those rates into causes to be sure where the biggest changes could be made). However, education has already been shown to improve some pretty diverse factors, including related things like the number of children born.

That would represent approximately a tripling of annual science research funding.

Such financial evidence for the relative importance attached to each activity by governments is pretty disgusting.

Flint:

What you say about federal science funding & the Bush administration is very intriguing. Generally speaking, I agree that the government ought to fund basic research since it is a public good. However, as an economist, I will also say that how much funding ought to be devoted to this purpose is a complicated question. More is not always better. Public economics is not my area of expertise, however, so I don’t have an opinion as to whether Bush is underfunding basic research. However, you’ve made me curious about it. Do you know of any rigorous economic study of the Bush Administration’s research funding policy? Doing a literature search in an area with which I’m not intimately familiar can be a bit time consuming.

One other quesiton for you. Would spending on science what we spend in Iraq in a day represent a tripling of federal science research funding, or of total science funding from all sources? A good deal research of a more applied nature is privately funded, as it ought to be according to public goods theory.

SEF:

I have no doubt that some education helps make teenagers use condoms more effectively, but there are limits to what education can do. An unwillingness to aknowledge this basic fact of life seems to be something quite common on the left.

I doubt very much that education beyond basic stuff about STD’s and teaching the kids how to properly put on a condom is going to help very much. Based on my experience, I expect you’d do little more than bore them, which might actually make them even less likely to use condoms consistently and properly. If you know of some research that shows the opposite, I’d be very interested in seeing it.

Adam, you’re asking for a lot of leads to research and studies of one kind or another–which is certainly not a bad thing–but you also seem to be suggesting that a lot of fairly similar research ought not to be funded as generously as it has been, or ought to only be privately funded, etc.–about which I’m more dubious.

Let’s just hope that the funding for the research to develop the information you’re seeking doesn’t run out before you get your answers.

but you also seem to be suggesting that a lot of fairly similar research ought not to be funded as generously as it has been, or ought to only be privately funded, etc.

Not at all. All I am saying is that in a world of limited resources, it’s not desireable to allocate everything to research. Whether we’re allocating too much or too little is an empirical and somewhat subjective question that depends a lot of what our society values.

You can’t, therefore, automatically assume that every cut in research funding is bad. It may very well be bad, but to make such a statement requires some analysis. I’m just wondering if anyone has done such an analysis on the research funding policy of the current administration, that’s all.

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