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Published: Friday, May 30 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Salt Lake City, UT

Science is endangered by the industry groups the writer describes, and even by higher education with its administratively driven "business models." What can we do individually to protect science? One way would be expose ourselves to the rigors of physical science, even if we are in fields far from such. It will firm our resolve to protect science.

Another way is to follow the interest group money and publicize it.

Omaha, NE

Mary is right here except for one small problem which is traumatically prevalent in all science. The Peer Review process is assumed to be pure, free from any type of bias. But it isn’t always or sometimes even often. The editor sends it to a few reviewers. But he or she knows the tougher reviewers (there are not enough tough ones). Assume for an instance, that the Theory A is increasingly popular but has some as yet proven flaws. Then Scientist writes paper which has the end result of seriously challenging Theory A. Editor likes Theory A so sends paper to harder reviewers where it gets rejected even though it would have been accepted had the easier reviewers been picked. The bias of the accepted theory is problematic and has lead science to making embarrassing theories "truth" for even multiple lifespans. (Google Vortex Theory for example). Eventually though science corrects widely accepted bad theories too as incorrect theories lose their "cultural reasons" for staying alive. Then some new kid on the block challenges it and the cultural reasons aren't strong enough anymore. (All the old guys who found it are dying off).

Here, UT

I love Cosmos and I'm seriously wondering if I've entered the Twilight Zone reading this particular article in the Deseret News.

liberal larry
salt lake City, utah

The deniers narrative is slowly changing in the face of the overwhelming evidence of global warming.

First it was: "There is no global warming"

Then: "Warming is just a cyclical weather pattern"

"Warming is caused by sun spots"

"Warming is occurring but it isn't caused by man"

"Global warming is caused by man, but there is nothing we can do about it!"

In about two years we will all be on the same page, and can get two work dealing with human caused global warming.

Murray, UT

Mary speaks of 'dark money', but what about all those getting filthy rich off 'green money'.

Al Gore made a killing off being the 'green' spokesman. Then there are all the failed 'green' industries who got billions of 'green' from the taxpaying citizens of this country and gave us nothing in return. But the CEO's of those industries did VERY well in greenbacks. Add the well 'green moneyed' so called scientists promoting 'greenness', and the well "green moneyed' lobbyists.

Pardon my skepticism, but when the entire 'green' movement consists of forcefully taking money from 53% of the population and giving it to the 1% to promote 'green energy', which they will turn around for raising the price of everything, on everyone (including the poorest among us) so they can make even more money, I find that to be totally corrupt.

'Greenness' is in the science of making a lot of money. Ignoring the money being gleaned by the 'green' movement is, well, ignorant.

PS "Green house gasses' make plants grow better, i.e. make the planet truly greener.

Hayden, ID

The problem with science is that it is always changing. Everything we think we know will eventually be proven to be either completely wrong or at least very incomplete. As our grandparent's science is to us, so will our science be to our grandchildren. The take home message here is if any "scientist" tells us he/she has the final word, rest assured that person is no scientist and most importantly we should always reject science mixed with political agendas.

clearfield, UT

I wonder if Mary and others realize that it can work both ways. The problem with the so called climate change and all of its connections (used to be global warming, now it has been changed to climate change) is that the politics can run the show before the science takes over. The worst thing about the global warming debate was Al Gore getting rich by talking up the subject. Any rational person would be required to question a politician about any thing they get on a bandwagon for. Science and politics don't mix well, because one side or the other is naturally going to ask "what is in it for them?" The pro climate change (we must do something NOW) side always accused big business of being behind the skepticism. The anti climate change (Earth has always done this over the eons) side sees a lot of green on the outside red on the inside. Namely, old Commie anti capitalists anti big American business politics going on. So, I refuse to takes sides as long as I don't trust the scientists who I think are getting their nest feathered by the PC side.

Salt Lake City, UT


While it is true that everyone, including the editors of science journals, are capable of bias, professional science journals maintain their standards by recognizing that possibility and they take care to ensure a good mixture of content experts within their editorial staff. They understand that neither their own, nor their publication's, reputations are helped when inaccurate, shoddy, misleading, or falsified research is published. Has it happened in the past? Sure, but exceptionally rarely, and it was the scientific community itself, and the stakeholders in the offending publication, that sounded the loudest alarms. It's a self-correcting process, and it works well.

My hat is off the to the Deseret News for publishing this article.

Murray, UT


"The problem with science is that it is always changing"

That's not the problem, it's the feature.

seattle, WA

To science skeptics.

I wonder when science will disprove the theory of gravity. Or that the Earth is round and orbits around a sun. That the Earth is not the only planet in the Universe. Some things are just true.

That billions of us are polluting the Earth is not refutable. The only argument is how long can it go on, and what will be the results. Never in the history of the planet have so many people made so many demands on the planet's resources. Yet, somehow climate change deniers and other assorted kooks, seem content to let us waste and fritter away the future for current gain.

Your grandchildren, and their grandchildren will curse your profligate was. Science is not necessarily needed to prove this, but it certainly punctuates the muddle-headedness of so many.

Salt Lake City, UT

Re: Mountanman "Everything we think we know will eventually be proven to be either completely wrong or at least very incomplete."

Not true, at least the "completely wrong" part. Science is a process which refines primarily. Take physics for example. Today we have "modern physics" which has expanded our views of the physical world, but the physics of Newton and Faraday are still true in context and are fully functional. Take biology. We had Darwin which documented evolution but he could not identify the mechanism of evolution. Now with DNA we are very close to understanding the mechanism of species creation. Science builds on the past through a consistent METHOD.

Compare science to religion and the "science" of the Greek philosophers. Here ideas are propounded through thought "experiments" and myths. But because they don't have the scientific method they have been blindsided by science. Religion is then forced to change in a way more in line with what Mountanman describes.

salt lake city, utah


"The problem with science is that it is always changing"

Changing science doesn't validate the old ideas it replaced.

Biology has changed radically over time but we still know humans didn't come from a lump of clay. We may not know just how many branches of humans there were before modern humans prevailed, but we do know that we didn't come from two fully formed humans who ate an apple to complete their consciousness.

Physics has changed dramatically and we may not know exactly what the cosmos is made of entirely, but we do know it's not ether.

Thus climate science has and will change but it's likely it won't validate the idea that modern civilization is a benign influence on the environment.

Salt Lake City, UT

Regarding the protection of the scientific enterprise - fund fundamental science research through government, including NASA and space exploration!

Hayden, ID

Marxist. Some science is completely wrong! Think of the medical field's blood letting science only a century old. We need to be careful about confusing science theory from science law!
My religion is not complete either. Check out the 9th article of faith! Personally I could never embrace a religion that tells me it is complete.

Mister J
Salt Lake City, UT

to Marxist 1st post

How then does Science differ from politics?

to slcdenizen

Agreed. That is the beauty of Science. Remember, to quote a Star Wars movie, "only the Sith think in terms of absolutes"

Salt Lake City, UT

Badger: "PS Green house gasses' make plants grow better, i.e. make the planet truly greener."

And water is necessary for life, too. Is that an argument for drowning?

More to the point, new research has found that as the atmospheric CO2 increases, the nutritional value of crops grown decreases. Big, fast-growing plants make low-nutrition food.

Look - we can improve our economy, clean our air and water, launch new technologies, reduce our exposure to geopolitical conflict and slow the damage that climate change is doing by accepting simple scientific realities and acting accordingly. We need to start weaning ourselves off of fossil fuels - right now.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Is science misused for social policy? Yes, sometimes.


And it's not "Global Warming"... it's "Climate Chaos". And we only have 483 days left.

May 14, 2014 French foreign minister Laurent Fabius (what a name... FAB-ius).. said we only have 500 days left to prevent "Climate Chaos". I marked it on my calendar.

By my calculations... that gives us until 26 Sept 2015 before Climate Chaos ensues...

Better not wait till the last day boys and girls.... better get started preventing Climate Chaos... NOW!!!


HOW do we prevent Climate Chaos, you may ask... Well... that's a tougher question.

If anybody has a proven answer... please post it here...

Thank you.

Salt Lake City, UT

RE: Mountanman "Marxist. Some science is completely wrong! Think of the medical field's blood letting science only a century old. " You make a good point. Not all fields are equally comfortable with the scientific method. Physics and biology are. Medicine less so. Social science even less. Unfortunately, science doesn't function well everywhere.

Re: Mister J "How does science differ from politics?" See above. Science can be corrupted by politics - the scientists must be brave (and usually are). Consider the assault on "Jewish science" from the Nazis, or the "Lysenko Doctrine" in Stalin's Russia.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

Eventually we will have to deal with climate change. It will come knocking on our door wherever that door may be. And it will be insistent - not to be ignored.

The point is we can deal with it now while it is easier (and cheaper) or later when it is more difficult (and more expensive).

The choice is not between US independence and domination by outside interests. We can lead the fight if we choose.

Renewable energy will not replace oil overnight. It can't. But if we embrace it we can be the ones making the technologies the rest of the world buys. There is an economic opportunity here.

clearfield, UT

So now the debate seems to be, what science of today will change over time and what science of today is in the absolute category, and will never change. With climate, it would seem to me that "change" is the absolute.


So it would seem from your point that the real problem is that we have too many people on Earth. Population control would equal less pollution. That then brings the "problem" right back to the population polluters. Mainly 3rd world countries and places like India and China.


I will stand by you if you agree that we should be using nuclear power to generate all electricity. No need to use fossil fuel when nuclear can do the job. However, if you are saying that we should be using millions of windmills all over the place, then, I'm out, because I don't believe wind is the answer, and until a really efficient and practical solar panal is invented, neither is the sun.

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