[Paleopsych] U.S. Scientists Say They Are Told to Alter Findings

Premise Checker checker at panix.com
Wed Feb 16 21:09:55 UTC 2005

This is pretty alarming. I have long realized that certain facts will be 
ignored (like innate racial differences in intelligence at the U.S. Dept. 
of Education). I've realized that opposing viewpoints will not be listened 
to (the unwinnability of the Viet Nam war). But to have facts altered is 
something else.

It's further alarming, since I'm a free marketeer and look favorably upon 
big business as being triumphs, a la Ayn Rand. I don't think of business 
vs. the exploited workers and consumers. I'm not interested in equality 
and do not care if CEOs make 10 or 1000 times what the workers make. I 
have little sense of envy. I do not want to take from the productive and 
give to the non-productive. I do not want to bilk tobacco companies for 
the follies of smokers. All these sorts of things.

But this is more. What we're seeing is an extreme us-vs-them mentality, 
where the businessmen now take this us-vs-them mentality into politics. 
What THIS list needs to do is not to be alarmed or to groan or to argue 
one side or the other but to EXPLAIN the widening polarity.

Tomorrow, in a different mood, I'm sure I can come up with an argument 
that polarity is a good thing, that it has high entertainment value or 
something such.

At a personal level, here at the U.S. Department of Education, it's a big 
disappointment. Last week, I went to a talk by the Director of the Office 
of Technology. She gave an excellent presentation. During the question 
period I said that distinguishing good from bogus information on the Net 
would be the singly most important skill to have in the world of 2025, 
when the current crop of kids in school are out of school. The problem is 
that the most important skill of all is very hard to measure. I urged that 
when the No Child Left Behind Act gets extended to high school that the 
law be made more flexible to take this difficulty of measurement into 

She answered by saying that a two-day conference could be held on this 
very topic and that I asked a great question. However, she thought that 
schools that could be teaching this kind of skill need not fear running 
afoul of NCLB. I spent 10-15 minutes talking with her after the meeting, 
too. I followed up with some e-mails of highly relevant articles and 
further thoughts of my own.

But since then: nothing. I think she got cold feet when she realized that 
I might be dangerously independent (no, I'm not about to bring up race 
differences) and would not tow the party line. I suspect that she, too, 
wants to find out what the party line and then tow it, rather than even 
hint that the party line needs clarification. No, I don't mean that she 
really wants to do this--she clearly liked talking to me--but that she has 
no choice.

It is the case, in my experience anyhow, that Democrats are more 
open-minded than Republicans. I say this even though I prefer Republican 
policies, as least when there was a substantial difference. I think it's 
because Democrats are much more goo-goo (good government) types and want 
to improve something that they approve of, while Republicans want to 
reduce or get rid of programs.

I sense a divisiveness that has grown beyond this, though, and it's a 
theory about the rise and fall of divisiveness that I'd like to explore on 
this list, NOT about "this is what I want the world to be."

On 2005-02-16, Michael Christopher opined [message unchanged below]:

> Date: Wed, 16 Feb 2005 11:50:07 -0800 (PST)
> From: Michael Christopher <anonymous_animus at yahoo.com>
> Reply-To: The new improved paleopsych list <paleopsych at paleopsych.org>
> To: paleopsych at paleopsych.org
> Subject: [Paleopsych] U.S. Scientists Say They Are Told to Alter Findings
> U.S. Scientists Say They Are Told to Alter Findings
> More than 200 Fish and Wildlife researchers cite cases
> where conclusions were reversed to weaken protections
> and favor business, a survey finds.
> http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-scientists10feb10,0,4954654.story?coll=la-home-nation

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