We live in a world where facts matter. Knowing that if I eat arsenic I die, or leaving my car on inside the garage shuts down the supply of oxygen to my body and leads to death can save my life. Facts are things that can’t be avoided, even if you choose to ignore them- surprise! they’re still there.
So why does it seem like we are forgetting the facts. Ideology, people’s beliefs – fairy tale or not – do not supersede fact. We’ve already heard campaigns say “We’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers,” and have seen some ads that have chosen to ignore known facts. But it’s not just election campaigns, its more than that, it isn’t just Romney or Obama, it is everyone. Do we really still live in a world where people blindly follow notions and ignore reality?
Throughout history we have seen the evolution from beliefs into facts, paradigm shifts that have resulted in progression and the overcoming of nature. Understanding gravity led to flight, knowledge of electrical currents led to light-bulbs and computers, examining germs have led to vaccinations and the eradication of most of the historically dreadful diseases. The point is, facts should supersede belief. It wasn’t long ago we thought people got sick as a punishment from God, before that people thought Zeus threw lightning bolts from the sky and we sacrificed children to bring rains. I’m glad people got over their superstitions and embraced fact.
But not everyone is so willing to embrace knowledge. In fact, many try to suppress it for their own vanity. Scientific results are not always correct, and repeated experiments are necessary to make claims of fact. Another scientist can refute the work of past experiments by coming up with a superior method of testing. This is the way we progress.
Recently it was reported that the “Congressional Research Service withdrew an economic report that found no correlation between top tax rates and economic growth… after Senate Republicans raised concerns about the paper’s findings and wording.” I’ve reviewed the paper, and I will say that some of the wording such as “Bush Tax Cuts” or “Tax cuts for the rich” sound politically charged, and that the methodology is probably not perfect, but its findings deserve the light of day. I’ve reported on the mere correlation between tax cuts for the wealthy and growth here, and this report is far more academic than mine.
In the spirit of knowledge, a determined scientist would strive to find the answer to this question regardless of outcome. If one disagrees with the finding, they construct a better method to answer the question and execute their own study. This is the way science has worked for centuries, and what has told us the earth is round and above the clouds lies an entire universe. The notion that killing the messenger to stop the message leads to a better society more equipped to face new challenges is absurd. You can try to point to your ideas a the fact, but if you want truth turn on the light.
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