Monday, November 29, 2004

Where is Science in "Science and Politics"?


I've been asked this question before. Well, with the election and everything, politics took over and science went onto the back burner.

Although I intend to continue writing about politics, and building onto my previous analyses (e.g.,
http://sciencepolitics.blogspot.com/2004/11/two-americas-past-present-and-future.html), I also will try to put in more science.

While some may consider cognitive linguistics a science, I do not treat it here in that way. While much of this blog builds upon Lakoff's scheme (and adds insights, or at least metaphors, from evolutionary biology to it), I treat this as an intuitive more than scientific understanding of current US political atmosphere. I have linked to some sites that have a beef with Lakoff - those are cognitive linguists (or related) themselves, involved in internecine (often semantic) struggles over territory, so typical of young disciplines. Until neuroscience proves Lakoff right or wrong, I will treat his work as a useful, but intuitive way of looking at things. Just because it is not scientific (yet) does not mean it's bad. Horse-training techniques have never been scientifically tested, yet they work - those horses do end up at the Olympics and jump all those jumps with no ill effects.

Several posts about the Evolution/Creation controversy, including the one in Serbia, are in the domain of "science", I guess, but I do not see myself contributing anything that others have not already done much better than I could ever do. Look, for example at this great post by a deeply religious biology teacher:
http://tamingthetiger.typepad.com/bvnwbiology/2004/10/frequently_aske_1.html

Posts I wrote that have more to do with real science also tend to be quite political, and ideologically driven, I admit (e.g.,
http://sciencepolitics.blogspot.com/2004/10/genocentrism-aids-anti-abortion.html and
http://sciencepolitics.blogspot.com/2004/10/god-genes-and-conservatives.html).

Whenever I wrote about something from my own field - circadian biology - it was also politicized (e.g.,
http://sciencepolitics.blogspot.com/2004/10/early-to-rise-early-to-bed-makes-bush.html).

Am I completely unable to write purely about science? Did the elections completely mess with my mind? Why are others blogrolling me under "Science blogs" - just because I have "science" in the title? I have not written a single post that would be eligible for, or interesting to the readers of The Tangled Bank, a wonderful bi-weekly collection of writing from around the science blogs (go check it out, there is some great writing there: http://tangledbank.net/).

I'll try to do better in the future. I promise.



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