In the United States today, science is no longer a pure study. The science primarily publicized today is science that supports the interest of business. You see this in many areas, but most notably in medical and environmental science. Let’s start with the environment, because the censorship of environmental science has been blatant and extreme.
Under the Bush Administration, government-employed scientists are routinely told they cannot report results indicating the progression of global warming. The United States is the last among industrialized nations to claim that carbon dioxide emissions produced by human civilization have no impact whatsoever on the world climate. This is an utterly ridiculous position, and yet one that U.S. policymakers insist upon. These policymakers go out of their way to censor scientists whose data and conclusions might run counter to the desired belief.
The United States is the only advanced nation that refuses to ratify the Kyoto treaty, and, to support its justification, the U.S. government has for a long time insisted there’s no such thing as global warming. To make that claim, it must distort science. The science clearly shows that human civilization is having a marked and destructive impact on the global ecosystem.
Medicine is another field where so-called science stops resembling science. Instead, it becomes propaganda designed to sell drugs. The clinical trials used by the Food and Drug Administration to make drug approval decisions are conducted almost entirely by the drug companies themselves. These companies go out of their way to hire scientists willing to design and run these studies to produces precisely the result that the drug companies want. This is easy to accomplish; any researcher refusing to play along with this fraudulent science game is not offered additional work. In the worst cases, they are terminated and blackballed from the industry.
This manipulation of drug trials is routine today. Drug companies are able to support almost any conclusion, no matter how ridiculous or preposterous, by pumping enough money into the studies. They can then picking the studies they want to forward to the FDA and make sure that on-the-take researchers are involved at every stage of the game. The FDA then bases its drug approvals on these junk science manipulations.
Junk science and the discrediting of alternative medicine
While distorted science is used to promote synthetic chemicals that are extremely dangerous and almost universally ineffective, the same sort of distortion is used to attack anything that could compete with high-profit pharmaceuticals. Bad science is used to attack vitamins, nutrients, and all natural therapies that powerful corporations can’t patent to make real money.
Vitamin E was routinely discredited in the mainstream media, for example, using remarkably bad science. Researchers tested synthetic, low-dose versions of vitamin E on populations with high risks of heart attack or stroke. When deaths occurred within the sample population group, the headlines read, “Vitamin E causes Heart Attack!” It’s a preposterous conclusion; but this is how deeply distorted science has become today in its quest to promote the interests of corporations. (In truth, researchers weren’t even using vitamin E, they were using a synthetic chemical with a molecular structure that isn’t the same as vitamin E from plants.)
Residents of the United States like to think they live in a nation based on solid science. Although there is plenty of rigorous science taking place within the United States, much of the most important science produced today is based entirely on creating the illusion that something sold by a corporation is good, or that new regulations that require businesses to conduct themselves with environmental responsibility are not necessary. It’s interesting that science always seems to reflect the interests of corporations here in the United States, and rarely the interests of the People, the planet or the future of human civilization.
How good is science in the United States? Let’s take a look at one of the most prestigious scientific organizations, the National Aeronautics Space Administration, better known as NASA. NASA’s science is so bad that the organization spent $300 million to launch — and crash — a satellite into planet Mars. One of the scientists failed to convert the metric system to the English system, and as a result, some of the navigation computations were off and $300 million went up in a cloud of red Martian dust.
Last year, NASA deleted the phrase, “to understand and protect our home planet” from the NASA mission statement. Apparently, protecting Earth is not high on the priorities list for an agency that has become the Science Mythology Department of the United States government. Ever since Bush appointed NASA administrator Michael Griffin to the head post in 2005, NASA’s scientific reputation has nosedived into the ground faster than a poorly programmed Mars orbiter. The question on everybody’s mind is, simply: What the heck happened to NASA? And why is the agency’s top bureaucrat now officially denying that global warming is a problem?
It’s true: In a recorded interview that aired on National Public Radio a few weeks ago, NASA head Michael Griffin actually said, on the air, that it was arrogant and unfair to believe that global warming was a problem that needed solving. This left all the other NASA scientists gasping for air and e-mail blasting their resumes out to private-sector institutions that still remember what “scientific thinking” really means.
NASA is also the organization that launched the twin robot rovers to Mars, also at a cost of several hundred million dollars. Before the launch, NASA didn’t bother to test the robots to see if they could take pictures without overloading their memory and constantly rebooting. NASA scientists apparently decided they would only start debugging the software that controls the Mars Rover after the robot was on the surface of Mars. It was a laughable mistake. By some miracle, NASA scientists were able to make the rovers work, but only at great expense and while running the risk of total mission failure.
NASA was a great organization back in the 1960s and pulled off some amazing feats, but today it’s a joke; a bloated bureaucratic agency whose only skill seems to be burning up taxpayer dollars in the high atmospheres of various planets. I’m not saying rocket science is easy, but at least NASA could bother to test its equipment before rocketing it off to distant planets.
The (fake) search for a cure
When it comes to cancer, the “search for the cure” is also a sad joke. We’ve had tens of thousands of people working on a cure for cancer for decades. The “search for the cure” industry is absolutely huge, and yet with all the scientists and all the money and all the research, we still have no cure from the world of medicine. Not only that, they have delivered no cures for Alzheimer’s, diabetes, depression, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, heart disease, strokes, dementia, osteoporosis, or kidney disease. In fact, after decades of research and tens of billions of dollars in funding, conventional medicine has cured nothing!
What have the scientists been doing all this time with all this money? Members of the public are running around in circles raising money, funding the “race for the cure,” dumping their hard-earned cash into a huge financial black hole of so-called research. We’re standing by waiting for cures from a scientific community that, it turns out, isn’t even interested in curing disease. The industry is far more interested in treating and managing disease, because that’s where the profits are found.
If the US medical research companies were interested in real science, they would stop trying to research the disease and start trying to research the causes of the disease. If you identify the causes of cancers — which is quite possible without a $100 million government grant — then you can halt the diseases. At least 90 percent of all cancers are directly preventable, for example, through simple low-cost or free solutions. There is no need for cancer to be an epidemic in our society today. Cancer is easy to prevent. Recent research shows that vitamin D supplements (or sunlight exposure, which produces vitamin D), slash cancer risk by an astonishing 77% in women (and that includes ALL cancers).
There will never be a chemical cure for cancer, because cancer is not a disease based on germs, an infection, parasite or virus. There is no chemical that can cure cancer, but there are many natural remedies and prevention strategies that very effectively eliminate cancer. Scientists aren’t looking for those, however. They’re steeped in the world of synthetic chemical medicine.
Where has the real science gone?
These are just a few examples of the ways in which America’s version of science is failing. Science today seems largely dedicated to conning people out of their money or conning people into believing falsehoods about health or the environment. Junk science has become the tool of corporate and government con artists, and sadly, the public isn’t educated well enough about skeptical thinking to know the difference between real science and junk science. For example, few people understand the difference between absolute vs. relative statistics on the efficacy of drugs, and because of that, drug companies are able to convince people their drugs are effective for nearly everyone when, in reality, many drugs only work on about 5% of the population.
Science needs to divorce itself from business interests and politics. If we are to engage in real science in America, it needs to be based on the quest for knowledge and understanding, independent of business or political interests. We should not predetermine what scientific outcomes we wish to see; we should learn to adapt and evolve as a civilization, allowing science to teach us important things about ourselves and our world.
Because science without ethics isn’t science at all… it’s just propaganda for either profit or power.