December 10, 2011

"Santorum: 'Science Should Get Out Of Politics.'"

That's the headline at Talking Points Memo — a twist on the conventional statement Religion Should Get Out of Politics. But what did Santorum actually say?
The Des Moines Register reports from a Santorum campaign stop at the University of Northern Iowa, where he talked about education:
Discussing controversial classroom subjects such as evolution and global warming, Santorum said he has suggested that “science should get out of politics” and he is opposed to teaching that provides a “politically correct perspective.”
TPM follows up with a cute Simpsons reference — "A prayer in a public school! God has no place within these walls, just like facts have no place within organized religion!" But what was Santorum really saying? "Science Should Get Out Of Politics" is the kind of provocative line that can work in a speech precisely because it has a bad interpretation. The listeners perk up, and the speaker proceeds to lead them to a very good interpretation. I'm sure there's a Greek name for that rhetorical device.

The Des Moines Register doesn't give any more context for the quote, however, and when I Google it, it get a string of hits for the quote — taken out of context — on numerous apparently left-leaning blogs. For example, The Stranger blog Slog says:
Buttsex-Obsessed Jesus Wizard Rick Santorum Says "Science should get out of politics"

What a fucking moron:
Discussing controversial classroom subjects such as evolution and global warming, Santorum said he has suggested that “science should get out of politics” and he is opposed to teaching that provides a “politically correct perspective.”
Rick Santorum is such a bucket of Santorum.
In the last line, "Santorum" is linked twice to the website used in the campaign to turn Santorum's name into a neologism with a filthy meaning. That campaign is affecting web searches on his name so that it's hard to Google for anything serious about Santorum. I did find his official website (by Googling "santorum official website"), and I've poked around over there but not found the text of the science-out-of-politics speech or anything that helps me figure out the context of the remark. I'm guessing the context has to do with the misuse of science somehow.

Perhaps Santorum people monitor what people are saying about him on blogs, and they'll respond to this post by sending me the text of the speech, which I would like to analyze.

40 comments:

Writ Small said...

I'd like the full context of what Santorum had to say, too.

I agree that the three realms, Science, Religion, and Politics do better when the focus on their core comptencies:

Science for the basic understanding how how the world works.

Religion for moral and ethical guidance on the human condition.

Politics for the messy compromises humanss have to make to work and live together.

Blending any two often leads to a mess. People who use Religion to understand the material world or Science to reach compromises (which ought to be about truth - not compromises) or politics to provide a foundation for a moral life are all asking for trouble.

Crimso said...

Perhaps it was a swipe at the field called "political science." It should be renamed "political studies."

rhhardin said...

Science should be uninterested in politics.

Curious George said...

Don't really care about the context but he's right. Look, politics corrupts everything that touches it. All we have to do is look at these global warming "scientists" to know that.

Hagar said...

That it is "hard to find anything serious about Santorum" is not necessarily the media's fault.

J said...

Il Duce Santorum runs counter to the current papist thinking, which does accept science and evolution. Then most conservative US "catholics" don't care what the Vatican proclaims. They're listening to like... Pope Scalia and Co. Not Pope Ratzy (or JP II who consistently opposed US imperialism).

EDH said...

Google Translate tells me "science" may have discovered a new species: Jesus-Buttsex sapien Veneficus.

Andy R. said...

That campaign is affecting web searches on his name that it's hard to Google for anything serious about Santorum.

Come on.

Franklin said...

Oh. My. Science.

sorepaw said...
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J said...

Correctio: "Santorum, the anti-science candidate, Should Get Out Of Politics.'""

traditionalguy said...

Santorum has a point.The trend to hijack science with carefully constructed lies aimed at political agendas started in the 1990s about the time of the fall of the USSR.

Lysenkoism constructions began to appear done by artful Professors with highest scientific credentials.

The Trial Lawyers who were their cohorts in crime were the consumers for 10 years. It was like a new species arrived that had no natural predators...it was unstoppable in court.

Americans had been raised to believe in the integrity of their Universities started by christian Churches, and the judges and the jurors bowed down to the Lysenko Science emanating from them.

By 2000 the smart foreigners had us pegged, and with Soros' money behind them the Democrat Party went all in pushing these successful scams.

The internet push back since 2005 is all that has stopped our slide into a dictatorship "needed to Save the Planet", based entirely on Lysenko Fictional Science.


The war rages on. Fast and Furious is another Dem knock off of Lysenko Science. It was caught in its development phase getting a "study" done to scientifically prove there is a crisis of ASSAULT WEAPONS sold by gun dealers into the hands of terrorists. A crisis Government clamp down is the agenda sought by this "study."

The Obama EPA has issued orders to cut the USA's energy supply system better than any enemy air attack could hope to do.

The Command Center of this enemy, threatening veto of any Congressional override of his EPA attack force, is located at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., Washington, D.C.

It's covered over by that Dirty CO2 fear that according to the Lysenko Climate science must be bowed down by the World.

China just laughs. But America, where Dems are getting the lion's share of the loot still bows to the Lysenko Science.

AprilApple said...

The leftwing machine kills open debate and free speech. Every. Time.

sorepaw said...
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J said...

Lysenkoism constructions began to appear done by artful Professors with highest scientific credentials.


In USA? what a ridiculous point (most likely Byro the dyslexic klan queer). Lysenkoism happened under stalinism, and ended in 50s, and was opposed by western scientists (and some russians) from the start.

rcommal said...

At the end of the article, it's noted that Iowa Public Radio recorded the forum for broadcast on Monday. Maybe there will be a transcript of that program.

J said...

Yes, just insist that all students take the Mass, memorize the catechism in Latin, and get rid of all that nasty secular science and....everything in Santorumland will be poifect, like vichy france 1940..

sorepaw said...
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traditionalguy said...

Sorepaw...You are correct. I really dislike Santorum for his eagerness to please the theology du jour crowds. Using religion to win in politics is un-American and damages religion...and that includes Rick Perry when he doubles down on it.

But when Santorum has a platform and he uses it to speak the truth, then all is forgiven.

One once of Truth is so powerful that it stops 16 tons of lies.

That is why the talented J filibusters about ignorant Christians when truth starts to slip into a discussion.

rcommal said...

Ben Kieffer, host of Iowa Public Radio's The Exchange, moderated the forum, which will be broadcast Dec. 12. at 2 p.m.

From a CedarFallsPatch article about Santorum's appearance at the UNI forum

rcommal said...

I really dislike Santorum for his eagerness to please the theology du jour crowds.

Except that Santorum really is a rock-ribbed social conservative, and I think he really does solidly share the values of many in the "theology du jour crowds," as you put it. For that reason, I don't believe it's pandering, in his case, if I'm correctly understanding what you mean by "eagerness to please" (which I may not be, so please feel free to point out my error, if so). I am not a supporter of Santorum (whose political career I have followed since he was first elected as a U.S. Rep. from PA in an electoral upset) and absolutely would not vote for him under any circumstances, but I do believe he is sincere.

J said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
traditionalguy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jay said...

While we are at it, can we get these Democrats to stop injecting religion into politics?

“Budgets, appropriations, bills that we pass are all statements of our values,” said Del. Donna Christensen (D., VI). “And the values represented by cuts in programs to our children, threats to Medicare and changes in Social Security that will hurt our seniors and people with disabilities, prohibitions on regulations that protect the public health, and attempts to defund the Affordable Care Act and slam a door that’s just being opened for millions are not reflecting our values, the values of a nation that was founded and remains under God.”

“I can’t believe that as we are in the season of Advent, awaiting the celebration of the birth of our Savior, who came to bring salvation but also to bring equity and justice to the world, that we would be so heartless and un-Christian,” she added.


Panderers!

Bruce Hayden said...

Maybe a decade or so ago, the Denver Post ran an expose that the average tenured professor at the University of Colorado (I think limited to Boulder) was teaching one or two classes a year.

Some taxpayers were a bit outraged. The response was that the professors were doing research without outside funding, and that funding more than covered the costs of their research.

I don't know the validity of this - it has been quite awhile now, but I use it to make a point, and nothing more.

My understanding is that the bulk of research done, especially in STEM, is funded by government, and most often, our federal government.

So, academics, esp. in those areas, essentially have two choices. They can quietly teach the next generation of scientists and engineers, with a reputation that doesn't go much beyond their school. Or, they can do research, and hope that their research is good enough to get outside attention. And, if they do research, there is likely a government tie.

So, the researchers go where the money is, and that is to do the research that the government wants done. And, some of what the government wants is good, while sometimes, not so good.

Part of the problem is that those allocating the money, at the different levels, often tend to be more to the left politically, and thus, willing to fund research that would tend to validate liberal ideas, partially, I think because those to the left politically are (much?) more interested in government work than are conservatives.

So, you get a lot of money funding the more leftist side of an issue - such as, for example, what they are now calling anthropogenic climate change (Or something like that, since the last decade or so hasn't warmed sufficiently for AGW). And, so, as someone above noted, we are finding that "science" being used to justify massive dislocation of our energy resources, and with corresponding increases in energy costs throughout our country.

Climatic research is not the only place where government money has massively swayed the direction and content of the research, but is maybe one of the most egregious and timely right now.

I think that the thing that bothers me the most is the insidious cycle - left wing government employees believing in government solutions funding research that will ultimately result in more resources being allocated to government, and thus growing government, and very possibly, their own fiefdom.

edutcher said...

Santorum is intellectually the lightest of weights (and was a big spender in his Senate days, so I'm always puzzled why some Conservatives still like him), but here he's right.

Most of what he's talking about is the faux "science is settled" stuff used to advance the Lefty agenda which is used solely for propaganda purposes. You can, however, probably throw "intelligent design" in there, as well.

ricpic said...

Can science even be called science when in the service of a political agenda?

Crimso said...

"Can science even be called science when in the service of a political agenda?"

Politically-neutral science (an ideal goal that can only be asymptotically approached) can be used as a political weapon. That in and of itself doesn't invalidate the science. But it tends to be the less, um, carefully done science that makes the splash in politics. Carelessly done (and reviewed) science is weak enough so as to be pliable. Pliable science positively begs for a political outlet, precisely because it is pliable.

Crimso said...

"left wing government employees believing in government solutions funding research that will ultimately result in more resources being allocated to government"

In the case of NIH (and many other grant-awarding bodies both public and private), the grant proposals are reviewed mostly (if not entirely) by people outside of NIH. IIRC, they score the grants, and then someone at NIH determines where the cutoff score is for funded vs. nonfunded grants. There are politics involved, but it tends to be less "political" politics and more "area-specific" politics (e.g., "I can't stand that guy and think he's an idiot;" the proposal isn't bad, but if only subconciously its chances are hurt by the "politics" of the field).

William said...

The fact that you cannot find an explication of Santorum's comment is itself proof that science has been politicized. Everyone on earth pursues their self interest. Scientists, church prelates, football coaches, and teachers are exceptional only in their ability to convince us otherwise.

Dave said...

I think he has it backwards. It's politics that intrudes on science and distorts creating ideological incentives for bad science. Science applied to politics is the basis of the federal system wherein each state acts as an experimental system and the results of laws are honestly examined (note quite different from "political science"). If the empirical method were applied to laws we'd have much better ones (e.g. school choice vouchers in DC) but political power determines law not objective societal value (so unions trump educational improvements like vouchers). Authentic science governing politics would be a blessing.

sorepaw said...
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jr565 said...

I think its more accurate to suggest that Politics should get out of science. As in, don't bend science for purely political considerations or to push a political agenda.

Thats probably what he wanted.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Science has as much place in politics as anything else. But scientists who are functioning as political advocates should expect to be treated as political advocates.

Athanasius Kircher said...

I am surprised that no one here has mentioned Dan Savage though he is the creator of the campaign to use Santorum's name for a phenomenon related to sex that Ann linked to at Wikipedia.

Santorum's campaign is doomed because of Dan Savage. There is no reason to give Ricl's campaign a single moment of your attention.

Savage is a gay guy who writes the weekly sex-advice column Savage Love syndicated to many alt weeklies across the nation.

Rick Santorum loathes homosexuality so Savage loathes him right back.

I have to disagree with Ann that the neologism has a "filthy meaning" in a moral sense. The neologism was useful to describe something for which there was no good term, and the neologism is used regularly by Savage Love readers.

There are tens if not hundreds of thousands of Savage Love readers. Some of them like me are Republican. None of us would ever vote for Rick Santorum.

Synova said...

"Santorum's campaign is doomed because of Dan Savage. There is no reason to give Ricl's campaign a single moment of your attention."

What does this mean?

I doubt that Santorum could get the nomination or be elected, but how could that possibly have anything to do with Dan Savage?

And if it does, if it's just that Dan Savage hates the guy so Dan Savage can destroy him, I wonder...

Who is it that can't be destroyed?

We're pissing in our own oatmeal here, and we're going to be living with that for a very long time.

Mark said...

Rhetorical device = metanoia?

n.n said...

Science is a faith necessarily constrained to a limited frame of reference.

We should be careful to not confuse hypotheses supported by a permanent condition of limited, circumstantial evidence for anything other than philosophical musings and intellectual exercises.

Our public policies should be based on observable and reproducible physical evidence, and upon principles compatible with both the natural (e.g. procreation) and enlightened (i.e. individual dignity) orders.

That said, the Earth system remains incompletely characterized, including extraterrestrial influences. The hypothesis of evolution should be restricted to evolutionary principles which can be observed and reproduced, including: natural selection, adaptation, etc. This may be extended for lifeforms which reproduce often and with short life cycles. There is no reasonable premise to accept that it describes human origin other than it matches at least one identified pattern.

Sirkowski said...

What about political science?
- Jesus will tell you who to vote for.

Santorum, what an ass leak moron.

Ann Althouse said...

Re Dan Savage ... The info is all at the link. Re "filthy"... Look at the definition. It refers specifically to a type of filth. Literally and indisputably.