This article was originally posted on RealClearScience.
One of the hazards of science journalism is the regularity with which we are called names, by both the Left and the Right. “Shills for Monsanto,” “lackeys for the pharmaceutical industry,” “enablers of the global warming hoax,” and (of course) “Nazis” are some of the nicer things that have been said. But just like an auto mechanic who spends his day with oily, greasy hands, we too don’t mind getting a little dirtied up for the sake of science. It’s all in a day’s work.
Because the relentless pursuit of data-based knowledge is our sole guiding principle at RealClearScience, we are not wedded to any particular scientific outcome. For instance, we are staunch supporters of the Big Bang, not because we want there to have been a Big Bang but because we accept the overwhelming data that backs it. The same goes for evolution, anthropogenic climate change, the benefits of GMOs, and so many other supposedly hot-button topics. However, if the evidence changes, our opinion changes. That is the primary benefit of having a fact-based worldview.
After reading literally thousands of articles and writing hundreds, we have become quite familiar with the scientific evidence favoring or opposing various controversial issues. The editorial team thought it would be useful if we compiled a list of those issues, categorizing them based on how well supported (or unsupported) they are by current evidence. For those issues in which we have written an article that further explains our position, we have provided a link.
The weight of scientific evidence FAVORS:
–Anthropogenic climate change
–Safety and benefits of GMOs
–Necessity of animal testing
–Necessity of embryonic stem cell research
The weight of scientific evidence OPPOSES:
–Most forms of alternative medicine
–“Benefits” of organic food
Based on current scientific evidence, we are CAUTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC toward:
–Breakthrough in fusion power
–Breakthrough in solar power
–Existence of life on other planets
–Reconciliation of science and religion
Based on current scientific evidence, we are SKEPTICAL of:
-Apocalyptic climate change
-Warp drive technology
–The technological “singularity”
-Existence of a multiverse
Again, we are not wedded to any of these conclusions. If the data changes, so too will our opinion!