The political left, like the right, has its science deniers

This blog has a long record of finding fault with the anti-science folks on the Republican right, but perhaps we’ve been a bit hypocritical on this score.

After all, it isn’t really fair to scold the right-wing deniers of evolution and climate change while ignoring the lefties who peddle nonsense about so-called Frankenfoods, birth defects caused by nuclear-power plants and a link between vaccinations and autism.

Glenn Garvin disputes some of these left-wing theories HERE:

What role does science play in the left-wing opposition to golden rice and other genetically modified crops? None. Study after study has shown no detectable deleterious effects on human health from genetically altered foods. And two studies published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition have shown that golden rice is an even better vehicle for delivery of vitamin A than spinach, the wonder vegetable.

Every time some lone Republican nut from Hooterville makes a jackass statement about rape or evolution, it’s immediately ascribed as a doctrinal belief of the entire GOP and conservatives in general. But liberal resistance to science is far more organized, far more destructive and far less covered in the media:

• Millions of American parents refused to have their children vaccinated for diseases like whooping cough and measles after Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. published an error-ridden tirade in Rolling Stone and the left-wing website Salon in 2005 linking vaccines to autism and other neurological disturbances.

Six years later, Salon retracted the article, yet many parents remain convinced of the linkage to this day — one of whom now sits in the White House. “We’ve seen just a skyrocketing autism rate,” Barack Obama said during his 2008 campaign. “Some people are suspicious that it’s connected to the vaccines. This person included.” Obama’s spurious worries about vaccines led to manufacturing changes that caused a shortage of flu vaccine in the winter of 2009.

• Virtually no nuclear-power plants have been built in the United States during the past four decades, the result of continuous left-wing scare stories. Australian physician Helen Caldicott has become a folk hero — 21 honorary degrees and a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize — for her anti-nuke campaign, the centerpiece of which is that the explosion at the Soviet Union’s Chernobyl nuclear reactor led to nearly a billion deaths and countless hideous birth defects.

Actual death toll, according the U.N.’s scientific committee on nuclear radiation: less than 100. Actual birth defects: zero. The U.S. National Academy of Sciences says that the chances of radiation-induced changes in human sperm and eggs are so low that it has never been detected in human beings, “even in thoroughly studied irradiated populations such as those of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.”



  1. Craig Knauss

    I may have to take exception to the paragraph that starts, “Actual death toll,…”

    I have done nuclear work for over 20 years and have been told repeatedly that women who are in their first 8 weeks of pregnancy should avoid working in radiation areas. Gamma rays can cause mutations in the new embryos. And I’ve heard more than “100” people died from radiation sickness at Chernobyl. Many of the first responders received 600 or more rad and died within 6 months. Half of the scientists in the documentary “Return to Chernobyl” died within a year and they were there many years after the explosion.

  2. The first eight weeks of life are the period of organogenesis, when radiation can be most damaging to the growing fetus.

    Be careful though Craig, new embryos aren’t lives. They are a tissue that a women can choose to abort or to let survive.

    At least they are if you live on the left side of the street.

  3. Brian Opsahl

    That’s right Doc, The law of this land give’s our Lady’s the choice to make for themselves Not some man who thinks he is her ruler or his Religious beliefs trumps hers. I deplore abortion as everyone right,left or center doe’s ,but the choice is NOT mine nor will it ever be your’s it’s her’s ….Thank God

  4. How about the “man” who contributed 1/2 the genetic material to the fetus and will face 1/2 the burden of raising the fetus should the Lady choose to let it live?

    He should get an equal choice, right Brian?

  5. Craig Knauss

    Self-righteous doc,

    First, I didn’t bring up abortion, either pro or con. YOU did. The majority of Americans support the right to a legal abortion, if one is desired. It’s only you far-righties that think that right should be repealed – by you.

    You second post is pure speculation. The man will only face 1/2 the burden of raising the fetus if he sticks around or can be identified. If not, WE all face half the burden. And I, for one, am tired of helping to support YOUR religious principals. I have never seen one single abortion protestor say “Lady, if you will have this child, I will raise it.” Not one. Doesn’t righteousness come with responsibility? Apparently not.

  6. Craig, so you endorse ending a life so our societal burden is decreased? I guess I would rather be called self righteous than fascist.

    If being a proponent of life and being against death of a truly innocent fetus makes me self righteous, then I gladly embrace the title.


  7. So exdoc, by “being against death” I trust you are pushing to repeal Roe?

    If so, do you believe that there were no abortions before 1973? Does taking away a woman’s legal right to choose ensure that no fetus gets terminated?

    I doubt you would answer yes to either question. So what policies do you support that will actually reduce the number of abortions in the U.S.?

  8. Brian Opsahl

    Yes, to answer your question Doc, and here is why…If it is a mans seed then half that life would belong to him to fight for (in court if need be) but ONLY his NOT yours or anybody elses…my guess is that most would Not chose to make that fight. It is still her body …so their is your answer…Sir..!!

  9. Craig Knauss


    It is obvious that you completely avoided the issue of assuming any personal responsibility for your self-righteousness. Instead you want force that responsibility on everyone else. You want ME to pay higher taxes to accommodate YOUR narrow-minded beliefs. Sounds to me you want to be self-righteous AND fascist.

    The access to elective safe and legal abortion is the law of the land. Nobody is forcing you to have one.

  10. Brian Opsahl

    Well spoken Craig, The double standard from which they speek is obvious.

  11. Craig,
    It is obvious that you completely avoided my point about using abortion to lessen the burden on society.

    Ironically funny that you question my personal responsibility when the vast majority of abortions in this country are performed as an extended means of birth control.

    I suggest Mercy Home for Boys and Girls if you would like to support a charity that takes care of the lost kids from the streets of Chicago. I have supported them extensively since becoming Catholic in 2001.

  12. Brian Opsahl

    So because in 2001 you changed everybody else should to..? really Doc:
    Ever since i was accosted by an abortion protester on the day my Daughter was brought into this world at the Hospital by a screaming man who clearly had problems, I became pro choice at that very moment.

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