Ed Driscoll

'Popular Science is Neither. Discuss'

But not on the Website of Popular Science, which has shut off its comment system. Having comments on a Website is a personal (or in this case management) choice; but in shutting their previously-enabled comments off, Popular Science wants to return to when publishing for them was a one-way street, even at the risk of making both halves of their imprimatur rather paradoxical sounding.

In 2007, old media house organ Editor & Publisher instructed its institutional subscribers,  “Climate Change: Get Over Objectivity, Newspapers” — and have they ever. (The MSM’s jettisoning objectivity certainly wasn’t just limited to global warming, of course.) Now Popular Science wants to further limit the debate. They have opinions; they’ve paid for the platform* to blast them them out — and they really don’t care if you disagree with them.  Or as James Taranto writes in his Best of the Web column today:

The website of Popular Science magazine, beset with “trolls and spambots,” is shutting off user comments, explains its online content director, Suzanne LaBarre. We can sympathize with that–but not with this:

A politically motivated, decades-long war on expertise has eroded the popular consensus on a wide variety of scientifically validated topics. Everything, from evolution to the origins of climate change, is mistakenly up for grabs again. Scientific certainty is just another thing for two people to “debate” on television. And because comments sections tend to be a grotesque reflection of the media culture surrounding them, the cynical work of undermining bedrock scientific doctrine is now being done beneath our own stories, within a website devoted to championing science.

All scientific knowledge is empirically based and tentative; “scientific doctrine” is an oxymoron, and “scientific certainty” a relative term. LaBarre’s comments exemplify the danger of religion’s decline. Science is corrupted when people look to it to provide them with a belief system.

In 2003, the late Michael Crichton observed, “I think that you cannot eliminate religion from the psyche of mankind. If you suppress it in one form, it merely re-emerges in another form.” European “Progressives” first killed God off in the 19th century, and then have spent the years since attempting to build alternate belief systems to replace Him. And similarly, as with Islam, infidels will be silenced! (Permanently, if the worst of the ecochondriacs, as Mark Steyn once dubbed them, ever have their way.)

* As Glenn Reynolds noted yesterday, Popular Science has “really been pushing global warming, and I think [that shutting off comments] is because they’ve been getting a lot of pushback lately.”

And we can’t have that; since all of “liberalism” boils down to two words:

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On the other hand, have some pity on the staff and management of Popular Science. It can’t be easy getting to sleep every night, knowing in your heart of hearts, that they world is rapidly coming to an end. And what do you tell your kids about their own rapidly diminishing future? But if the magazine’s brass truly believed their own rhetoric and wasn’t just using it as a tool to play politics and punish the heathens, Popular Science wouldn’t just shut down their comment section, they’d shut down their entire Website.

Why does Popular Science they hate Gaia so, that they’re killing her off with their air-conditioned server farm?