Bill Maher, the Anti-Science Guy

Mr. Maher recently told his Twitter followers that people who get flu shots are “idiots.” On his Friday HBO show “Real Time With Bill Maher,” he explained his opposition to the flu vaccine during an interview with Bill Frist, a heart surgeon who was a Republican senator from Tennessee.

via Bill Maher: Anti-Science Knuckle Dragger?.

Science would suggest that Mr. Maher is the idiot here.

Hey, Bill? If you can ridicule me about my beliefs being wrong for not being based in science, doesn’t this make you a hypocrite?

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Author: David Wolf

An adviser to corporations and organizations on strategy, communications, and public affairs, David Wolf has been working and living in Beijing since 1995, and now divides his time between China and California. He also serves as a policy and industry analyst focused on innovative and creative industries, a futurist, and an amateur historian.

6 thoughts on “Bill Maher, the Anti-Science Guy”

  1. Anti-science is anti-science, whether it be from the evolution and climate change deniers on the right or from the anti-GMO and anti-vaccine folks on the left.

    1. Ah yes those flaming liberals Donald Trump and Michelle Bachmann and their anti-vaccine hypocrisy….

      …..oh wait….

      It would be a lovely symmetry if “GMOs” were “the left’s global warming” as Michael Shermer (and others) have suggested. But any even-slightly-deeper analysis shows this just isn’t so.

      Conservatives consistently trust scientists less (e.g. http://www.asanet.org/images/journals/docs/pdf/asr/Apr12ASRFeature.pdf ) and when there is a clear answer according to science are much, much more likely to reject it (e.g. global warming, evolution).

      Anti-GMO is as much anti-corporatism as it is an anti-science stance, and often based (like bi-partisan “Fear of Terrorism”) in poorly understood risks. And anti-flu-vaccine is a long way from anti-vaccine (which Maher is not) and an even further distance from Bachmann-style “the goverment is injecting our childrens with evil” lunacy.

      False equivalence is, well, false.

  2. Shannon, first, I saw nobody defending Donald trump or Michelle Bachmann here, nor did I see anyone taking a stand one way or the other. My issue was with someone who wraps himself in the mantle of science to the point where he will ridicule all forms of faith and superstition, and then does exactly what he criticizes. As to whether Bachmann or Maher is worse, I’d argue for Maher, because as someone who normally stands for science his views would appear the most scientifically credible – and thus more convincing.

    Conservatives do trust science less. What is less clear is why. The assumption is that it is either faith or mammon that causes this distrust. I am certain there are many cases for which that is true. In other cases, particularly with more educated conservatives, it is a general skepticism about science caused by a perceived alliance between the statist Left and scientific research, as noted in a recent article in Scientific American (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/conservatives-lose-faith-in-science-over-last-40-years/) Science is seen to be used as a tool to create regulation rather than find answers.

    The problem with all of these issues is that they are wrapped up in a combination of ideology and science. We have to disentangle them. GMO advocates carry the unfair burden of proof that they are not shills for Monsanto. In most cases, they are not, and the preponderance of evidence supports them. Climate ecologists carry the unfair burden of proof that they are not shills for those who are out to shut down the fossil fuel industry, or disrupt the chunks of our economy that depend on them.

    Policy should be based on evidence. But science should not be conducted in the pursuit of specific policy objectives. The results are poor for both science and policy.

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