Whether conservative or progressive your Daily Mail style science denial is hurting our kids and killing our planet (video)

For years, the Daily Mail has been a leader in offering false and even dangerous health ‘advice’ to its readers.  From its infamous everything gives you cancer stories, to false claims about ‘super foods’ and of course its deadly anti-vaccination campaigns, the Mail has caused untold misery for thousands of families around the world.

It is not a coincidence that the Daily Mail is a rabidly right-wing opinion sheet.  Conservatives, especially those from the ‘religious right’ are particularly prone to rejecting scientific data and the conclusions of scientific research in all areas of human endeavour.  From climate change to wealth inequality to human fertility and women’s health scientific proofs are often rejected for ideological rather than ‘what’s in the best interest of the country’ reasons.  Although right-wingers do not have a monopoly on science denial (not by a long chalk) it would not be unfair to say that they are the least shame-faced about the subject.

So it was that this morning we were treated to a classic example of anti-science nonsense on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.  Evangelical Christian and Conservative MP, Fiona Bruce, who also happens to chair parliament’s all party pro-life group was invited by the BBC to provide the counterpoint in a ‘debate’ with emeritus professor Peter Braude about Maternal Spindle Transfer.  MST is a technique by which damaged mitochondria from a mother-to-be are replaced with healthy ones from an egg donated by another woman.  It is the involvement of a second female in the fertilisation process that has led to the hypothetical results of this technique being dubbed “three parent babies”.

Bruce, a lawyer by trade and with no scientific or medical training, held forth about “creating babies” with three parents and in doing so demonstrated many of the classic anti-science debating techniques used by right-wingers – spread fear and anxiety based on nothing but gut feeling and personal religious concerns.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (represented here by Professor Braude), is the government’s own scientific adviser and has said that this is “potentially useful” and “not unsafe”.  Nonetheless, Bruce suggested all sorts of potential horror movie style outcomes were possible including “consumer driven eugenics“.  The problem of course does not only lie with Bruce’s faith-based anti-science views but with the BBC yet again presenting listeners with a debate of “equals” as if Bruce’s religious objections have some equivalence to scientific fact.  It is why the BBC have been widely criticised for their approach to the climate change debate in particular.

Watch the following video clips to see the awful consequences that ensue when we allow the likes of the Daily Mail and Fiona Bruce to decide what is best in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence to the contrary.

Due to copyright restrictions in order to watch the clip you need to type or copy and paste the passwordimincorrigible
Video © Comedy Central

Vaccine efficacy

Due to copyright restrictions in order to watch the clip you need to type or copy and paste the passwordimincorrigible
Video © HBO / Comedy Central

BBC keeps public confused about climate change

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