WND and its attitude towards science

My TENS instructor wonders about WND’s motivation in covering a new paper proposing an abiotic origin for what are generally deemed to be fossil fuels:

Do you think that WND’s publicizing this research stems from a technical interest as to whether hydrocarbons of abiotic origin are being produced by natural processes? Or do they have a political agenda, and what might it be? And if so, what support, if any, would an understanding of this research actually supply, in your opinion?

It’s primarily a political agenda, although with WND one should never discount the influence of a mild case of National Enquiritis. If it’s contrarian and a little bizarre, it’s going to be of interest to the editors there. (Come to think of it, this may go a long way towards explaining why they are happy to feature me as one of their headline commentators.)

To understand WND, you have to understand that Joseph Farah is an OJ, an OG of the old school of journalism. He seriously believes in the historical idea of the press as an important check on government, a watchdog, he does not see it as the imperial, quasi-governmental Fourth Estate that those who consider journalism a “profession” do. I daresay he considers the First Amendment to be the 11th Commandment, which is why his forthcoming take on McCain being the Republican standard bearer should be very interesting indeed in light of McCain-Feingold.

Now these days, science is increasingly government and vice-versa. The line is badly blurred. This is why the New Atheists can argue, with a straight face, that opposing the funding of stem-cell research is somehow tantamount to “endangering science”. (I probably should have gone deeper into explaining this absurdity in TIA, as no doubt the usual suspects will have no idea what I’m talking about there.) It’s also why every bit of new evidence relating to a potential health risk from eating bananas takes about fifteen minutes to be translated into a new Congressional imperative. This has led to some ironic results; an increasingly “scientific” approach to government has resulted in several generations of children who can’t read and do math, let alone handle even the most basic science education.

That’s bad enough. Even worse, though, is the way that science is being used to push both transnational and global governance agendas. Economics is used to push imperial super-sovereign oligarchies like the EU and the NAU, while climatology and marine biology are used as the basis for turning over national sovereignty to the United Nations. It’s worth noting that past centralized power grabs have also been based on science, however “bad” that science might have been; none of them turned out well for anyone involved.

So, as long as science – or at list scientistry – insists on wedding itself to increasing the scope of government, you can guarantee that those inherently skeptical of government power and opposed to its expansion will always leap at every opportunity to expose its hypocrisies and criticize it. And the most effective means of doing this is to highlight those increasing number of situations where scientistry and scientody appear to be opposed. While there well may be a certain amount of pandering to the militant creationist crowd at WND, I don’t think that’s the driving force here, because if it was, you’d also see Farah and the other editors writing a lot more about evolution and biology. That just hasn’t been the case.

Please note that this is merely speculation based on my own observations over the six years I’ve been writing for them, I have no standing to speak for either WND or Mr. Farah.