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Former Bush Surgeon General says he was Muzzled

According to 'the United States Department of Health and Human Services', "The Surgeon General

serves as America's chief health educator by providing Americans the best scientific information available on how to improve their health and reduce the risk of illness and injury.

Among its duties is to articulate scientifically based health policy analysis and advice to the President and the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) on the full range of critical public health, medical, and health system issues facing the Nation.

...There is absolutely nothing in it's mandate about trying to maintain the status quo of the current administration or the GOP.

But in light of the clear mission of the Office of the Surgeon General, why do we find this story not surprising?


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The first U.S. surgeon general appointed by President George W. Bush accused the administration on Tuesday of political interference and muzzling him on key issues like embryonic stem cell research.

"Anything that doesn't fit into the political appointees' ideological, theological or political agenda is ignored, marginalized or simply buried," Dr. Richard Carmona, who served as the nation's top doctor from 2002 until 2006, told a House of Representatives committee.

"The problem with this approach is that in public health, as in a democracy, there is nothing worse than ignoring science, or marginalizing the voice of science for reasons driven by changing political winds. The job of surgeon general is to be the doctor of the nation, not the doctor of a political party," Carmona added.

Carmona should be relieved he was only muzzled and not sent to a labor camp for trying to provide the US with the latest scientific public health information. But with Bush, the anti -intellectual head of a party in which 68% of its members do not believe in evolution, it seems that the open pursuit of science, must place second to the over-riding administration wish, to protect the party faithful, even at the cost of the health of the country.



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Comments (11)

Paul Hamilton:

Praying for healing isn't good enough for you, heathen? :)

Heralder:
Carmona should be relieved he was only muzzled and not sent to a labor camp...

Oh yes, I mean look at the precedents for this Steve. Plus our labor camps are chock full at the moment of poor souls who dared speak out against our President. The rest were run over by tanks, sent to gulags and buried alive in mass graves.

But with Bush, the anti -intellectual head of a party in which 68% of its members do not believe in evolution,

I don't believe in evolution, so that makes me anti-intellectual? What about Muslims, do they believe in evolution? Hindus, Buddhists? Jews? It appears if you have faith in something else other than evolution, or you simply don't believe in a random mixture of chemicals becoming sentient and growing legs...you're not smart.

That was expertly done...you managed to smear a huge amount of people from different countries and faiths all at once. At least you're efficient.

Steve Crickmore:

Heralder..I was editorializing with a purposefully satirical reference to labor camps and an oblique reference to Stalinist dictated science such as Lysenkoism
As far as evolution goes....You don't have to believe in it, but it is pretty difficult to describe the universe without it. I'm not a scientist but it seems that science must suspend God in order to understand the universe and how development of life took place and the time scale it took place within, on this planet particularly. But, I'll give you generously, for the sake of argument that evolution is "God's organizing method" or one of them...But I still want to hear the unvarnished arguments, the empirical facts, without them being censored in advance, or do we want to return to the era of of the Pope and Galileo's dispute in the early 17th century.

Heralder:

Steve,

Heralder..I was editorializing with a purposefully satirical reference to labor camps and an oblique reference to Stalinist dictated science such as Lysenkoism

I know, but using it as satire in a completely non comparable circumstance isn't exactly satirical...it's misleading.

As far as evolution goes....You don't have to believe in it, but it is pretty difficult to describe the universe without it.

Some would disgree with that assertion. To be clear, my only problem with evolution is the beginning...i.e., something evolving from nothing.

I'm not a scientist but it seems that science must suspend God in order to understand the universe and how development of life took place and the time scale it took place within, on this planet particularly.

Perhaps, perhaps not. Much of it is up to the level of literal translation of religious texts.

But, I'll give you generously, for the sake of argument that evolution is "God's organizing method" or one of them...

My stated stance was too vague. I'm agnostic about both God and evolution...which makes me pretty much thoroughly confused, one might say :P

Given that, I find myself ill equipped to argue either position in great detail, but neither should be ruled out by either side, or derided as anti-intellectual.

I tend to like your posts and comments, so if I come in here swinging sometimes, I apologize.

mantis:

I don't believe in evolution

You're scaring me here, Heralder.

Some would disgree with that assertion. To be clear, my only problem with evolution is the beginning...i.e., something evolving from nothing.

Origin theories consistent with evolution do not postulate that "something evolved from nothing." Organic molecules being formed from inorganic chemicals through specific processes is not "from nothing."

Whether we're talking about theories like abiogenesis via autocatalysis, clay-theory (possibly involving prion-binding), or a form of Miller-Urey synthesis, or even exogenesis; or followed by the various theories about biopoiesis, the theory of "something from nothing" is a strawman. No serious person thinks something came from nothing (except, of course, for creationists).

Heralder:

mantis:

Whether we're talking about theories like abiogenesis via autocatalysis, clay-theory (possibly involving prion-binding), or a form of Miller-Urey synthesis, or even exogenesis; or followed by the various theories about biopoi-

Now you're scaring me.

I did clarify that a bit...as being agnostic about evolution (incorrect termonology, yes) and then admitting I was ill equipped to argue either side in great detail.

'Something from nothing' as I said it was in my mind a great simplification, which to someone who knows a hell of a lot more about it than I, would be a falsehood. Much of how I feel is less cerebral and more emotional...the poorest terms in which to enter a debate.

mantis:

Ok, sorry for going all bio-crazy about it, but the "something from nothing" argument bothers me greatly, much like the "just a theory" canard.

Heralder:

Understandable. My argument about that aspect of Steve's post was too vague, which made me later realize I shouldn't be starting a debate about it.

kim:

I think Freeman Dyson's kinda cute.
==================

Steve Crickmore:

Heralder..thank you for the kind words..Yes it is difficult debating about intangibles. I happened to come upon this article after posting my allusion to Lysenko The New Lysenkoism which shows that someone else was stretching the comparison too, but making it nevertheless.

ke_future:

interesting bio conversation going on. hate to interrupt it with politics. but so what if the surgeon general felt "muzzled" bu bush? bush was his boss. he was always free to quit, which it looks like he did.

and, steve, that reference to the gulags was pathetic, not satirical.


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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