Looking Greenly

The (or a) UK Green Party has “changed [its] approach to science,” according to this story. (CHT Ken MacLeod.)

Kermit goes green

The changes look to me to be a mixed bag. There are some good things – most notably, the Greens have backed away from the idea of having scientists be legally required to swear an Oath to the Urth! On the down side, though, they’ve apparently made their peace with vivisection. (I don’t think vivisection should be banned by force of law, but I certainly favour opposing it.)

But the chief change seems to be a shift from a “regulate conventional medicine but not alternative medicine” position to a “regulate all medicine” position – a move in the direction of greater consistency, but an improvement in no other way.

A related story claims that “alternative medicine by definition is medicine that has been proven not to work, or not been proven to work. Alternative medicine that works is called ‘medicine’” – an assertion that belongs in the same category as the quondam Attorney General’s apothegm “you don’t have many suspects who are innocent of a crime. That’s contradictory. If a person is innocent of a crime, then he is not a suspect.”

Hmm, I wonder what the definition of an alternative party is.


17 Responses to Looking Greenly

  1. Joel Schlosberg February 23, 2010 at 10:19 pm #

    You should’ve used this picture:

  2. Neverfox February 23, 2010 at 10:53 pm #

    They seem to have made the mistake of thinking that ‘alternative’ is acting as an alienans adjective here (like ‘faux’ in ‘faux leather’, ‘forged’ in ‘forged banknote’, or ‘former’ in ‘former wife’) when it isn’t. ‘Innocent’ in ‘innocent suspect’ does seem to be an alienans adjective. ‘Alternative,’ on the other hand, does not “alienate” the sense of the noun; you are just as much a patient whether the treatment is mainstream or not.

    • Rad Geek February 24, 2010 at 2:20 am #

      I don’t think that “innocent” in “innocent suspect” can be understood as an alienans adjective just as such — an innocent suspect still is a suspect. For Jones to recognize Smith as innocent would be for Jones to no longer suspect them, but of course that’s an epistemic issue, whereas Smith’s innocence or guilt doesn’t depend on Jones’s state of knowledge.

      It does have the interesting feature of being like Moore’s paradox in a certain respect — you have a description which is not internally contradictory (it’s perfectly possible for a person to be both innocent and also suspected), but nevertheless cannot be rationally applied in a first-person context (I can rationally say that someone you suspect is innocent, and I can even admit the possibility that someone I suspect is innocent; but I cannot coherently assert that that is actually the case, since for me to describe someone as innocent is for me to thereby remove them from my list of suspects).

      • Neverfox February 24, 2010 at 11:43 am #

        Excellent point, Charles. I was only thinking of it in the last respect.

  3. Miko February 24, 2010 at 3:22 am #

    The attorney general analogy doesn’t quite work, as the AG would presumably be saying this before a trial establishes guilt or innocence. Alternative medicine isn’t so named until after it’s established that it doesn’t work.

    • Roderick February 24, 2010 at 5:44 pm #

      Oh yes, right (cough) (acupuncture) (cough), of course.

  4. Richard February 24, 2010 at 3:39 am #

    Read their Manifesto for a Sustainable Society. They are statist to the core and no friends of libertarians.

    • Anon73 February 24, 2010 at 4:50 am #

      It seems a bit big and I couldn’t find a summary… any particularly salient chapters to look at?

      • Richard February 24, 2010 at 6:33 am #

        Industry, economy, transport (it’s been a while since I’ve read it but those three spring to mind).

        • Anon73 February 24, 2010 at 3:41 pm #

          Well apparently with the Green Party in charge I get a “Citizen’s Income” by virtue of being a citizen. Sounds dandy! I’m glad the Green Party is volunteering to pay it!

          “A Citizen’s Income sufficient to cover an individual’s basic needs will be introduced, which will replace tax-free allowances and most social security benefits (see EC711). A Citizen’s Income is an unconditional, non-withdrawable income payable to each individual as a right of citizenship. It will not be subject to means testing and there will be no requirement to be either working or actively seeking work. “

        • Brandon February 24, 2010 at 4:20 pm #

          That’s great. We can have an entire population of non-producers.

          Who is going to pay for this gigantic entitlement program?

  5. Matt February 24, 2010 at 10:01 am #

    Hello Professor Long,

    Could you explain why you favor opposing vivisection?

  6. Tom February 26, 2010 at 1:38 am #

    Vivisection,like all animal testing,sickens me.

    • scineram February 26, 2010 at 11:42 am #

      The beauty of capitalism is that I don’t have to endure such sings, I shall just reap the benefits.

    • Anon73 February 26, 2010 at 4:01 pm #

      Feudalism had a lot of some “enduring” while others “reaped the benefits” too.

      • scineram March 1, 2010 at 4:55 am #

        This is relevant how?

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes