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Over on that bastion of reason, DailyKos (<blink>LAUGH</blink>), someone writes about HIV prevention, and says:

Early in the Bush administration, I was part of small group that met with Margaret Spellings (then the President's Domestic Policy Advisor, before moving on to become Secretary of Education). One of the meeting participants summarized compelling data about the effectiveness of a scientifically sound approach to HIV prevention for sexually active young people. In response, Spellings simply said "Well, you've got your science and we've got our science."

Perhaps nothing better illustrates the Bush administration attitude toward science overall than that statement - the idea that there is some kind of alternative science out there supporting their political viewpoint, a science that is equal to the rigourous, peer reviewed work done by mainstream science.

Show me one actual scientific study that proves abstinence-only HIV education is ineffective, or less effective, than other methods.

Actually, don't waste your time. It is not possible.

These studies are not actual/real science, but what -- until recently, apparently -- real scientists used to decry as pseudoscience. They do not test observable phenomena against a hypothesis with repeatable results, they simply measure human behavior, which we all know changes over time. You cannot have an actual scientific study that shows abstinence-only education is less effective, because changing social norms could change the results for the next time you conduct the study.

This is not real science, but social science, and if nothing better illustrates the Bush administration to science overall than this, then you really have not much of a case against the President, because most real scientists have a similar view of social science.

And frankly, I hate this whole debate. Someone complained to me today saying, 'Congress has passed a law requiring that "abstinence-only" programmes must receive 30% of all US government funding going to support HIV prevention. As a result, the US government is giving tens of millions of dollars every year to Christian groups to teach that the only way to avoid HIV is to not have sex.'

And my response should be the obvious one from all of us: what the hell is the U.S. government doing spending tens (hundreds?) of millions of tax dollars on sex education, which is, according to the Constitution, supposed to be left to the states? Of course, this is only a tiny part of the money the U.S. spends on education: No Child Left Behind is the biggest unconstitutional power grab by the U.S. government in my lifetime.

Oh wait, I am supposed to defend Bush. Um. San Dimas High School Football rules! slashdot.org

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