Re: Education does not equate to Knowledge
@David Kelly - are you seriously trying to suggest that ignorance is a better alternative?
In a world where there are an awful lot of interesting & complicated things that interact with other interesting and complicated things in interesting & yet more complicated ways, we've got pretty much two options in terms of how we approach centralised governance:
1) Central governance appeals to specific individuals with specific expertise in particular areas, and heeds their advice on how to achieve particular goals relating to those areas, or
2) Central governance decides that it knows best about all topics in all areas, and makes %^&* up as it goes, occasionally having an unpleasant case of insight whereupon it realises (for mercifully brief periods of time) that it might not actually know best.
It may be difficult to rationalise, for example, a "tough on drug crime" social policy when evidence tends to suggest that the criminal penalties for drug possession are not proportionate to the measurable individual or social harm associated with their usage, but on the other hand a social policy based on scientifically validated research concerning those drugs is less likely to be an embarrassing failure a few years down the line. (Of course, such a principle also makes it harder to continue levying ever higher taxes upon the consumption of two noxiously harmful but socially accepted intoxicants....)
Individual scientists (or even groups of scientists) can balls things up and/or act the bellend. The scientific method as a whole, however, ensures that no crap science can escape detection. (Where "crap science" is of course a moving target, but let's not get distracted).
Anyway : TL,DR version is "shove off bellend, science FTW".