It's pretty easy to hold a plebicite in such a case on short notice
I'll take your word for it. I always get my plebiscites mixed up with my ammonites and my cenobites.
It's pretty easy to hold a plebicite in such a case on and the question certainly is important enough to do so
So basically, you support the use of referenda to determine policy on important scientific matters? That seems to be what you're saying.
So who decides what's important enough for a plebiscite and what isn't? I mean the extinction event asteroid is a clear enough case, but what about the edge cases? How do you do that without setting policy based on scientific evidence?
Are you sure you've thought this through?
You certainly haven't,
No. No I haven't. The proposal that "The only way science should ever influence policy in a democracy is by convincing a majority of voters" is your idea. That means that thinking it through is your job. I'm just trying to find out if you have in fact done so as well as you seem to think.
since even your absurdly literal interpretation of my statement, combined with your unrealistic straw man
Given that a straw man argument is where you deliberate misrepresent anothers's position in order to discredit it, I don't think you can combine a straw man with an absurdly literal interpretation - that would be a contradiction in terms.
I gave you a hypothetical situation and asked my interpretation of your idea was correct. You corrected my understanding of your idea. I believe that's called "debate". (I will admit to poking fun at your argument, but that's not in itself a logical fallacy.)
still admits a simple democratic solution.
I suppose the simplicity of the thing is one of the aspects that bothers me, really. Solutions that propose a single inflexible criteria for deciding potentially complex cases are very often ill-conceived in my experience.
For instance, aren't you basically saying that if a scientist has data that he feels demands a change in policy, the scientist has to stop doing science and become a politician? I mean since that's basically the profession of swaying public opinion in order to affect electoral results. Wouldn't that then stop them from doing the things they get paid for? Or from refining their results?
And more to the point, isn't this the very activity that the political right have used to brand scientists as hypocrites and liars in the past? You know, the idea that they're playing at politics when they should be doing science?
Do please correct me if I've misinterpreted anything that you've said. I'd hate to think I was putting words into your mouth.