Pardon me for replying to two posts at once, but I'm going to get both the parent and grandparent posts at once here.
Science is already and has always been deeply political. Since well before the days of the great philosophers of ancient Greece, it's been tradition if not human nature to politicize, emotionalize, spiritualize, and pulverize science along with reality itself for one's personal gain. If you have an agenda, one of the best ways to support it is with pieces of information that you can refer to as facts. It doesn't matter if they're actually true or even partly true, they just need to be believable and consistent enough to fool whoever you're pitching your point to. Remember that statistical research of every kind also falls under that very same umbrella, and - if you're willing to believe the figure - 42.7 percent of all statistics are pulled out of thin air. When was the last time you heard someone start tossing unverifiable percentages around to support a claim about something?
Everyone's at least a little stupid. Most people are very stupid. Average intelligence doesn't mean that someone is moderately smart like they're in the middle of the road for functionally intelligent people, it just means that they're a few IQ points away from a mental disability. In a world of believers, appeals to emotion and the ability to convince will always be more powerful than facts and the ability to provide proof. If you really want to do yourself and the world a favor and deliver some cold hard facts, you have to be a better reality salesman than anyone who might have an interest in preventing you from doing so, because to - if you're willing to believe the figure - at least 50 percent of the people out there it doesn't really matter how right you are. (But don't quote me on that.)
Here's a great example for you from the dawn of the electric age: The War of Currents, during which Thomas Edison demonstrated his science hating, emotionally appealing, fact-phobic barbarian side when his fortunes in direct current power transmission infrastructure were threatened by superior alternating current technology. Edison's infamous and baseless FUD campaign against alternating current dates back to the 1880's.
And the parent:
How long ago did you become cynical about geekdom? Once upon a time, being called a geek or a nerd implied that you actually knew something. Just ten years ago it at least meant that you could fool people into thinking you were more computer literate than you actually were. Now it's just a shitty fashion statement that says to the world, "Look at me, I relish electronic entertainment and can build MySpace pages unassisted," while allowing you to wear ratty and mismatched business casual clothing, your old high-school duds, and inch thick 'Emo' glasses in public. For reasons I could only explain as infernal, the vulgar tackiness of the socially impaired nerd caste has been refined into a tasteless yet widely desirable template of appearance for effeminate young adult males.
The modern so called geek, especially any flavor of self identifying dweeb, is usually just someone who thinks that they're smart who overindulges in one or more highly niched indoor hobbies. Whether or not their claims of intelligence bear out in reality depends on the idiot in question.
Recent research has tended to show that the Abominable No-Man is being replaced by the Prohibitive Procrastinator. -- C.N. Parkinson