Republicans Should Take Remedial Science:
It’s too bad that just last week John Huntsman dropped out of the GOP Presidential nomination race. Not that I loved Huntsman stance on a plethora of issues but what I did like was that he has been willing to say the unsayable about the G.O.P. — namely, that it is becoming the “anti-science party.”
What? Anti-Science? To see what Mr. Huntsman means, consider recent statements by two men who are contenders for the G.O.P. nomination: Rick Perry and Mitt Romney. Mr. Perry, the governor of Texas, recently made headlines by dismissing evolution as “just a theory,” one that has “got some gaps in it” — an observation that will come as news to the vast majority of biologists. Even more concerning is his stance that global warming: “I think there are a substantial number of scientists who have manipulated data so that they will have dollars rolling into their projects. And I think we are seeing almost weekly, or even daily, scientists are coming forward and questioning the original idea that man-made global warming is what is causing the climate to change.”
Romney on the other hand is a flip-flopper on the subject and basically panders to his base in each of the primary states by casting doubt on the human connection to our warming planet. Denying science also is a favorite pastime of Rick Santorum and he’s probably the worst denier of all. Santorum, not only denies evolution, but has been an active anti-evolutionist in the past. In other words, he has made attacking fundamental scientific knowledge a key priority.
In 2002, Santorum wrote an op-ed calling the doctrine of “intelligent design” (ID) “a legitimate scientific theory that should be taught in science classes.” He even pushed an amendment to the 2001 education bill to support ID. For more on Santorum’s anti-evolution advocacy, see here. He’s also an opponent of stem cell research which has the potential to cure many of the diseases, conditions, etc. which have plagued humans for hundreds of years.
So besides the fact that 99% of scientists are in complete opposition to the stances of the aforementioned people, why do I care that some people refuse to take science seriously? First I think we can all agree that the scientific method is the official “process” by which all hypothesis are either proven or rejected. A theory is developed only through the scientific method, meaning it is the final result of a series of rigorous processes. And once a theory is considered proven, it is taken as fact and used to make predictions of events, advance technology, and/or improve life on Earth.
The main thing about Presidential candidates who deny what science is telling us – they demonstrate a tremendous inability to think clearly, to analyze deeply and to seek proper conclusions. They think with their gut, demonstrating why it is apparently the stupidest part of their anatomy.
And they amply demonstrate all the reasons why they should not be placed into arguably the most powerful job in the world.
Making decisions based on non-facts, lies and distortions – something every one of them has displayed when denying science – is not something I would like to see in the person responsible for life and death matters as President. Haven’t we seen throughout human history leaders who denied science rule over some of the meanest periods of civilizations? The AIDS policies of the former South African president Thabo Mbeki’s government were directly responsible for the avoidable deaths of more than a third of a million people in the country, according to research by Harvard university.
It is completely unacceptable in this day and age to deny theories, events, etc. that are generally accepted by the scientific community as fact. It is dangerous because it sets us on a path of grave danger, one where life as we (humans) know it would be altered beyond imagine. Can you fathom the idea of countries going to war over water? Of course not, but if we don’t cede to generally accepted scientific principles and instead interject faith, morality, etc into the mix then we’re going down a path that is catastrophic.
With 52% of Republicans reported as not accepting evolution, a large proportion thinking the world is less than 10,000 years old and who continually question the legitimacy of medical research, it is not surprising that the GOP peddle to this type of lunacy. However it is completely unfair to subject our children and our children’s children to a world that is worse than the one we have currently. I fear that is where we are headed should the GOP take over in 2012.
- The Anti-Intellectual Face of the GOP (billpeddie.wordpress.com)