If you follow the Republican primaries, listen to conservative talk shows or read the conservative media you cannot fail to notice a deep pervasive thread running though all their discourse - a distrust of science and scientific thought.
The current batch of Republican presidential nominees seem to be falling over each other in trying to prove how “anti-science” they are. It is got to the point where other rational people feel compelled to actually defend science and scientific thought. See the article by Krugman or the one by Katrina vanden Heuvel.
The situation borders on the bizarre. Imagine Rick Perry, a sixty one year old male, clad in a business suit, who also happens to be the Governor of a US State, declaring with a straight face evolution is “just a theory with gaps” and “God is how we got here”. Or Michele Bachmann, a congress woman no less, reasoning that since carbon dioxide is a natural product and is good for plants it cannot produce global warming. QED. I do not know what is more scary, the possibility that these grown ups actually believe what they say or that they feel compelled to take these positions to win a presidential nomination. I also suppose that these positions conveniently dovetail with other priorities like oil company profits has got nothing to do with it.
Of course everyone is entitled to their opinions. And no doubt, global skeptics and evolution deniers will feel the same incredulity as I do when they read articles like this one. But it is patently dishonest to disclaim science when it does not suit you and embrace it when it does. So if you want to go ahead and dismiss science. But to be true to yourself and do not stop where you think it is convenient. Dismiss global warming and the science behind it then deny green houses work and stop using them.Do not believe in evolution? Renounce all benefits evolutionary science has given. Denounce research into genetic diseases and treatments it spawns. Remember if you have used any treatment that was discovered as part of related research you are a traitor to your cause. Stop research on viruses, agriculture, fisheries.
And do not forget that most of the trappings of modern society, that no conservative fails to enjoy, like cars, airplanes, televisions, ipods, health care have not been revealed from on above. There were people who believed in rational thought, who spent countless hours in research and study to discover the theories and invent the products that we enjoy today. The only people who can deny global warming and evolution without guilt, are the ones that eschew the benefits of technology in all of their lives.