Sunday, August 27, 2006

What Killed Reason?

Via the Poor Man, I see that Chris Mooney's thesis that the Republican Party is at war with science is alive and well. Check out this gem of irrationality:

Not too long ago the blogosphere was rocking with the great debate of Intelligent Design vs Darwinism. It was an interesting debate, though I doubt much that anyone had the mind changed. Be that as it may, the whole thing got me thinking, and today ii occured to me: science is dead. We have reached the end of the Age of Science - what will come after, I don't know, but I don't think that we'll ever again have a time when Science is enshrined as some sort of god-like arbiter of right and wrong. The question now: what killed science?

A lot of different factors - but the main thing was that science could only thrive as it did from about 1650 until 1850 when everyone agreed on the rules. The prime rule of science was truth - everyone involved in science had to tell the truth to the best of their ability, and always be willing to correct one's views when new evidence called in to question previously held beliefs. What killed science was when its strongest advocates stopped telling the truth.

You see, science died in 1850. Relativity, quantum mechanics, genetics, plate tectonics, recombinant DNA, modern medicine -- all piffle. We know this because scientists must be a bunch of liars. Afterall, they tell us things we don't want to hear. What other explanation could there be?

It's important to realize that the creationist wing of the Right isn't just against evolution, they're against science in general. I don't think they started out this way, but when they come to realize that the entire scientific community disagrees with them and rejects their doctrine of scriptural supremacy, they go on to dismiss the entire enterprise of science. It's easier than admitting a mistake.

Note that this missive appeared on something called Blogs for Bush. They aren't just run-of-the-mill right-wing wackos, but are strong pro-Bush partisans. Which is more evidence that this is a Republican problem, not just a right-wing reactionary problem. Of course, the blog isn't actually affiliated with the Bush administration or with the RNC, but they sure want to be. Which makes it doubly sad. (Note to self: Rename blog after Brad Pitt, add small disclaimer at bottom.)