Nasty Letters To Crooked Politicians

As we enter a new era of politics, we hope to see that Obama has the courage to fight the policies that Progressives hate. Will he have the fortitude to turn the economic future of America to help the working man? Or will he turn out to be just a pawn of big money, as he seems to be right now.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Some reject reality
Gene Lyons

Posted on Wednesday, May 9, 2007


Everybody who thinks he knows God’s exact opinion about the 2008
presidential election may as well quit reading, particularly those with
anger issues or elevated blood pressure, because you haven’t got a clue,
OK? Last time, everybody who believes GOP stands for God’s Own Party
thought the deity had chosen George W. Bush. You’d think that would
teach them humility. Alas, the opposite has happened. As the Republican
core shrinks, its ideology grows more anti-intellectual and
authoritarian. Australian economist John Quiggin points out at that this is only partly due to reality-based voters
turning away from Bush’s failures. It’s also due to “the party’s success
in constructing a parallel universe of news sources, think tanks, blogs,
pseudo-scientists and so on, which has led to the core becoming more
tightly committed to an extremist ideology.” On many issues, the
Republican right increasingly resembles a quasi-religious cult. GOP true
believers appear increasingly committed to an obscurantist world view
exalting “Christianist” theology over facts, superficially mimicking
real science while rejecting its methods.

I first encountered this phenomenon covering Arkansas’
“creation-science” trial in 1981. Republican Gov. Frank White had signed
the so-called Balanced Treatment of Creation-Science and
Evolution-Science Act mandating biblical literalism in biology classes.
Derived from the superficial concept of balance taught in journalism
schools and practiced on TV shows like “Hannity & Colmes” —where there
are two sides, and only two sides, to every question—it equated
evolutionary biology with atheism, advocating equal time for God. A
coalition of religious leaders and teachers’ organizations filed suit
under the auspices of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Of course, biological science no more mandates atheism than do the rules
of baseball, which also exclude the supernatural.

U. S. District Judge William Overton’s astringent decision rebuked the
parade of creationist quacks and crackpots who testified.

“While anybody is free to approach a scientific inquiry in any fashion
he chooses,” he wrote, “he cannot properly describe the methodology used
as scientific if he starts with a conclusion and refuses to change it,
regardless of the evidence developed during the course of his

Creationists didn’t go out of business. Repackaging the product as
“intelligent design,” they ended up in a Pennsylvania federal court in
2005 with the same result. Crucial to the effort are well-funded
organizations like the Seattle-based Center for the Renewal of Science
and Culture that are skilled at cloaking religious dogma in
scientific-sounding jargon. Their ultimate goal, explained in Barbara
Forrest and Paul Gross’ book, “Creationism’s Trojan Horse,” is nothing
less than repealing the Enlightenment, i.e., making science subordinate
to religion.

Creationists may be getting nowhere with scientists, but they’ve gotten
good at bamboozling TV anchor creatures and other trusting souls. A
recent Newsweek poll found 48 percent of American adults rejecting the
theory of evolution. Even 41 percent of Catholics dispute it, although
the pope does not. Another study found that among 34 developed
countries, the U.S. ranked 33rd in acceptance of biological science,
just ahead of Turkey.

Where cult views get downright dangerous, however, is with respect to
climatology. How has that become an article of faith? Simple: Al Gore
helped make a movie about the threat of human-caused global warming.
Overnight, a small industry of self-anointed skeptics sprang up to
accuse essentially the entire relevant worldwide scientific community of
masterminding an elaborate hoax for the sake of (A) scrounging research
grants or (B) ushering in worldwide socialism.

Granted, the science behind the global-warming hypothesis isn’t as
settled as evolution, the most massively documented theoretical
construct in history. Dissenters to the anthropogenic (humancaused) view
of climate change do exist, although they’re becoming fewer as the data

Never mind the Oscar. Gore recently received a standing ovation from the
annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union, earth and space
scientists. Could they all be godless, Marxist conspiracists? A
voluminous report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change concluded with greater than 90 percent certainty that
global warming is primarily caused by human activity.

A poll of conservative bloggers by, however, found
that 100 percent disagreed. Starting with conclusions, conservative
“think tanks,” many funded by the oil and coal industry, are churning
out shameless propaganda. Even respectable journalists seeking “balance”
have done their bit. The New York Times recently ran an article
critiquing “An Inconvenient Truth” by rebutting a claim it never made:
that Gore predicted a 20-foot rise in sea level, for example, while U.N.
scientists estimated only 23 inches over the next century. But Gore’s
hypothetical mentioned no time frame; moreover, it was based on the
possible melting of immense freshwater glaciers in Greenland and
Antarctica, which the IPCC report did not consider. Nonsense like that
discourages real scientists from entering public debate. But Americans
need to hear from them. Ignoring reality is always dangerous. Here, it’s
become a national security threat. A practical people, most of us will
resist cult beliefs when presented with expert information.


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