The Sciences

New Rumblings About Republicans and Science

The IntersectionBy Chris MooneySep 14, 2010 5:03 PM


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I wrote the book on it. But it still isn't over. Now, Nature magazine is editorializing about troubling anti-science strains in the latest incarnation of the GOP--the Tea Party:

Denialism over global warming has become a scientific cause célèbre within the movement. Limbaugh, for instance, who has told his listeners that “science has become a home for displaced socialists and communists”, has called climate-change science “the biggest scam in the history of the world”. The Tea Party's leanings encompass religious opposition to Darwinian evolution and to stem-cell and embryo research — which Beck has equated with eugenics. The movement is also averse to science-based regulation, which it sees as an excuse for intrusive government. Under the administration of George W. Bush, science in policy had already taken knocks from both neglect and ideology. Yet President Barack Obama's promise to “restore science to its rightful place” seems to have linked science to liberal politics, making it even more of a target of the right.

But the timing of this is, of course, awful, writes Nature:

The anti-science strain pervading the right wing in the United States is the last thing the country needs in a time of economic challenge.

Right...but is this not partly about what Nietzsche called


and therefore partly caused by these times of economic challenge? America is hurting, massively, due to the downturn. For parts of right wing America, also hurting massively, this requires the search for an enemy. Well, the scientists got lots of cash from Obama's stimulus plan, they're favored by the government, and there has long been right wing resentment of academia anyway--the people who allegedly think they're smarter than everyone else. Maybe now it's just magnified, due to the strain we're all under.

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