If you believe the Earth is 6,000 years old and can ignore geology, paleontology and other science that prove the Earth is about 4.5 billion years old, chances are pretty good you are a Republican voter.
If you can ignore archeological studies and carbon-14 testing showing hominid life has been present on earth for millions of years, and insist Adam and Eve were the actual “first couple”, chances are pretty good you are a Republican voter.
If you can ignore the fact that the ten warmest years on record have been since 1998, the world’s glaciers are receding, Arctic permafrost is thawing, the Arctic Sea’s Winter ice cover is shrinking, vast Antarctic ice shelves are detaching into the sea, and the overwhelming scientific consensus is we are facing real climate change, chances are pretty good you are a Republican voter.
In fact, the more you distrust science and dislike scientists, the more likely you are a Republican voter.
So what’s the deal here? Does science have a liberal bias? Or do the non-liberal opponents of scientific research have a political and financial interest in suppressing the results of scientific studies. We remember the Bush Administration muzzled NASA climate studies.
Let’s ask renowned climate scientist Rush Limbaugh for the real truth. “Climate change is a liberal hoax”. Well, there you go. This is all that some people really need to believe, and no more attention is required for such nonsense. Just go vote for Republicans and everything will be alright.
Or not. Now let’s be fair. Republicans have their own favorite kind of science. They love the science that gives us more spectacular ways to kill our fellow human beings. They love all the new high tech surveillance tools the Bushies praised and utilized in their war on the Bill of Rights.
Maybe Stephen Colbert was right when he said, “Reality has a well known liberal bias”. Maybe that means science must share in that bias, right?
Indeed, the Right has a strong bias against any science that might cost them financially or politically. And they are not ashamed of it. Remember, by the typical Right Wing tactic of re-definition, they label research and studies they don’t like as not being “sound science”. They attack both the message and the messenger. Credit must be given to their organized assault on science, and education in general. Remember colleges and journalism, like science, are also full of liberal bias, according to the Right. But is the Right... right? That doesn’t matter. Only their bottom line matters.
Here’s where this discussion gets interesting. It turns out Americans on the whole still like and respect science. Sixty percent of the public supports government investment in research.
As far as the climate change issue goes, Limbaugh and the Right have done a heck of a job misleading the American public. Now only 49% of Americans, down from a majority, think the Earth is getting warmer due to human activity. The great majority of scientists, 84% think this is true. I guess this would indicate the percentage of scientists who work for Big Energy and other major polluters.
The effectiveness of the Right Wing propaganda machine can also be seen in these: “Just 40% of scientists agree that “when something is run by the government, it is usually inefficient and wasteful”; a majority of the public (57%) agrees with this statement.” And: “Most scientists had heard at least a little about claims that government scientists were not allowed to report research findings that conflicted with the Bush administration’s point of view. And the vast majority (77%) says that these claims are true. By contrast, these claims barely registered with the public – more than half heard nothing at all about this issue. Only about a quarter of the public (28%) said they thought the claims were true.”
Damn know-it-all liberals, no doubt.
The Religious Right has been effective in denying evolution: “Most notably, 87% of scientists say that humans and other living things have evolved over time and that evolution is the result of natural processes such as natural selection. Just 32% of the public accepts this as true.”
I’m quoting a Pew research poll that also tells us only six percent of American scientists admit to being Republicans. Fifty-five percent identify themselves as Democrats. No wonder the Right hates scientists. And no wonder they want to suppress research that disagrees with their agenda.
This information goes far in explaining the Right’s hostility towards science, and by extension, public education, college professors, journalism and any other sources of knowledge and information that threatens their power and sacrosanct bottom line.
Although none of this is really news. Galileo’s persecution by the Pope almost 400 years ago was the classic lesson on institutionalized conservative power’s war on science. The Vatican has since apologized for the suppression. What do you think the chances are of the American radical Right apologizing for their suppression over the next 400 years?