Republicans: A War On Science and how you are letting them win

What does Todd Akin have in common with Paul Brown?

Both are Republican members of the House Science Committee.

Akin famously bought into the beliefs of a man named Jack C. Willke:

Of course, scientists say that Willke is dead wrong:

So Akin believes discredited pseudoscience to support an extremist agenda. And this is where Rep. Broun comes in:

I consider it unacceptable for a thinking person to espouse such ignorance… Let alone someone running for elected office… Let alone someone who wins that election… Let alone someone who becomes a part of the fucking Science Committee in the United States House Of Representatives!!!

When you factor in Climate Change conspiracy theorists, those who say Fracking is just fine and dandy and hard-line stances on stem cell research you can forget the war on women. The Republicans agenda is a War On Science.

But you know who else I hold accountable? Every single one of the Republicans on this board, which is supposed to be about eradicating ignorance, on supporting a party that embraces ignorance as part of their platform.

You didn’t vote for those guys, you say? Well, are you voting for Romney? In 2007 presidential candidate Mitt Romney sought and won the endorsement of Dr. Willke.

Hell, anti-science sentiments are in the Republican Platform itself:

How anyone who claims to be against ignorance would give approval to a party that flaunts their ignorance at every opportunity is a mystery. I don’t agree with every position that every Democrat takes and I am sure that some Lefties do on occasion embrace pseudoscience (such as the faux link between autism and vaccines but the likes of Michelle Bachmann famously took up that cause as well) , but there is nothing about them that is remotely comparable to the anti-Science agenda on the right and how prevalent it is.

It disgusts me. And it should disgust you. It affects the way I vote. And it should for you as well. But for many of you, it doesn’t. And that’s pathetic.

This reminds me of the lengthy, legalese court opinions that are a courtly way of saying “this complaintant is completely and utterly insane and their arguments are complete BS.” If Grimes could have left out the word “bizarre”, it would have been a classic subtle “fuck off”.

Speaking as a scientist-in-training, science in this country is fucked. There’s no money anywhere. Funding was cut during the Bush year. Obama promised to increase it. It didn’t happen. Neither party is standing up for basic scientific research. We’re screwed. Every professional scientist I’ve spoken to is terrified for their own future, let alone their students’.

Meanwhile, Sarah Palin is complaining that we’re studying fruit flies instead of curing Down syndrome, which amuses me, as I am studying fruit flies in an attempt to understand the processes that cause Down syndrome.

I don’t know if I’d say that both sides aren’t standing up. Funding would be there is the Republicans didn’t obstruct it.

You need to say studying fruit flies will lead to better weapons.
Excellent pitting by the OP.

I definitely agree with the OP.

I was in the second grade when Russia launched Sputnik. The fact that the Russians were first in space pretty much scared everybody in the United States. To think that a bunch of ignorant peasants could send anything into orbit dramatically changed our priorities. Accordingly, US education was radically changed with a much-increased emphasis on math and science.

Now, 55 yeas later, it seems the mentality has become “it’s hip to be stupid”.

It seems the OP left out yet another “weapon” in the War on Science: Creationism (aka Intelligent Design).

One question I never hear asked of these guys (not just those in the OP but any like them) is what level of evidence do they require to be convinced of something?

I would really, really like to hear that answer.

I mean, in theory, we all have a threshold that we need people to get past to buy into what they are saying to us. It may be different for different people and/or different for different kinds of claims but nevertheless there has to be some point at which you would consider even the most outrageous of claims to be true if enough proof was put before you.

If someone you know says they saw aliens from outer space you would be (rightly) dubious. If they showed you a blurry photo of it they took on their iPhone you would still probably be doubtful. If they had a friend back them up you might think some scam is being pulled. But eventually, if they produce the alien and it walks up to you then I think you would be pretty convinced. If the alien allowed you to draw blood and you sent it in for testing and it came back as “alien” I would think you would be very convinced.

My point being is that for any claim there has to be a point at which you think there is sufficient evidence to back up that claim.

If these jokers cannot state where that line is for them then they prove themselves to be the close minded people they really are.

Does Mars have long form birth certificates?

You are right. I used to review proposals for NSF - real proposals that added to knowledge and in my field were very practical. Then they dried up and got moved to reviewing grants for small businesses who were asking for money to commercialize inventions - something Congress dreamed up to make NSF useful for the people giving them money. I did it because the gummint flew me to where I could visit my daughter and because I could argue against giving money to companies who did nothing except apply for grants.
Finally they wanted me to lead reviews in an area I knew nothing about. I told them that I didn’t want to do that, and they got very huffy and I never got invited back.
And we wonder why we are losing ground.

I agree.

I’ve posted before that I think that people who claim to be religious should NOT have the right to vote, let alone hold any elected office.

Thing is, I honestly DO NOT believe ANY politician to really be religious. If they show for Sunday services, it’s only for show.

And I fully agree that it is a war on science. Wasn’t it Kentucky or Kansas whose students were failing science on standardized tests who eliminated the evolution questions so the kids could pass?? All for the “holy contributions” the pols acquire for their campaign fund.

And I’ll even admit that if Pussyfoot Mittens denied the support from that guy who inspired Todd Aiken and Broun to spout off religious bullshit that was only hypocritical to their own beliefs, I’d feel a little respect for about three seconds.

We have got to put and end to religious freedom in this country. Go to the fucking holy land, and when the bomb drops, when the bullet stings, when your feeeeeling saaaad, just simply remember religion is shit and then you won’t feeeeeel soooo baaaaaad! :smiley:

(Had to reformat that stupid film in post today, so it’s stuck in me.)

What does a fruit fly with Down syndrome look like ?

And, yes, as others post, fantastically written pitting for the OP.

I’m guessing this might turn into a BBQ Debate.

and this is why my voting record makes me look like a democrat.

I agree with several posters above, nice OP

I seem to recall there being two years or so not long ago when Democrats controlled the White House and both houses of Congress. What was done about it? Fuck all.

The Republicans will keep slashing all they can. The Democrats won’t do anything about it other than roll over and let it happen. As always, the election is down to a choice between incompetent and evil. I’m sick of it.

bottom line, other countries will continue to pull ahead and leave us in their dust. at least, I hope so, for the sake of the species. :frowning:

I don’t necessarily agree with that. There have been religious men and women in leading positions in our government for a long, long time, and to my knowledge, most of them don’t or didn’t generally let their religious beliefs influence their judgement on policy. Many of them, especially amongst the founders, recognized the potential problem with introducing God into legislation and shied away from it, neatly separating their personal beliefs with what was best for our nation.

Now, granted, this douchebag from Georgia in the OP is a whackjob and should be roundly censured and kicked out of office for spouting such ignorance. It does seem like there are more people like this in government, and yes, many of them are Republicans. But I refuse to broad brush the entire party because of the actions or words of some. Anymore the only things I agree with the Republican platform anymore are a strong military, less intrusive government (which is nothing more than an ideal for either party these days) and…I guess that’s about it. Oh, and pro-small business, but I think both parties are for that.

But yeah, guys like the Congressman in the OP are fucking scary. There’s no way I can vote for people that believe as they do, and I actually believe in God, but not to the extent of stupidly eschewing well researched factual scientific information, or to block research that can benefit humanity in some way.

maybe a better solution is to not allow the legislative body to micromanage the government.

the executive branch is tasked with administering the government. hopefully they find people competent in their field to work in particular agencies. these agencies then have dozens and hundreds of people administering programs; that is lots of heads with many ideas which eventually becomes focused on a goal.

the legislature has single people authoring bills or on committees. these single people get campaign contributions, often from out of their district by professional lobbyists, that they use to get reelected. in the legislature ‘one hand washes the other’ so they all cooperate with each other in allowing the other guy to take the [del]bribe[/del] contribution. so if you’ve been lobbied by the wallpaper industry, then you might have funding legislation for an agency that prohibits any money being spent on paint, even though paint might do a better job. (this is an single example knowing that it is imperfect in detail but just to supply an illustration of concept).

Perhaps not on a recurring basis, but ARRA had massive (temporary) increases in funding for the NSF and the NIH, and established ARPA-E (which is still around).

Now my father is doing this job. He is a very intelligent man, but he is reviewing proposals for the NSF because of his business experience. He is science-friendly and his business experience sometimes involves products that are closely tied to actual scientists, but you could not call him a scientist. On the one hand, I’m proud of him, but on the other hand, I think, “what the hell?” I would much rather see science grants determined by scientists and ONLY scientists, and if the business community wants to help, perhaps they can come in at a later stage.