IDIOT AMERICA

This is an excellent article on something that has been weighing on me recently, especially in reading the new book "The Republican War of Science." One of the most insidious threats to our country is the Republican desire to discredit science and learning. It's been going on for a long time but the Bush administration and the increasingly powerful Religious Right have really put their shoulder to the wheel recently. I've been reading about the fights over creationism but not commenting because franly it just pisses me off too much. The idea that any idea is worth discussing or teaching to children, which is at the heart of this essay, is just plain stupid.

Science is not a democracy, everybody doesn't get to vote. Some things are correct, and some are not. Period. We must fight against teaching children that truth and fact are always in doubt. This is the goal of the Right-wing attacks on science, make no mistake. They want to make sure nobody takes any idea as unassailable fact because that fact might hurt the pocketbook of industry or be incompatible with some voting block's ideals. It's much more than just teaching that evolution is "just a theory" (leaving aside the fact that this just exposes complete ignorance of the definition of theory), it's about making sure nobody really believes that polluting industries should be responsible for the damage they cause. It's about making sure the government is paralyzed in protecting citizens because nobody can say definitively that something will be bad. Whenever somebody says that loosening standards is for your own good or for the good of your children, be on guard. You can be sure that no matter how inocuous it may seem, any time someone wants to redefine a word here or "expose children to more than one side of an argument" there, the purpose is to weaken their belief in science and make them more suseptible to the suggestion that nobody is an expert at anything and nothing is a real fact. Fight it whenever and whereever it pops up.

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