Sunday, December 4, 2011
The evolution litmus test....
“It’s a theory that’s out there. It’s got some gaps in it. In Texas we teach both creationism and evolution, because I figure you’re smart enough to figure out which one’s right.” – Governor Rick Perry “I support intelligent design…putting all science on the table and then letting students decide…(since) there is reasonable doubt on both sides.” – Michele Bachmann “Well, then I'm going to say creationism is a science, intelligent design is a science. If you say my faith isn't a science, I'm going to say yours isn't…Darwin…cannot explain the Origin of the Species…Nor can Marx, and nor can Obama (sic).” – Rush Limbaugh “We found in 2007 that a whopping 68 percent of Republicans did not believe in evolution…” – Frank Newport of the Gallup poll
Ever since that chemistry set in 3rd grade, we have appreciated the value of a litmus test. Suppose we were rating presidential politicians for brain power, smarts, sophistication. "College education" or facsimile would go in the plus column, while negatives would have to include such things as "Bible creationism" and "wears overalls." (And to be clear, bleating platitudes about “both sides” only gives aid to the creationist dream of having a leg to stand on.) As we have noted time and again, the liberal position or philosophy is a mark of intelligence while conservatives are, frankly speaking, not so bright. This would be why leftist thought and sentiment distill on major university campuses, while the opposing view fares best in rural venues and trailer parks. If such a correlation has long been suspected, today our neighbors on the right have mobilized to remove all doubt. Having a democrat of the progressive persuasion in the White House has been too much for some folks – confounding to processors that were hardly state-of-the art to start with. To paraphrase the Commander-In-Chief, idiots are frustrated. Be it on the Internet, evening radio or out at the fairgrounds, we’ve never far to go to get a load of their madcap manifesto, seething with hate and spelling errors. For some blue-ribbon boneheadedness, you can’t beat a news network that exists to serenade and reassure the right wing. FOX flunked geography; it’s not likely they fare any better in science. Certainly, four more years of intelligent administration are preferable to a resurgence of the numskull kind, but is it reasonable to hope that the side with the much higher IQ will win? History has shown that sometimes societies degrade and put anti-intellectual demagogues in charge, ushering in a nightmarish period.
My guest column in our local Sunday paper
at 3:11 PM