Republicans seem willing to go to war at the drop of a hat. Their War on the Poor, War on Gays, War on Workers, War on Women, War on Muslims, War on Minorities, and more demonstrate that point more than adequately. But of all the Republican wars, the one that makes the least sense of all is their War on Science, as this piece by Paul Krugman indicates.
Earlier this week, GQ magazine published an interview with Senator Marco Rubio, whom many consider a contender for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, in which Mr. Rubio was asked how old the earth is. After declaring “I’m not a scientist, man,” the senator went into desperate evasive action, ending with the declaration that “it’s one of the great mysteries.”
It’s funny stuff, and conservatives would like us to forget about it as soon as possible. Hey, they say, he was just pandering to likely voters in the 2016 Republican primaries — a claim that for some reason is supposed to comfort us.
But we shouldn’t let go that easily. Reading Mr. Rubio’s interview is like driving through a deeply eroded canyon; all at once, you can clearly see what lies below the superficial landscape. Like striated rock beds that speak of deep time, his inability to acknowledge scientific evidence speaks of the anti-rational mind-set that has taken over his political party.
By the way, that question didn’t come out of the blue. As speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, Mr. Rubio provided powerful aid to creationists trying to water down science education. In one interview, he compared the teaching of evolution to Communist indoctrination tactics — although he graciously added that “I’m not equating the evolution people with Fidel Castro.” Gee, thanks.
What was Mr. Rubio’s complaint about science teaching? That it might undermine children’s faith in what their parents told them to believe. And right there you have the modern G.O.P.’s attitude, not just toward biology, but toward everything: If evidence seems to contradict faith, suppress the evidence… [emphasis added]
Inserted from <NY Times>
Photo credit: The PBH Network
Photo credit: Huffington Post
As a Christian, I see no conflict between scientific evidence and Genesis, because I see scientific evidence as the closest approximation we have to literal truth and Genesis as mythical Truth. Homer said, “We are the stories we tell ourselves.” In ancient times, story telling bestowed cultural identity. Jesus used this technique frequently, as he often taught in parables, allegorical stories that taught a lesson without having to be literally true. Since allegory is how Jesus taught, I consider it absurd to hold Moses to a literal standard.
My best guess is that Marco Rubio, along with most of the other Republicans who share Rubio’s overt position know that scientific evidence takes precedence over myth. However they cannot say so. Even worse, they have to govern accordingly, because failure to do so will cost them a large part of their voting base. Since the only people Republicans truly represent are the 1%, they need dupe people into voting against their own interest. Thus they have embraced, bigots, hate mongers, war mongers, seditionists, purveyors of violence, misanthropes, misogynists, homophobes, corporate criminals, racists, Teabaggers and supply-side pseudo-Christians, also attracting many decent people who have just never made the effort needed to overcome their own political ignorance.
They need the War on Science to keep the loyalty of supply-side pseudo-Christians, and they care more for power to represent the 1% than they do for the harm they are doing to millions of Americans.