Is the GOP Anti-Science?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by jnpy!$4g3cwk, Aug 27, 2011.

  1. jnpy!$4g3cwk macrumors 65816


    Feb 11, 2010
    This is finally getting some attention:

  2. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    I think elements of the GOP certainly are. I think it's hard to believe that wing of the GOP believes in anything approaching logical positivism. I think it goes much deeper than just denying climate science or biological science. These are the sorts of people who believe that a person who can coerce another person is fundamentally more valuable than a person who understands how anything works, because the person of force can always make the person of knowledge do what they wish. The reason they don't believe in climate science is that they don't believe in the scientific method itself. I wish they understood how deeply incompatible with their own supposedly libertarian worldview that is.
  3. IntelliUser macrumors 6502

    Nov 1, 2009
    Why does it matter?
    Let's see:

    1. Blatantly denying that evolution is just as much a fact as gravity is.
    2. Instead of just arguing for less government intervention in environmental matters, which wouldn't be that unreasonable from the perspective of the party of business, they completely deny the existence of anthropogenic climate change, going against 97% of the experts on the subject.
    3. Pushing for abstinence-only sex education, which clearly. Does. Not. Work.
    4. Saying that homosexuality is unnatural and/or curable.
    5. Believing in voodoo economics and completely made-up "facts" such as that lowering taxes increases revenue (and the reverse)[1][2].

    And wait, isn't it Santorum who said that "there's no such thing as global warming?"
  4. Shrink macrumors G3


    Feb 26, 2011
    New England, USA
    Certainly the far right is ignoring science, since it frequently contradicts their deeply held beliefs based on superstition and mythology.

    Ratiocination is anathema to non-rational systems.

    In short, they are talking out of their ass to people who will, apparently, believe any garbage that supports their biases.

    There are reasonable conservatives who, apparently, are just being overwhelmed by the extreme wing of their party.

    And yes, the Democrats are not exactly covering themselves with glory at the moment.

    If it weren't so important, it would all be laughable. :(

  5. Daffodil macrumors 6502


    Jun 7, 2011
    In a sunny state of mind
    Yeah, it really worries me how the GOP's short-term "business interests" seem to have gotten in the way of recognizing anthropogenic climate change, let alone dealing with it...

    You can call it anti-intellectualism, anti-elitism, or even anti-science in general, and I think you'll find it fits all too well with many currently popular possible Republican presidential candidates. In all the crazy, it's really a shame that Huntsman doesn't get more attention, because maybe if the others saw that people approved of his rationality, they'd move more towards the centre? </wishful thinking>
  6. localoid macrumors 68020


    Feb 20, 2007
    America's Third World
    It's not just Republicans who deny science and climate change. In the major coal producing state in the U.S. it's extremely difficult to find any political leader who will publicly admit climate change is a real threat.

    West Virginia is a good example. It's a state that's nearly 100% controlled by the Democratic party. But because its a "coal state", it's hard to find a single elected official from the state who will admit coal is bad for people and the environment. The Democratic leadership in West Virginia has denied virtually any and all of the scientific studies that dare to reveal the environmental dangers of mountaintop removal, including the West Virginia University study that linked mountaintop removal to birth defects among Appalachian residents.

    W.Va. leaders keep their heads in the sand on climate change and mountaintop removal
  7. NT1440 macrumors G4


    May 18, 2008
    America itself has had a tinge of anti-intellectualism woven throughout its history, all the way to the founding fathers. The GOP is just taking it to the extreme as they are with everything right now.
  8. Heilage macrumors 68030


    May 1, 2009
    The GOP doesn't seem to understand what science is, so saying that they are anti-science would be wrong, case in point being the Creationism debate.

    A lot of the policies they promote, especially the education and social related ones, are just stupid and narrow-minded.
  9. NT1440 macrumors G4


    May 18, 2008
    And many of those politicians know its crap, but understand that it works politically.
  10. localoid macrumors 68020


    Feb 20, 2007
    America's Third World
    Why science get thrown under the bus...

    It's not due to ignorance -- it's because the Energy Barons wouldn't have it any other way. For the typical 21st century Robber Baron, buying off politicians is far cheaper than investing in alternative energy.
  11. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2004
    I don't think republicans are actually anti-science. It may appear that way because they don't immediately and automatically assume that science is right when it conflicts with various beliefs and interests they have....... however, when they can see a way to make a buck off of science then they're apt to be hugely pro-science.
  12. iJohnHenry macrumors P6


    Mar 22, 2008
    On tenterhooks
    Ah ha!!!

    So they cloak themselves in the cloth of God, because it's better for their bottom line?

    Well, that's how I choose to interpret your words. :p
  13. KingYaba macrumors 68040


    Aug 7, 2005
    Up the irons
    I think it has to do with some insecure religious folk who see creationism being incompatible with evolution. So, any talk of evolution is seen as a threat to their beliefs or whatever.
  14. leftywamumonkey, Aug 27, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2011

    leftywamumonkey macrumors 6502a


    Jun 23, 2010
    Ron Paul says that, gravity is only a theory and is a theory that he does not believe in. -_-

    Edit: Woops, I meant evolution not gravity. Oopsies!
  15. Grey Beard macrumors 65816

    Grey Beard

    Sep 10, 2005
    The Antipodes.
    Gravity is a myth, it's the earth that sucks,
  16. bassfingers macrumors 6502


    Nov 15, 2010
    Hey guys, the earth's climate has been changing forever. It does this always. It's either going up, or going down. It does not mean that we are going to melt or freeze (although the NYT likes to publish both of those predictions fairly often).

    The fourth IPCC report even states that water vapor in the atmosphere is not only the most import factor in climate modeling, but it is also the least understood by climatologists. Point being, they have no idea how hot or cold the earth will be in 100 years. At the very least, the evidence is no where near compelling enough to justify more government regulation.

    climate alarmism = government expansion. Government funds the vast majority of climate research.
  17. Ugg macrumors 68000


    Apr 7, 2003
    So you're essentially anti-science then. Why can't you just come out and say it?

    Federal research funding is responsible for the proliferation of American creativity. There's simply no doubt about it. If it weren't for federal dollars the US wouldn't have sent a man to space and wouldn't have made the enormous strides in cancer/Aids/health that we have.

    The Flu Epidemic of 1918 was why George Hopkins became such an amazing research university and was also responsible for standardizing educational requirements. Even in the late 1800s, many 'medical' colleges admitted students solely on the basis of being able to pay the fees. Without funds being concentrated at institutions that have already proven themselves to be capable of thorough research, the US would remain an uneducated backwater. Private industry wasn't interested or capable of directing such research.

    Your anti-government is going to bite you in the hind end if it means no more funding for basic science research. Ah, but you don't really care do you, your god will take of you.....:rolleyes:
  18. hulugu macrumors 68000


    Aug 13, 2003
    quae tangit perit Trump
    It's not just the change, but the speed of change which will outpace the ability of nations and entire species to adapt. Moreover, because of the complex interactions between atmosphere and oceans, the rapid change will accelerate some nasty trends, including droughts and hurricanes. Some regions will get wetter, some drier, some warmer and some colder.

    Yes, but CO2 heating is independent of water vapor and research suggests that water vapor's rise and fall is both highly localized — except in the upper Troposphere —*and follows the rise of CO2. So, while the models might be wrong, it means they're wrong in a direction that means things will get worse more quickly.
    So, pinning down water vapor will only add more credence to Climate Change, not less.

    The government funds the vast majority of research. Full stop.

    And, government doesn't have to be the prime mover of change, it just is because corporations see little advantage in moving ahead without government involvement.

    Essentially, you're arguing that the army should move without both scouts and logistical support. And, the army isn't going to do that, but for some reason no one wants to listen to the scouts.

    And this is exactly why the GOP is anti-science. Rather than acknowledging that thousands of scientists are probably more interested in good data and truth, the GOP assumes that they're on the take. However, I think its just transference since many of the leading "climate skeptics" are actually on the take by oil and gas companies.
  19. likemyorbs macrumors 68000


    Jul 20, 2008
    The GOP isn't anti-science, they're against anything that involves reason and common sense. Bibles and guns ftw.
  20. Jagardn macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2011
    On the other end of the spectrum, infinite spending and huge social programs can't last forever. Stealing from the rich For more and more government spending only works until the well runs dry.

    But for the original topic, the religious beliefs of the far right have a problem with science because it disproves everything they believe in.
  21. SactoGuy18 macrumors 68030


    Sep 11, 2006
    Sacramento, CA USA
    No, they're just skeptical of science that turns out to be frauds like this guy:

    Lysenko effectively set back Soviet agriculture for decades with his fraudulent views on agricultural plant improvements.
  22. .Andy macrumors 68030


    Jul 18, 2004
    The Mergui Archipelago
    So they're sceptical of science that turns out to be fraudulent?
  23. yayitsezekiel macrumors 6502a


    Aug 1, 2008
    Irvine, CA
    Of course not. I just want an honest government that follows the constitution. Science is extremely important.
  24. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    If one is fair, the evidentiary basis for the theory of evolution is probably not quite as strong as it is for either the Newtonian or relativistic theories of gravity. Also it's important to recognize levels of theory and levels of proof. It is one thing to say that the relativistic theory of gravity has an extremely strong evidentiary basis (although most physicists think it needs some kind of modification in order to account for quantum mechanical fields), it's another thing to say that the well-validated nature of the mechanics of relativistic theory point to one specific cosmology explaining the origin of the universe -- they don't. Similarly, the mechanistic process of evolutionary theory has a good evidentiary basis (although it's harder to test than relativity is). That doesn't mean necessarily that this theory explains everything about how life came to be on earth or that it demands that life have evolved or that life like ours should have evolved.

    In physics, theories are generally evalauted on the basis of their ability to make verifiable predictions. A good theory is one that explains all the existing data and explains at least one new thing that other theories could not explain. Relativistic gravity explains so much that finding evidence of how a theory of gravity that reconciles with quantum field theory, like a string theory, would differ is very hard. Similarly, there are lots of things it is difficult to prove are consistent with evolutionary theory. However, there is no alternate scientific (not metaphysical) theory that explains as much of the data in a verifiable way as evolutionary biology and also explains something evolutionary biology cannot.

    In science, that's what it means to accept a theory. Whenever we talk about "believing" in a theory as if it were a god, we're as guilty as anyone else for having abandoned the fundamental underlying sensibility of science.

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