Responses To The Anti-Science Right On Evolution

I sometimes think that the Democratic Party is the most inept political organization in the history of mankind, barely being able to capitalize on an opposing party which is attempting to destroy Social Security and Medicare, and making absolutely no attempt to benefit from the hostility towards science and reason in the right wing. At least sources outside of the Democratic Party are responding to the ignorant rants from GOP leaders such as Rick Perry and those with similar beliefs.

Richard Dawkins writes in The Washington Post: Attention Governor Perry: Evolution is a fact, responding to Perry’s attacks on modern science. Some excerpts (emphasis mine):

A politician’s attitude to evolution is perhaps not directly important in itself. It can have unfortunate consequences on education and science policy but, compared to Perry’s and the Tea Party’s pronouncements on other topics such as economics, taxation, history and sexual politics, their ignorance of evolutionary science might be overlooked. Except that a politician’s attitude to evolution, however peripheral it might seem, is a surprisingly apposite litmus test of more general inadequacy. This is because unlike, say, string theory where scientific opinion is genuinely divided, there is about the fact of evolution no doubt at all. Evolution is a fact, as securely established as any in science, and he who denies it betrays woeful ignorance and lack of education, which likely extends to other fields as well. Evolution is not some recondite backwater of science, ignorance of which would be pardonable. It is the stunningly simple but elegant explanation of our very existence and the existence of every living creature on the planet. Thanks to Darwin, we now understand why we are here and why we are the way we are. You cannot be ignorant of evolution and be a cultivated and adequate citizen of today.

Darwin’s idea is arguably the most powerful ever to occur to a human mind. The power of a scientific theory may be measured as a ratio: the number of facts that it explains divided by the number of assumptions it needs to postulate in order to do the explaining. A theory that assumes most of what it is trying to explain is a bad theory. That is why the creationist or ‘intelligent design’ theory is such a rotten theory.

After an explanation of the importance of evolution, Dawkins concluded:

There are many reasons to vote against Rick Perry. His fatuous stance on the teaching of evolution in schools is perhaps not the first reason that springs to mind. But maybe it is the most telling litmus test of the other reasons, and it seems to apply not just to him but, lamentably, to all the likely contenders for the Republican nomination. The ‘evolution question’ deserves a prominent place in the list of questions put to candidates in interviews and public debates during the course of the coming election.

Bryan Fischer  of The American Family Association claims that defeating Darwinism is so easy a caveman could do it. Fischer then proceeded to write a number of scientific fallacies so dumb that only a caveman should fall for what he writes. I would debunk his claims, but this has already been done by several others, including PZ Myers and Charles Johnson.

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4 Comments

  1. 1
    Jacki Wunderlin says:

    Responses To The Anti-Science Right On Evolution #p2 #p21 #topprog http://t.co/L1CBo1A

  2. 2
    Adam Petrovsky says:

    Responses To The Anti-Science Right On Evolution Liberal Values http://t.co/Cjf1oYy

  3. 3
    John Sonntag says:

    RT @ronchusid: Responses To The Anti-Science Right On Evolution #p2 #p21 #topprog http://t.co/elzz0Kv Evolution a fact–get over it.

  4. 4
    Captin Sarcastic says:

    Democrats are politically inept, not so much for a lack of competence, but because Democrats are really more of a coalition of self interests that are along the ideological line. Democrats are differ from Republicans, who hide their self interests and focus on a narrow list of talking points, small government, low taxes for the rich, meshing of church (one particular church) and state, less regulations. There is a theme and an over-riding ideological argument that ties most Democrats together, but instead of making the broad populist arguments, they seem intent on fighting skirmishes as they lose the war.
    I think Democrats would do well to listen to Republicans, who yearn for a better time, like perhaps the 1950’s. Except for giving them institutional racism again and the House Committee on unAmerican Acitivities, we should point out the policies of this simpler time they yearn for, and then give it to them.
    The over-riding theme of Demcorats should be variatons on the theme that America does better when America’s workers are doing better, and as anyone can see from the last 30 years of supply side economics, trickle up worked a lot better than trickle down.

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