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Science Denial is Bipartisan, But...

Robert Franklin

Posted on November 16, 2018 11:49

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TheLatest contributor Brett Davis made an incredibly valid point in his November 12, 2018 TLT -- conservatives are disproportionately accused of denying scientific method for ideological reasons. He's right, but his indictment of liberal hypocrisy does not tell the whole story.

Brett Davis made a great point earlier this week. A disproportionate amount of shade is thrown at conservatives when it comes to science denial. It's absolutely worth pointing out that while many liberals are quick to attack conservatives who deny the scientific community's dire warnings about climate change or who support their Christofascist cohorts working to include Creationism or intelligent design as part of public school curriculum, there is a fundamental failure of liberals to observe and call out their own cohorts for doing the same thing.

Speaking as a liberal, this is unacceptable. However, there are significant differences between the junk science embraced by liberals and the straight denial of scientific consensus by conservatives.

They're not restricted to just ideology, either.

Climate change is an apocalyptic existential threat, a harbinger of suffering that looms over nearly eight billion people and trillions of other species populations, ready to swallow them whole. It's a problem that has to be met with universal opposition. Everyone must contribute to combating it, not just those who actually take the time to read the studies and listen to the experts.

The United States' conservative bloc, however, is unconcerned with it, largely because if they were concerned with it, they would lose financial support from oil and natural gas companies who would rather see someone unconcerned with it in that Congressional seat.

Intelligent design is a poisonous idea to include in secular, taxpayer-funded education. "Teaching the controversy" exists to discredit evolution, a ploy to install fundamental Christian doctrine as a substitute for cold, hard facts. Evolution has been observed and scientifically justified several times over, and as our scientific methods become more advanced, our understanding of evolution becomes more firm.

The United States' conservative bloc, however, is in regular denial of evolution and supports the inclusion of intelligent design in public school curriculum, largely because if they didn't, they would likely lose financial and ballot support from Evangelicals who would rather see someone who denies evolution and supports the inclusion of intelligent design in that Congressional seat.

For many conservatives, science denial is currency. It is job security. It's not so much ideological as it is a means by which to ensure their masses stay massed and their pockets stay full. This is so much worse than freaking out about GMOs or believing in the healing effects of reiki therapy.

The nefariousness of conservative science denial does not let the liberals off the hook, however. Liberals absolutely need to get off the anti-vaccine, anti-GMO, and holistic medicine bandwagons. They also need to accept that maybe nuclear energy is something worth looking into and that the jury is still out in regard to how much of a threat fracking is to groundwater.

But even though Brett Davis made a valid point about liberal hypocrisy regarding the subscription to anti-science views, comparing the disproportionately liberal ones to the disproportionately conservative ones is like comparing apples and oranges. Genetically-modified ones, of course.

 

Robert Franklin

Posted on November 16, 2018 11:49

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Science denialism, clickbait headlines, and absurd pseudoscience: Our favorite science debunkings from 2017.

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