It seems as if there are wars on everything these days – women, religion, the rich, terror – though unfortunately not error. This sort of sociological war mongering comes from the Ignorati, a class of people who are firmly against anything that smacks of actual fact. Their willful ignorance manifests itself in a number of ways, large and small. They prefer to rely on “evidence” offered by anything from the Bible, to like-minded politicians, to fringe scientists and beyond.
Last week, Congressman Paul Broun (R-Lunatic, GA) pronounced evolution, embryology, and the Big Bang theory, “lies straight from the pit of hell”. It would be easy to dismiss him as a crazed crackhead. After all, there are a lot of them in Congress. But there are two things that make his ravings particularly scary – he sits on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology where he chairs the Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight. And, he holds a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of GA and medical degree from the Medical College of GA.
Broun is not alone in his goofy scientific beliefs. In fact, he’s not even alone on the committee. He serves with the infamous Todd Akin (R-Oh No MO) of legitimate rape fame. Akin also has real scientific bona fides. His father was a third generation Harvard man and Akin holds a B.S. in Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He sits on the Space and Aeronautics and Energy and Environment subcommittees. But a good education does not an intelligent, scientist make.
Akin, not content to stop his stunning display of ignorance that women’s bodies shut down during a “legitimate rape” and ability to be pregnant and not pregnant at the same time, labeled evolution a matter of faith and not science this week.
“I don’t see it as even a matter of science because I don’t know that you can prove one or the other,” he said. “That’s one of those things. We can talk about theology and all of those other things but I’m basically concerned about, you’ve got a choice between [Democratic Sen.] Claire McCaskill and myself.”
Armchair “scientists” like Broun and Akin like to criticize science like evolution as mere “theories”, and they are. That’s not so say there aren’t holes in them, there always are because science is, for want of a better term, evolutionary. The difference between real science and faux science like creationism is the number and size of the holes in the theory. Verifiable science has few of them and scientists are always pushing to close them as they learn more. Creationism, however, has holes big enough to drive several galaxies through…and the Ignorati try to close them by stuffing a Bible under the door to the laboratory. No questions or thinking allowed.
Broun and Akin are men of science, at least on paper, and hold exulted positions on a Congressional committee where science should matter (but apparently doesn’t). Still, it’s always good to brush up on your education. Perhaps they’d like to audit some science classes where they might not have been the top flight students they believe themselves to be. Herewith, Evolution and Creationism 101 – The Battle Between Science and the Ignorati.
- Chris Rodda: The Congressional Prayer Caucus and the House Science Committee — A Disturbing Combination (huffingtonpost.com)
- Bill Nye slams GOP Rep. on science committee: Creationism is ‘not in the national interest’ (rawstory.com)
- On Science Committee, Rep. Broun Calls Evolution ‘Lies From Pit Of Hell’ (atlanta.cbslocal.com)
- Congressman draws fire for calling evolution, Big Bang ‘lies from the pit of hell’ (religion.blogs.cnn.com)
- Religious Rants do not Mix with Science and Politics… (responsiveuniverse.wordpress.com)
- Akin: Evolution Is Not ‘a Matter of Science’ (crooksandliars.com)
- Profs respond to debate on evolution, creationism (todayonline.com)