Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Age of Ignorance

by Pa Rock
Citizen Journalist

A group of evangelical Christians are at work in Texas trying to browbeat the Texas Board of Education into not approving use of a particular biology textbook in Texas schools.  A voluntary (and unnamed) reviewer has concluded that the text contains errors that need to be corrected by the publisher.  Those errors, not surprisingly, are references to evolution indicating that it is based on legitimate science.    The complainants would rather their children, and everybody else’s children, be taught the creation story from the Bible.

The Pew Research Center released the results of a new survey this week which reflected America’s thinking on evolution, and, not surprisingly, the findings fell along party lines – and it showed that the divide is increasing dramatically. 

In 2009 54% of Republicans and 64% of Democrats committed to the idea that humans have evolved over millions of years as a species here on earth.  When the same question was recently posed by Pew in 2013, the Democratic percentage had increased to 67% and the Republican percentage of those believing in the theory of evolution had dropped eleven points to just 43 percent.    (Texas Republicans, one must assume, would come in even lower.)

The Pew Center was at a loss to explain the precipitous drop other than to suggest some of the better educated Republicans may have shuffled over to the “independent” category.

Republicans are clearly expressing some discomfort with the notion of science.  Another barometer gauging the GOP’s trust (or lack thereof) in science is climate change and global warming.  That may be a bit more understandable because talks on ways to curb global warming invariably lead to discussions of limiting greenhouse gases – a process that would most certainly place some curbs on transportation and manufacturing.   Republicans are quick to defend their base – big corporations – and the titans of business repay that kindness with cold, hard cash.

Recent data from the Pew Center puts the number of Americans who believe the earth is getting warmer at 67 percent.    In 2009 35% of Republicans, 53 percent of independents, and 75% of Democrats said there is solid evidence that the earth’s temperatures are rising.  The 2013 findings on the same question show increases in all three groups – even Republicans.  Those figures are 50% for Republicans, 62% for independents, and 88% for Democrats. 

But here is the kicker:  The Tea-Bagger Republicans, the ones who turn out in droves for the primaries and choose their party’s candidates for the general elections – 41% of those folks parrot Rush Limbaugh and say that global warming is just not happening, and another 28% say that not enough is known yet.

The Republican Party’s seeming rejection of science as its members who should know better pander to the likes of Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, and the phony hillbillies of Duck Dynasty, only helps to seal its doom.  The Grand Old Party will surely march into the abyss of insignificance while holding high its banner of ignorance.

1 comment:

Xobekim said...

Pure irony! By steadfastly clinging to a Dark Ages model explaining humanity from a historic perspective, today's modern Republican is trending towards becoming the intellectual equivalent of Neanderthal Man.

Sure, DNA analysis can find the links to the Neanderthal among us. We don't see this creature anymore. Likewise, future historians, political scientists, and sociologists will be able to point students to the footnotes explaining the rise, prevalence, and demise of the Grand Old Party. Their steadfast clinging to the Dark Age models on a vast array of topics hastens their exit as a political party.

Adieu GOP.