Liberal Disrespect of Science and Theological Gerrymandering

I often make fun of creationists, and most Republicans are creationists. But we liberals have our anti-science cranks too. I’ve often admitted this: think quack medicine, or:

There is more, and recent, antiscience fare from far-left progressives, documented in the 2012 book Science Left Behind (PublicAffairs) by science journalists Alex B. Berezow and Hank Campbell, who note that “if it is true that conservatives have declared a war on science, then progressives have declared Armageddon.” On energy issues, for example, the authors contend that progressive liberals tend to be antinuclear because of the waste-disposal problem, anti–fossil fuels because of global warming, antihydroelectric because dams disrupt river ecosystems, and anti–wind power because of avian fatalities. The underlying current is “everything natural is good” and “everything unnatural is bad.”

Whereas conservatives obsess over the purity and sanctity of sex, the left’s sacred values seem fixated on the environment, leading to an almost religious fervor over the purity and sanctity of air, water and especially food. Try having a conversation with a liberal progressive about GMOs—genetically modified organisms—in which the words “Monsanto” and “profit” are not dropped like syllogistic bombs.

Fact: evolution modifies genes; in fact, genetically modified crops are what is going to feed the world. Forget this “natural is always better” nonsense too; after all, when we were hunter-gathers, we didn’t enjoy a long lifespan. Natural things like campfires (and their resulting smoke) can be terrible for you.

Of course, Michael Shermer leaves out (and he can’t cover ALL aspects in an issue in a short column) that the crackpottery on the right is far more powerful and more organized than crackpottery on the left. After all, who can match, say, oil company money or big tobacco money? What institution on the left can match the evangelical right wing base?

And remember this: (these were mainstream PRESIDENTIAL candidates, not rank and file SFBs):

Religion Jerry Coyne blisters the “sophisticated theologians” who basically rationalize away the stuff that is too embarrassing to believe while making “arguments” to keep whatever they see as essential. This is called “theological gerrymandering”. In all honesty, I know some “theologians” who, well, rationalize away just about everything as metaphor; they are really just deists who worship what amounts to a word salad.

You might say that they worship a Bart Simpson god: “I can do that but I don’t wanna”.


January 18, 2013 - Posted by | politics, politics/social, religion, science, social/political | , ,

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