It is no big mystery what the conservatives and Republican Party are doing in their war against science. The comments of people like Todd Akin, about his concept of “legitimate rape” show a complete and utter disregard for science and fact. Then there is Paul Brown, who says that the Theory of Evolution, embryology and the Big Bang Theory are all lies, straight from Satan. Both of these people are members of the House Science Committee, helping this country decide what the future of its scientific programs will be. These people are scientifically illiterate. Republicans have been making war on stem cell research, birth control and even admitting that there is such a thing as global warming. We are all well-aware of how much the political-right of this country, in its most extreme, hates science, and scientific knowledge. Not hard to see why.
However, there is something that America is not so familiar with – the political-left and its war on science. I know, it doesn’t seem right. After all, the left is the first to talk about the issue of global warming, and its potential effects on the environment. They are the first to talk about alternative energy. The progressive and liberal communities seem to be the first to jump on the bandwagon of improving science in this country. However, such is not the case.
Think about this – the liberal community at large has almost come out universally against nuclear power, citing the waste disposal issues, and using the incident at the Fukushima plant as their go-to source to why nuclear power is wrong. They seem to forget the Japanese government’s report where they came out very openly and admitted their own mistakes in how the plant was run. It was almost refreshing to me to see a document that open about the failures of government. Mistakes were made, and things could have been better. However, at the same time, discarding the idea of nuclear power, just because of what could go wrong is fool-hardy. Nuclear power gets continually more efficient, and with development, who knows what is possible. Looking at more productive uses of fossil fuels is discarded simply because of global warming. Of course, looking into alternative energy should be a priority, but to disregard being able to use fossil fuels better, since we are still dependent on them as a species, is ridiculous.
The liberal community has never been too fond of hydro-electric power, stating that it does damage to river ecosystems. They come out against wind power because the wind turbines kill birds. In fact, if you look at the liberal community and its attitude about science, it is that everything having to with nature is good, and anything that isn’t nature is bad. It sounds good on paper, but the reality is that if you look at the environmental views of the liberal community at large, it seems to almost mirror a religion in its own right.
A big talking point from a lot of liberals I have been tight with is that genetically modified food is bad. I still remember that whole “Franken-food” debacle, when there was the introduction of engineered plants and animals designed to grow faster and feed more people. There is a huge liberal movement that is in favor of completely getting rid of all genetically modified food, and instead having all “organic” food, though recent cases like those against Nature Valley even leave the idea of what is truly organic up in the air.
Part of me wonders if my fellow liberals have forgotten that mankind has been genetically engineering its own food and animals since we have begun developing as a species. Example – the banana. The fruit that Ray Comfort got so famous(ly lambasted) for saying it was “the atheist’s nightmare.” He cited how it was so perfectly suited to be handled by people. Nobody in his office it seems ever took the time to tell him that the reason it was so perfectly made for people was because it was made by people, to some extent. We engineered the fruit’s growth, making it better for human beings to work with. For over 10,000 years of humanity’s existence on this planet, we have been engineering food to grow faster, better and more. There are over 7 billion people on this planet. And the reality is that there is starvation on this planet. Ironically, more people are dying of obesity than starvation now, but the fact remains that it still exists. If we went completely to organic food, we would, in effect, be condemning over 3 billion people to death, and we would still be ignoring history. The only difference between what we do now, and what we did then is that once upon a time, we engineered food and animals through breeding and selection. Now, we do it with genetic engineering. But it is still the same.
I do what I can to avoid being a part of any group. If I had to say what my political views are, I would say that socially, I have more in common with libertarians than I do with liberals or conservatives. It isn’t the government’s job to tell you who to marry, or what you can and can’t own or put in your body. Economically, I am for the free market, except where the government is concerned. I am for the welfare state, because I have seen it work. It works wonders in Britain, who has the best health care system of any industrialized nation. I believe that the role of government is to provide for people what they cannot easily provide for themselves. So, I guess that I am of the left, in most regards.
That said, there is one thing that I hold to be above all others – science. Science is the single greatest thing that this country and this species has going for it. All of you who will argue about how perfect nature is, think about this – before modern medicine, diseases like the flu or pneumonia were death sentences to vast numbers of the population. Polio was disabling and brutalizing children across the world. Smallpox was a virus that we were able to exterminate, save where it is kept in secure laboratories, to be studied and used by those who keep us safe. Science has given us the internet. Science has given us the car. Science is the key to humanity’s future, and to deny it is a crime. That is my belief.
Thanks to science, this is the best time for our species to live. We can communicate to people across the planet instantaneously. The moment I click “Publish” on this post, it will immediately go out to all of you, to see and read if it meets your interests. Science has gotten us to the moon. Science could potentially get us to Mars, and beyond. Though I didn’t hear many Democrats clamoring to continue to fund NASA. No, NASA’s budget was slashed to ribbons.
Science is the greatest tool that humanity has. It is the key to our evolution as a species. And to deny it, it is guaranteeing that we are going to fail as a species. We, as a species need to embrace science completely. Otherwise, well, I think I’ll let somebody else say it…
Until next time, a quote,
“And even if you’re not a scientist, or a technologist, you will value that activity. And that, in the 21st century, are the foundations of tomorrow’s economy. And without it, we might as well just slide back into the cave. Cause that’s where we’re headed, right now, broke.” -Neil deGrasse Tyson, How much would you pay for the universe? (Neil deGrasse Tyson)