God is not great, but Hitchins rocks
First we had McCain and his planetarium phobias. Then Palin dispensed with the whole of Drosophila-based biomedical research as a bunch of high-falootin’ hooey, in a speech decrying Federally-funded research on “fruit flies in Paris, France. I kid you not!” Perhaps Paris, Texas would have been more palatable to her walnut-sized brain.
In these and many more examples this election cycle, the GOP ticket has consistently scoffed at the very idea of science being useful for anything beyond the gleeful good work of inventing bombs. Apparently, to the GOP any science that cannot be explained to an 85-year old Sunday school teacher in five seconds is irrelevant to the work of God’s chosen nation… and might even be dangerously subversive. Such elite knowledge could breed independence of thought, perhaps even dissent. And dissent cannot be tolerated.
Christopher Hitchens’ recent Slate article on the GOP war on science is one of the best I’ve read on this issue. Hitchens makes his unflinching case, with the precision of a surgeon and the force of a butcher, that the Palinites of the GOP aren’t just ignorant of science, they’re pathologically terrified of it.
This is what the Republican Party has done to us this year: It has placed within reach of the Oval Office a woman who is a religious fanatic and a proud, boastful ignoramus. Those who despise science and learning are not anti-elitist. They are morally and intellectually slothful people who are secretly envious of the educated and the cultured. And those who prate of spiritual warfare and demons are not just “people of faith” but theocratic bullies. On Nov. 4, anyone who cares for the Constitution has a clear duty to repudiate this wickedness and stupidity.