Anti-reason forces unite

ANTI-REASON FORCES UNITE…. Science, reason, and evidence point to the accuracy of evolutionary biology. Science, reason, and evidence point to the accuracy of climate change. In both instances, a few too many conservatives nevertheless find it politically and/or ideologically convenient to ignore both.

In general, though, the far-right groups are not identical. Evolution deniers tend to be religious right-style activists, who believe in a political conservatism based on Biblical literalism and their twisted sense of “family values.” Global warming deniers are often found in the libertarian and lobbyist/corporatist wings of conservatism.

But it’s worth paying attention to the fact that the anti-science, anti-evidence factions are finding common cause.

Critics of the teaching of evolution in the nation’s classrooms are gaining ground in some states by linking the issue to global warming, arguing that dissenting views on both scientific subjects should be taught in public schools. […]

The linkage of evolution and global warming is partly a legal strategy: courts have found that singling out evolution for criticism in public schools is a violation of the separation of church and state. By insisting that global warming also be debated, deniers of evolution can argue that they are simply championing academic freedom in general.

Yet they are also capitalizing on rising public resistance in some quarters to accepting the science of global warming, particularly among political conservatives who oppose efforts to rein in emissions of greenhouse gases.

Legislation reflecting these combined efforts is already pending in state legislatures in places like Kentucky and Oklahoma, with more on the way.

Lawrence M. Krauss, a physicist who directs the Origins Initiative at Arizona State University and has spoken against efforts to water down the teaching of evolution to school boards in Texas and Ohio, described the move toward climate-change skepticism as a predictable offshoot of creationism.

“Wherever there is a battle over evolution now,” he said, “there is a secondary battle to diminish other hot-button issues like Big Bang and, increasingly, climate change. It is all about casting doubt on the veracity of science — to say it is just one view of the world, just another story, no better or more valid than fundamentalism.”

America’s competitive future is dependent, at least in part, in these folks losing.