Santorum rejects anti-science label

Republican presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman caused a bit of a stir when he said the Republican Party would have a “huge problem” if it became the “anti-science” party. The comments were largely directed at Rick Perry, after he explained his opposition to climate science and modern biology.

Yesterday, Rick Santorum decided to weigh in on this at a campaign stop in South Carolina. He didn’t mention Huntsman by name, but he took a stand against Huntsman’s approach. (thanks to reader V.S.).

“We are going through this debate right now by somebody who’s in the Republican field talking about people who believe in certain scientific theories, whether it’s global warming or evolution. And somehow or another if you believe that we are creatures of a loving God, that that is somehow anti-science,” Santorum said. “It’s not anti-science. It’s an affirmation of what we view in the world. Which is, we see God.”

This isn’t much of an argument. First, one is capable of believing “we are creatures of a loving God” and also recognizing scientific consensus in areas like climate change and biology. To suggest the two are necessarily incompatible is foolish.

Second, I’m not sure if Santorum fully appreciates what science is. His larger point seems to boil down to: “We’re not anti-science; we’re just choosing to reject scientific evidence because it conflicts with our interpretation of the supernatural. What’s anti-science about that?”

I am, to a certain extent, delighted that appreciation for science has become a tangential issue in Republican presidential politics, at least for a little while, but I can’t help but notice the discussion isn’t going especially well in GOP circles.