Friday, August 05, 2005

Really, the "scientific" righties didn't expect this?

Paul Krugman draws the obvious line from supply side economics, to global warming to "intelligent" "design." (He left out the propaganda of the Iraq fiasco and the phony "ties" of Saddam Huessein to al Qaeda , but it's in the same box...)

Back in 1978 Mr. Kristol urged corporations to make "philanthropic contributions to scholars and institutions who are likely to advocate preservation of a strong private sector." That was delicately worded, but the clear implication was that corporations that didn't like the results of academic research, however valid, should support people willing to say something more to their liking.

Mr. Kristol led by example, using The Public Interest to promote supply-side economics, a doctrine whose central claim - that tax cuts have such miraculous positive effects on the economy that they pay for themselves - has never been backed by evidence. He would later concede, or perhaps boast, that he had a "cavalier attitude toward the budget deficit."

"Political effectiveness was the priority," he wrote in 1995, "not the accounting deficiencies of government."...

Some of America's most powerful politicians have a deep hatred for Darwinism. Tom DeLay, the House majority leader, blamed the theory of evolution for the Columbine school shootings. But sheer political power hasn't been enough to get creationism into the school curriculum. The theory of evolution has overwhelming scientific support, and the country isn't ready - yet - to teach religious doctrine in public schools.

But what if creationists do to evolutionary theory what corporate interests did to global warming: create a widespread impression that the scientific consensus has shaky foundations?

Creationists failed when they pretended to be engaged in science, not religious indoctrination: "creation science" was too crude to fool anyone. But intelligent design, which spreads doubt about evolution without being too overtly religious, may succeed where creation science failed.

The important thing to remember is that like supply-side economics or global-warming skepticism, intelligent design doesn't have to attract significant support from actual researchers to be effective. All it has to do is create confusion, to make it seem as if there really is a controversy about the validity of evolutionary theory.

Now the second sentence of the above is often why people don't like Krugman, but he has a point here: these people all didn't care to keep an open mind and see where the facts, observations, and experiments would lead them. So it's kind of amusing that the "scientific righties" (see here and here for examples) are shocked, shocked that George W. Bush, to pander to the theocratic wing of his party, would actually speak in favor of "intelligent" "design."

Look, they've been slinging delusional horse feces for years because political effectiveness was the priority.

Why do they think Bush would quit if he's goring hard sciences, when he's already gored economics, social sciences, and military science?

Spare us the outrage. As one of Balloon Juice's commenters says, "Hey, you invited these idiots to the party. Too bad we all gotta dance with them."

Yeah, yeah, yeah, there's crackpots in the Democratic party, too. But they don't have a scintilla of juice in the current climate.


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