Back in August 2011, presidential candidate Jon Huntsman told ABC News on “This Week”:
“The minute that the Republican Party becomes the anti-science party, we have a huge problem.”
Huntsman, we have a problem (and it’s pretty huge). There were many anti-science statements made by the GOP this year, but we were able to narrow them into the following countdown of Addicting Info’s Top 2012 Anti-Science Statements by Republicans:
10. Senate candidate for Indiana, Tea Party-supported Republican Richard Mourdock, gets the number-10 spot, not for his flub that conception from rape is God’s will, but rather his stance on climate change in statements he made during a May 2012 Americans for Limited Government (ALG) conference call, as reported by The American Spectator:
“We are basing our energy policy on the greatest hoax of all time, which is that mankind is changing the climate.”
So which do you think came first – Mourdock’s disbelief in man-made climate change, or the fossil fuel industry’s financial support of his campaign?
9. Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum, as reported by CBS News, told an Ohio audience during a February campaign stop:
“When it comes to the management of the Earth, [Democrats] are the anti-science ones. We are the ones who stand for science, and technology, and using the resources we have to be able to make sure that we have a quality of life in this country and maintain a good and stable environment.”
Ah, I see what Rick did here. It’s the old, ‘I’m rubber, you’re glue” game of taking your own flaw and trying to paint your opponents with it, similar to the ‘Democrats are waging a war on women’ argument. (Rick should know that, according to a Pew Research Center Poll, only 6% of scientists identified themselves as Republicans, while over half identified as Democrat. In other words, scientists are 11 times more likely to identify as Democrat than as Republican.)
8. In March, Rick Santorum later went on to say at a Consumer Energy Alliance-sponsored Gulf Coast Energy Summit:
“The science [of man-made climate change] is bogus. … [T]his isn’t climate science, this is political science. The dangers of carbon dioxide – tell that to a plant how dangerous carbon dioxide is.”
So many jokes, so little time (e.g., Rick should try this discussion with his houseplants in his garage with his car running). Suffice it to say, Santorum’s remarkable ignorance on the subject of the earth’s carbon cycle is fairly frightening, if not outright dangerous. See video of Santorum’s carbon dioxide statement here.
7. Former Mass. Governor and Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, at the 2012 Republican National Convention, told the rabid conservative audience:
“President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans [pause for crowd laughter] and to heal the planet [more crowd laughter] – My promise is to help you and your family.”
Unfortunately for Romney, these statements were made mere weeks before the northeast devastation of Hurricane Sandy, which many are blaming – at least in part – on man-made climate change. Romney was once a believer in global warming, but pressures from his party have inspired one of his famous flip-flops on the issue. See video of Romney’s RNC statement here.
6. Former child actor, born-again Christian, and social conservative televangelist, Kirk Cameron, told Piers Morgan that:
“I think that [homosexuality] is unnatural. I think that it’s detrimental and ultimately destructive to so many of the foundations of civilization.”
While there are a host of studies pointing to the biological nature of homosexuality, anti-gay conservatives such as Cameron continue to maintain that being gay is a choice, perhaps because it’s harder to condemn someone for how they were made, particularly when it’s believed that the One who made them also demands their condemnation. See Cameron’s full debate with Piers here.
ON REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH
5. Georgia Representative, Terry England, back in March on the house floor, discussed the GA House Bill 954, which would ban all abortions after 20 weeks even if the pregnant woman learned her fetus was not viable or would live for only hours after delivery:
“I’ve had the experience of delivering calves, dead and alive, delivering pigs, dead and alive. And I want to tell you – all of us that have done that – it breaks our hearts to see those animals not make it. It’s not our job to play God and abort children.”
I guess it was England’s theory that if it was good enough for farm animals to have to carry their dead babies to full term, it was good enough for women. (See video of England’s House speech here.)
4. Republican Senator Todd Akin (MO), who serves on the House Science Committee, committed the following politically suicidal statement during an August taping of “The Jaco Report” on FOX 2:
“From what I understand from doctors [pregnancy through rape] is really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
I repeat, Akin serves on the House Science Committee. There was so much wrong with this statement, from “legitimate rape” to “shut that whole thing down,” one hardly knows where to begin. And it should be noted that, even though Akin vehemently apologized for the statement (to no political avail), right-wing radio host and American Family Association spokesman, Bryan Fischer, doubled down on the galactically ridiculous proclamation, saying on his show: “
Under [‘real genuine rape’], the woman’s body – because of the trauma that has been inflicted on her – it may interfere with the normal function processes of her body that lead to conception and pregnancy.”
3. The 2012 Republican Party of Texas Platform could have gotten half of the anti-science statement awards, but the following two are our favorite gems:
“We oppose any sex education other than abstinence until marriage.”
Okay, first off, banning any evidence-based education is always a bad, bad thing, particularly when it’s the type of education that is beneficial to the student, even if said education happens to make the parents of that student blush a bit. Secondly, there are a multitude of studies and statistics showing how completely and utterly ineffective abstinence-only education is in preventing teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Studies and statistics, however, seem not to be important to a party that decries science.
2. The 2012 Republican Party of Texas Platform held lots of other juicy nuggets, but our very favorite was:
“We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.”
According to Talking Points Memo (TPM), when asked about the statement, the Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas claimed the “critical thinking skills” language in the platform was there by mistake and can’t be corrected until the next state convention in 2014. But even without the “critical thinking skills” segment, the statement remains troubling: why would any party want to prohibit a child from learning “higher order thinking skills?” And why should the avoidance of “challenging the student’s fixed beliefs/undermining parental authority” serve as any basis for what our educational system provides? (How could an educational system even know what would and would not undermine a parent’s authority over a student’s fixed beliefs?) If the Republican Party of Texas is looking to raise their students’ below-average science scores, they may want to reconsider that platform.
And finally, the coup de grâce, (which Filthy Liberal Scum Justin Rosario himself covered earlier here), and which best sums up how the Republican Party is perceived when it comes to science:
1. Republican House Rep. Paul Broun (GA), who serves on the House Science Committee, said in a speech at this past fall’s Liberty Baptist Church Sportsman’s Banquet:
“All this stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and the Big Bang Theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of Hell. And it’s lies to try to keep me and all the folks who were taught that from understanding that they need a savior. You see, there are (sic) a lot of scientific data that I found out as a scientist, that actually show that this is really a young earth….”
Like Akin, Broun also serves on the House Science Committee. While he describes himself as a scientist, what he probably meant to say was ‘general practitioner who made house calls.’ Broun goes on to voice his support of young earth creationism, and it was because of this that, even though he ran unopposed in his bid for reelection this past November, he still had about 4,000 write-in votes cast against him – with the name “Darwin” written in. See the video of Broun’s speech here.
If 2012 has taught us anything about the Republican war on science, it is that it’s costing the party more than it has to give. Republicans should take heed of the words of conservative TV televangelist Pat Robertson, when he said on the 700 Club this past November:
“If you fight science, you’re going to lose your children, and I believe in telling it the way it was.”