Scientists have no need to be concerned about the 2010 mid-term elections
    By Hank Campbell | November 3rd 2010 07:04 PM | 2 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    So Christine O'Donnell lost her election race in Delaware by a ridiculous landslide margin - anyone worried that she could somehow get elected and institute forced witchcraft zones in schools can rest easy.   No Republican took her seriously, in Delaware or anywhere else - that's why she lost so badly.  Sure, MSNBC played her up but it's what they do.

    Likewise, Sam Brownback in Kansas is no friend to biology but the governor's office is a lot safer place for him than a local school board, where he could actually do some damage.

    In Colorado, Proposition 62, the so-called personhood amendment, would have defined a ‘person’ as beginning at conception and never had any chance of success.  As predicted, it failed easily.

    What do they have in common?  They're all Republicans or supposedly Republican positions and they're listed as evidence of Republicans being anti-science to some progressive kook at New Scientist.  To a large segment of academia, being Republican is the automatic kiss of death, though that is based on voter registration rather than evidence.   "Kiss of death" status applies for the bulk of California voters too, of course, since the state elected an old white guy career politician whose campaign referred to his pro-life, female, CEO opponent as a 'whore' and then NOW endorsed him the next day for it.  Difference - the old white guy is a Democrat.

    Some in science media are still trying to make a story of the tired 'Republicans hate science' rubbish.  New Scientist, which will seemingly publish anything, regards the victory of MarioMarco Rubio, who favors offshore drilling, as a science loss - what drilling has to do with science or science funding is lost on me, but we actually know what science is here.  Sharron Angle, defeated in Nevada, doesn't agree with everything regarding global warming so she must be anti-science across the board.    Well, Barack Obama said in 2008 that vaccines may be the cause of Autism so that makes him anti-science too, right?

    Seriously, reading New Scientist is like reading Scienceblogs without the Pepsi ads.

    They also regard the defeat of Proposition 23, which would have ended artificial support for supposed 'green' technology until the state was not bleeding tens of billions of dollars, as California having a 'conscience'.   They haven't read the goofy law that the proposition wanted to suspend but, even if they had, they would have voted against it - that law has zero to do with science.   

    Finally, the anti-nuclear agenda of the editorialist over there was made evident by his ridiculous assertion that the new Missouri senator, Republican Roy Blunt, "could help tip the Senate towards backing development of a new generation of nuclear weapons."    Being anti-nuclear is the very height of being anti-science so if Democrats are against nuclear power, when banning nuclear power is what led to increased greenhouse gases, they are both anti-science and helping to cause global warming.   One guy is going to start a nuclear arms race?   

    And this was not a blog or something clearly labeled as partisan silliness, this rubbish was printed in an actual article over there.  At least we are kind enough to make hysterical ninnies (like me, in this blog) write them as blogs rather than looking like serious journalism that represents their publication.

    Then again, the people behind "Darwin Was Wrong" likely have a readership that goes for hype over substance so I shouldn't be alarmed.   Basically, I'd rather listen to Christine O'Donnell babble about witchcraft than New Scientist pontificate on their progressive notions of science.

    Not everyone buys the 'Republicans are anti-science' marketing campaign.  Dr. Neil Degrasse Tyson punctures it as well.  Where it counts, Republicans are far more pro-science than Democrats.  Republicans just stink at framing and, to be honest, with only 6% of them in academia, it's better for them to keep their heads low and not object to being caricatured by political progressives masquerading as science writers.

    "Funding for Science under Republican administrations has been historically higher than under Democrats." - Neil Degrasse Tyson.  And he's right - not by a little, by a lot.


    Rubio's name is "Marco" and he believes humans and dinosaurs walked the earth together 6,000 years ago. He wants US scientists to not conduct research using human embryonic stem cells, so other countries can create the intellectual property instead. Marco Rubio may not be "anti-science" but what this country needs now more than ever is a powerful, effective "pro-science" cheerleader.

    Which other countries allow unrestricted hESC research?   I think it is a policy issue rather than a science one and Obama and the entire Democratic Congress renewed the same restrictions Bush had with a minor variation - and today, one elected official or 60 does not make the difference.    I don't know everything about Sen.-elect Rubio, being that he is in Florida and here in California instead of a right wing kook we re-elected a leftwing kook (and apologies for his name misspelling - amongst the train wreck that is that New Scientist piece, they got his name wrong also and I repeated it, failing to account for the fact that the writer there got everything else wrong so the name of the candidate being incorrect is no shock) ... 

    ... but I found no evidence that Rubio is a young Earth creationist, though I grant that my search engine skills are not comprehensive.   If you are lumping all religious people as young earth creationists, then 100% of Democrats also fit the bill.   Not a single elected official in Washington publicly denies being religious.

    Congress has plenty of pro-science cheerleaders, on both sides of the political aisle.  For every instance where people can cite a Republican being "anti-science" I can cite a Democrat who votes the exact same way.   Anti-science and pro-science goes for presidents too.  The only distinction is which science a president may prefer.   Under Bush the NIH budget doubled but hESC research was restricted to existing lines - he still put far more money into life sciences than Clinton yet because of one issue some people disregard him as anti-science.    That's typical politics but bad logic.