A decade ago, gas was cheap, the American economy was booming and so was partisan rhetoric about a disconnect on science related to politics. One side was good, one was bad.

President George W. Bush, who had boosted NASA funding after declines in the Clinton years, had doubled the budget for the NIH, and funded human embryonic stem cells, was anti-science. And so was the entire Republican party, we were assured.

Ever since, it has been a recurring trope, especially every election season and part of the effort to manipulate the discourse was mastering "framing" - framing is a nicer word than 'spin', but when you frame a picture that is too big, you may just show them the important part.  It is the same with science and culture. You should just show people want you want them to see. So if President Bush funds biological research for the first time but limits federal money for it, it must be called a ban. If President Obama refuses to fund biological research it is not a ban, he simply does not fund it.

If you think that is okay, I know how you vote. 

Oh, and religion. The right wing has been dragging America down scientifically with all of that belief that the Earth was created 6 days ago since forever.  That we lead the world in science output with 5 percent of the population, in Nobel prizes (ditto), and in adult science literacy is painted over with claims the country is full of Bible-thumping evolution deniers.

Personally, I have never met a young Earth creationist. I know they are out there, but presumably none of them are dumb enough to say it to me. And neither have most of you. It turns out only 15 percent of us believe that geology is wrong. If 100 percent of them are it means 2X as many Democrats believe in astrology, ghosts, and probably Atlantis.

Obviously more people in religion but those who are using framing in their war on Republicans neglect to note the distinction between a Young Earth Creationist who denies evolution, and normal religion.  And if we are puncturing framing we would note that the distinction between Republicans and Democrats on that narrow issue is just 9 points. 

But failed political bloggers who went into science blogging instead don't want to be honest, they include all religious people and just say Creationist. They insist if you believe in a God you are a Creationist and therefore think the world was created last week or 6,000 years ago or whatever. Then they suggest America is littered with such intellectually immature people and they control the Republican party.

If so, there are big advantages to being both Republican and religious for scientists and doctors  - compare the vaccine uptake of religious Republican states like Mississippi and Alabama and atheist Democratic states like California, Washington, and Oregon.

The truth is, framing can be valuable but more often than not it is being weaponized by people who have an agenda other science being trusted guides for the public on science issues. It is instead people who want to wrap their beliefs in a flag of reason. And those kinds of people are the most unreasoned of all, because actual young earth creationists don't pretend to be anything else.