Friday, June 28, 2013

OK, science deniers - put up or shut up

A note to the right-wingers who deny the truth of evolution and climate change:  if you're going to question the validity of basic science, you can't limit yourself to only those two things.

After all, if all of that is “lies from the pits of hell,” as Congressman Paul Broun of Georgia said, then so is the Second Law of Thermodynamics.  And Newton’s Laws of Motion.  Because they all come from the same source:  the scientific method.  The willingness to observe the world around you with humility and attempt to understand or explain it using methods that are both empirical and repeatable.

Over the centuries, that approach to…well, existence has brought us some pretty great things.  Navigation.  Electricity.  Vaccines.  And things you guys like, too.  Internal combustion engines.  Air conditioning.  Nukes.  Internet porn.   Oxy-Contin.   All courtesy of science. 

Polio killed or crippled millions – before scientists did something called “experimentation” and eventually found a vaccine that has virtually wiped the virus from the planet. 

As many as 8,000 lives were lost in the Galveston Hurricane of 1900.  Because until scientists figured out how to put cameras into orbit, pretty much every hurricane was as big a surprise as Katrina was to George W. Bush.  Or as Bill Clinton was to discover Monica Lewinsky wasn’t keeping up on the dry cleaning.

While we’re at it, denying mathematics isn’t helping you guys much, either.  Nate Silver – whose goal was to take bias out of polling, to be as scientific and rational as possible in his predictions – called the Presidency and all 33 Senate races in 2012 with 100% accuracy.  This is before the election.  Meanwhile, Karl Rove was so out of touch with reality that he made Fox’s Megyn Kelly get up and go down the hall and mega-super-extra-doublecheck the numbers - because after all, everyone had prayed. so. hard!  And this is after the polls had closed.

So here’s the deal.  If you can’t accept the fact that higher concentrations of CO2 in our atmosphere is changing our climate, then you also don’t get to use any of the boner pills brought to us by chemistry.

If you want to believe the world was created in six 24-hour days and humans and dinosaurs walked the earth together, then you have to start walking.  Everywhere.  After all, today’s cars have more computing power than all of NASA used to get us to the moon and safely home again.  Which reminds me, no Teflon-coated pans, either.  Those tools of Satan in NASA’s materials engineering group came up with that one.  

And don’t think you can weasel out of this by buying a bicycle, since without vulcanization, it wouldn’t have tires.  For that matter, without metallurgy, it wouldn’t have a frame.

So all the wonderful stuff we get from chemistry and physics and biology – all that’s off-limits.  No cell phones, no iPads, no TV, no photography.  No GPS.  No anitbiotics, no alternating current, no Gulfstream IVs.  No IVs, period.  No Advil.  No Aleve.  No Lipitor, Nexium or Flomax. 

One exception – vaccines.  Those we’ll let you have.  After all, we have to think of the children.  Our children.

So feel free, deny science all you want.  But when you want something to cure your cancer, fly you to Branson or watch Fox News on – try praying for it.  

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