In “Are Scientists Becoming the New Priests?”,(Townhall, September 7, 2011), Debra J. Saunders offers,
“I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy,” GOP presidential hopeful and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman recently tweeted.
Well, no one is calling him crazy, but, as Saunders goes on to observe,
Huntsman’s reverential tone, however, suggests that university science departments are havens of harmony, with scientists as priestlike figures to whose greater wisdom the public should defer.
In reality, scientists can be cranks peddling bunkum, political animals, or villains. Or luminaries. One must judge each case on its apparent merits.
With scientists on this pedestal, who needs religion? It’s worth noting that among the Obama ticket and GOP field, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Rep. Ron Paul probably have the strongest science backgrounds. Perry — a farmer, rancher and former Air Force pilot — has a degree in animal science from Texas A&M University. Paul was an Air Force flight surgeon and then a practicing physician until 1996.
And that is a very common pattern. The “pro-science” flack tries to make out that all who doubt popular science preachings are ignorant. Many know them all too well, and see why they can’t work.
Both Perry and Paul are global warming skeptics. Paul rejects evolution outright, whereas Perry calls evolution “a theory.”
Huntsman majored in international politics. Hence, he’s made his decision to “trust scientists on global warming.”
Yes, that too is a pattern. TV’s hair models and makeup demos know that Darwin is right and the Big Bazooms theory of evolution is true, true, true, without knowing a thing about either. In their world, sincerity stands in for correctness.
Today’s world increasingly requires us to choose between accredited knowledge and actual knowledge – between the big-paper editorial and observed facts.
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