Culture Darwinism News

You can tell an American election cycle is gearing up when …

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… Republican politicians are asked where they stand on “evolution.”

Why should anyone care where a politician stands on “evolution”?

I mean, assuming we don’t tremble before the a-crockalypses that  the Darwin-in-the-schools lobby predicts, if everyone doesn’t toe their line.

Anyway, toe-in-the-water candidate, Wisconsin’s Scott Walker, set a new standard for sensibleness by just refusing to answer.

Commentator Jonah Goldberg:

At an event in London on trade policy, Scott Walker was asked about evolution. “It’s almost a tradition now,” the moderator said, to ask “senior Republicans” if they are “comfortable with the idea of evolution.”

“I’m going to punt on that one as well,” the Wisconsin governor replied. “That’s a question a politician shouldn’t be involved in one way or another.”

It wasn’t a great answer, though there have been worse ones.

I (O’Leary for News) think it is a good answer.

And high time politicians started talking back to the dim, lazy chatterati who make up the dying mainstream media today.

If it is important what Governor Walker thinks about evolution, why isn’t it important what he thinks about the Big Bang or the Big Crunch? Or the thesis that gravity is created by gravitons? Or whether zero can be considered an even number? Or which is the currently soundest theory on the origin of life?

Here’s Goldberg’s take:

That’s because the evolution question really isn’t about evolution at all. On the surface, it’s about the culture war. To borrow a phrase from the campus left, Darwinism is used to “otherize” certain people of traditional faith — and the politicians who want their vote. Many of the same people who bleat with fear over the dangers of genetically modified food, fracking, vaccines or nuclear power and coo with childlike awe over the benefits of non-traditional medicines will nonetheless tell you they are for “science” when in fact they are simply against a certain kind of Christian having any say about anything.

As my National Review colleague Kevin Williamson notes, “Everybody wants to know what Scott Walker and Sarah Palin think about evolution, but almost nobody is asking what Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama think about homeopathy, acupuncture, aromatherapy and the like.” Even though such remedies have been given elevated legitimacy under the Affordable Care Act.

Along those lines, an enterprising writer devoted an article to the whole foods cult: Journalist wonders, why Creation Museum inspires rage, whole foods scams don’t (sky fell last night too, by the way):

It feels odd. There is now one other hack on the planet (at Daily Beast) who asks questions like this:

If you want to write about spiritually-motivated pseudoscience in America, you head to the Creation Museum in Kentucky. It’s like a Law of Journalism. The museum has inspired hundreds of book chapters and articles (some of them, admittedly, mine) since it opened up in 2007. The place is like media magnet. And our nation’s liberal, coastal journalists are so many piles of iron fillings.

But you don’t have to schlep all the way to Kentucky in order to visit America’s greatest shrine to pseudoscience. In fact, that shrine is a 15-minute trip away from most American urbanites.

(Update: My goodness, 441 comments as of 11:28 am EST. So far as I got, reading, Whole Foods is a conservative plot. … [Fetch the IRS?] )

I’m talking, of course, about Whole Foods Market. From the probiotics aisle to the vaguely ridiculous Organic Integrity outreach effort (more on that later), Whole Foods has all the ingredients necessary to give Richard Dawkins nightmares. And if you want a sense of how weird, and how fraught, the relationship between science, politics, and commerce is in our modern world, then there’s really no better place to go. Because anti-science isn’t just a religious, conservative phenomenon—and the way in which it crosses cultural lines can tell us a lot about why places like the Creation Museum inspire so much rage, while places like Whole Foods don’t.

Michael Shulson’s definitely worth a read, though he doesn’t seem to see that there is no True Centre of science. On the contrary, there are many questions that few ask because they are afraid of the financial, career, or philosophical consequences of trafficking in evidence that does not support the establishment view on a given question. And the “rage vs. stage” phenomenon Shulson notes is known elsewhere as corrupt journalism. But we all knew that. More.

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