Class Warfare Blog

December 19, 2012

A Long, Long Line

There has been a long, long line of people standing in the path of knowledge and understanding, with a hand up yelling “Stop!” One doesn’t have to try too hard to come up with examples: the Catholic Church’s “Index Librorum Prohibitorum,” a list of books that Catholics were not allowed to read and which has included numerous scientific books (although they never saw fit to ban “Mein Kampf”), the trial of Galileo in which he had to recant what his lying eyes told him, Leonardo da Vinci skulking around in graveyards at night to find corpses to dissect to inform his art because the church had banned that knowledge, smallpox vaccinations being opposed by many divines as obstructions to the will of their god, Copernicus’s book stop being banned, and so forth.

And the long line hasn’t ended. The latest efforts involve Republicans who don’t like the overwhelming evidence of global atmospheric warming to the extent that a new law in North Carolina bans the state from basing coastal policies on the latest scientific predictions of how much the sea level will rise. One recalls the story of the Cnut, tenth century king of Denmark, England, Norway and parts of Sweden, who set his throne by the sea shore and commanded the tide to halt and not wet his feet and robes. I suspect the Republicans of North Carolina will be no more successful than was poor Cnut.

Republicans also do not like The Theory of Evolution, so in the red, red states, state support for teaching creationism, oops—I mean Intelligent Design, is growing. There will be jobs in those states for their children, I am sure, just not any requiring factual knowledge that conflicts with revealed truth. (Repeat after me: “Do you want fries with that?)

There is a reason we all teach our children to “look both ways before crossing the street;” it is dangerous to stand in the middle of the road when you have no real business there. What has happened to the church’s opposition to fact? The Catholic Church opposed the idea that the earth revolves around the Sun. When you tell kids today that that happened, they respond “Really?” in disbelief. In every effort to impede the flow of knowledge and science, the religious have lost and in so doing have lost credibility and credibility is hard to regain. When you are in the business of telling people what to believe, basically telling people what is true, and you are found to be wrong, I don’t think a simple “Never mind!” will do. (I still miss Gilda Radner.)

Currently the Catholic Church claims that there is no conflict between the Church and science. Possibly the Republicans could learn this lesson, too, but I doubt it. They can’t hear any factual arguments over the really loud song lyrics playing in their heads . . . “Give me that old time religion, give me that . . . ”

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1 Comment »

  1. Republicans, or should i say teapublicans, do appear to have serious troubles in distinguishing between “weather” and “climate.” As for their denial of evolution… well, that’s just batshit crazy!

    Comment by john zande — December 20, 2012 @ 10:22 am | Reply


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