Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

September 27, 2013

LEFFLER: GOP denial of science is frightening

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Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — About 5,000 years ago there was a great Egyptian empire. They created some really cool things. They used pulleys and levers to create massive buildings and monuments. They used rope trusses to strengthen their ships. They made paper and pottery. Glassworks, medicine, and astronomical mapping were all commonplace. And some believe that they even had working batteries and electric lights. That was all thousands of years before the birth of Christ.

Other empires built on what the Egyptians did for a while. And then *poof* — suddenly technological advancement stopped. Hello, Dark Ages. Somewhere around the 5th Century A.D., people just stopped being smart. And then there was a point where being smart was absolutely frowned upon. Smart people were obviously heretics because God likes us stupid — or something.

Fortunately, we found our way. Art, architecture, and industry all advanced eventually and now we have computers and space ships and cures for all sorts of diseases. Knowledge is power. And it makes us better.

But alas, some out there think that knowledge is dangerous and technological advancement and scientific learning are something to be feared — or at least ignored. Those people, I have found — by and large — are mostly Republicans.

Yes, I’m picking on Republicans again this week. They just make it so easy.

I type in my Google search bar “Republicans deny” and the autocomplete gives me some very interesting options. The first five in order are:

• Republicans deny global warming

• Republicans deny science

• Republicans deny climate change

• Republicans deny funding for embassy security

• Republicans deny evolution

Trying the same thing with Democrats, nine of the first 10 options were either “God” or “Jesus Christ.” I’m not sure what that says about Democrats but at least they don’t deny science.

So my thought here is that if Republicans get their way, we’re headed back to the Dark Ages. We’ll be refusing technological advancements left and right while teaching our children the Bible in science class.

Personally, I am a man of faith. I believe that there is a God. I also believe in evolution. Not necessarily that we “came from apes,” as the anti-evolution crowd likes to say, but that we are not the same beings were were millions of years ago. Mind you, I think that “millions of years ago” existed and the world was not created a mere 6,000 years ago as some radicals would insist. And not only would they insist it, they would insist that my children be taught such drivel — in science class!

There’s nothing that says that you must choose between God and science. There’s room for both. But one is a matter of faith and the other is, well, science. One should be taught at home. And the other should be taught in school. Faith should be explored. While knowledge should be expanded.

What I want to know is how does “the Earth is flat party” keep getting elected? How dumb do you have to be to vote for someone who doesn’t believe that dinosaurs were real? Yes, I realize that not ALL Republicans deny science, but a Gallop poll from three years ago says that 52 percent of Republicans polled believe in “strict creationism” and that the earth is less than 10,000 years old.

And we elect these people to make decisions for us …

Scott Leffler believes in dinosaurs, evolution and love. Also, Twitter. Follow him there @scottleffler.

Scott Leffler believes in dinosaurs, evolution and love. Also, Twitter. Follow him there @scottleffler.