Why are so many Republicans skeptical of science?

  “All people are born alike – except Republicans and Democrats.”  — Groucho Marx. In the 50-plus years I’ve been writing about politics, I’ve never found a completely satisfying answer to the question posed in the headline above. I’ve even read scholarly academic articles, including one from the National Institutes of Health bearing the unwelcoming title:  “The Automatic Conservative: Ideology-Based Attentional Asymmetries in the Processing of Valenced Information.” But all  I got from that...

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Some Republicans are embarrassed by their party’s anti-science bent

If you’re surprised by the headline above, your collection of Republicans friends is too narrow. There are, in fact, members of the GOP who don’t share the antipathy toward science that is so common among their party-mates. I’m personally acquainted with a few of them. The big problem seems to be that Republican politicians who know better usually are afraid to openly challenge the anti-science attitudes embraced by the dimwits who hold sway in the GOP. The situation reminds me of an intelligent comment I saw a few years ago...

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Do you believe in these fundamental scientific facts?

If you’re like me, you take great pleasure in arguing with political conservatives about scientific matters. What makes it so much fun is that the facts are almost always on your side. I say “almost” because scientific knowledge is forever growing and changing. For example, we now know more about the origins of the universe  than we did just 50 or 100 years ago. Lots of the theories we accepted as fact when I was a kid have long since been debunked. I’m not a scientist myself. Far from it. But I try to keep up with the...

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Why do so many right-wingers hate science?

  Yesterday, I wrote here about columnist George Will’s strange disagreement with the massive scientific consensus on global warming. I say “strange” simply because Will is smarter than your average denier of climate science. Today, my target is bigger and includes lots of folks who are George Will’s intellectual lessers. Let’s start with the fact that both sides in the debate over global warming have one thing in common: Hardly anybody really wants it to be true that climate-change trends pose a a...

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A solid argument that the Republican Party is anti-science

  One of the great problems facing Republicans who can actually read without moving their lips is that their party, for the most part, is one in which the tail often wags the dog. The GOP’s extreme right wing generally holds sway, even if its anti-intellectualism is an embarrassment to party members of reasonable intelligence. Consider, for example, the party’s overall antipathy toward the scientific consensus in matters of climate change and the origins of human life. Any Republican politician who doesn’t share that...

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