This kind of stupidity has long since passed being funny and is now downright frightening.
Missouri’s Todd Akin, a Representative running for Senator, made headlines through his bizarre misunderstanding of biology, specifically that of the female reproductive system. Overcome by his desire to believe that pregnancy (and thus abortion) shouldn’t be an issue for rape victims, he infamously claimed that the female body could somehow block pregnancy in the case of “legitimate rape.”
But Akin’s (very public) misunderstanding of science pales in comparison to that of Georgia Representative Paul Broun. He’s an MD who is apparently convinced most of modern science is a plot, fostered by none other than Satan. “All that stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and the Big Bang Theory,” Broun declared, “all that is lies straight from the pit of Hell.”
Pushing it over into scary territory is the the fact that both of these elected representatives hold positions on the House’s Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.
And then there’s the chair of that committee who believes that any evidence supporting the idea that human behavior is altering the climate is produced by scientists who are only in it for the money.
These are the people who are helping to set our country’s science policy.
They are also the same people (and there are many more)* who want to infect the science curriculum with their same willful and dangerous ignorance.
*A writer in Scientific American says the anti-science, anti-intellectual movement growing in this country is actually jeopardizing democracy. It’s a long article but well worth reading.