Thursday, June 14

Nature versus Brownback

In my point of view, the US lost the right to complain when outsiders interfere with their Presidential elections when they started calling their President "The Leader of the Free World". If I'm free, I should certainly have the right to comment on someone who would claim to be my leader.

So, good to see the journal Nature slapping down Senator Brownback's recent anti-evolution statement in the NY-Times.

Brownback is basically saying that not only does he not believe in evolution, but that any scientific work that supports it is "atheistic theology posing as science"

I'm sure Brownback has been repeatedly compared to the Taliban already, but I'll do it again - this comment makes him appear to be a theological demagogue posing as a democratic politician.

He is entitled to his own position - freedom does include the freedom to be completely wrong about something - but when he starts trying to interfere with scientific theory in this manner because it disagrees with his beliefs on this level, then this should be clearly wrong.

I should stress the theory part - there have been aspects of scientific and engineering practice in the past that I disagree with (e.g. I personally wouldn't have dreamt of sending mammals up into space without making a damn good effort to get them back alive). Indeed, some scientific theories are dangerous if misinterpreted, but as long as the theory is backed up by clear scientific evidence, rather than wild speculation, then we cannot start denying the truth just because we don't like it.

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