Hillary Clinton (D) [2014 file photo].
Yesterday via twitter:
Hillary Clinton @HillaryClinton
The science is clear: The earth is round, the sky is blue, and #vaccineswork. Let’s protect all our kids. #GrandmothersKnowBest 9:45 PM – 2 Feb 2015
Paul: Vaccines can cause ‘profound mental disorders’
By Alexandra Jaffe, CNN
Updated 8:15 AM ET, Tue February 3, 2015
Washington (CNN)Sen. Rand Paul raised eyebrows on Monday with a combative interview with a female reporter and controversial comments defending his insistence on voluntary vaccinations….
New Jersey governor Chris Christie hasn’t yet announced his bid for the Republican presidential nomination. But why wait for an official candidacy to start pandering to the country’s dumbest elements? Today, just months after trying to imprison an an ebola-exposed nurse, Christie came out against mandatory vaccinations….
Anyone ask Jeb yet?
Yesterday, doubling down via Twitter:
Rep. Vicky Hartzler @RepHartzler
House just passed the Secret Science Reform Act to require EPA to disclose the science used to justify regulations so it can be verified. 2:19 PM – 19 Nov 2014
The responses are the usual priceless:
James McIninch @james_mcininch
@RepHartzler The joke’s on them because if there’s anything Congress can’t stand and consistently ignores, it’s science. #readtheliterature 2:36 PM – 19 Nov 2014
James McIninch @james_mcininch
@RepHartzler Holy crap! Just read the bill! It replaces scientists at the EPA with non-scientist industry “experts”. Morons or traitors? 3:57 PM – 19 Nov 2014
Dan Arel @danarel
.@RepHartzler verified by who? You? You dont even know the difference between weather and climate. You’re simply a functioning idiot. 5:37 PM – 19 Nov 2014
Clueless Troll @CluelessTroll
@RepHartzler you don’t believe in or respect science, so what’s the difference… 5:50 PM – 19 Nov 2014
Varuka Salt @Varuka
.@RepHartzler And now you just passed a bill demanding the EPA’s science? Why? You deny science already, how would more help you? 6:45 PM – 19 Nov 2014
.@RepHartzler How about disclosing which corporations funded the few scientific studies you like, understand, and approve of? 6:50 PM – 19 Nov 2014
We’d be speechless if we were surprised.
Rep. Vicky Hartzler (r): Sesame Street is too complicated (November 18, 2014)
Rep. Vicky Hartzler (r): cold warrior in the climate conflict (November 18, 2014)
Rep. Vicky Hartzler (r): just can’t catch a social media break (November 19, 2014)
Cue the banjos. A bill, introduced yesterday in the General Assembly:
FIRST REGULAR SESSION
HOUSE BILL NO. 291
97TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY
INTRODUCED BY REPRESENTATIVES BRATTIN (Sponsor), KOENIG AND BAHR (Co-sponsors).
0506L.01I D. ADAM CRUMBLISS, Chief Clerk
To amend chapters 170 and 174, RSMo, by adding thereto two new sections relating to standard science instruction.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the state of Missouri, as follows:
Section A. Chapters 170 and 174, RSMo, are amended by adding thereto two new sections, to be known as sections 170.018 and 174.890, to read as follows:
170.018. 1. This section shall be known as, and may be cited as, the “Missouri Standard Science Act”….
(a) The origin of life on earth is inferred to be the result of intelligence directed design and construction. There are no plausible mechanisms or present-day experiments to prove the naturalistic origin of the first independent living organism;
(b) All original species on earth are inferred to be the result of intelligence directed design and construction. There are no significant mechanisms or present-day experiments to prove the naturalistic development of earth’s species from microscopic organisms
3. All science taught in Missouri public elementary and secondary schools, including material concerning physics, chemistry, biology, health, physiology, genetics, astronomy, cosmology, geology, paleontology, anthropology, ecology, climatology, or other science topics shall be standard science. All standard science course materials and instruction shall meet the following criteria:
(c) If scientific theory concerning biological origin is taught in a textbook, the textbook shall give equal treatment to biological evolution and biological intelligent design.
174.890. 1. Notwithstanding any other law, any introductory science course taught at any public institution of higher education in this state, including material concerning physics, chemistry, biology, health, physiology, genetics, astronomy, cosmology, geology, paleontology, anthropology, ecology, climatology, or other science topics, shall be standard science. All standard science course materials and instruction shall meet the following criteria:
(b) If scientific theory concerning biological origin is taught in a course of study, biological evolution and biological intelligent design shall be taught. Other scientific theory or theories of origin may be taught. If biological intelligent design is taught, any proposed identity of the intelligence responsible for earth’s biology shall be verifiable by present-day observation or experimentation and teachers shall not question, survey, or otherwise influence student belief in a nonverifiable identity within a science course;
(c) If scientific theory concerning biological origin is taught in a textbook, the textbook shall give equal treatment to biological evolution and biological intelligent design. Other scientific theory or theories of origin may be taught…
[emphasis in original]
They need to add teaching the Gish Gallop in debate classes:
Named for the debate tactic created by creationist shill Duane Gish, a Gish Gallop involves spewing so much bullshit in such a short span on that your opponent can’t address let alone counter all of it….
Maybe thinking he was safe in friendly territory with a group of Tea Partiers, Rep. Todd Akin held forth Thursday on the topic of evolution:
I don’t see it as even a matter of science because I don’t know that you can prove one or the other. …
I imagine that must come as a surprise to most scientists who tend to believe that all biological science depends on the theory of evolution. (Yes, I said theory – and if you want to know just what theory means in science, read this.) Further, understanding the crucial role the theory of evolution plays in biological sciences has practical consequences for us all. This extract from a letter written to their administration by members of the Biology faculty at the University of Texas to defend the teaching of evolution makes the scope opf evolutionary theory quite clear:
Evolution education is more than an academic question. Biotechnology is a key player in our economy, and biotech firms move to places with well trained biologists. Evolutionary biology has made fundamental contributions to drug synthesis, medical genetics, and our understanding of the origins and dynamics of diseases. Principles of evolution are at the basis of human genomics and personalized medicine and are applied daily by people working in medicine, agriculture, engineering, and pharmaceuticals. In contrast, anti-evolutionary ideas like intelligent design have yet to produce any medical or technological advances.
The crux of the issue seems to be the word “proven.” Like theory, however, proof doesn’t mean the same thing in science. It would help, don’t you think, if Akin bothered to learn something, anything at all, about science before he shoots off his mouth – even among Tea Partiers?
I know you’ve already heard it ad infinitum, but his fellow Republicans appointed this guy to the House Science and Technology Committee. Really. And he’s not the only crank on that committee – check out Jon Stewart’s take on Todd Akin and a few of his congressional peers. Stewart suggests some hard truths about Missouri voters:
How do these fucking crazy people make it to the national stage?” Stewart asked. “Easy. By being less crazy than the guys on the state level.
Last night, President Obama at the Democratic National Convention:
President Obama: And yes, my plan will continue to reduce the carbon pollution that is heating our planet. Because climate change is not a hoax. [cheers, applause] More droughts and floods and wildfires are not a joke. They are a threat to our childrens’ future. [cheers] And in this election you can do something about it.[cheers]
Definitely not a speech for any stupid people who let a fake news cable channel make up their minds for them.
President Obama signs the Stem Cell Executive Order and the Scientific Integrity Presidential Memorandum – White House Photo 3/9/09 by Chuck Kennedy
A list of participants and attendees.
FACT SHEET ON PRESIDENTIAL EXECUTIVE ORDER REMOVING BARRIERS TO RESPONSIBLE SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH
INVOLVING HUMAN STEM CELLS:
…This Executive Order by President Obama revokes the Executive Order signed by President Bush on June 20, 2007 and the Bush Presidential statement of August 9, 2001 that limited federal funding of research involving human embryonic stem cells.
The previous Administration allowed the National Institutes of Health to fund human embryonic stem cell research on cell lines created before an arbitrary date, August 9, 2001, but prohibited research on cell lines created after that date. The Executive Order signed by President Obama today lifts this restriction, which has no basis in science and was not required by any law…
…This memorandum helps to implement one of the President’s key campaign commitments on science policy, which was to “restore scientific integrity in government decision making…”
Damn, now I’m going to have to sell my stock in that leech breeding operation at a loss.
Tristero over at Digby’s fine establishment has some additional insight: “Junk Journalism, NY Times Division”.
Now we just have to wait for the right wingnuts running the Missouri General Assembly to introduce a joint resolution to overturn the president’s executive order. In five, four, three, two…
Science is based on, uh, science, not right wingnut ideology. It’s about time.
Here’s the text:
Remarks of the President-Elect Barack Obama
Science Team Rollout Radio Address
Friday, December 17, 2008
Over the past few weeks, Vice President-Elect Biden and I have announced some of the leaders who will advise us as we seek to meet America’s twenty-first century challenges, from strengthening our security, to rebuilding our economy, to preserving our planet for our children and grandchildren. Today, I am pleased to announce members of my science and technology team whose work will be critical to these efforts.
Whether it’s the science to slow global warming; the technology to protect our troops and confront bioterror and weapons of mass destruction; the research to find life-saving cures; or the innovations to remake our industries and create twenty-first century jobs-today, more than ever before, science holds the key to our survival as a planet and our security and prosperity as a nation. It is time we once again put science at the top of our agenda and worked to restore America’s place as the world leader in science and technology.
Right now, in labs, classrooms and companies across America, our leading minds are hard at work chasing the next big idea, on the cusp of breakthroughs that could revolutionize our lives. But history tells us that they cannot do it alone. From landing on the moon, to sequencing the human genome, to inventing the Internet, America has been the first to cross that new frontier because we had leaders who paved the way: leaders like President Kennedy, who inspired us to push the boundaries of the known world and achieve the impossible; leaders who not only invested in our scientists, but who respected the integrity of the scientific process.
Because the truth is that promoting science isn’t just about providing resources-it’s about protecting free and open inquiry. It’s about ensuring that facts and evidence are never twisted or obscured by politics or ideology. It’s about listening to what our scientists have to say, even when it’s inconvenient-especially when it’s inconvenient. Because the highest purpose of science is the search for knowledge, truth and a greater understanding of the world around us. That will be my goal as President of the United States-and I could not have a better team to guide me in this work.
Dr. John Holdren has agreed to serve as Assistant to the President for Science and Technology and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. John is a professor and Director of the Program on Science, Technology, and Public Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, as well as President and Director of the Woods Hole Research Center. A physicist renowned for his work on climate and energy, he’s received numerous honors and awards for his contributions and has been one of the most passionate and persistent voices of our time about the growing threat of climate change. I look forward to his wise counsel in the years ahead.
John will also serve as a Co-Chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology-or PCAST-as will Dr. Harold Varmus and Dr. Eric Lander. Together, they will work to remake PCAST into a vigorous external advisory council that will shape my thinking on the scientific aspects of my policy priorities.
Dr. Varmus is no stranger to this work. He is not just a path-breaking scientist, having won a Nobel Prize for his research on the causes of cancer-he also served as Director of the National Institutes of Health during the Clinton Administration. I am grateful he has answered the call to serve once again.
Dr. Eric Lander is the Founding Director of the Broad Institute at MIT and Harvard and was one of the driving forces behind mapping the human genome-one of the greatest scientific achievements in history. I know he will be a powerful voice in my Administration as we seek to find the causes and cures of our most devastating diseases.
Finally, Dr. Jane Lubchenco has accepted my nomination as the Administrator of NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which is devoted to conserving our marine and coastal resources and monitoring our weather. An internationally known environmental scientist and ecologist and former President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Jane has advised the President and Congress on scientific matters, and I am confident she will provide passionate and dedicated leadership at NOAA.
Working with these leaders, we will seek to draw on the power of science to both meet our challenges across the globe and revitalize our economy here at home. And I’ll be speaking more after the New Year about how my Administration will engage leaders in the technology community and harness technology and innovation to create jobs, enhance America’s competitiveness and advance our national priorities.
I am confident that if we recommit ourselves to discovery; if we support science education to create the next generation of scientists and engineers right here in America; if we have the vision to believe and invest in things unseen, then we can lead the world into a new future of peace and prosperity.
“Facts and evidence” as means for making decisions. What a novel idea. It’ll be really interesting to try something new after the last eight years.
…because we’ve already had a Dark Age and that didn’t work out so well.
Ah, the well-known danger of having a mediocre student as a political leader:
PZ Meyers at Pharyngula (post presented here almost in it’s entirety – because it’s a must read. Go. Read the comments.):
…I am appalled.
This idiot woman, this blind, shortsighted ignoramus, this pretentious clod, mocks basic research and the international research community. You damn well better believe that there is research going on in animal models – what does she expect, that scientists should mutagenize human mothers and chop up baby brains for this work? – and countries like France and Germany and England and Canada and China and India and others are all respected participants in these efforts.
Yes, scientists work on fruit flies. Some of the most powerful tools in genetics and molecular biology are available in fruit flies, and these are animals that are particularly amenable to experimentation. Molecular genetics has revealed that humans share key molecules, the basic developmental toolkit, with all other animals, thanks to our shared evolutionary heritage (something else the wackaloon from Wasilla denies), and that we can use these other organisms to probe the fundamental mechanisms that underlie core processes in the formation of the nervous system – precisely the phenomena Palin claims are so important.
This is where the Republican party has ended up: supporting an ignorant buffoon who believes in the End Times and speaking in tongues while deriding some of the best and most successful strategies for scientific research. In this next election, we’ve got to choose between the 21st century rationalism and Dark Age inanity. It ought to be an easy choice.