Friday, 4 June 2010

Where the extreme right wing meets religion; Creationism and various other forms of science denialism

From The Guardian;

Climate sceptics and fringe political groups are an unhealthy cocktail
How can sceptical climate scientists expect to be taken seriously when they associate themselves with fringe political groups?

Humanists employ the slight of hand linguist trick of substituting the religion of evolutionary humanism for the creation religion of Jehovah by tagging the latter "religion, forbidden by the First Amendment" and the former "scientific fact." Both labels, like humanism itself, are conspiratorial fabrications. 

…There remain many reasons for doubting the HIV = AIDS hypothesis, or even for positively denying it. 

…In recent decades, American perceptions of homosexuality have changed significantly, largely because of the questionable concept of the homosexual "orientation": a genetic or biological, rather than a behavioral, etiology. These newer beliefs greatly influence how its morbidity, mortality, and social impact are seen, often causing us to overlook how the "gay" male lifestyle significantly increases the incidence of infectious disease and shortens life expectancy by about 20 years. 

…Internment and deportation are politically incorrect. But America's inadequate federal border enforcement permits massive daily border penetrations that violate the integrity of our medicine and our national security.

Still not convinced? OK, consider this: the AAPS's general counsel is Andrew Schlafy, the founder of Conservapedia, which, with apparent seriousness, describes itself as "the trustworthy encyclopedia". (If you're new to Conservapedia, here's a fun game: go and play "Spot the Subtle Bias" at the entries for Barack Obama, God, Dinosaurs and Causes of Homosexuality.)

. . . people such as Art Robinson, the man behind the infamous Oregon Petition, who has recently successfully ridden the Tea Party wave and is now a Republican candidate for the November congressional elections.

Robinson deserves closer scrutiny that I can provide here - it will presumably come now he is running for public office - but here's a taster of how his fundamental Christianity has shaped his thinking. This extract is taken from a 1991 introduction he wrote for a reprint of an Isaac Newton essay which is included in a home-schooling kit he sells as a lucrative sideline:

Isaac Newton believed that the Bible is literally true in every respect. Throughout his life, he continually tested Biblical truth against the physical truths of experimental and theoretical science. He never observed a contradiction. In fact, he viewed his own scientific work as a method by which to reinforce belief in Biblical truth...In my own scientific work, I also have continually compared the Bible with the findings of modern experimental science. Like Isaac Newton, I do not know of any verified scientific facts that are inconsistent with the literal truth of every aspect of the Bible.

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