Cartoons are supposed to be funny . . . ironic . . . but leftist cartoons of late -- see above -- are sadly humorless and muddled and whiny. (Copyright Dan Piraro, King Features Syndicate)
"Fox News is fair and balanced. Evolution is an unproven theory. Global Warming is a myth" goes the knee-jerk, politically correct bubble of the cartoon above that has our blogging juices flowing this evening, gratuitously placed in the middle of an otherwise awesome article on scientific illiteracy among our fellow Americans at Public Library of Science. As we wrote in our letter to the editor there:
I loved -- even as I was horrified at her findings -- Liza Gross's article on scientific illiteracy, but as a Darwinian libertarian, I was wicked annoyed with the knee-jerk leftoid vapidity exhibited in the cartoon you used to illustrate the article, with its lumping together of Fox News and scientific ignorance.
Your politics are painfully "correct." The jury on who or what is responsible for global warming is still out (I myself, like Sally Baliunas, find sun spots the most likely candidate), and Fox News is a cable news network that provides an alternative to the monolithic leftist, anti-Bush so-called mainstream media.
You folks ought to stick to what you know, evolution. Political correctness muddies the waters and taints your otherwise excellent arguments.
With their unfortunately p.c. editorial choice of cartoon out of the way, here's some of the gist of the article:
With the recent spate of high-profile lawsuits aimed at getting evolution out of public classrooms and ongoing opposition to stem-cell research, [Jon D. Miller's] services have been in especially high demand. Miller has long been worried about a burgeoning anti-science movement. The current climate is even more troubling, he says, with the emergence of organized attacks on science against the backdrop of the new culture wars.
To gauge the extent of fundamentalism's reach into American life, Miller evaluated adults' responses to three statements: the Bible is the actual word of God and is to be taken literally; there is a personal God who hears the prayers of individual men and women; and human beings were created by God as whole persons and did not evolve from earlier forms of life. In 2005, 43% of American adults agreed with all three statements.
We've blogged about these discouraging statistics before. Now comes something dark and dank from the far left side of the aisle called YearlyKos, a June convention in Las Vegas that seems to be attempting to pre-empt science as the credo of our utopianist fellow Americans for whom man-induced global warming is a religion:
With the world's population now exceeding six billion people, our welfare is becoming ever more dependent on science and the applications that flow from it. New scientific discoveries are being made nearly every day that deepen our understanding of our planet and its inhabitants, as well as the effects that people are having on the earth.
Unfortunately, coalitions in America and other countries are actively trying to redefine science based on non-scientific principles. The YearlyKos science panel will discuss how a large coalition of science writers, researchers, and progressive political activists are working to counter these pseudo-scientific groups.
Not that we carry any water for pseudo-scientific groups whatsover, but Kos & Company are not without their own pseudo-scientific baggage. Back to the cartoon above. These folks who claim to carry the banner of scientific truth are blinded by their totalitarian impulse to inflict upon the rest of us poor slobs their superior knowledge of what's best for the little people. Take this snail blog post, "The Tribal Filter on Green News," from the summer of 1990:
Only lately have the pooh-bahs of the national press felt secure enough to admit publicly that they filter the news through their personal-tribal creed. As a result, of course, they often report as fact that which is both unsettled and disputed.
. . . At a conference on the environment in Washington earlier this year, reported by The Wall Street Journal's David Brooks, Charles Alexander harrumphed:
"As the science editor at Time I would freely admit that on this issue we have crossed the boundary from news reporting to advocacy." There was applause from the pressies in conclave assembled, after which Andrea Mitchel, an NBC correspondent, said that "clearly the networks have made the decision now, where you'd have to call it advocacy."
No, actually, I don’t want you to explain the world to me. A guide, perhaps. But I’m sorry, I just don’t see Time as the one source to speak with authority and explain the world. I am quite glad the days are gone when anyone thought they could be that one source.
It's about time.