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News Richard Dawkins on Rick Perry (and the rest of the Republican Party)

  1. Aug 25, 2011 #1
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs...on-is-a-fact/2011/08/23/gIQAuIFUYJ_blog.html"

    I would tend to agree that belief in evolution is a good indicator of general understanding of science (or perhaps more accurately, that lack of belief in evolution is a good indicator of lack of general understanding of science).

    If a candidate cannot accept the preponderance of evidence supporting the theory which is the foundation of virtually all modern biology, and yet still feels qualified to espouse opinions on the topic, how can we trust that their opinions on other subjects are at all evidence based?

    If a candidate is so blinded by their ideology that they can't even accept the evidence on something as basic as evolution, and doesn't have the basic integrity to admit "I haven't studied that, I don't know", how confident can we be that their other opinions - whether it be "lower taxes" for the Republicans, or "more social services" for the Democrats, or any other topic an individual is speaking about - will not be based on blind ideology instead of reasonable evidence.

    What do you guys think? Is lack of understanding of basic science (and/or an effort to sabotage the public school science curriculum) a deal breaker for you? To me this signifies a fundamental disconnect from reality. I would rather vote for someone whose goals I disagree with, but who I trust to use actual evidence to pursue them and be honest about the evidence, rather than someone who shares the same goals as me, but lacks the mental capacity to rationally assess evidence, and/or is willing to lie in order to gain votes.

    Edit: I don't want this thread to diverge to discussing individual policies, but rather to be a general discussion of science literacy and critical thinking and how important such things are to you when supporting a candidate, and whether the lack of these skills is a serious problem in the Republican party.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 26, 2017
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  3. Aug 25, 2011 #2

    Evo

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    Excellent post Neo, the things you mentioned are extremely important to me.
     
  4. Aug 25, 2011 #3

    micromass

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    I, personally, don't care if my politicians understand science. However, I do want my politicians to say "I don't know" when confronted to science, instead of simply accepting an ideology without proof.
    A person who says that "I don't know, so I can't judge" gains a lot of respect in my book.
     
  5. Aug 25, 2011 #4

    Borek

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    In general - yes. I can imagine situations when it would be not (say someone who doesn't know, but is honest enough to admit that), but I don't trust people who don't understand the basic scientific facts for the same reason Dawkins does. Once an ignorant, always an ignorant.
     
  6. Aug 25, 2011 #5

    turbo

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    Dawkins may be a gad-fly, but he has some good points WRT the willful ignorance of potential Republican candidates. Our political system should not be held hostage by politicians with religious agendas.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 25, 2011
  7. Aug 25, 2011 #6

    phinds

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    What's far worse to me than that it IS a serious problem in the Republican party is that they absolutely DON'T think it's a serious problem.
     
  8. Aug 25, 2011 #7

    Evo

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    Thanks to Astro for sending this article to me.

    http://www.npr.org/2011/08/24/139781021/the-evangelicals-engaged-in-spiritual-warfare
     
  9. Aug 25, 2011 #8
    it's too bad that Dawkins is simply a brit zoologist and doesn't understand the american political process. if he weren't so single-minded, he might realize that Perry is simply pandering to a certain constituency and we can't reliably infer his actual thoughts and beliefs from such nonsense.
     
  10. Aug 25, 2011 #9
    My guess is WhoWee disagrees.
     
  11. Aug 25, 2011 #10

    BobG

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    I don't like Richard Dawkins, but I have to agree with his first paragraph - especially:

    That might be an exaggeration, but the debate question where every single Republican candidate raised their hand that they'd vote against a debt reduction bill that contained a 10 to 1 ratio between spending cuts and tax increases was pretty telling, as was the 2008 Republican debate question about evolution, specifically (but at least that vote wasn't unanimous).

    You have a pretty disturbing bunch pushing the GOP bandwagon right now.

    Of course, Proton Soup has the most accurate assessment of the situation. The problem is that the climate makes it hard to tell which of the Republican candidates really are idiots and which are only faking it so they can get nominated. (But not impossible - I'm more confident that Christine O'Donnell isn't smart than I am that she isn't a witch.)
     
  12. Aug 25, 2011 #11
    All I can say is, I wish there was a fiscally conservative party I could vote for that wasn't totally disconnected from reality when it comes to sexual politics, sex education, and evolution.

    A solid, factual education for every person should be fundamental, not something that is argued for and against in politics.
     
  13. Aug 25, 2011 #12

    BobG

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    This is an interesting grouping of political views: Beyond Red vs. Blue: The Political Typology

    They even have a quiz so you can see where you fit.

    I was a little surprised to wind up in the post-modern group. I thought I'd wind up closer to the conservative end. All in all, there were a few issues where I don't fit in the post-modern group at all, but I was surprised how many did match my views.

    The political spectrum really has shifted to the right and the Republican Party's shift has been even more drastic than the rest of the population (which is why there's only two groups in the Republicans - most of the moderates have become Independents).
     
  14. Aug 25, 2011 #13
    o:)
    Full disclosure, I thought about challenging turbo's rant - about "willful ignorance" and "held hostage by morons" - but I really don't want to debate religion. I do however think religion will become an issue as the process moves forward and Romney begins to draw critics from both far left and far right.
     
  15. Aug 25, 2011 #14

    Evo

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    Since most of the Republican politicians have decided to cozy up to religious groups, (Evangelicals in Perry's case, for instance) that religion is already a big part of it.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/28/magazine/asking-candidates-tougher-questions-about-faith.html?_r=1

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs...and-evolution/2011/08/18/gIQARsf6NJ_blog.html
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2011
  16. Aug 25, 2011 #15
    If Pawlenty would have talked a little bit more on that last debate, Dawkins point would be much more obvious. People might actually think, *is this the guy I should be voting for?* or worse yet, *is this a party I should be in?*.

    It's not the guy, but the things he said just to get in the spotlight.
     
  17. Aug 25, 2011 #16
    If Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton campaign for a Democrat nobody complains (although Rev Wright was another story). IMO - Perry is trying to solidify a Southern base and we'll see less moving forward. If anyone has noticed - it doesn't help Santorum.
     
  18. Aug 25, 2011 #17

    Evo

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    The difference is that these politicians are holding prayer retreats, like the one Perry is holding saturday and are actively discussing religion as part of their campaign.
     
  19. Aug 25, 2011 #18
    WhoWee, I am curious about something and I'd like to hear your opinion. No, this isn't a trap :).

    In your opinion is the GOP better off holding onto their religious allegiances, or ditching them?
     
  20. Aug 25, 2011 #19

    turbo

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    My "rant" about willful ignorance? At what point will the right acknowledge that their movement has been co-opted by radicals who appeal to the unwashed masses? Can anyone here seriously support Bachmann, Palin, etc? I truly hope not, though I am seeing signs of intransigence in PF that make me fear for the US.
     
  21. Aug 25, 2011 #20
    per Jackson/Sharpton comments above, GOP isn't the only one that panders to a religious constituency.

    http://articles.cnn.com/2008-02-02/politics/bill.clinton.tour_1_clinton-campaign-hillary-clinton-s-bill-clinton?_s=PM:POLITICS [Broken]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
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