This classic Steve Martin line was brought to mind recently as I was reading comments to a picture I posted to a cousin’s facebook page. Without wanting to start the controversy all over again here, suffice it to say, the cousin had made a comment that the satirical picture reminded me of and the sentiment of the caption was one that we both appreciated.
The problem is that some of her other facebook friends are far further from the center than I am and they took umbrage at the cartoon and its caption. It started a rather lively (if somewhat one-sided) debate that left me to wonder why we have no civility in our political debate any longer.
As a part of this debate, I mentioned that I feel that politicians who actively deny scientific fact are either misguided or outright dishonest led to a sub-debate of what I meant. To end that debate (hopefully) I want to make plain my views on this.
I am centrist enough to believe that there should be the freedom to follow whatever religion you want to, but also believe that scientific fact should be acted upon. It’s perfectly okay if you personally want to believe that the world was created on a Thursday morning about six thousand years ago… as long as you do not believe that you have some right to teach that as a science. It is clearly a belief that cannot tell us anything about the world that is in any way helpful or (IMHO) interesting. Your belief is just that – it cannot be definitively disproved, but it is contrary to all the known facts about the universe.
It is the same with the reigning belief about Global Climate Change; the overwhelming scientific evidence is that it is man-made and will not end well for us. The “debate” on this is over. There is a “Debate” on this in much the same way that there is a “Debate” over the age of the earth. There are a few misguided people who choose to believe that it is not true in opposition to all the science that it is, but the problem is that they are given equal footing with those who are trying to actually do something to solve the issue.
And the vocal minority who take it as a matter of faith that science is bunk are thereby given undue influence. And as this influence is often shrill and easily offended; if you call their belief anything less than ‘fact’ you are branded as a bigot or as small minded. If being informed makes you that uncomfortable, please remain in the dark.
They have a name for life that survives on a diet of excrement and darkness: a mushroom!
Wherever you are today I hope that you will have a sense of humor about those disagreements you get into.