Sunday, September 25, 2011

Go Away, Ron Paul

So Ron Paul believes that Darwin's Theory of Evolution is "a theory," and not one to which he subscribes. (At least he didn't say "just" a theory, even if his tone and answer implied it.) He also believes that it is "inappropriate" for "the presidency to be decided on a scientific matter."



As usual, Ron Paul is clueless. It isn't about the scientific issue of evolution itself, it's about his thought process, and an indicator of the kind of thought and research he puts into big and/or controversial issues. When people derisively dismiss evolution as "just a theory," as if it were something that some scientists just pulled out of their asses, they betray their ignorance of what the word 'theory' means in the scientific context. They also show that, apparently, they are either too lazy, or their fact-checking skills are too shoddy, to go look it up and educate themselves. It seriously calls into question the process that goes into the decisions that a President Paul (or, for that matter, President Perry, or President Bachmann, or any of the other potential presidents) would make on other important issues, like military deployments, international crises and domestic policy. As a citizen, I for one want to have some reasonable degree of confidence that our next elected leader isn't going to blunder us into another war, a deeper depression, or some other catastrophe with a decision based on inaccurate understanding or slipshod fact-checking.

Even if the subject is "inappropriate" for the presidency in Ron Paul's esteemed view, and even if that's good enough for the rabid throngs of mouth-breathing, conspiracy-addled "Paulistinian" fanboys, it clearly is "appropriate" enough to a large enough segment of the populace to be addressed more than once in national, televised presidential debates. On this basis alone it should be "appropriate" enough for Paul to do his homework, and at least know what it is he is rejecting in favor of a first-century understanding of the world.*

For those who may be in the same boat as Ron Paul, in that you don't know why the word "theory" is very different in the scientific context (and why it matters), do what Ron Paul, George W. Bush, Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann seemingly haven't--take a few minutes and learn:



*As recent-Republican Ron Paul was once a Libertarian, it should be noted that this sort of religious thinking (Paul refers to "the creator that I know") was the main reason that Ayn Rand--whom Libertarians revere as a sort of totem of Libertarianism and mother-figure of their philosophy and worldview--flatly rejected Libertarians as "hippies of the right" who "[subordinate] reason to faith."

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