Politics & Science

Conservative politicians profess their support for economic growth, entrepreneurship and innovation.  Over the past few decades, most of that activity has occurred in the fields of medicine and technology.

Yet, these same politicians place roadblocks in the course of scientific progress.  Long opposed to teaching evolution in public schools (unless balanced by the theory of creationism), they have now focused on ridiculing the scientific evidence of global warming; indeed, the Wyoming legislature recently voted to eliminate any teaching of human-induced climate change from public school curricula.  Finally, Conservative Republicans have weighed in against healthy lunch programs in public schools, just as progress against childhood obesity has been documented.

Of course, much of this opposition to scientific progress is an effort to protect industries and appeal to voters in their home districts.  Wyoming's dependence on oil, gas and coal production fuels their war on  environmental education.  Representatives from evangelical regions must outwardly profess their religious faith and oppose support for stem cell research and the teaching of evolution.  Science, which strives to uncover truths and to use that knowledge to benefit humans and natural ecosystems, threatens their constituency and, in turn, their own re-election.  When it comes down to truth or re-election, the latter wins every time.