"We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special." -the real Stephen Hawking
The Congressional Office of Technology was established in 1972 to "provided Congressional members and committees with objective and authoritative analysis of the complex scientific and technical issues of the late 20th century." On September 29, 1995, The Congressional Office of Technology Assessment closed after a Republican controlled Congress withdrew funding. This was a pivotal victory in an effort to shift power away from reasoned facts and give manufactured information more credibility and equal footing with scientific findings. By dismantling the OTA, the Republicans eliminated a safeguard designed to provide members of Congress unbiased, scientifically solid information. Now Congressional decisions could be more easily influenced with information produced by self serving think tanks and industry backed scientific research.
Chris Mooney has documented The Republican Party’s systematic undermining of legitimate scientific inquiry. In a review of The Republican War on Science, Scientific American noted:
* Rejected the scientific consensus on global warming and suppressed an EPA report supporting that consensus.
* Stacked numerous advisory committees with industry representatives and members of the religious Right.
* Begun deploying a missile defense system without evidence that it can work.
* Banned funding for embryonic stem cell research except on a claimed 60 cell lines already in existence, most of which turned out not to exist.
* Forced the National Cancer Institute to say that abortion may cause breast cancer, a claim refuted by good studies.
* Ordered the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to remove information about condom use and efficacy from its Web site.
Mooney explores these and many other examples, including George W. Bush’s support for creationism. In almost every instance, Republican leaders have branded the scientific mainstream as purveyors of "junk science" and dubbed an extremist viewpoint–always at the end of the spectrum favoring big business or the religious Right–"sound science."It’s enough to make one yearn for a superhero. One who fights for truth and justice-but most importantly for unadulterated, scientific truth! Have no fear, MC Hawking is in the house to unleash some wicked rhythms on those punk-ass Luddites. As MC Hawking put it so eloquently in his song What We Need More of Is Science:
I’m a disciple of science
I know the universe is compliance with natural laws,
but many place reliance on the pseudo-science of quacks and
morons and fools because,
their educations deficient,
they put faith in omniscient,
make believe beings who control their fate,
but the Hawk ain’t with it, dig it,
their Holy writ aint the least bit legit,
its a bunch of bullshit.
They need to read a book that ain’t so damn old old,
let reason take hold,
though truth to be told,
they’re probably already too far gone,
withdrawn, the conclusion foregone.
But maybe there is still hope for the young,
if they reject the dung being slung from the tongues,
of the ignorant fools who call themselves preachers,
and listen instead to their science teachers.
To see the video to this song click here. (After the window loads click "Watch this Movie")
UPDATE: Here is a link to Chris Mooney’s thoughts on Katrina, Science, and Politics.