Marco Rubio was recently asked by GQ how old he thinks the world is. Part of his answer was, “I’m not a scientist, man. I can tell you what recorded history says, I can tell you what the Bible says, but I think that’s a dispute amongst theologians and I think it has nothing to do with the gross domestic product or economic growth of the United States.”
Marco Rubio’s complete answer throws the subject into the arenas respective to scientists and religious leaders as part of a political juggling act. I am not picking on Marco Rubio. I do, however, find it disturbing that he has to cater to a voting base that may be threatened by any scientific explanation of the origins of the Earth.
How can we trust a party with the finer points of a complex subject such as stem cell research when many of them do not believe the Earth is older than ten thousand years? This is a problem with the electorate as a whole and is not limited to Republicans. Staggering numbers of people question very basic scientific principles regarding the origins of the Earth. However, it is the idea that Republicans yearn for a simple and traditional explanation of the world and its issues that is part of what many are terming as anti-intellectualism.
Some people may suggest that this so called anti-intellectualism possibly can be traced back to the 1950’s and 60’s when new scientific advancements were challenging traditional beliefs in contemporary society at a faster pace. However, the problem is much older than that.
Centuries before the birth of Christ there was a group of Ionians who put forth some basic yet astonishing assertions. The stars and their light were not the products of gods but instead were suns that were just farther away. They deduced from fossils that life existed in simpler forms at some prior time. They reasoned that matter was constructed of atoma, or indivisible basic units of the world. In other words, they felt that we and our world were part of a large physical process happening all around us. The mystic notions of the times that followed did not take kindly to these Ionian views. Now here we are, greater than two millennia later and still counting, and a significant segment of our population still cannot get these principles through their thick skulls. The next time someone holds up their smart phone and states how advanced we have become remember that.
I will remember, “I am not a scientist, man.” Cause man, that is not how I roll. That’s how it is man. Man alive when will we learn.
Republicans need to embrace reality. Show the electorate that our problems and issues have practical economic, societal, and scientific solutions and approaches.
Note: This post is a follow up to “Why Republicans Lost (Not Suitable for the Title)” posted Nov. 10. 2012.