In 1980 Isaac Asimov, the renowned science fiction writer published a book, “The cult of ignorance”. Asimov made many speculations during his life anticipating changes, not only on science and technology, but in the fields of education, politics and culture. Many of his predictions have been realised in fact and history. The book contains a famous quote. “Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”
This prediction is to a certain extent realised in the UK. Precious few of our elected politicians have any scientific background at all, and we have not had a prime minister with a science degree since Margaret Thatcher. That this man was nominated as member of a science committee is perhaps an example of how little regard our politicians can have for science.
But if you want to see Asimov’s prediction realised probably far beyond what he might have anticipated, look no further than the USA, and in particular the Republican party, or GOP as it is also known. "The GOP has become the party that embraces ignorance, celebrates anti-intellectualism and dismisses scientific truths as mere inconveniences."
A good example would be the extent of denialism in the GOP over climate change. DZ has in the past had some doubts in this area, and is still sceptical of some of the more catastrophic predictions, but there can be little doubt now that it is happening. But acknowledging that would put at risk the huge political donations the GOP receives from the fossil fuel industry.
More specific examples include;
The promotion of injecting bleach to treat Covid made by the moron in chief of the GOP, Donald Trump, when squatting in the White House. The levels of delusion and lunacy now displayed by this man are at a level usually only seen in tertiary syphilis.
The suggestion that climate change could be tackled by somehow changing the orbit of the moon!
The passing of an actual law in Ohio requiring that ectopic pregnancies be transplanted into the Uterus!
And at it's very worst the incoherent deranged ramblings, bereft of of meaning and credibility exhibited by this individual.
And this one
The United States boasts some of the finest scientists, and scientific institutions in the world, and yet a sizeable proportion of their populace seems to be disinclined to take any notice of them, regarding them with doubt, suspicion and animosity. This article well represents their hostility to the educated.
It is no coincidence that the highest rates of scientific illiteracy and ignorance come from those states with the highest rates of religiosity, particularly evangelical christianity. When you start with the unshakeable belief that the world is only 6000 years old any attempt at education is simply pissing into the wind.
But perhaps Darwin may have the last laugh. Many GOP lawmakers and a huge proportion of the GOP base are highly skeptical of vaccinating against covid, or even that the pandemic exists. In the US 99% of covid deaths are in the unvaccinated and stories like this are becoming increasingly common.
I make no pretence that I have anything but contempt for these stupid fuckers. Their escalating numbers of deaths make the USA a better place, and diminishes the number of GOP voters.
No bad thing