Who’s in Charge?

Scientific policy in America is largely set by the House Science, Space and Technology Committee.  However, the members of this Committee do not seem to have much belief in the science they are supposed to be advancing.  Senator Paul Broun of Georgia, who received his M.D. from Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, recently declared that the things he was taught with regard to the Big Bang Theory, and more disturbingly for a medical doctor, embryology and evolution, are “lies from the pit of hell.” See the video here: http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=07b_1349603060&p=1

When I first heard this, I thought that his peers (or his party) would immediately take action to remove him, at the very least from his position on the Science Committee.  Surely someone who believes that the earth is only 9,000 years old could not be qualified to direct the research and development of programs such as NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey?  However, it appears that Sen. Broun is not the only member of the Committee who holds such beliefs with regard to widely-accepted scientific tenets.

It seems Senator Broun is actually in pretty good company with some of his fellow Committee members.  Jim Sensenbrenner (Wis.) also denounces global warming, calling it “scientific fascism” and the research behind it as an “international conspiracy.”  Sandy Adams (Fla.) is similarly incredulous of evolution, having stated she believes in “the biblical terms of how we came about.”  While there are several other members who hold similar beliefs, one of the most troubling points of view is that of Ralph Hall (Tex.).  While he has not been as strongly opposed in public to scientific research, he is the chairman of the Science Committee, it seems odd that he should chair a committee responsible for directing the research and development of the such entities as the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration when he has implied that he does not believe there is any scientific basis for claims in support of global warming, stating that he’s actually “more fearful of freezing” than warming.

With politicians such as these in charge of managing the nation’s non-defense scientific research and development, is it really any wonder that the US has fallen behind other countries in the area of science?


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