That’s the headline to a piece by New York Times columnist Charles Blow. Blow suggests that confusing comments by U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, about his thoughts on the age of Earth are just another example of modern American conservatism trapped in the grip of anti-intellectual zealots. Money quote:
This anti-intellectualism is antediluvian. No wonder a 2009 Pew Research Center report found that only 6 percent of scientists identified as Republican and 9 percent identified as conservative.
Furthermore, a 2005 study found that just 11 percent of college professors identified as Republican and 15 percent identified as conservative. Some argue that this simply represents a liberal bias in academia. But just as strong a case could be made that people who absorb facts easily don’t suffer fools gladly.
Last month, Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, the chairman of the Republican Governors Association, said on CNN:
“We need to stop being the dumb party. We need to offer smart, conservative, intelligent ideas and policies.”
Unfortunately, as Blow then points out, Jindal has signed into Louisiana law a voucher scheme for using public tax dollars to fund religious schools that teach, among other nonsense, that the Loch Ness monster is real and that its existence is evidence against evolution.
State Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, the new chairman of the Senate Education Committee in Texas, has said he will soon file a bill for a private school voucher scheme in this state. If that bill passes, Texas taxpayers will be funding similar religious schools that teach students about humans walking with dinosaurs just a few thousand years ago.