There are those who say that making fun of Christine O’Donnell for her comments about witchcraft, masturbation, Halloween, evolution, and the like is counterproductive, that these aren’t real issues, that this whole focus is classist and even Villagerish.
I’ll grant that we are unlikely to see any tough anti-Halloween, anti-masturbation, or anti-witchcraft legislation under Speaker Boehner or even under Speaker Pence, though I certainly wouldn’t rule out some non-binding resolutions condemning these profoundly unAmerican activities. But crazy positions on science and reproductive rights are important. Congress has some power over science policy and I don’t think it is at all inconceivable that a Republican government would enact policies that would set back American science a generation. We’ve already seen the beginnings of this with stem cell policy (though only the very beginnings, I’ll admit).
I had lunch yesterday with a cousin of mine who studies ecology. He was explaining why his adviser (and many ecologists) spends so much time studying guppies. The reason is that guppies evolve very rapidly and that the ability to evolve rapidly is of increasing interest as we enter a era of rapid climate change. This involves two things Republicans often explicitly reject — Darwinian evolution and the notion that the earth is warming.
I can’t see how electing anti-science nutjobs won’t hurt American science policy. First they came for the BEAR DNA.