Ted Cruz joins the public in battle against scientists — so he’s Galileo

Ted_Cruz,_official_portrait,_113th_Congress galileo
I don’t know about you, but I feel like these two are the same guy.

I read a fascinating story in the Merc not too long ago about the canyon between what American scientists and the public believe to be important concerns. According to the article, scientists are more certain that global warming and over-population are real problems, and that vaccinating children is important.

Meanwhile, the public is freaking out about GMOs, pesticides, and nuclear power, three items scientists generally wouldn’t be caught dead wringing their hands about.

It seemed like good fodder for a post, but I didn’t really have a nice peg to hang it all on, so I let it slip.

Then, out of fucking nowhere, came Ted Cruz, comparing himself to Galileo. Why does Ted think he’s Galileo? Because, Mr. Cruz explained, as Galileo fought conventional wisdom at the risk of persecution, so, to, does Mr. Cruz battle the global warming alarmists, so clearly in the majority.

It gets better. Those who believe global warming is a problem, including all those scientists mentioned above, are all a bunch of ignoramus “flat-earthers.” Sound like your drunk uncle yet?

In fairness, the article I’m pulling from definitely pulls out the dumbest-sounding bit of the interview, but Ted’s points nicely illustrate the intellectual distance between the lab coats and the people. Cruz attacks scientists as a rather accusing pack of jackals. According to the Merc article, 88 percent of scientist thought genetically modified foods are safe to eat. Are these scientists, too, flat-earthers, or are the 63 percent of the public who disagree with them the flat-Earthers?

Are the 98 percent of scientists who believe humans evolved over time flat-earthers, or are the 35 percent of the public that insists that people ran around with dinosaurs flat-Earthers? How about the 75 percent of scientists who believe nuclear power is a potential crutch to battle global warming vs. 55 percent of the public certain they’re wrong? Who’s the flat-Earther there?

I suppose the only way to know for sure which scientists are right and which are pushing a liberal agenda would be to ask our own modern-day Galileo, Ted Cruz.

It isn’t that the public needs to agree with everything the scientists say. The scientists themselves don’t all agree with one another, either. It is, however, disconcerting when people reject science in favor of views that seem to materialize out of thin air.

Anecdotal evidence is common – Doesn’t everyone have that friend who won’t ever get a flu shot because of that one time their own unseen friend had claimed to have become sick as a result? Or decided global warming is a sham because it got cold one day? Or a co-worker who insists that produce grown without pesticides are insect-riddled and will make you ill? Or the aunt who somehow decides her organic apple is more refreshing than that overlarge obscenity from the supermarket?

When science is dismissed in favor of personal opinion, it irks me, because personal opinion is not subject to the scientific method. Even the most biased scientist in the world would have trouble fabricating an entire theory without being dismissed by the scientific community.

A friend recently challenged me, “So, you believe everything scientists tell you?”

“More than I believe you,” was my reply. Give me all the scientists who have been “bought off” and let’s see how many of these money-grubbing labcoats really exist.

If you’re dismissing reports that are the result of painstaking research, at least believe something better. To insist that pesticides are harmful when the current brand of pesticide was responsible for feeding great populations who would otherwise starve is irresponsible when the burden of proof is on those who, in recent decades, have reach sudden concern that anything grown unnaturally will cause death.

Similarly, disregarding global warming is dangerous. It takes a great deal of conspiracy theory to decide that someone somewhere is getting rich off of findings that the temperature of the planet is gradually heating, and that this is a problem. Still, somehow, to people such as Ted Cruz, it makes more sense to dismiss decades of research and somehow decide that you’re like Galileo for doing so.

Because Galileo made a career out of dismissing science? Moreover, Galileo’s notions had nothing to do with how round or flat the earth was — by his time, no one thought it was flat any more, except maybe one of Ted Cruz’s ancestors, screaming about how Galileo was a moron for suggesting the earth rotates around the sun.

Ted Cruz is Galileo because he disagreed with people. And I’m Mick Jagger because I can’t get no Satisfaction. I’m Clark Kent because I wear glasses.

Ted may see himself as Galileo, but my friend pointed out that he’s a lot more like Insane Clown Possey:

“Fucking magnets, how do they work?
And I don’t wanna talk to a scientist
Y’all motherfuckers lying, and getting me pissed”

-Miracles, by Insane Clown Possey

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