For years, Republican lawmakers and their conservative voter base have been denying scientific facts such as climate change and evolution. And Neil deGrasse Tyson is sick and tired of Republicans doing this to the detriment of our country.
Unfortunately for our nation and the world we live in, these science illiterate people are now in power and are using their power to turn their denial of science into national policy.
To that end, Donald Trump’s budget strips funding from federal programs designed to curb climate change. Even the National Institutes of Heath and NASA face unprecedented cuts because Republicans don’t like science.
And that is infuriating to Tyson, who appeared on CNN with Fareed Zakaria over the weekend to lambaste the GOP for being science deniers.
“If anyone utters the words, ‘It’s just a theory,’ it means they’re missing a piece of their education where they do not fully understand what science is and how and why it works,” Tyson said. “I try not to beat folks over the head in power because they are duly elected by a population that wants their leadership to serve them.”
In spite of that, Tyson then took aim at the people who put these Republican politicians into office.
“So as an educator, I look at the electorate and I say, if you’re going to make an informed decision, not only about the country’s future but especially about your own future, it would be greatly enhanced by just learning how knowledge is acquired and how it is affirmed in the scientific arena.”
Tyson pointed out that Republican voters are only listening to what other people tell them without doing their own research and seeking out information from experts and viable sources.
And he’s right. Many conservative voters tend to ignore what real scientists say, and instead hang on every word that a right-wing college dropout like Sean Hannity tells them. When people would rather get their information from Hannity or Rush Limbaugh instead of real scientists, it hurts the nation. And what’s worse is that children get false information from their parents, and they take it with them to school and spread the misinformation to their friends.
This epidemic has hurt education as a whole in the United States as we lag further and further behind the rest of the developed world when it comes to science and math.
Sadly, it will only continue to get worse with Donald Trump in office as education funding gets cut and conservatives push for replacing science with Bible study.
And that’s why, despite what conservative voters believe, Tyson thinks lawmakers have a responsibility to get educated and know the facts.
“In a free country, think what you want. But if you now rise to power and have jurisdiction over legislation and you pivot that on what you don’t know about how the world works, that’s a recipe for disaster. It’s the beginning of the unraveling of an informed democracy.”
Here’s the video via YouTube.
Science-denying Republicans use their misinformation campaign to justify their war on women, making wholly false claims like legitimate rape can’t result in pregnancy, that contraceptives cause abortion and that fetuses feel pain after 20 weeks. And there’s the claim that abortion causes breast cancer, something that is absolutely false.
The bottom line is that Republican denial of science is harming this country, and the damage is getting harder to repair and reverse. At some point, our coastlines will be under water and women will die because Republicans won’t listen to facts that get in the way of their agenda.
America needs leaders who understand science and listen to it. Because right now, Republicans are ignoring science and that is putting our nation and planet in peril.
Perhaps scientists like Bill Nye and Tyson should consider running for public office. It would be fantastic to watch them give Republicans a science lesson on the House or Senate floor.
Featured image via screen capture from embedded video