Can the science abusers be stopped? Readers respond to "The Know-Nothings" by Andrew O'Hehir.

Published September 16, 2005 4:35PM (EDT)

[Read the article.]

I've long suspected a link between the philosophy of anti-science conservatives and postmodernism. George W. Bush and company (especially Karl Rove) seem to understand that reality is to be fashioned as they see fit. While they chide liberals for their moral "relativism," they're constantly obscuring and shifting the truth to further their own agenda.

Meanwhile, Democrats are still living in an Enlightenment fantasy world. They still think the public will act rationally if they can only convince them of the scientific and political merits of their arguments. And every day our democracy is slipping away.

-- Jesse Durst

I can't help but feel that Andrew O'Hehir and Chris Mooney are essentially talking about a modern-day Dark Age -- incredibly ironic considering exactly how much information we have at our disposal and the availability of tools to access that information.

-- Dave Chiu

I hate to be pessimistic, but the vast Republican conspiracy of corporate criminals and born-again bigots is hard to beat. Greed and stupidity are powerful forces, and when you have both on your side, you are almost unstoppable. All we can hope for is that the greedy become a little more stupid and the stupid become a little greedier, and maybe the unholy alliance will crumble.

-- John Mize

This is just one more piece of evidence of the decline of America as a world leader. The symptoms of this decline -- or is it free fall? -- abound: from increasing obesity to poor education to the widening gulf between rich and poor to the growing ranks of the know-nothings, America is well on the road to becoming a theocratic banana republic. I don't think it's pessimistic to say nothing can be done to stop it. The fuse has been lit, the rocket has been launched and all we can do is watch in amazement its trajectory and eventual fall to earth.

-- Denny Hodges

Under the Clinton administration, research into medical marijuana was blocked by Dr. Alan Leshner, then head of National Institute on Drug Abuse, on the grounds that federal law declared marijuana to be medically useless, and that was all we needed to know. Leshner left NIDA to become the CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The American science establishment is clearly not up to the task of defending American science from politicization.

-- Patricia Schwarz, Ph.D.

By Salon Staff

MORE FROM Salon Staff

Related Topics ------------------------------------------