Are Politicians Hostile to Science?

Are politicians anti-science?

Last week, The Telegraph's Tom Chivers argued that the Republican Party is hostile to science. Since several Republican presidential candidates have expressed skepticism of evolution and climate change, and a slim majority of Republican voters say they reject evolution, Chivers claims that the party "... has an uncomfortable relationship with scientific fact."

Yesterday, science writer Hank Campbell shot back, arguing that both Republicans and Democrats have an anti-science quality about them. Campbell challenged Chivers' interpretation of the statistics; the percentage of Republicans who reject evolution is actually closer to 39%. Furthermore, Campbell argues, the same numbers indicate that 30% of Democrats also reject Darwin's theory.

He also accused Chivers of ignoring examples of Democrats taking blatantly unscientific positions on issues like animal research, for example.

What do you think? Is there one party more anti-science than the other, or are both Republicans and Democrats equally guilty of being against science?

Photo Credit: Tennessee Weslyn College

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Cameron English

I cover public health, nutrition and science education for PolicyMic. I also write critical thinking exercises for high school science textbooks. My previous work includes freelance writing and editing for Science 2.0. I've never been paid by Monsanto for my opinions, though that would be awesome.

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