Matthews: Where did the ‘crazy rejection’ of science come from?


Let me finish tonight with this.

From the beginnings of our republic, we Americans have been pioneers. We have gone, as they say in Star Trek, “where no man has gone before.”

It’s not just geographic exploration. Science, understanding the wonders of the universe, has been an American frontier since the days when Ben Franklin put his kite in the air during a storm and excited us with the nature of electricity, and Thomas Edison and his streak of genius that seemed to invent just about everything. How proud we are each year when the American physicists and scientists and chemists bring home their bundles of Nobel Prizes. And, yes, the engineers and their wondrous ability to exploit what we’ve discovered. (Yes, we got to the moon!)

I use a cell phone and am in wonder at it, still in wonder at the radio wave that can come through concrete walls. I’m in wonder at the information I can command on a little device small enough to fit in my pocket. Isn’t science wonderful? Aren’t the people who did it all wonderful? Wasn’t Ronald Reagan right when he said his generation, the World War II generation, were all born without all this wonder, that they were the ones who developed it?

I don’t know where the new ignorance came from—this crazy rejection of all that mankind has learned, this refusal to allow scientific evidence that the earth is getting warmer, even as the snow and ice melt and the summers heat and lengthen. I don’t know what came of us, those religious among us, who believed in the moral truths in the Bible but have understood through the discovery of bones and other artifacts the long history of this planet that pre-dated the life of Abraham.  

The reason we succeed, the reason America has marched this great march, is to learn and then to do the right thing. We cannot do good if we refuse to the do the other. Human knowledge is good thing.   

Perhaps both parties should put that simple declaration in their platforms this year.   

Hardball Let Me Finish

Matthews: Where did the 'crazy rejection' of science come from?