Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Hyper Bowl

I suppose it comes with the territory; being in the minority on an issue makes you try to grab as much attention as possible in a desperate attempt to win people over to your side. The hyperbole about the lifting of the ban on federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research is a case in point. People with little scientific knowledge but a lot of lung-power and scary science fiction made it into the news after President Obama announced the change in the government policy.

Perhaps the best one was Glenn Beck harking back to visions of 1930’s politically-motivated science — not to mention an episode of Star Trek — to threaten us with Eugenics.

In case you don’t know what Eugenics led us to: the Final Solution. A master race! A perfect person….

Aside from the fact that he’s trying to make the case that embryonic stem-cell research is part of a political agenda from the progressives, whereas banning it wasn’t one for the conservatives, he’s making the leap from trying to cure diseases like diabetes and Alzheimer’s to the Boys from Brazil. That’s not a leap, that’s a fall off the cliff from rational thinking to Wingnuttia.

This isn’t restricted to just science; same-sex marriage leads to people marrying their pets or flocks of sheep, and other horrors too terrible to contemplate. But have you noticed that it’s people like Glenn Beck and Rick Santorum who spend all their time contemplating these things, whereas most normal people are more concerned about finding cures for diseases and assuring that everybody is treated equally regardless of their marital status. I truly worry about people who not only dream up these worst-case scenarios, but actually talk about them with such a sense of untrammeled excitement. That’s really creepy.