I'm Not Worried

Mike the Mad Biologist explains his worry about why political pandering to creationists matters:

In March, there's going to be a report released about antibiotic resistance in bacteria. A major finding of the report: roughly 40,000 people die every year from hospital-acquired antibiotic resistant bacterial infections.

The problem of antibiotic resistance is, fundamentally, a problem of evolutionary biology. Species of bacteria which had very few resistant strains (or none at all) now contain high frequencies of resistance strains (e.g., methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus, commonly known as MRSA). In other words, populations of bacteria have undergone genetic change—evolution—which has led to thousands of unnecessary deaths. How can one expect any administration which has to pander to creationists to take this evolutionary problem seriously?
One's answer to that question is predicated on whether one believes the person doing the pandering actually believes their own bullshit. See, I imagine that if one of the dopes currently pandering to creationists, in spite of having shown a vague respect for science and reason in the past, actually became president, an evolutionary biology-related health crisis of unspeakable proportions would be no more (or less) likely than if a non-panderer became president. Guys like McCain and Giuliani are full of shit and desperate to get elected, but they're not stupid.

It's not the panderers about whom we have to worry. It's the jerkoffs who actually believe this shit. But, frankly, even then, in the face of an imminent and unavoidable calamity, I imagine the relationship between their allergy to evolutionary biology and their aversion to aiding and abetting a plague would look eerily similar to the relationship between Bush's rhetoric about a culture of life and Bush's foreign policy. The thing to always keep in mind is that these people are first and foremost disingenuous tossers without a speck of integrity or consistency.

That said, I wouldn't, with any confidence, put it past any of them to let half of America succumb to rogue bacteria—but if they did, it wouldn't be because they're creationists. It would be because they couldn't find a way to profit from stopping it, or because their corporate masters found a way to profit from not stopping it, or because they're generally evil shits with a penchant for social Darwinism (the irony). In any case, it's probably safer not to assume you can predict anything based on the stated principles of modern movement conservatives.

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