Why Does The Right Feel Free To Interpret Science But Not The Constitution And The Bible?

If anything, it should be the other way around. The Bible is not only full of contradictions. Most of it was written hundreds of years after the events it portrays, and it has lost meaning with each translation. As for the Constitution, not even its authors thought it was infallible. Indeed, the Founders expected it to be modified regularly. Jefferson even suggested that it be revisited every generation. And the Constitution addressed the principles and issues of the time. The Founders could not have imagined the issues of today.

As a result, both the Bible and the Constitution may be interpreted in a myriad of ways.

Science, on the other hand, is based entirely on evidence. Science takes a hypothesis and tests it in order to determine if the principle is correct. Only when the results have been repeated on multiple occasions does science accept the hypothesis as fact. For example, gravity was once considered a theory, but every experiment and observation proved it to be true, so it is now accepted as fact. The same is true of evolution and human-caused climate change. In each case, there is an abundance of evidence. Yet conservatives continue to challenge the principles with a few anecdotal experiences based on personal opinion.

In other words, on these issues and many others, conservatives have things backward.

Conservatives continually want to replace science and other evidence with opinion to suit their own ideologies. For instance, they deny the positive impact of Keynesian economics which has been proven by economists on multiple occasions. Instead, they want to rely on Reaganomics which has never proven to work. Even the two architects of Reagan’s trickle down theory have abandoned the concept as a failure and a fraud.

Conservatives actually believe that the poor are lazy despite the fact that most work full-time jobs. Conservatives believe that giving tax breaks and subsidies to large corporations will actually increase federal revenue and create jobs. Conservatives believe that using contraceptives makes women sluts. They believe that preaching abstinence to teens prevents unwanted pregancies despite all evidence to the contrary. They believe that defunding abortion, denying food stamps and school lunch programs for children and declaring war halfway around the world makes them “pro-life.”

Conservatives deny that our national obsession with coal, gas and oil is destroying our planet despite the findings of the world’s most respected climatoligists and evidence of the rapid melting of the planet’s largest glaciers. Conservatives believe that allowing industries to police themselves will maintain our environment. Conservatives believe that allowing the wealthy and large corporations to influence elections is protecting freedom of speech.

There’s a word for such people…and it’s not conservative. It’s delusional!

Environmental Suicide.

Many years ago, a scientist named Paul Ehrlich convinced me of the dangers of uncontrolled population growth. He helped create an organization named Zero Population Growth (ZPG) which called for couples to have no more than two children – the number needed to replace the parents while maintaining the existing population. At the time, the world’s population stood at approximately 3.6 billion.

In 2011, the world population exceeded 7 billion!

Even today, few of the world’s governments have taken serious action to limit population growth. Discounting the effects of our never-ending wars, the exception is the one baby policy instituted by China and Indonesia. By enforcing a policy of one baby per couple, the governments hoped to improve economic conditions for their people while preserving dwindling resources. Although the populations of China and Indonesia have continued to grow, by most accounts, the policy has worked. China claims that 400,000 births have been averted. As a result, it recently announced that it will begin to relax the policy.

It seems that one of the biggest obstacles to population control is the lack of access to contraception. Population Action International estimates that as many as 215 million women around the world who want to prevent pregnancy need contraception. Many of these women are denied access to education and contraceptives by religion. This is even a problem in the Americas, especially Latin America.

That’s because the Vatican and other religious leaders have called for a ban on contraceptives and family planning. (It seems they believe that only God can decide the number of children to be born.) These religions often consider science the enemy of faith. Further, many of the same religions tell us that we have nothing to fear from over-population; that if the Earth is destroyed, the faithful will all end up in heaven. Indeed, some religious leaders are anxiously awaiting the “Rapture.”

The attitudes of politicians and corporations are nearly as bad.

In the US, some conservative politicians are trying to ban access to both contraception and abortion. In addition, many corporations see population control and environmental regulations as threats to sales growth. Any real effort to stop global warming would curb the sales of the oiligarchy. And how would corporations continue the escalation of their share prices if they couldn’t clear-cut forests, extract minerals, pillage our oceans, and create sprawling subdivisions?

Large profits require large populations.

Meanwhile, scientists the world over are screaming about the effects of over-population and the increased burning of fossil fuels. They point to alarming evidence that our environment may soon reach a tipping point. They cite statistics of rising temperatures, rising sea levels and shrinking ice shelves. They warn that lost species are like canaries in the coal mine; that the extinction of such species is a precursor to the extinction of our own.

If none of that alarms you, maybe this video will. The scientist in the video makes one of the most compelling (and frightening) arguments yet.

Sex, Politics, Religion And Poverty.

According to a new Census Bureau report, Social and Economic Characteristics of Currently Unmarried Women With a Recent Birth: 2011, more than 6 out of 10 women who have children in their early twenties are unmarried. That number has accelerated in recent years – up 80 percent since 1980. Overall, 36 percent of all births in the United States were to unmarried mothers in 2011.

The Census Bureau attributed the increase, in part, to changing norms for sexual behavior and a decrease in marriage rates. But before you religious zealots decry the alleged decline in our nation’s moral values, you should know that teen mothers are far more common in the US than in Europe, despite the fact that, according to studies, US teens have less sex than European teens.

Obviously, there are reasons beyond the imagined moral decline. The most important is economic. Women with college degrees and higher incomes are far less likely to be single mothers. And according to many studies, the greater the gap between the poor and the middle class in any particular region, the more likely an unmarried woman is to have a baby while she’s young!

Pushing the mother to marry the child’s father often makes matters worse. It results in a variety of associated problems including domestic abuse, early divorce and children who are traumatized by parental conflict, broken households and overall instability.

Given the fact that most of those in the US who are living on public assistance are single mothers and their children, it’s in all of our best interests to find a solution to this phenomenon. In searching for answers, we should first look at sex education and contraception. Several studies have found that education on correct contraceptive use works best in preventing teen pregnancy. These studies also conclude that abstinence-only education may, in fact, contribute to an increase in teen pregnancies.

A 10-year government study found that that “students in abstinence-only programs were no more likely to have abstained from sex, had similar numbers of sexual partners, and had sex for the first time at around the same age as students not in abstinence-only programs.”

All of this shows that, instead of allowing Teapublicans to cut sex education in public schools, we should be increasing it. Instead of allowing the Catholic Church and evangelists to deny easy access to contraceptives, we should be making them more available. And instead of cutting public assistance and food stamp programs, we should be improving them. Studies prove that doing otherwise only perpetuates the problem.

As usual, the right is wrong!