Thursday, June 17, 2010

#38: Sam Brownback

US senator (Kansas-R) and a pretty high-profile fellow. Fundamentalist theocrat and outspoken creationist. Yes he’s been known to pound on the “evolution is just a theory” confusion, thereby automatically displaying his meager understanding of science. Even worse he believes in “micro-evolution, but not macro-evolution” (a well-known gambit, using a distinction that makes absolutely no scientific sense), relies on false appeals to controversy (look, biologists don’t agree on the details, hence the theory of evolution must be false), claims that evolution is an atheistic conspiracy (evolution entails materialism and determinism, modus tollens), and says that evolution means that everything is just chance (no, he doesn’t understand the theory of evolution). Dunning-Kruger running rampant, in other words, but ignorance has never stopped a politician like Brownback.

Brownback also asserts that if science contradicts the Bible, then science must go:

“While no stone should be left unturned in seeking to discover the nature of man's origins, we can say with conviction that we know with certainty at least part of the outcome. Man was not an accident and reflects an image and likeness unique in the created order. Those aspects of evolutionary theory compatible with this truth are a welcome addition to human knowledge. Aspects of these theories that undermine this truth, however, should be firmly rejected as an atheistic theology posing as science.”

His views on science are nicely summed up here, and (more succinctly) here, and also here.

The famous “blogs for Brownback”, notable for arguing that heliocentricism is an atheist conspiracy and that electrons are really angels in disguise whereas protons are demons, is widely believed to be a parody and might easily be.

Among other notable views, Brownback is known to support stem-cell research – conditional on advice from the Family Research Council (the “Research” part must surely be a typo), as described here. Brownback also wishes to ban human-animal chimeras. Also seems to toy with David Barton-style reconstructionism.

Diagnosis: Zealous Lysenkoist. His understanding of science is best characterized as a severe case of Dunning-Kruger. Moron. Wields some power, but will apparently retire from the Senate this year.


  1. He's back, ready to rally Christian freedom fighters to cause revolution and "take back America" ... from ...?

  2. Brownback and his legislative minions have also managed to wreck the government of Kansas in service to their gospel of tax cuts.