Whenever I complain about the Michigan state legislature and some of its more neanderthal members, all I have to do is look at Texas, Oklahoma or Louisiana and I feel better. Hemant reports on a state legislator in Louisiana who actually claimed that it was scientists who burned people at the stake for disagreeing with them:
There was a time, sir, when scientists thought that the world was flat. And if you get to the end of it, you’d fall off.
There was another time when scientists thought that the sun revolved around the world.
And they always thought to ensure that anyone who disagreed with their science was a heretic! People were burned for not believing that the world was flat. People were really badly treated.
My point, sir, is that not everyone knows everything. And, in a school, there should be an open exchange of ideas. Knowledge only grows when people can talk about and have this intellectual back-and-forth, this discourse, with all ideas on the table. To restrict ideas is against knowledge and it’s against education. Therefore, at the appropriate time, Mr. Chairman, I move that this bill be involuntarily deferred.
A Democrat on the committee had this reply:
Just a quick addendum to my good friend Sen. Guillory’s comments. Actually, you talk about the world being flat and not the center of the universe? [It was] Galileo and it was the Church that locked him up for nine years for advocating that theory.
So, although I appreciate your comments about [how] there are alternative theories, when you look at history, oftentimes, when science pushes the envelope, the leading person to lock that person up, is oftentimes religious leaders.
See, this is why I could never be an elected official. There’s simply no way I could fake this kind of civility. I could not call someone “my good friend” or “my esteemed colleague” when they say shit like this. I’m much more likely to address them as “the fucking moron from the city of Baton Rouge.”