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Science in the political cross hairs

September 12, 2012|By Dan Turner
  • Mitt Romney addresses the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla.
Mitt Romney addresses the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla. (Mark Wilson / Getty Images )

Are Republicans waging a war on science?

That has been a foregone conclusion of liberal commentators since the beginnings of the George W. Bush administration, whose positions on climate change, stem-cell research and other issues seemed less informed by textbooks than by the Bible -- or Exxon Mobil’s balance sheet.

Yet referring to these political strategies as a "war on science" is little different from the GOP’s hyperbolic claims about Democrats’ "war on religion." Except when it comes to climate change -- an issue on which nearly the entire Republican Party has chosen to ignore or shout down the conclusions of the scientific community -- most GOP candidates seem about as knowledgeable as their Democratic counterparts on scientific issues, even if those on the religious right often prefer nonscientific explanations for such phenomena as the origins of human beings.

Still, GOP candidates do seem to commit more than their share of anti-science gaffes. Here's a photo gallery showing a few who could stand some remedial lessons on biology, psychology or environmental science.

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