The War on Science and the Future?

What if we’ve all missed the point of the war in Iraq? What if the real agenda of the Bush Administration was not to keep the Iraqis from establishing a Euro-denominated oil bourse, or to ensure U.S. access to Iraqi oil once Saudi Arabia collapses to revolution, or to assure future significant revenues for the Bush family’s consulting firm? What if the real agenda was to weaken and destroy science education and training in rational thought in the United States, in order to further creationism and fundamental religious beliefs?

Now… some may claim that might be going a bit too far, but, in support of the Bush war budget, the latest Congressional appropriations take huge cuts out of fundamental research in physics, so much so that Fermilab in Illinois and Stanford’s Linear Accelerator Center together will lay off more than 300 scientists and employees, essentially closing for all practical purposes. Why? Supposedly because the something like $95-$100 million required is needed more to fund the war than for physics research.

Pardon me, but I don’t see cuts in $200 million bridges to nowhere, and the cuts in federal funds for physics research amount to tenths of a percent of the annual costs of waging the war in Iraq. Such research cuts won’t add anything meaningful to the war funding, but they will cripple American physics research for years, if not longer.

We’re already suffering a decline in U.S. born and bred scientists, not to mention science and math teachers, and we’ve adopted “security measures” that effectively curtail the education and possible future assimilation of foreign-born doctoral students in the hard sciences. Could all this just be another part of the grand creationist conspiracy to damp down and wipe out critical scientific thought?

I mean… how could it be anything else? After all, much of American economic and military success has been based on our historic ability to entice the best minds and thoughts from around the world and to offer them rewards well beyond what they could ever have achieved in their homelands.

Surely, no thoughtful person would want to destroy one of the fundamental bases of American success and prosperity just through stupidity and oversight, would they? So there must be a reason for this policy. There has to be, doesn’t there? What else could it be but a great fundamentalist and creationist plot?