A Few Things Ill Considered

Let us count the ways….

How much wrongness can you pack into one short paragraph? This is from Rep. SHEILA BUTT (R-Columbia) in Tennessee, spoken in favor of a bill to “teach the controversy” in science class:

At the risk of drawing this out, which I hate to do, but I do know, as Rep. Dunn has mentioned, that I was taught things in science class in high school which have turned out not to be true. I remember so many of us when we were seniors in high school, we gave up AquaNet hairspray. You remember why we did that? Because it was causing global warming! That aerosol in those cans was causing global warming. Since then, scientists have said maybe we shouldn’t have given up that aerosol can because that aerosol was actually absorbing the earth’s rays and keeping us from global warming. So, so many things we learned in science class have turned out not to be true.

Of course, it is not what she was taught that turned out to not be true, it was her own fundamental misunderstandings.

The Wonkroom takes a closer look at that comment and that legislation.


  1. #1 mxh
    April 18, 2011

    Even if what she said was true, the “so, we should teach the controversy” wouldn’t make sense. Science changes with changes in our understanding of the world (religious people never understand this, since their understanding of the world stopped advancing after the bronze age). I think that her logic is as follows: Isaac Newton, a scientist said one thing about gravity, then we find out from Einstein that it’s something different, so we should teach an unproven (and utterly ridiculous) idea because maybe a future scientist will prove that right.

  2. #2 mandas
    April 18, 2011

    It’s easy to pick many incorrect things in that statement, but the biggest lie was that the woman attended science class.

  3. #3 natsel
    April 18, 2011

    She should be a GOP presidential race. She is ideal for those who think Palin is too intellectual.

  4. #4 MacTurk
    April 19, 2011

    Can I nominate Tennessee for the title of “Most Stoooopid State”?

    It seems to produce more than its fair quota of brain dead people, who are then, naturally, elected to the legislature.

    There they flourish and frolic, producing gems like the recent HOUSE BILL 368, which is yet another attempt to gain back-door access for (Un)Intelligent Design in the state’s science classrooms.

  5. #5 Alteredstory
    April 20, 2011

    What frustrates me the most about this stuff is that it is SO common for these people to not only not know what they’re talking about, but to clearly have no interest in knowing what they’re talking about.

    You would think it was their job to actually seek out the best information available, or maybe even to want to look like they have some idea of what’s going on, but they don’t even make an effort to APPEAR like they care.

    It’s like they take their advice on governance (and life) from Dilbert’s pointy-haired boss…

  6. #6 cervantes
    April 22, 2011

    C’mon. Sheila BUTT? That’s a joke, right?

  7. #7 PaulinMI
    May 2, 2011

    I agree with MacTurk.
    I wonder if Al Gore would?