So, the Bush administration is going to try and be pro-science. Here we go.
In October 2005, Mr. Deutsch sent an e-mail message to Flint Wild, a NASA contractor working on a set of Web presentations about Einstein for middle-school students. The message said the word “theory” needed to be added after every mention of the Big Bang.
The Big Bang is “not proven fact; it is opinion,” Mr. Deutsch wrote, adding, “It is not NASA’s place, nor should it be to make a declaration such as this about the existence of the universe that discounts intelligent design by a creator.”
It continued: “This is more than a science issue, it is a religious issue. And I would hate to think that young people would only be getting one-half of this debate from NASA. That would mean we had failed to properly educate the very people who rely on us for factual information the most.”
Deutsch is 24 years old, having just graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism a few years ago. As a reward for being a loyal Republican party apparatchik, he has been generously appointed to be a Political Officer enforcing doctrine over a bunch of high-falutin’ rocket scientists. Shades of Lysenko!
It must have been a heady feeling to have the power to dictate ideology to a lot of scientists with Ph.D.s.
I wonder if it now feels terrible to have one’s stupidity and ignorance a matter of public record (“theory” does not mean what he thinks it means), and to have so thoroughly overreached one’s intellectual capacity that it will be emblematic of the Republican corruption of science policy for years to come? Or perhaps (and perhaps more likely) Mr Deutsch is basking in the high regard of his know-nothing peers in this administration, who probably think smacking a scientist with a Bible is a clever retort.
If there were justice, Deutsch’s political career would be dead now, and he’d have to make a living selling aluminum siding in Topeka. I fear he’s just improved his standing in the Republican party.
Add Cosmic Variance to the list. I think you’re going to see a growing righteous fury among scientists on this.