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The Return of the Creationists

How can we expect political sense or reason from people who cannot distinguish empirical reality from ancient myth?

· 4 min read
The Return of the Creationists
The Garden of Eden with the Fall of Man, Peter Paul RubensJan Brueghel the Elder, c. 1615. Wikimedia Commons

I have spent so much of the past few years publicly bemoaning the anti-free-speech craziness—driven mostly by the Left—at American universities and scientific institutions, that I had almost forgotten that, in the not-too-distant past, the most severe threat to rational discourse and policy came from religious fundamentalists. 

The pendulum is not yet swinging back, but there are worrying signs that it might. Last month Mike Johnson was elected Speaker of the US House of Representatives, a role that puts him third in line to the presidency. That Johnson’s political and social views are extremely right wing, and that he was a strong supporter of Donald Trump’s efforts to invalidate the results of the 2020 election are well known—but, even more worryingly, he espouses a fundamentalist Biblical literalism, which informs all his views on policy issues.

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