Rush Limbaugh: Evolution = Liberalism

As Clint Eastwood’s character, Dirty Harry Callahan, always says: “A man’s got to know his limitations.” Alas, Rush Limbaugh has not yet learned that vital lesson.

We’ve posted before about El Rushbo’s bizarre views on evolution, the last time was here: Rush Limbaugh on Evolution — Again! But the man seems obsessed; he can’t leave it alone.

At Rush’s website you can read the transcript of his broadcast on 28 October. This segment is titled Liberalism is a Genetic Defect as Demonstrated by Chris Matthews.

Rush starts out talking about the news that “Scientists Find ‘Liberal Gene’. Your Curmudgeon noticed some articles about that, but for several reasons we decided to ignore it — primarily because science journalism is so abysmal that we suspected the whole thing was being wildly exaggerated. If you’re interested, here’s a writeup at PhysOrg: Researchers find a ‘liberal gene’.

Anyway, the headlines about a “liberal gene” were irresistible to Rush. Here are just a few snippets from what he says, with bold font added by us:

Everybody tries to figure out, “How can a liberal be that way? You know, why do people do stupid things?” It’s in the brain, and now we’ve got science to actually back it up.

This is a classic example of pick-and choose science. Rush readily accepts a journalistic account about one new piece of research that fits into his political viewpoint. But does he just as readily accept all scientific findings — even those he doesn’t like? No, not even well-supported theories that have been successfully tested for generations. Stay with us, you’ll see what we mean.

The middle of Rush’s transcript is something he plays from the Chris Matthews show. We won’t bother excerpting that, but you can click over to Rush’s website to read it. Rush concludes that recording by saying:

Anyway, arguing with these people is a waste of time because they — it’s now been documented by science — are suffering from a genetic defect.

At that point the transcript indicates a break — probably for a commercial or something — and then:

Liberalism: A genetic defect. Why not? In fact, liberals are descended from pond scum. They say so. They claim it to be true. They insist, they teach that they are descended from pond scum. “What do you mean by that, Rush?” Well, very simple, folks. They don’t believe in creation. They believe in evolution. And they were swimming around in some primordial soup as amoebas or some other fishy life form. They were swimming around in the algae, swimming around in the pond scum.

Good, huh? Here’s the rest of that paragraph:

The best argument against evolution is liberals. Liberalism and liberals themselves are the best argument against evolution. So why is it so hard to believe they have a genetic defect when they insist and they teach that they are descended from pond scum?

That’s where the transcript ends.

What can we say? We know it upsets some of our readers, but your Curmudgeon has been a long-time fan of El Rushbo. That’s because we like his politics — but not his off-topic rants about science, about which he knows nothing. These increasing episodes of creationism are becoming alarming.

Anyway, dear reader, whether Rush likes it or not, we are all brothers in pond scum. We are kin not only to Aristotle and Shakespeare and Darwin and Einstein, but also to Jack the Ripper, Flipper, Rin Tin Tin, and the Geico Gecko. That’s the way it is.

Copyright © 2010. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

add to del.icio.usAdd to Blinkslistadd to furlDigg itadd to ma.gnoliaStumble It!add to simpyseed the vineTailRankpost to facebook

. AddThis Social Bookmark Button . Permalink for this article

21 responses to “Rush Limbaugh: Evolution = Liberalism

  1. “…your Curmudgeon has been a long-time fan of El Rushbo. That’s because we like his politics…”

    Is this true, or a joke?

    If true, I’d ask the Curmudgeon this: how can you support a scientific worldview and fail to understand that it is synonymous with liberalism? How do you explain that the vast majority of scientifically literate people are liberals?

  2. I’m sure that ol Rushblob would have serious problems with the theory of relativity too. ;)

  3. The best argument against evolution is liberals. Liberalism and liberals themselves are the best argument against evolution. So why is it so hard to believe they have a genetic defect when they insist and they teach that they are descended from pond scum?

    Uh, what? Liberals were designed to have a defective notion of origins? That’s Rush’s reasoning?

    Sorry, Limbo, we sometimes jest, and sometimes quite seriously note, that creationists and various other errant bozos (never mind politics at large, I tire of that) really are understandable via evolution. Plantinga and others like to point out that evolution would not be particularly adept at producing humans who have a reliable understanding of matters, and voila, what do we see? A bunch of people who can’t think themselves out of their magic boxes.

    No, the evolution accepters are those who have adopted a cultural trait that minimizes the effects of our evolutionarily-caused teleological bias. The fact that science doesn’t come to humans naturally is almost certainly due to our evolution as “phenomenological” organisms. It has not traditionally been that conservatives clung stupidly to ancient biases, nor is it a universal trait among them today–let’s hope that it never becomes required by “conservatism.”

  4. Which variant of the DRD4 gene is “defective”, the one that predisposes a person to be a novelty seeker (thus potentially open to different points of view) or the one that predisposes a person to shun novelty? After reading the transcript of Rush’s rant, which is amazingly offensive, I would guess that Rush possesses the defective variant.

    The other, equally likely, possibility is that he has the liberal variant gene, but didn’t have any friends growing up. Someone should challenge him to have a DNA test done.

  5. Limbaugh has no politics except the Almighty Dollar. But, seriously, who needs principles, ethics or a political position if you pull in $20 million a year? Just another big mouth, or as we say here in Texas, all hat and no cattle.

  6. If true, I’d ask the Curmudgeon this: how can you support a scientific worldview and fail to understand that it is synonymous with liberalism?

    I call shenanigans. One’s politics and one’s approach to science have no relationship. I’ve know brilliant scientists that were all over the political spectrum. The correlation between scientists and liberals is very much a function of the employers of most scientists- universities.

    There is nothing in science that leads one to the conclusion that individual freedoms and responsibilities should be subservient to central planning and the rule of the academic elite.

  7. BTW, to be clear, I’m defining “conservatism” as a coherent philosophy of individual rights and responsibilities and the adherence to the constitutionally mandated limitations on the power of central governments as exemplified by thoughtful people like Barry Goldwater, F. A. Hayek, or William F. Buckley, NOT the party line goofiness of radio and TV entertainers nor the big government policies espoused by contemporary Republicans (who are pretty much indistinguishable in that respect from contemporary Democrats).

  8. SY says:

    I call shenanigans. One’s politics and one’s approach to science have no relationship.

    Have fun with Bill G if you like. I’m not going to respond at all to the guy.

  9. Nope, that was my final answer. Unless I can work ball-scratching into this one as well. ;-)

  10. There is no connection between belief in science and being either liberal or conservative on political matters. However, since the religious right hi-jacked the GOP in the 80′s, and began to push their social agenda, it has become something of a litmus test of “true conservatism” to deny global warming, deny evolution, etc. However, that is simply an unfortunate situation extant in the GOP today, and has nothing to do with having a conservative philosophy.

  11. And ever since the Democrats got hijacked by the academic elitist left, it has become a litmus test to assert that AGW is “settled science,” to deny even the possibility of any innate physical or brain function differences between genders and ethnicities, to assert as scientific fact the exclusive genetic determinism of sexual orientation, and to deny the basic humanity of a near-term fetus having organized and functional cerebral activity.

    Sorry, once politicians get hold of science, science loses, no matter whether the letter after their name is “D” or “R.”

  12. Gabriel Hanna

    Well, scientific knowledge is the gold standard of knowledge and has been for a long time. Any interest group will have a strong motivation to pass off their prescriptions as “scientific”, but since science is devoid of normative content it’s all bs.

    Rush Limbaugh uses a lot of irony. His embrace of the “liberal gene” is ironic: as Bill G illustrates for us many liberals think that their philosophy is scientifically based and that conservatives reject science. So Limbaugh is using that to twit them. Especially considering that there have been plenty of attempts to “scientifically” prove conservatism is a mental defect. Part of his shtick is to generate outrage from people who take him literally–he goes so far as to predict what they will say and how they will say it. He’s yanking chains. I don’t like that sort of thing and so I don’t listen to him.

    I am pretty sure if you ask Limbaugh he doesn’t believe that people’s opinions are genetic.

  13. Ed says:

    There is no connection between belief in science and being either liberal or conservative on political matters.

    Well, academics in general tend toward the liberal side, at least regarding their thinking about economics. That’s not because they know what they’re talking about, but because they don’t. Academic types tend to lack real-world experience — except when they’re looking for a job. When one is sheltered from the realities of the marketplace, it’s easy to imagine that a bunch of smart guys (like their wonderful selves) can work it all out. It’s a classic conceit.

  14. Well! I’d just like to say….

    Nope, never mind. No comment.

    (LOL!)

  15. Gabriel Hanna

    I’m getting very tired of irony and arguments tu quoque. Liberals should reject evolution because they don’t practice survival of the fittest. Conservatives should accept it because they do. I’m so tired of it. Why can’t people just say what they think and argue for it, and rebut what the other guys say they think, instead of everyone trying to rebut what they assume other people should think?

  16. Rush rarely discussed evolution until recently. But his brother David is a long-time anti-evolution activist, and thus must know that at least some of his misrepresentations are just that. I don’t think he’s a YEC, but I recall him to be more openly Biblical than the DI.

    Given the complete failure of ID/creationism as science, there really is nothing left but to keep playing the “Expelled” game, is-ought fallacy and all, and hoping to find new rubes who will buy it. I would bet that David nagged Rush for years to be his mouthpiece, but for some reason (like knowing it’s nonsense?) he resisted until recently. Maybe competition from Glenn Beck is forcing a “battle of the shock jocks.”

    Anyway, we sorely need more commentary on the issue from the more level-headed right wing commentators like Charles Krauthammer and George Will, both of whom accept evolution.

  17. “When one is sheltered from the realities of the marketplace, it’s easy to imagine that a bunch of smart guys (like their wonderful selves) can work it all out. It’s a classic conceit.”

    If that is classic conceit then I suppose your comment is modern conceit.

  18. Rush’s balderdash here is utterly useless…except that it provided me with an excuse to read that abstract. Very interesting. Thanks for the link SC.

  19. retiredsciguy

    Curmy says, “These increasing episodes of [Limbaugh's] creationism are becoming alarming.”
    They also damage his credibility on all other issues.
    Frank J said it best: “We sorely need more commentary on the issue from the more level-headed right wing commentators like Charles Krauthammer and George Will…”

  20. This is puzzling. Rush never used to talk about this kind of crap. I started listening to him when he was a local host in Sacramento, before he went national, and for years after he went national, until I got sick of him. Rush is a provocateur, a prankster, and a leg puller, so I wouldn’t automatically assume everything he says should be taken literally.

    Also, coming from a religiously conservative background, Rush almost never talks about religion. One of his first rules went he went on the radio was no Bible Quotes, no religious discussions, no religious arguments. Rush often pokes fun at the very pious; he never struck me as someone who was religious except in the general sense of believing in traditional moral values. Then you have the multiple divorces and the unsubstantiated rumors that “Rush is gay”, which I don’t believe (but he did have Elton John play at his recent wedding…hmmmm….); but whatever, Rush never struck me as being particularly religious.

    Either this is leg pulling, or Rush is going senile in his old age and reverting back to his childhood religion, “getting right with God”, making good with his family, etc. Rush has never been very good on science to begin with; he talks about stuff he has no business talking about but he does it anyway if it is political. But he’s avoided evolution as a topic until now, as far as I know.

  21. Conservative, creationist, multiple divorces, family values, blowhard. Does anyone else see a large number of inconsistencies here? Rush is in it for the money. Having developed a listener base early, he has to say what ever they agree with and will believe.

    Rush = Full Time Huckster.