That video takes only 30 seconds to watch. It’s from last night’s Republican debate among the candidates for that party’s presidential nomination. Perry was asked about global warming.
According to ABC News, in Rick Perry, Galileo and Global Warming, he said:
The science is not settled on this. The idea that we would put Americans’ economy at jeopardy based on scientific theory that’s not settled yet to me is just nonsense. Just because you have a group of scientists who stood up and said here is the fact. Galileo got outvoted for a spell.
Most of that isn’t in the video linked above. It only shows him saying:
Galileo got outvoted for a spell.
We’ll return to that in a moment, but first we have to say that we’re not terribly interested in debating the global warming topic here — although it’s virtually certain to dominate the comments. We’ve stated our position before — more than once. Although your Curmudgeon doesn’t know the science of climatology, and is unlikely to take the time to study it, he assumes the specialists know what they’re talking about — when they talk about their science. But when it comes to economics and politics, we’re quite certain that we know far more than they do, and we regret the support many of them give to politicians who shamelessly appropriate the authority of science as a pretext for seeking control of the world’s economic activity.
Our reaction would be the same if, instead of climatology, the science being commandeered were quantum mechanics. Suppose Al Gore ran around claiming that he and his power-crazed comrades should rule the world because of Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle. Our reaction would be the same — we don’t want Al Gore and the UN to rule the world. That doesn’t mean we’re denying quantum mechanics or any other science. Rather, we’re defending property rights, free markets, and the free enterprise system. Okay?
Now let’s get back to Perry’s remark last night — “Galileo got outvoted for a spell.” What in the world was he trying to say? In his own ignorant way he was referring to the Galileo affair of almost 400 years ago.
You know all about it. Galileo was compelled by the Inquisition to confess heresy and to renounce the solar system. See: Indictment and Abjuration of 1633. His book, Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, was banned and placed on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum, and he was kept under house arrest for the remaining seven years of his life. According to Wikipedia’s list of authors and works listed on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum, more than a century after it was banned, a censored version of Galileo’s book was permitted in 1741, and almost another century passed until the entire book was finally removed from the Index — in 1835.
So yes, one might say that Galileo was “outvoted for a spell.” Two hundred years is quite a spell! But what was Perry’s point? Does he see himself as Galileo? Does he think Galileo was a politician who was “outvoted”? Can anyone make any sense of it?
We’ll stick with our often-mentioned opinion: Whether he’s insane or just a flaming ignoramus, Perry is unfit to be President.
Copyright © 2011. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.