Oh, Rick Perry. He's like a feudal lord who was just defrosted from the 13th century, only better-coiffed and less handy with a lance. He's like his own personal Renaissance Festival. Science? Forsooth, milord, what dost thou mean?

In last night's debate, Perry offered the following extremely convincing argument against global warming:

  1. Not all scientists believe in it, I am pretty sure.
  2. I can't name any scientist who doesn't, but then, I can't name any scientists at all.
  3. Even if they do say it's a fact, that doesn't mean it's true.
  4. Because Galileo.
  5. Hey, Galileo! He's a scientist who probably didn't believe in global warming!
  6. QED.

THIS IS BARELY EVEN AN EXAGGERATION. Here's an actual quote: "The idea that we would put American's economy at jeopardy [sic] based on scientific theory that's not settled yet [sic] to me is just, is nonsense. Just because you have a group of scientists that's stood up and said 'here is the fact,' Galileo got outvoted for a spell." See, my way was much easier to understand!

Ugh, can we make a law that anti-science cranks have to read Galileo before they can throw his name around? Perry et al. seem to think the G-man is just a convenient symbol for stamping your foot and insisting on your viewpoint even when other people squawk, as though "Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems" consisted entirely of two guys sticking their fingers in their ears and going "LA LA CAN'T HEAR YOU." In fact, Galileo was a consummate evidence-based scientist — he didn't just roll his eyes at the Ptolemaic model of the universe, he actually invented new tools to observe things that contradicted it. This made some people mad, because they don't like reconsidering their beliefs, but not as mad as when he made fun of religious figures. Note to Perry: In this metaphor, Galileo is not you.

Also, "just because you have a group of scientists that's stood up and said 'here is the fact,'" that doesn't mean you have to believe it. That happened! I don't know about you, but that's what I want in a president — a complete, deliberate, and downright proud imperviousness to facts. Because that worked out real well last time. 

In other 13th-century refugee news, Rick Santorum only kinda believes in evolution, but since I can't look at his face without laughing I don't care. He looks like Ryan Reynolds fucked a turtle.