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Republicans keep denying evidence they don't like — as a former Republican and polar bear scientist, I know exactly how dangerous this can be

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I was raised in a conservative Republican home with strong beliefs in free markets. My dad was raised on a North Dakota farm, where success depended on hard work and independent problem-solving skills. I grew up believing that government intervention in our personal lives should be limited to things we cannot effectively do as individuals, such as law enforcement, national defense, and protecting the public from unfair business practices and negative externalities.

My upbringing emphasized data-based decision-making — seeking the truth and adhering to evidence, rather than simply trusting what someone might say or write — no matter how bully their pulpit. Thus, my family took pride in America's scientific leadership, from agricultural improvements to creating the polio vaccine to landing on the moon, and my parents encouraged my interest in biology from my earliest years.

My trust that the Republican party can uphold its once-proud legacy, however, has waned over many years and has now totally collapsed. The current party philosophy seems to be: "If you don't like something, simply say it's false" If you don't like the evidence that Trump lost the 2020 election, no worries, just insist it isn't true. If you don't like the serious threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, just claim it isn't real. If you don't like the fact that a reliance on fossil fuels is dangerously warming the world, simply deny it. And when challenged, don't produce evidence, just become louder and more shrill.

The Republican party of my youth is no longer recognizable.

It would be nice if the rest of us could........

© Business Insider

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