It is with some amusement that The Skeptic Tank has worked an extremely little bit with Sen. Traficant's office on the disappearance of Philip Kramer. I had known that Sen Traficant was poorly educated about science but I didn't know that he was... well, words can't describe the insanity. - flr


Date: Tue, 08 Dec 1998 02:36:41 -0600
From: Brian Beitlich
Subject: Main-Index-Page
To: frice@skeptictank.org

Dear Frederic-

Here's a piece for your skeptic webpage (Which I thoroughly enjoy by the way)

The following is a one minute speech given to the House of Representatives by Rep. Jim Traficant one August 3rd, 1998. (http://www.house.gov/traficant/1998speecharchive.htm)

SEVEN PERCENT OF SCIENTISTS BELIEVE IN GOD

August 3, 1998 -----------------------------------

"Mr. Speaker, a new report says only 7 percent of scientists believe in God. That is right. And the reason they gave was that the scientists are `super smart.' Unbelievable. Most of these absent-minded professors cannot find the toilet.

Mr. Speaker, I have one question for these wise guys to constipate over: How can some thing come from no thing?

And while they digest that, Mr. Speaker, let us tell it like it is. Put these super-cerebral master debaters in some foxhole with bombs bursting all around them, and I guarantee they will not be praying to Frankenstein.

Beam me up here. My colleagues, all the education in the world is worthless without God and a little bit of common sense. And I yield back whatever we have left."

---------------------------------

Wow. After I read that, I had to take a minute to actually swallow the fact that these kinds of things go on in the United States House of Representatives. Maybe I'm just naive, but I'd like to think that speeches given to the Speaker of the House should have some validity; they should not be emotional tirades without facts.

I wrote him a reply:

---------------------------------

While recently perusing the net for information and readings on science and religion, I came across an article that mentioned your name and some comments that you made. The article quoted you as saying the following on August 3rd:

INSERT SPEECH FROM ABOVE HERE

It disturbs me that someone that sits on the House Science Committee would give an emotional, slandering, anti-scientific statement.

You seem to be misunderstanding the whole point of science. Science seeks to understand the universe through rationality, reason, and skepticism. At no point, does science make the claim: "All this 'something' comes from nothing." Science does not have all the answers, but it seeks to find them in a self-correcting manner. Religion seems to be making the very claim that you deem ludicrous, by claiming that the universe came from the hand of an all-powerful god that we can never understand, and for which there is not a shred of scientific evidence.

Your perception of scientists seems to be based more on comic books than reality. Scientists do not "Worship Frankenstein." Your proposal of the experiment to put scientists in a foxhole and drop bombs on them seems like a personal attack on science. Your claim that "Most of these absent-minded professors cannot find the toilet" is downright stupid. Stupid remarks reduce your debate to mere mudslinging, and I am ashamed that a United States Representative would say the things that you said.

Please write back and tell me if the quote is authentic. If it is not, please e-mail me the correct version. If it is true, then I have lost all respect for you.

Sincerely,

Brian Beitlich
University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse

-------------------------------------

I hope Jim actually reads my letter and bothers to consider that what he said is dangerous to society.

Thank you for your time, Frederic.

-Brian Beitlich

---

The views and opinions stated within this web page are those of the author or authors which wrote them and may not reflect the views and opinions of the ISP or account user which hosts the web page. The opinions may or may not be those of the Chairman of The Skeptic Tank.

Return to The Skeptic Tank's main Index page.

E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank