Friday, April 24, 2009

Simpletons think Complex Questions are Simple

From (Republican, of course) Rep. Joe Barton's YouTube page, with this info: "When Rep. Joe Barton asked the Nobel Prize winning Energy Secretary, Dr. Steven Chu, where oil comes from - he got a puzzling answer."

Dr. Steven Chu is a Nobel-Prize winning Physicist.
Joe Barton is evidently a sub-idiot.

This really is exasperating. It's like a very young child asking one of those "simple" questions such as : "How does television work?" There is a simple metaphorical answer ("Images come over the wires!") that doesn't tell an adult much.

But if an adult asks such a question, one has to probe how much they already know about how the world works.

In the case or Rep. Barton, I guess one would have to ask him "Have you ever heard of geological time? Plate tectonics? Continental drift? Subduction? Pangea or Gondwana? As for Alaska, have you heard of glaciation?"

It appears, from Rep Barton putting that clip on his own Youtube page that the answer would be "No, I don't really know about any of those."

And then, the answer to him would have to be, as it would be for a six-year old child: "God put it there."

And again we are forced to ask, What are the bipartisan solutions that can be reached with someone who is proud of asking that and thinks Chu's answer is "puzzling" but doesn't realize the question is juvenile?

I realize that there are Democrats who aren't geniuses, too. But Republican congresspeople, like Barton, seem to be proud of it.


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