Breitbart contributor says mass extinction via climate change isn’t a problem because of Jurassic Park

Earlier this week, Breitbart contributor and self-described smart person James Delingpole took issue with New York Magazine columnist Jonathan Chait’s argument that the recent Paris Climate Talks are a major achievement — both for the Obama administration and the world more generally.

In writing his point-by-point rebuttal, if you want to call it that, he took issue with a few of Chait’s claims about how science works. It did not go well for him:

Delingpole has since claimed that he was joking. While that’s at least plausible, it’s certainly odd in a series of points that were somehow both earnest attempts to prove Chait wrong and flippant dismissals of the very premise of the debate. Either way, we can all point and laugh for a second. His argument is bad, and he should feel bad.

28 percent of Americans take Delingpole's "joke" seriously, via YouGov

28 percent of Americans take Delingpole’s “joke” seriously, via YouGov

However, this may be a good time to remind everyone that a shockingly large proportion of Americans are so scientifically illiterate that they do, in fact, believe that we could make Jurassic Park real if we wanted to. A June poll from YouGov, released around the time that Jurassic World hit theaters, found that 28 percent of American adults think that it is either definitely or probably true that “it is currently possible to create dinosaur clones from DNA found in dinosaur fossils.” An additional 19 percent weren’t sure, leaving only a 54 percent majority responding that this work of science fiction was definitely or probably a work of science fiction.

The same poll found that 41 percent of Americans believe that humans definitely or probably lived with dinosaurs at the same time, barely edged out by the 43 percent of Americans who (correctly) believe that they definitely or probably did not. As YouGov noted in their summary, since their results merited this point of clarification, “In reality the earliest ancestors of humans have only been on the planet for 6 million years, while the last dinosaurs died out 65 million years ago.”

All this is to say that, for over a quarter of Americans perusing the market of scientific claims being made by our collective commentariat, “mass extinction due to climate change isn’t a big deal because Jurassic Park” isn’t funny, let alone wrong.

Decades of insisting that creation myths be taught in biology class have made sure of that.

Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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8 Responses to “Breitbart contributor says mass extinction via climate change isn’t a problem because of Jurassic Park”

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  2. Max_1 says:

    I can’t wait for Breitbart to become extinct…

  3. rmthunter says:

    Good call — that’s probably the word I wanted.

  4. emjayay says:

    I generally prefer “reactionaries”.


    1. of, pertaining to, marked by, or favoring reaction, especially extreme conservatism or rightism in politics; opposing political or social change.

    noun, plural reactionaries.

    2. a reactionary person.

  5. Buford2k11 says:

    Propaganda works…

  6. rmthunter says:

    28% — that’s pretty consistent with the incidence of hard-core — hmm, I can’t call them conservatives because they’re much worse than that — call them regressives — throughout American history.

    And just for fun, we actually are living with dinosaurs today — or at least, their direct descendants: birds.

    As for Delingpole claiming that he was joking: of course he was, since everyone laughed at him.

  7. Doug105 says:

    Breitbart is on the shallow side of the gene pool, so this almost as advanced for them as starting a fire.

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