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There has always been an anti-intellectual, anti-science strain in American opinion and politics. Unfortunately, such tendencies, which were on the rise in the 1990's, appear to have worsened over the last few years. Worse, they are influencing federal policy more than in a long time. (They were always an influence on state and local policies, depending on the part of the country; for instance, efforts to get intelligent design or creationism taught in science classes.) Although I'm most familiar with fundamentalist attacks on evolution and on the attacks by alternative medicine practitioners on conventional medicine and biomedical science, it isn't limited to that. A nice summary is here.