December 17, 2007

Science Debate 2008

I've thought a lot about who I might vote for in the next presidential election. None of the candidates have really said or done anything that gets me excited. At the moment, I lean slightly toward Hillary Clinton, but that lean is so slight that the smallest of breezes could make me lean in a different direction. None of the Republicans, who seem to be spending as much time squawking about religion as anything else, is at all likely to get my vote.

Things being as they are, then, the issue that's going to push me in some definite direction is going to be a candidate's support for science and education. By that, I mean real science. Empirical, rational research done by actual scientists without regard to religious and political ideology. My vote will go to the candidate whom I believe will cut through all of the nonsense and put us back in the forefront in research and development in the sciences and who will stand up against the use of public schools as religious indoctrination centers.

To that end, I've added my voice for Science Debate 2008. I don't usually bother with online petitions, but I've signed on for this one. I'm tired of having alleged leadership in this country that makes decisions based on the whisperings of disembodied spirit-voices imagined in the night and the edicts of ancient texts concocted by societies that bore nor resemblance to the world that we inhabit, right here and now, with all of its problems and promise. I want to see someone in the White House whom I trust to make informed, logical decisions — at least most of the time. To my way of thinking, someone who trusts in the scientific method and is willing to consider honestly what is discovered with it is much more likely to be that person.

I don't care which candidate prays more often or can quote more verses from the Bible, the Koran or the Bhagavad Gita. That's immaterial to me. They can chant in Inuit while standing on their heads and chewing walrus blubber for all I care. That's their own private affair. When subjective religious ideation supplants factual, rational decision making, that's all America's problem. We've had more than 7 years of it now and I don't see a bit of good that's come of it — but I see a lot of bad. Enough, already.

Every single candidate should be willing to debate on the issue of science, from education through a plan to promote research in America and the world. I want to know where they stand and why they stand there. I already know where most of the Republicans stand; they've practically clawed over one another to announce their emphasis upon faith over reason. I still want people like Huckabee in such a debate, though, because I want other candidates to have the chance to poke holes in his assertions.

It's past due. It's an important issue and it's not being addressed clearly by the candidates. Let's hear it.

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