Thursday, January 19, 2012
Why I Care
Uh oh. . .here comes a presidential election year. I'm of two minds. Part of me wants to chuck the TV out the window (nice splash from the 12th floor!), disconnect from the internet, go for runs and walks until November. I can't stand all the stupid sound bites, the back biting, non-answers to simple questions, the posturing, and so forth.
But then there's this Mitt guy and I think of Martin Luther King: "To ignore evil is to become an accomplice to it". So let's see what fight do I want to fight. . .
As a scientist, I want to focus my attention on the candidates and their stand on science and rationalism. Mitt seems to be a guy who will say ANYTHING while understanding NOTHING in a run at the white house. Sadly this is probably a good strategy in the under-educated America in which we live.
So, what do I care what the president thinks? Well, I do because of his influence at the bully pulpit. I would like a leader who lets the conclusions of numerous experiments direct policy. That's not how it works however. What dictates policy is what can generate votes and sadly, stupid people's votes count just the same as intelligent people's.
For example, the Creationists want schools to teach the 'controversy' between evolution and creationism. . .BUT THEY CREATED THE PRETEND CONTROVERSY! There is NO controversy in the scientific community.
So then that's a conspiracy, right?
Sigh. . .
(That was the TV hitting the sidewalk.)
Sorry about the dog.
Seriously, I want a president who says something to the effect of, "Let the scientists teach science based on our current knowledge and their training as scientists and let the preacher teach his moral lessons." Nobody attending any university is being taught creationism. BECAUSE IT'S NOT SCIENCE!
Let's teach what we KNOW and preach what we BELIEVE.
No candidate is going to say that, right? Not Obama either who is pretty religious.
But, I taught at a catholic school (by the way the pope acknowledged evolution as the way the world works back in 1950) and I'm sure there was no up-ightness about what was being taught in the biology classroom. Why? Because they got their shot in the religion classroom! So, if you're uptight about evolution just take your kid to church (some protestant one I would think) and let them teach your kid too. Then, let the kid THINK for him or her self.
HOLY CRAP! What if they pick 'wrong'.
I don't think Mitt has any clue about any real science. Real science says evolution is real and proveable and has for about a hundred years but he won't be able to cop to that. Hundreds of separate experiments and investigations show that the earth is warming up and that is our doing but he won't be able to cop to that either.
In this day and age it takes a big government to do big, important science for the sake of society as a whole. The days of a single scientist working late at night in his lab and inventing the light bulb are long past. Fundamental research requires huge labs and huge budgets. A guy who clearly doesn't understand it or chooses to ignore simple facts is a danger to society. Mitt is not the guy we need in the white house but I suspect 'the guy' doesn't exist and if he did he wouldn't be electable.