Class Warfare Blog

December 5, 2011

The Corruption Papers, No. 4, Opinions on Science and Technology

Filed under: Politics — Steve Ruis @ 2:25 pm
Tags: , , ,

Once again we have politicians chiming in on scientific matters, namely Republican candidates for the presidency having to state their opinions on the two bug bear Republican issues: evolution and climate change. Of course there are also the issues of stem cell research and abortion and the viability and safety of energy technologies (like “clean coal”).

It is bad enough that we have clergymen chiming in on science and technology issues, clergy who clearly do not understand the science and often don’t understand their own religion. But shouldn’t we expect our politicians to understand, at least rudimentarily, the topic in question. Recently a Florida State Senator introduced a bill there to include “Intelligent Design” into the school curriculum along side the theory of evolution. One of his comments was: “If we are descended from apes, why are apes still here?” He apparently didn’t read the posting on the “Answers in Genesis” website that tells creationists to never use that argument (because it makes you sound like an idiot). Anybody who makes such an argument surely does not understand the theory of evolution. And how much credence should we give to someone’s opinion who clearly doesn’t understand the issue in question? (How about “none.”)

Similarly, shouldn’t our federal politicians understand the issue of global climate change in order to have an opinion on it? The amazing thing is our presidential candidates aren’t even asked about their understanding during their debates. Shouldn’t we expect these people to know something about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, its history for example, in order to have an opinion on what we need to do? Or is it just another you-becky-becky-stan-stan? Shouldn’t they be at least capable of understanding these issues? And should we be quizzing them on their ability to do so?

Why aren’t the following questions asked?
● Please share with us your understanding of the theory of evolution.
● Please share with us your understanding of the theory of global climate change.
● You have advocated “clean coal” technology. Can you explain what that is?
● You have advocated extending the leases on overaged nuclear power plants. Can you explain what technologies are in use to prevent these from failing like other old nuclear plants, as most recently in Japan?
● You have advocated cutting corporate taxes. Can you describe the current state of corporate taxation, what will happen if taxes are indeed cut, and why you believe so?
● You have advocated the inclusion of “Intelligent Design” to be taught alongside the theory of evolution. Can you describe the scientific basis for the theory of The Intelligent Design Theory?

Why do we respect opinions of our politicians that are so clearly bought and paid for by lobbyists and corporate interests, especially when they haven’t even done enough homework to explain their position rationally?

Maybe Donald Trump will ask the tough questions.

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