Monday, February 20, 2012

Evolution in Politics - Why it matters (to me)

I have mentioned to people at times that I will not ever, ever, ever, vote for a candidate that doesn't "believe"* in evolution. Most of my friends agree because we are scientists, this is one thing we agree upon. But I have gotten the comment before:
Why? Where does evolution play into politics? They are separate issues. Evolution is not going to reduce the deficit. It is not going to employ millions of Americans. It is not going to get you cheaper health care. Why should you care?
And originally, I cared because it mattered to me. I was told once to pick a couple of issues you are passionate about and vote for a candidate based on those, not on everything else. Because you're never going to find the perfect candidate. Are you passionate about reducing taxes? Vote for someone that will do that. Are you a strong pro-choice or pro-life supporter? Vote for someone who believes as you do. It all made sense. So one of my things was evolution. Do you "believe" in evolution?

Then this Republican campaign (2012) has gotten me thinking about things. There is so much anti-science rhetoric and scientific dismissal out there now that it has even spurred a "movement" of people posting stuff about how they are scientists and how scientists are real people. We are not aloof people who do things just to piss off the masses. We are not amoral or immoral. We are all different. We have the same diversity as non-scientists. Anyway, that is a different topic. Back to my point.

Why is "belief" in evolution so important to me as a candidate then? I see it this way. The president I would like elected is one that can take a whole lot of ideas coming from many different people and be able to assimilate them, and choose the one, or few, that best helps solve the problem at hand. This basically works for anything, ideas on whether to go to war or not, how to increase employment, how to just make the lives of Americans better. So if they can do that, why can't they take the insurmountable evidence for evolution and proclaim that it is a valid hypothesis and that it is occurring. It is basically as much "fact" as you can get in the scientific arena. If you can't do that, then I don't trust you with whether we should go to war based on assumptions you don't know how to understand.

This post was going to be written earlier when there were much more "wackoes" in the political race than there is now (Bachmann and Perry anyone?). But there is still at least one. Santorum. He has made it a goal of his to be anti-science (and anti-non-christian) at every step of the way. So, he has spurred my publishing of this. I'm not sure what Romney's stance on evolution is. I believe he has no official stance on it. Paul as well does not have a stance on it (he feels he doesn't understand it and it isn't a big deal to him) and Gingrich is pro-evolution (although I have some problems with his other political stances).

So, take this as you will. These are my thoughts on how a political leader should think. Not just on what their beliefs are.

* I do not use the term "belief" as in religious belief or taking things on faith. I use it just generally as do you think that evolution is a valid scientific hypothesis. Please do not take my use of the word "belief" out of context.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Due to the large number of spam comment (i.e. pretty much all of them). I have turned off commenting. If you have any constructive comments you would like to make please direct them at my Twitter handle @Jazinator. I apologize for the inconvenience.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.