Scientists for President?
Since today is international blog action day, I thought I’d join the bandwagon advocating for a presidential debate focussed solely on science.
From Matthew Chapman at richarddawkins.net,
I am advocating for a Presidential Debate solely on the subject of science, and I hope you will join me in trying to bring this about. Had such a thing occurred during the election in 2000, perhaps we would have discovered that George W. Bush believed “the jury is still out on evolution.” In this election, we have been provided with an excellent reason to ask for a scientific debate by the fact that three Republican candidates for president, Brownback, Huckabee, and Tancredo indicated that they do not believe in evolution. For them the jury seems not to be out, but to have rendered a verdict against the theory.
Is this level of ignorance shared by other Presidential candidates, both Republican and Democratic, in other scientific matters? If so, we have a right to know. We are, after all, in a completely new situation. To quote entomologist Edward O. Wilson, human beings are “the first species in the history of life to become a geophysical force.” Through industrial pollution, the destruction of our rain forests, over-fishing, over-hunting and so on, we can destroy just about all life on earth. This is a problem that cannot be solved without an understanding of science, most specifically biology.
It has been said that the biggest predictor of success of a nation in the global marketplace is scientific literacy [cite?], wouldn’t it make sense to elect presidents who know something about science?