June 2, 2008

Jindal for VP? I Hope Not

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has been mentioned as a possible vice presidential candidate on the McCain ticket. I'm hoping that this isn't the case.

It isn't because I don't like his economic policies or the balance he would bring to the ticket. It's because his government in Louisiana has been violently anti-science after running on a highly religious platform. For example, the Louisiana Science Education Act essentially says that while the state has to teach the text they are provided, if a local neighborhood disagrees with the lessons, the State Board of Education has to help the local school board create a curriculum that tears apart the current theories.

It essentially equates free speech and scientific research, and the two are not equal. I can say that I believe that life was created when the Flying Spaghetti Monster touched the world with His noodly appendage or that I believe that a God of some sort created all of creation in a single workweek with only eight hours overtime or that the world was created by a giant sneeze from the Great Green Arkleseizure, but that isn't science. That's dogma. I'm all for teaching comparitive religion classes in schools because we do live in a world where some knowledge of world religion is not only valuable in order to understand literature and history, but also necessary because ignorance of religious practices in other countries can lead to you being viciously killed or thrown in jail for prolonged periods of time.

We've already had eight years of a president who has thumbed his nose at the scientific community and who has injected a religious viewpoint into policy. As a result, we have abstinence-only education which isn't properly serving the needs of children, a government that with one hand has doubled the budget of the National Institutes of Health and made a nominal increase for the budget for the National Science Foundation has at the same time distorted or suppressed scientific findings that don't support their policies, an administration that rejected calls by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to strengthen regulations related to lead poisoning and replaced scientific panelists with members with ties to the lead industry, and more.

I'm an economic conservative, but when it comes to social issues I find myself quite liberal, and if it looks like science is going to be given the shaft for another eight years and further erase America's edge in scientific progress, then I'll have no choice but to side with the Democratic party on this election.

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