April 24, 2024

Politicians, religion and science

Editor of Science focuses on unhealthy mix of religion and science in presidential campaign
In a telling sign of how the election is viewed by the scientific establishment, the outgoing editor of Science, Donald Kennedy, has rebuked the gaggle of presidential candidates slogging their way through the primaries for airing their religious views. Even though the First Amendment to the US Constitution forbids the establishment of a national religion, says Dr Kennedy, the candidates are nearly all trying to persuade voters that their faith constitutes a claim on their votes. Science and religion are not necessarily on a collision course, but scientists are entitled to demand that an aspiring president should be scientifically literate. The questions that Kennedy proposes are: "What is your view about stem cell research, and does it relate to a view of the time at which human life begins? Have you examined the scientific evidence regarding the age of Earth? Can the process of organic evolution lead to the production of new species, and how? Are you able to look at data on past climates in search of inferences about the future of climate change?" ~ Science, Jan 4

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