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Obama Answers Science Policy Questionnaire

Soulskill posted about 6 years ago | from the one-down,-one-to-go dept.

Government 550

thebestsophist writes "A couple months ago, Scientists and Engineers for America, Science Debate 2008, and a bunch of other science organizations sent McCain, Obama, and all the Congressional candidates a bunch of questions on science and technology. Topics included biosecurity, genetics research, and national security, as well as the more common questions on research and education. Well, Senator Obama just answered." Senator McCain has not responded to the questionnaire at this point in time, but the site has a profile of his views and actions relating to science policy, which provides a good basis for comparing the candidates' stances. We've previously discussed the differences between the two candidates' technology platforms. According to a recent NPR story, both candidates intend to keep politics out of science.

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What is your position on pussy? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24820565)

I am a strong and consistent supporter of the international pussy community.

Re:What is your position on pussy? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24820967)

Where is Score:+5, Horny?

Politics out of science? what about religion? (5, Insightful)

houbou (1097327) | about 6 years ago | (#24820583)

So both candidates say they will keep politics out of science, but what about religion?

Stem cell research for example is one of those field of research which is being blocked because of politics.. "well, because of religious groups, which uses politics as a tool to achieve their goals of blocking the research".

I wonder if each candidate is willing to tell the religious groups to grow up and let science be?, especially McCain's party

Re:Politics out of science? what about religion? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24820629)

Well, McCain bowed to the christian fundamentalist wing of the GOP when he picked Sarah Palin as his VP running mate. If he's willing to do that now, what makes you think he won't cave in the future?

Re:Politics out of science? what about religion? (1, Insightful)

Leftist Troll (825839) | about 6 years ago | (#24820911)

Something tells me that Palin is not going to try and fill Cheney's role. Her views will most likely be of little consequence unless the old man croaks or we have a tie in the Senate.

Her job will be to sit there and look pretty.

Re:Politics out of science? what about religion? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24821139)

And that's about all she's good for. Have you heard her speak? She's exactly the kind of person I always hated in High School.

Re:Politics out of science? what about religion? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24821225)

Initially, I was perplexed by your comment about Palin being "the kind of person I always hated in High School". Then I remembered that this is /. and she's an attractive female and it all made sense.

Re:Politics out of science? what about religion? (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24821249)

It's more that she's only attractive until she opens her mouth and stupid shit starts falling out of it, and you just want to slap her, but you can't because her boyfriend is on the football team and you don't want to be ruined.

Re:Politics out of science? what about religion? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24821297)

But it's okay because you're majoring in computer science and you'll be more successful than both of them combi-

Nevermind.

Re:Politics out of science? what about religion? (5, Informative)

jjohnson (62583) | about 6 years ago | (#24820647)

The national GOP just approved a plank in their platform that bans all embryonic stem cell research, publicly funded or privately funded. A private lab using discarded implantation embryos would be illegal if McCain and the Congressional GOP pass a law implementing that plank.

Party planks are ridiculous (3, Insightful)

tjstork (137384) | about 6 years ago | (#24820819)

I guarantee you that if an American pharma company said that they could make 10 billion dollars on stem cell products from embryonic research, about 3/4 of the Republican party would immediately sell out on any contemplated private ban on stem cell research, if such a ban were even constitutional. Yeah, there's some 1/4 of the GOP that would oppose stem cells under any circumstances but for the rest of us, its like, well, we don't the feds to pay for it because it is morally squeemish, but if the private sector is down with it, that's ok if it makes grammy walk again and our stock go up and we can then deal with our religious sentiments at the time we choose to sell out, and not before. And conversely, on the left, there's a minority of the Democrats that would ban all industrial activity whatsover, because it is bad for mother earth.

The point really is that we need to stop framing debates based upon what the radicals of either side of the aisle are telling us to frame them as and to start and think for ourselves.

You know, there's enough to go around in both "party planks" to make one want to wretch. The thing to keep in mind is that on either side of the aisle, party planks are written by radicals and both sides thankfully and freely ignore them. Having party planks is stupid make work for party organizers to give them something important sounding to do, but in fact they are actually pretty meaningless, except to get the opposition riled up about some terrible thing that is in the plank. In other words, we can expect moveon to go send out spam about some terrible republican thing just as much as we can rush limbaugh go on about how terrible democrats are because these things are in their planks, and party insiders on both sides would say, well, really, "not a chance."

Re:Party planks are ridiculous (3, Insightful)

sycodon (149926) | about 6 years ago | (#24820867)

If "American pharma company said that they could make 10 billion dollars on stem cell products from embryonic research", then they wouldn't be at the federal teat looking for funding.

Re:Party planks are ridiculous (5, Insightful)

tjstork (137384) | about 6 years ago | (#24820893)

If "American pharma company said that they could make 10 billion dollars on stem cell products from embryonic research", then they wouldn't be at the federal teat looking for fundin

Yeah they would. Why spend a billion dollars to make ten billion dollars, and get only 9 billion in profit, when you can have the feds kick in the billion and get ten billion in profit.

American companies are always going to ask for federal funding, whether they "need it", or "not". It's just more profit, if they get it.

Re:Politics out of science? what about religion? (1)

TwistedSymmetry (1354405) | about 6 years ago | (#24820855)

A private lab using discarded implantation embryos would be illegal if McCain and the Congressional GOP pass a law implementing that plank.

Yet creating the implantation embryos in the first place would still be legal? I will never quite understand the Republican mind.

Re:Politics out of science? what about religion? (1)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | about 6 years ago | (#24821203)

Let's not forget that there has long been no more reason to do embryonic stem cell research. Stem cells can be created from skin cells, from liver cells, pancreatic cells, they can be extracted from brain tissue samples, ...

Creating the implantation embryo's has to be legal, because it helps people have a child. Since the embryo's that for some reason don't get in are human beings that WILL die before they're anywhere near breathing, the humane thing is to kill them as soon as possible.

There are no more reasons to do embryonic stem cell research, and frankly, when it comes to human embryo's, we should err on the safe side. As far as possible on the safe side while still allowing fertility treatments.

Is that so difficult a viewpoint to understand ? You were once one of these kinds of embryo's, are scientists allowed to experiment on you once you can't say "NO!" anymore ?

I don't get these progressives. You have abortion and euthanasia these days. It seems progressives want to close the gap, bit by bit. I don't like it.

Re:Politics out of science? what about religion? (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 6 years ago | (#24820701)

Considering how hard McCain has been working to pander to the evangelical right, I would have a hard time expecting him to keep religion out of politics. And of course religion wants to regulate science, so feel free to connect the dots.

Add to that his new hard-core anti-abortion VP candidate, and it shouldn't be hard to predict his stance on stem cell research.

Re:Politics out of science? what about religion? (1)

TwistedSymmetry (1354405) | about 6 years ago | (#24820803)

Add to that his new hard-core anti-abortion VP candidate, and it shouldn't be hard to predict his stance on stem cell research.

Right, but you're forgetting that McCain is old.

Re:Politics out of science? what about religion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24821179)

Not oldddd, Sir, just fossilized, that's all.

And it's not that he wouldn't bend to listen to you, he can't - on account of the platinum and steel implants. Honorably earned while doing his patriotic duty bombing democracy into those pagan gooks, and having crap beat out of him as a POW.

Little did they know : there was more crap than even they could beat out. Now, if if roles were reversed and he were in Aboo Grabe, or Gwantannamoo... well, things might be different then - wouldn't they ?

>;-p
 

Why can't private firms research stem cells? (4, Insightful)

tjstork (137384) | about 6 years ago | (#24820739)

I think the left wing is being tricked by pharma into paying for something that the private sector can easily afford. If religion were not in the equation, then, easily, the left would come against this as the handout to pharma that it is.

Is it that these cash strapped pharma companies might be able to pony up a few shillings toward that research. I mean, why do we have to have the Federal Government subsidize Merck? Doesn't Merck have enough money to collect and dissect human stem cells? For christ sakes, it's not like it costs a billion dollars to knock a chick up, and, you could always find women and men willing to part with their respective reproductive cells for a few bucks, for sure.

I mean, if embryonic stem cells could really cure cancer, paralysis, palsy and alzheimers, and can do so much, don't you think big Phara would and should pay for their research when they stand to make not billions, but trillions off of all of these miracle cures?

Re:Why can't private firms research stem cells? (3, Insightful)

penrodyn (927177) | about 6 years ago | (#24820877)

We're talking more about basic research not applications. Real applications of stem cell may be 10/20 years away and speculative, not something, as a shareholder, I would want a company to do. You might say well neither should our government support this kind of speculative long term research. The trouble is, the US is not an isolated country, other countries will pick up the tab (eg China!) instead and their home companies will get the patents and profits and we as tax payers and business owners will ultimately suffer in the long run. I would rather we spend a little now (0.1 cent per day) and reap the benefits later. How do you think the US has managed to stay at the top for so long? It's a combination of good business, strong laws and plenty of R&D, a partnership between the government and the people.

I think big pharma can afford basic research. (2, Insightful)

tjstork (137384) | about 6 years ago | (#24820953)

My point is that big pharma can afford to pony up for basic research. Part of being a big business is to have the wealth to assess risks in the future and yes, they should pay for their own products. I mean, we give these pharma companies patent and copyright protections to incentivize them to do this research. In turn, they get to use this exclusivity to rape us on pricing, saying, "oh, but we're spending it all on research", then, they should spend it on the research. If you've got a drug patent, you have a monopoly just as much as AT&T did have back in the day and Ma Bell was kind enough to give us the likes of Claude Shannon, K&R, the transistor guys, and then some. I think its not unreasonable to expect that a company in the pharma business to accept the risks that go with pure research, otherwise, patents are sorta pointless, aren't they?

Re:I think big pharma can afford basic research. (1)

maxume (22995) | about 6 years ago | (#24821033)

So how often do you start smoking (because you seem to have been quitting for just a little while now)?

Re:Why can't private firms research stem cells? (1)

dubl-u (51156) | about 6 years ago | (#24821199)

I think the left wing is being tricked by pharma into paying for something that the private sector can easily afford.

You have to think of this from two perspectives: the CEO of a pharma company, and society as a whole.

A marketable innovation in almost any field is preceded by a vast amount of basic research. Any given CEO wants to pay for marketable innovation, but isn't so interested in paying for basic research, which is expensive and a big gamble. And regardless of what research they're doing, they'll want to keep it secret, because they don't want their competitors to benefit from it.

Society on the whole, on the other hand, wants basic research to happen and to be shared. That's net cheaper, because there's less duplication. And the public research becomes the foundation for the useful products created by a much wider set of people than just those who could afford to duplicate the basic research. That means more innovation, less concentration of wealth, and product costs lowered through increased competition.

So as a society, we want to pay for just enough basic research to maximize involvement of private actors. Working out the stem-cell fundamentals seems like a great example of that, which is why I voted for the California biotech bond initiative.

Stem cell research is not being blocked (2, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | about 6 years ago | (#24820757)

Embryonic stem cell research is being blocked. It makes sense for religious groups to be opposed to this on a fundamental level. When you have industries becoming dependent on materials from abortions for research, you create a financial incentive to support abortion. Now, most "pro-choice" people that I've met say that they fully support measures which create an environment that makes abortion less frequent. I can't imagine, then, a good reason to support allowing scientists to become dependent on tissues from aborted babies as that would have the exact opposite effect of what most pro-choicers I've met claim to want.

Furthermore, there is an ethics point of view here that you are willfully ignoring. You're obviously arguing from the perspective of a secularist, but what you're really saying is that any opinion that is based on religion is prima facie unacceptable in a democratic debate. Religious views may be absurd to you, and the morality based on "just a book," but so is secular morality. It's just based on one man's opinion, or feeble attempts to reconstruct religious morality without God; at least atheistic secularists like Michele Onfray have the balls to adopt a totally godless morality (though it tends to scare the shit out of many secularists who cling to religious morality like a security blanket). Bottom line is, secular arguments in science on matters of scientific **ethics** are no more valid than religious ones, as they are just one attempt to establish "what ought we do" which is a philosophical question that parallels the scientific one "what can we do?"

It's usually only the idiots who believe that science answers questions like "what ought we to do." Science is just a method for observing natural phenomenon. It cannot satisfactorally answer many fundamental philosophical questions that form the basis of law, morality and human interaction. Maybe you find religion to be flawed here too, and I can see why, even though I may disagree. However, it's just pure bullshit to pretend that science is capable of answering questions such as these, which have no ability to be tested and understood through the scientific method.

Re:Stem cell research is not being blocked (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24820979)

Embryonic stem cell research does not create a financial incentive to support abortion. Abortions are already so frequent that embryonic stem cells would be a commodity, if legal. All the ban does is ensure that these stem cells will not be used. Legalizing their use would not increase the number of abortions.

Re:Stem cell research is not being blocked (1)

joocemann (1273720) | about 6 years ago | (#24821073)

I have a musical reply to your post. Very well made post.

Enjoy the track I produced:
Copyright: Cody Kime
MCs: Zach Lehner and Steamer Nelson

http://www.liquidmathematics.com/audio/SOUL-Vocal.mp3 [liquidmathematics.com]

They're not from aborted fetuses, theyre from IVF (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24821107)

The stem cells don't come from abortions, they come from the embryos grown in test tubes in fertility clinics. They usually grow upwards of 10 "just in case", and freeze the rest. The majority of these "expire" in the freezer, at least they expire for the purpose for which they are intended. They would otherwise be trashed, and you have fallen for the pro-life propaganda if you think they are from abortions.

UTILITARIANISM (0, Flamebait)

agent_no.82 (935754) | about 6 years ago | (#24821317)

There is a moral system which can reliably answer any ethical question with enough data in a logical and dare I say "scientific" manner. Most slashdotters would probably object to it, since like Economics it's not necessarily intuitive, and does not embrace "rights" as an absolute phenomenon. It's called Utilitarianism [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Politics out of science? what about religion? (2, Informative)

sycodon (149926) | about 6 years ago | (#24820771)

It's not blocked. The feds (meaning the tax payers) won't pay for it. Plenty of private research is going on.

Re:Politics out of science? what about religion? (1)

XnavxeMiyyep (782119) | about 6 years ago | (#24820961)

And that means no universities which receive federeal funding (which is all universities in the US if I recall correctly) can research it.

Re:Politics out of science? what about religion? (1)

maxume (22995) | about 6 years ago | (#24821047)

They can build separate buildings with separate labs and separate equipment that all comes from private dollars. It ends up being a pretty severe restriction on who can do the research, but it isn't total.

Re:Politics out of science? what about religion? (1)

causality (777677) | about 6 years ago | (#24821025)

So both candidates say they will keep politics out of science, but what about religion?

Then both are liars. As long as so much of scientific research depends on grants from "public" (government*) money, somebody will have to make decisions as to who receives money and who doesn't. This is politics. Now perhaps Obama/McCain themselves won't personally make these decisions, which is about as true as what you said could be, but someone whom they can fire or at least influence will be doing so. Therefore, politics will very much affect science although this has been the case for some time now.

Stem cell research for example is one of those field of research which is being blocked because of politics.. "well, because of religious groups, which uses politics as a tool to achieve their goals of blocking the research".

I wonder if each candidate is willing to tell the religious groups to grow up and let science be?, especially McCain's party

I think a better long-term solution to that is to simply declare that once you retire and leave the workforce and start collecting Social Security, you surrender the right to vote (this would be far more effective than trying to get more of the youngest potential voters to start voting -- they can't and won't take the interest in this that a retiree can afford to). Let the right to vote be for those who are currently net producers, not currently net consumers.

To prevent other vote-buying schemes (other than Social Security), perhaps anyone on welfare or other public assistance should not vote either so long as they are receiving such benefits, because what they will vote for is rather predictable (anyone who will increase their benefits without regard to the cost, of course). The idea here is that there should not be anything resembling a profit motive behind your choice of candidate, that such a motive has proven to be a greater corrupting influence than any indignation someone might feel at being told not to vote (just look at what happens to any politician who mentions reforming Social Security -- it's political suicide and it shouldn't be). Perhaps then suffrage would actually count for something instead of being given to you because you have a pulse and have managed not to get caught committing a felony. I don't know of a more fair way to arrange this.

You'd really be amazed at how many political issues like this would be solved once the politicians can no longer count on a couple of very large, over-represented voting blocs in the country to always vote a certain way as though their interests were more important than everyone else's. They'd be reduced to doing a crazy thing like actually looking at how the rest of the country feels about an issue. Will any of this happen? Hah, I strongly doubt it. But this is an unwinding of how we got to where we are, of why religion is making scientfic decisions and why people who struggle with finances are making what amount to business decisions, all in the name of feeling good and being inclusive at that. It's alright though; what we are doing now is unsustainable and will be forced to change at some point. It's just a matter of whether we will realize that or whether we the talking heads on the news will sound amazed and surprised at the next serious crisis because we cared more about being politically correct. Speaking of political correctness, cue the people who will get their panties in a bunch now that I've dared to identify two of the stronger reasons behind the status quo (the strongest of all, of course, is the government control of the education system -- just ask John Taylor Gatto).


* Public money = that which is in the wallets and bank accounts of the people walking down the street.

* Government money = that which has been taken from the people walking down the street by force or threat of force due to confiscatory taxes, the spending of which the people have only marginal control, at best.

So you see, there is a difference. Most of the time that people say "public" they really mean "government", especially in reference to the schools or the airwaves.

Re:Politics out of science? what about religion? (2, Insightful)

Miseph (979059) | about 6 years ago | (#24821177)

"The idea here is that there should not be anything resembling a profit motive behind your choice of candidate"

So defense and civil contractors must also be barred, as well as anybody in a regulated industry and certainly in an industry with subsidy programs in place. Also all government employees at any level which receives federal aid. pretty much, if you have a job, and the government has anything to do with that job, you mustn't vote for fear there will be a financial motive for you to do so. This blocks everyone from teachers to factory workers to lawyers to bankers to investors and pretty much everyone else as well from voting at all, with perhaps the sole exception of people who live purely off of the land and don't even touch money. I bet we'd start seeing a lot more politicians from Lancaster County.

What's my point? Stop trying to discriminate against voters with whom you disagree and couching it in terms of who "contributes' to society and who doesn't. All US citizens (except some convicted felons) get to vote, that's how it works, deal.

Re:Politics out of science? what about religion? (2, Insightful)

AdamHaun (43173) | about 6 years ago | (#24821295)

Basing the right to vote solely on monetary output makes no sense. Retired people are also affected by criminal laws, trade regulations, foreign policy, and other non-welfare aspects of government. Disenfranchising people who disagree with you is convenient, but not very democratic (or libertarian, since that's what you seem to be).

Rock, Paper, Scissors (1, Flamebait)

srobert (4099) | about 6 years ago | (#24821137)

Actually, the candidates will not "keep politics out of science". Sarah Palin (Cheney in a skirt) is so owned by the oil industry, that she is unwilling to admit that global warming might be related to burning fossil fuels.
So no, 1. they're not going to keep religion out of politics.
And 2. they're not going to keep politics out of science.
But hopefully in the spirit of Rock, Paper, Scissors...

Politics/Science (5, Insightful)

Naughty Bob (1004174) | about 6 years ago | (#24820591)

According to a recent NPR story, both candidates intend to keep politics out of science....

But only one side intend to keep science out of science... [wired.com]

(Credit to Soulskill for the alley-oop)

Re:Politics/Science (2, Funny)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | about 6 years ago | (#24820939)

We need to keep science out of the classroom. Oh, won't somebody think of letting teh children decide?

Re:Politics/Science (0, Redundant)

Dolda2000 (759023) | about 6 years ago | (#24820973)

Well, in all honesty, it is kind of hard to tell from that article what it really is that she wants. I, too, think that creationism should be taught in school, and that debate should be encouraged. But not in any science-related classes, of course. That's what classes in religion are for, obviously. The article was very scant on details about how she thought it should be taught.

Re:Politics/Science (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24821125)

Honest question: What the fuck is there to "debate" about creationism? There's absolutely no evidence for any of it, and it's based entirely on a book(s) written by men thousands of years ago. You either believe it based on blind faith or you don't. It doesn't seem like there's a whole lot to "debate."

Re:Politics/Science (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24821217)

Oh, my kingdom for mod points. +1 to you sir.

Re:Politics/Science (2, Informative)

Dolda2000 (759023) | about 6 years ago | (#24821127)

I'll have to respond to my own post, because actually, Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] even has this to say:

In a televised debate, Palin supported allowing both creationism and evolution in public schools. The next day she clarified her position to one of allowing the debate of alternative views and not of having it in the curriculum.

I think that should alleviate any extraneous worries.

Re:Politics/Science (5, Interesting)

arth1 (260657) | about 6 years ago | (#24821259)

I, too, think that creationism should be taught in school, and that debate should be encouraged. But not in any science-related classes, of course. That's what classes in religion are for, obviously.

Sounds good to me. Let us start by teaching them about Tiamat, how she got raped to give birth to the elder gods, and how her head was crushed with a sledghehammer by her son to create the land.
And then other Assyrian/Babylonian myths, including the Judeo-Christian variety.
Let's not neglect the western varieties, like how the frozen milk from the cow Audhumbla created Burr, the father of Burin, the father of Odin, the all-father.

Cause they're all equally valid -- none of them more or less than the others. The important lesson to the kids would be that there is really no limit to people's gullibility.

Re:Politics/Science (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | about 6 years ago | (#24821285)

Oh for fuck's sake. That's the most disingenuous bit of apologia I've seen in a long time.

1) Well, in all honesty, - Guffaw.
2) it is kind of hard to tell from that article what it really is that she wants - It's searingly obvious. She wants creationism taught in schools. In science class.
3) I, too, think that creationism should be taught in school, - Imagine my surprise.
4) and that debate should be encouraged - Only if it includes Russell's Teapot [wikipedia.org] and the Invisible Pink Unicorn [wikipedia.org] as well.
5) But not in any science-related classes, of course - Of course. Wink wink nudge nudge.
6) That's what classes in religion are for, obviously. - Last time I looked, public schools did not have religion classes. Maybe we could teach creationism in math class.
7) The article was very scant on details about how she thought it should be taught - The article was very clear on her use of weasel-worded code words for "teach creationism in science class on a 50/50 basis with evolution".

It's pretty clear, given her stance on creationism and abortion, that she's a knee-jerk Christian fundamentalist playing word games to mask her theistic agenda - as are you.

Re:Politics/Science (1)

ABoerma (941672) | about 6 years ago | (#24820985)

'In an interview Thursday, Palin said she meant only to say that discussion of alternative views should be allowed to arise in Alaska classrooms: "I don't think there should be a prohibition against debate if it comes up in class. It doesn't have to be part of the curriculum."

She added that, if elected, she would not push the state Board of Education to add such creation-based alternatives to the state's required curriculum.'

From the Anchorage Daily News [adn.com] .

Re:Politics/Science (4, Insightful)

thermian (1267986) | about 6 years ago | (#24820987)

You know what? Some countries would be wringing their hands with glee if an American Vice President actually managed to get that one through.

After all, it would stunt the scientific growth of America so much that almost any country with a strong education system and a lot of ambition to overtake them in technology stakes within a few decades.

It would take a few decades to kick in because the generation first subjected to it wouldn't get into the system properly until they hit their mid twenties most likely.

So far the decision to make it more difficult for Chinese students to come and study in America has been a boon for Europe, bringing millions into university coffers, and the insane data snooping rights the US government have adopted have made foreign companies route round the US for their server needs.

What's next? book burning as a means to remove the risk of paper cuts?

Please mod this up! (1, Insightful)

causality (777677) | about 6 years ago | (#24821237)

I almost wish I hadn't posted, just so I could have modded you up myself. I salute your grasp of reality.

Re:Politics/Science (1)

Brad1138 (590148) | about 6 years ago | (#24821029)

It really is amazing how people can be so oblivious to what the definition of "science" is.

Re:Politics/Science (1, Funny)

causality (777677) | about 6 years ago | (#24821345)

We're waiting for Bill Clinton to work out what the definition of "is" is. First thing's first.

Re:Politics/Science (2, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | about 6 years ago | (#24821213)

You know every day scientists document one little corner of the wonder and splendor of Creation, all the plants, birds, fish, animals, minerals, liquids, gases, physics, chemistry, biology and so on. Enough to fill entire stadiums with books and we still know that's only a small part of it. Yet the fundies claim all of it was accurately described in the first two pages of the Bible. There is plenty evidence it's real, macroevolution, microevolution, earth's age, the earth not being center of the Universe and yet they choose to deny Creation itself over a book that briefly mentions it as an introduction for the main topic.

Last I checked, God never promised us a HOW-TO on how he built Creation nor any system documentation on all the functions. Perhaps he didn't feel it necessary to convey every detail of the technical implementation, nor the actual project plan timeline, nor old history of things that have come and passed? It would hardly be the first time he didn't tell us everything. I would think that either you accept Jesus Christ as the son of God and then the world as God's Creation no matter how it is, or you don't accept either. What else would the world as observed be? Hallucinations? Forgery? Conspiracy? One more unlikely than the next, but then this is religion...

Re:Politics/Science (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24821271)

The wired article is misleading.
IF you go to page wired linked to and not their interpretation, she said:
-----------------
In an interview Thursday, Palin said she meant only to say that discussion of alternative views should be allowed to arise in Alaska classrooms:

"I don't think there should be a prohibition against debate if it comes up in class. It doesn't have to be part of the curriculum."

She added that, if elected, she would not push the state Board of Education to add such creation-based alternatives to the state's required curriculum.

Re:Politics/Science (1)

sorak (246725) | about 6 years ago | (#24821303)

According to a recent NPR story, both candidates intend to keep politics out of science....

But only one side intend to keep science out of science... [wired.com]

(Credit to Soulskill for the alley-oop)

Not to mention, how naive do you have to be to pay any attention to what they say when asked "do you want to politicize science". That like publishing a news article about the yes or no answer given when asked "do you want to raise taxes for poor people", or "do you want to make it easier for homicidal maniacs to get guns".

Science! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24820631)

"Error establishing a database connection" - Slashdotting, it's simple science.

Obama's response? (5, Funny)

interstellar_donkey (200782) | about 6 years ago | (#24820639)

So, Sen Obama's entire science policy can be summed up by "Error establishing a database connection"?

Interesting.

Re:Obama's response? (5, Funny)

sokoban (142301) | about 6 years ago | (#24820747)

Yeah, and McCain's is summed up by "Error 404: File not found"

Re:Obama's response? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24820851)

Are you implying McSame's birth cerificate can not be found? I am sure I saw it in the bible- an irrationale person's alternative to science!

Re:Obama's response? (1)

77Punker (673758) | about 6 years ago | (#24820837)

Well, I guess at least that means he knows what a database is, even if he doesn't know where it is.

Re:Obama's response? (5, Funny)

CaptainPatent (1087643) | about 6 years ago | (#24820859)

Oh man, his policy changed. Now it's "Server not found"

He's already flip-flopping on the issues!

Re:Obama's response? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24821201)

Parent literally made me lol!
why is this modded informative instead of funny?

Re:Obama's response? (1)

slapmastered (1158643) | about 6 years ago | (#24820923)

Hey, they don't call it "The Slashdot Effect" for nothing...

Google cache link (2, Informative)

Bageloid (1131305) | about 6 years ago | (#24820649)

Re:Google cache link (3, Informative)

AdamHaun (43173) | about 6 years ago | (#24820665)

That's an older version of the page that doesn't have the questionnaire answers.

Re:Google cache link (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24820849)

http://www.sciencedebate2008.com/www/index.php?id=40

Obama's answers on the Science Debate site.

http://www.sciencedebate2008.com.nyud.net/www/index.php?id=40

Or the Cache, if that goes down.

Why Slashdot didn't link to ScienceDebate's website is beyond me.

His VP want creationism taught in schools... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24820655)

She claims that "...I'm not going to pretend I know how all this came to be."

Apparently *educated* guesses (i.e. theories based on data) are not allowed either, or have the same status as mythological hooey.

Gosh, I feel more secure about the countries future and future science policies.

Re:His VP want creationism taught in schools... (4, Informative)

mdsolar (1045926) | about 6 years ago | (#24820779)

Yes, there is more here an Palin's views: http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles_of_faith/2008/08/sarah_palin_on.html [boston.com] not a good day for science....

Re:His VP want creationism taught in schools... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24821219)

You have to hand it to Palin: she really thinks about the kids and their education! "Kids, God created everything and that's all there's to it". This is much easier for the kids to learn. God bless you Palin.

Re:His VP want creationism taught in schools... (-1, Troll)

glitch23 (557124) | about 6 years ago | (#24820787)

Apparently *educated* guesses (i.e. theories based on data) are not allowed either, or have the same status as mythological hooey. Gosh, I feel more secure about the countries future and future science policies.

Scientists put as much faith into many of their theories as do people of religion. What's wrong with the religious faith that makes you not like it but deem the scientific faith as okay?

Re:His VP want creationism taught in schools... (2, Insightful)

penrodyn (927177) | about 6 years ago | (#24820895)

Because religious faith is totally illogical?

Re:His VP want creationism taught in schools... (1)

glitch23 (557124) | about 6 years ago | (#24821329)

Faith is believing in something without having complete evidence thereof. Faith, by that definition, is always illogical. So we go back to the original question that got marked as troll just because I stated a fact that someone didn't like.

Re:His VP want creationism taught in schools... (4, Insightful)

Volante3192 (953645) | about 6 years ago | (#24820945)

Because scientific theories are based on years of observed data and if something is observed that results in prior theories being wrong, science changes the theories.

There are no datasets for religious beliefs and when things are brought into play that questions the beliefs, they are discarded as opposed to adjusting the beliefs to update them.

In a nutshell, science doesn't mind being wrong.

Re:His VP want creationism taught in schools... (5, Insightful)

Locklin (1074657) | about 6 years ago | (#24820997)

blind faith and "the best explanation congruent with several centuries of data collection by millions of people encompassing every nation, institution, and field of science" are two entirely different things.

Re:His VP want creationism taught in schools... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24821017)

> Scientists put as much faith into many of their theories as do people of religion

Two major differences:
Scientific theories can be proven wrong. Religions theories can't.

Scientists will admit that they were wrong, once proven wrong or once they find it out themselves. Religious people say that even if I would prove that they are wrong, they would still believe as they were before.

Re:His VP want creationism taught in schools... (1)

mdsolar (1045926) | about 6 years ago | (#24821051)

You are mistaken about the amount of faith that is mixed in science. But, the main reason not to teach creation myths as facts in publically funded schools is that you may miss some citizens' versions of the myths. For example, where is Vishnu is all of this? This is the is the basis for non-establishment.

Re:His VP want creationism taught in schools... (5, Insightful)

dubl-u (51156) | about 6 years ago | (#24821113)

Scientists put as much faith into many of their theories as do people of religion. What's wrong with the religious faith that makes you not like it but deem the scientific faith as okay?

What?

The biggest prizes in science are for people who shatter old theories and create new ones. They're called Nobel prizes. Maybe you've heard of them?

It turns out religious people have a special term for people who challenge established notions. They're called heretics. Special prizes for that? Excommunication, exile, burning, torture, and death.

Notice any difference here?

(!funding == blocking) (4, Insightful)

freshfromthevat (135461) | about 6 years ago | (#24820669)

Does the community here accept that blocking funding to something is the same thing as blocking something? Or does blocking something require creating laws making some such or another illegal at the federal level (this probably being unconstitutional on the face of it).

Re:(!funding == blocking) (2, Insightful)

lubricated (49106) | about 6 years ago | (#24820817)

much in the same way that holding back highway funding has raised the drinking age.

Re:(!funding == blocking) (1)

glitch23 (557124) | about 6 years ago | (#24820821)

Does the community here accept that blocking funding to something is the same thing as blocking something? Or does blocking something require creating laws making some such or another illegal at the federal level (this probably being unconstitutional on the face of it).

No it isn't the same. Just because tax money isn't collected to fund research by the gov't doesn't mean it is totally blocked. If it is still legal then private firms would be responsible at that point to fund their own research. Capitalism at its best. Quit being so close-minded and so quick to blame the gov't and religious folk for not allowing something to happen when it would still be possible as long as it is still legal. If it is illegal then go to a country where it is, just like thousands of people do who run websites featuring warez, gambling, and other similar content.

Re:(!funding == blocking) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24821247)

Wow. You're argument is so fundamentally broken that I hope no one gives it even the appearance of credibility by attempting to rebut it. Best to just hope it fades from existence and let the collective IQ recover from the damage it does.

Re:(!funding == blocking) (3, Informative)

Compholio (770966) | about 6 years ago | (#24820835)

Does the community here accept that blocking funding to something is the same thing as blocking something? Or does blocking something require creating laws making some such or another illegal at the federal level (this probably being unconstitutional on the face of it).

The fed's number one strategy for controlling research is by holding the purse strings. Most fundamental research in the country is supported by the federal government (as a result of development timelines being longer than the 7-year investment cycle), so you don't have to pass a law against doing a certain kind of research in order to kill it. So, personally, I'd say "yes" - but don't confuse the response of one individual as the voice of the entire community.

Re:(!funding == blocking) (2, Insightful)

ArbitraryDescriptor (1257752) | about 6 years ago | (#24820907)

Does the community here accept that blocking funding to something is the same thing as blocking something? Or does blocking something require creating laws making some such or another illegal at the federal level (this probably being unconstitutional on the face of it).

I'm under the impression that banning the use of federal funds to study project X is as strong an objection as congress is allowed without being challenged; yes.

It is a far more politic to say "Oh, please, research whatever you like! We just can't spend the people's money on it, surely you understand." than it would be to say "Such knowledge is forbidden!" with some Lovecraftian justification regarding the capacity of mere men to know dark truths beyond the shadows of our perception.

Does anyone have the relevant text (1)

ArbitraryDescriptor (1257752) | about 6 years ago | (#24820697)

of Obama's response?

You'd think a respectably geeky organization, as geeky as I'd expect the Scientists and Engineers for America to be, could handle a lazy, Sunday afternoon slashdotting.

Re:Does anyone have the relevant text (3, Informative)

Locklin (1074657) | about 6 years ago | (#24820903)

Re:Does anyone have the relevant text (1)

ArbitraryDescriptor (1257752) | about 6 years ago | (#24820965)

You are a gentleman and a scholar, sir.

Yesm but... (5, Insightful)

sycodon (149926) | about 6 years ago | (#24820741)

...will Science stay out of Politics?

No! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24821269)

Politics is for everyone - at least, in any FREE country it is.

For McCain, I'll just wait ... (3, Insightful)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 6 years ago | (#24820765)

... until I see an ad on slashdot that tells me his position. Considering I'm looking at a McCain ad on this very page right now that is attacking Obama's foreign policy proposal, it shouldn't be long until the McCain camp launches online ads to tell us his plans for science as well.

Yes, I know its past time for me to install adblock. I do find it interesting how far the number of McCain ads exceed the Obama ads here, though. I'd say at least a 3-to-1 margin on slashdot.

Re:For McCain, I'll just wait ... (1)

Free the Cowards (1280296) | about 6 years ago | (#24820899)

It would be kind of silly for Obama to do much advertising on Slashdot. "Preaching to the choir", I believe it's called.

I thought we were all libertairan? (1)

BitterOldGUy (1330491) | about 6 years ago | (#24820963)

It would be kind of silly for Obama to do much advertising on Slashdot. "Preaching to the choir", I believe it's called.

I thought the bulk of us were of the libertarian persuasion.

I, for one, don't like Obama or McCain.. Barr '08!

Re:I thought we were all libertairan? (1)

gardyloo (512791) | about 6 years ago | (#24821077)

I, for one, don't like Obama or McCain.. Barr '08!

    Barr?!? She couldn't even sing the National Anthem several years ago...

Re:I thought we were all libertairan? (1, Insightful)

Free the Cowards (1280296) | about 6 years ago | (#24821101)

Big deal. I probably couldn't sing it either. I could do with having politicians be a little less patriotic. Have them start doing what's best for the people instead of what's best for the country.

Maybe more like pragmatic political pessimists? (1)

untree (851145) | about 6 years ago | (#24821123)

If I were to try to diagnose the political persuasion of /.ers, I'd go with some mixture of libertarianism (in terms of individual freedom) with a smattering of liberalism (mostly on the environmental/foreign policy front). In any case, I'd say most of us hate the idea of a police state, but don't want Big Bad Corporate America to be free to pollute and compete willy-nilly.

But maybe I'm projecting.

Re:For McCain, I'll just wait ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24821279)

"Preaching to the choir", I believe it's called.

I see an awful lot of anti-Obama posts on Slashdot. Do you have any actual numbers?

What color is your state & your general locati (1)

denzacar (181829) | about 6 years ago | (#24821293)

I live in Bosnia.
I am yet to see a single McCain ad here. Or Obama's for that matter.
So, my guess is that there is something to do with the geographical location of your IP address.

Hmm.. I wonder what do the Mideastern countries (where a lot of US soldiers are at the moment) and people surfing from behind the .mil and .gov domains see?

Encouraging to Read (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24820889)

Obama's responses seemed very logical and reasonably well informed, and really seem to hint at a great deal of integrity and his desire for transparency in government...

But my main question would be where is he going to get all the money for this?

By the time he's finished following through on the third question, I think he'd be out of funds.

Senator McCain has not responded ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24820909)

Then you should wait until he does. Nice try, liberal.

Re:Senator McCain has not responded ... (2, Informative)

Kneo24 (688412) | about 6 years ago | (#24821063)

No one was implying that they shouldn't. However if you'd take a second to un-stick your head from in-between your ass-cheeks, maybe, just maybe, you could have seen that there is some merit in people wanting as much information as they can find in the meantime. A broad idea is better than no idea.

It's slashdotted, anyone got a copy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24821149)

Post it right here please. Thanks.

Slashdotted hard! (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | about 6 years ago | (#24821215)

It's the DNS server that's not responding!

We've all seen Slashdot take down webservers, but a DNS server? That's impressive!

we're thinking mr. obama might be ok (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24821185)

just to see sir; why don't you explain the need/purpose for all the 'secret' 'cloud' spraying (all day every day now). just because folks almost never look up, is not a good reason to leave them uninformed. thank you.

fear is unprecedented evile's primary weapon. that, along with deception & coercion, helps most of us remain (unwittingly?) dependent on its' greed/fear/ego based hired goons' agenda. Most of yOUR dwindling resources are being squandered on the 'war', & continuation of the billionerrors stock markup FraUD/pyramid scheme. nobody ever mentions the real long term costs of those debacles in both life & the notion of prosperity, not to mention the abuse of the consciences of those of us who still have one. see you on the other side of it. the lights are coming up all over now. conspiracy theorists are being vindicated. some might choose a tin umbrella to go with their hats. the fairytail is winding down now. let your conscience be yOUR guide. you can be more helpful than you might have imagined. there are still some choices. if they do not suit you, consider the likely results of continuing to follow the corepirate nazi hypenosys story LIEn, whereas anything of relevance is replaced almost instantly with pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking propaganda or 'celebrity' trivia 'foam'. meanwhile; don't forget to get a little more oxygen on yOUR brain, & look up in the sky from time to time, starting early in the day. there's lots going on up there.

http://news.google.com/?ncl=1216734813&hl=en&topic=n
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/31/opinion/31mon1.html?em&ex=1199336400&en=c4b5414371631707&ei=5087%0A
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/29/world/29amnesty.html?hp
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/06/02/nasa.global.warming.ap/index.html
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/weather/06/05/severe.weather.ap/index.html
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/weather/06/02/honore.preparedness/index.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/01/opinion/01dowd.html?em&ex=1212638400&en=744b7cebc86723e5&ei=5087%0A
http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/06/05/senate.iraq/index.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/17/washington/17contractor.html?hp
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/03/world/middleeast/03kurdistan.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin
http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/080708/cheney_climate.html
http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/20080805/pl_politico/12308;_ylt=A0wNcxTPdJhILAYAVQms0NUE

is it time to get real yet? A LOT of energy is being squandered in attempts to keep US in the dark. in the end (give or take a few 1000 years), the creators will prevail (world without end, etc...), as it has always been. the process of gaining yOUR release from the current hostage situation may not be what you might think it is. butt of course, most of US don't know, or care what a precarious/fatal situation we're in. for example; the insidious attempts by the felonious corepirate nazi execrable to block the suns' light, interfering with a requirement (sunlight) for us to stay healthy/alive. it's likely not good for yOUR health/memories 'else they'd be bragging about it? we're intending for the whoreabully deceptive (they'll do ANYTHING for a bit more monIE/power) felons to give up/fail even further, in attempting to control the 'weather', as well as a # of other things/events.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=weather+manipulation&btnG=Search
http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&q=video+cloud+spraying

dictator style micro management has never worked (for very long). it's an illness. tie that with life0cidal aggression & softwar gangster style bullying, & what do we have? a greed/fear/ego based recipe for disaster. meanwhile, you can help to stop the bleeding (loss of life & limb);

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/28/vermont.banning.bush.ap/index.html

the bleeding must be stopped before any healing can begin. jailing a couple of corepirate nazi hired goons would send a clear message to the rest of the world from US. any truthful look at the 'scorecard' would reveal that we are a society in decline/deep doo-doo, despite all of the scriptdead pr ?firm? generated drum beating & flag waving propaganda that we are constantly bombarded with. is it time to get real yet? please consider carefully ALL of yOUR other 'options'. the creators will prevail. as it has always been.

corepirate nazi execrable costs outweigh benefits
(Score:-)mynuts won, the king is a fink)
by ourselves on everyday 24/7

as there are no benefits, just more&more death/debt & disruption. fortunately there's an 'army' of light bringers, coming yOUR way. the little ones/innocents must/will be protected. after the big flash, ALL of yOUR imaginary 'borders' may blur a bit? for each of the creators' innocents harmed in any way, there is a debt that must/will be repaid by you/us, as the perpetrators/minions of unprecedented evile, will not be available. 'vote' with (what's left in) yOUR wallet, & by your behaviors. help bring an end to unprecedented evile's manifestation through yOUR owned felonious corepirate nazi glowbull warmongering execrable. some of US should consider ourselves somewhat fortunate to be among those scheduled to survive after the big flash/implementation of the creators' wwwildly popular planet/population rescue initiative/mandate. it's right in the manual, 'world without end', etc.... as we all ?know?, change is inevitable, & denying/ignoring gravity, logic, morality, etc..., is only possible, on a temporary basis. concern about the course of events that will occur should the life0cidal execrable fail to be intervened upon is in order. 'do not be dismayed' (also from the manual). however, it's ok/recommended, to not attempt to live under/accept, fauxking nazi felon greed/fear/ego based pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking hypenosys.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

meanwhile, the life0cidal philistines continue on their path of death, debt, & disruption for most of US. gov. bush denies health care for the little ones;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/10/03/bush.veto/index.html

whilst demanding/extorting billions to paint more targets on the bigger kids;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/12/bush.war.funding/index.html

& pretending that it isn't happening here;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article3086937.ece
all is not lost/forgotten/forgiven

(yOUR elected) president al gore (deciding not to wait for the much anticipated 'lonesome al answers yOUR questions' interview here on /.) continues to attempt to shed some light on yOUR foibles. talk about reverse polarity;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article3046116.ece

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