This Year’s US Election Is Full Of Issues Including Creationism and Evolution

Evolutionary scientists these days are more like activists than ever before. We see some are actively involved in publicly campaigning for a candidate. One of the main reasons is funding. Like so many of them, they depend on grants given or awarded to them by the government.

Medicine Nobelist Harold Varmus, president of Memorial-Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City and an adviser to the Obama campaign, said that Obama’s pledge of “sustained and predictable increases” in funding basic research is a major reason for what Varmus characterized as “widespread support” in the scientific community for the Democratic candidate.

In a teleconference with reporters that included chemistry Nobelist Peter Agre and medicine Nobelist H. Robert Horvitz, Varmus also cited Obama’s pledge to “encourage innovation, improve education, and restore scientific integrity” to federal agencies. He said that Obama’s commitment to science would cost an additional $15 billion a year, to be offset by reducing the number of federal earmarks, ending the war in Iraq, and making government purchasing more efficient. ScienceNow

Blogs which have a special interest in evolution like “University blogs” are often times littered with comments about how they are going to vote for Obama and others should as well because it’s a science issue of not only policy but also personal beliefs. “There is a crisis in scientific literacy in the United States: only 25% of Americans accept our evolution from ape-like ancestors, yet 74% believe in angels.” Jerry Coyne (University of Chicago).

So science to evolutionists is becoming not just an basic or advanced understanding of evolution, but also a personal belief that is not only just a theory, but one of the most important facts over everything else including a personal belief in a religion or Christianity. This is why many creationists consider evolution a religion in itself as many of it’s defenders openly treat it like one.

Many in the evolutionist circles are more scared of Palin than McCain. We see in more blogs and opinionated articles alike which are more interested in the VP candidate’s position, because Sarah Palin even though has never pushed public policy for ID or Creationism in the public schools, she firmly believes in creation. McCain however, is more of a “theist evolutionist” which claims that God used evolution to create the Universe. Even Cindy McCain was thrown into the middle about Palin’s beliefs in creationism when she was being interviewed by CBS.

Then there is the IRS clause of 1954, which doesn’t allow by law, pastors who are filed under the tax exempt status, to preach about politics like endorsing a candidate. This is a violation of free speech and a double standard when it comes to scientists who in some cases, are actively involved in running a Presidential campaign, with a special interest such as receiving income from the government. And one last thing, Pastors do not get public funding from the government concerning incomes.

9 thoughts on “This Year’s US Election Is Full Of Issues Including Creationism and Evolution

  1. Of course scientists, and any person who likes science, is going to notice which candidates are pro-science, and they’re not likely to vote for a candidate who knows nothing about science. It’s obvious Governor Sarah Palin knows nothing about science. She actually believes people and dinosaurs lived at the same time. Any educated child knows that’s insane.

  2. “This is a violation of free speech and a double standard when it comes to scientists who in some cases, are actively involved in running a Presidential campaign, with a special interest such as receiving income from the government.”

    Income, shmincome. Since when did scientists become preachers? Also, in your view, then, it is okay for pastors to encourage a political candidate for their personal income?

    I’m not an American, so last time I checked, scientists are not tax-exempt, are they?
    In any case, scientists vouching for a pro-science candidate seems fine by me.

  3. Hi freidenker85,

    Thanks for your comment. Are you from Germany? I have another question for you, why should a tax-exempt status prevent anyone from presenting their viewpoints? Preachers are not the only ones who file under this status in America. My position is, nobody’s viewpoints should be hindered because of that particular status, and if the scientists can act as activists for who he or she feels they want in office and are paid by the government then preachers should have that right as well!

  4. “Thanks for your comment. Are you from Germany? I have another question for you, why should a tax-exempt status prevent anyone from presenting their viewpoints?”

    Actually, I’m from Israel :-)

    To be perfectly honest with you, I don’t know. Frankly, the only case against preachers preaching for a candidate to be unfair because their political power can be directly used for their own reinforcement. That said, scientists would probably not gain the same because unlike pastors and preachers, they don’t get funded by “believers”, they get funded by grants.

    Also, scientists aren’t promoting sectarian faiths when they try to promote further science investment – they promote backing science done by any scientist, whatever religion he may have.

    Other than that, yes, I think that scientists and preachers alike are keen on promoting the candidates who will promote their interests the most. In that respect, not allowing pastors to promote a candidate is something I personally don’t approve (or at least haven’t been introduced to any convincing arguments). In Israel, by the way, promotion of candidates by religious figures is commonplace. This has little effect on anyone who isn’t religious anyway, and would probably vote for a religious candidate anyway.

    On the whole, even though there’s some basic differences in scientific activism and religious activism, I don’t think anyone should be “gagged”.

    Then again, I also don’t understand why religious organizations have to be tax-exempt. Apart from being just dandy for the religious, what makes these organizations so special that they deserve tax benefits?

  5. Hi again freidenker85,

    Good to see ya again…Oh no, I guessed wrong, now some blogger is going to write that I called you a nazi…lol…Are you Jewish or Palestinian? My mom works with a woman from Israel who is Palestinian. I have talked to her on a number of occasions.

    I understand your thought process a little bit better since I know something about you. Let me try to explain the tax-exempt status. Many different religious organizations here in America provide more than just a place to worship. Many have built hospitals, feed the poor, provided shelter for victims of crime such as rape, abuse, and much more. They also provide shelter for the homeless, they basically do all sorts of things which serves the local population.

    The tax-exempt status enables these religious organizations (and others) to reach out to the community in such a way as mentioned above. This is why they get a tax benefit. Keep in mind, not all religious organizations get this benefit. One has to file for it, (basically fill out the paper work) in order to get it. Otherwise you don’t get the benefit. Some churches refuse to file for the tax exemption, because of the government regulation that restricts endorsing a political figure or possible future regulations.

    In other words, they would like to keep their independence from the state.

  6. Oh, Jewish, sorry. When I say “Jewish”, I mean ethnically. I’m not religious. I can safely consider myself as an “Ashkenazi Atheist”. I’m very patriotic about Israel, though.

    At any rate, the tax-exempt status is a nice thing if it’s granted to humane organizations, but the definition of this exemption is affiliation to religion, not affiliation to charity. All people and all organizations can perform charity, and I’m all for giving these organizations tax-exemption if they’re doing charity, but not due to the merit of their religious activities. Religion should be a private issue, and people don’t deserve special treatment because of their personal interests, be it religion or anything else.

    Don’t get me wrong, as an atheist, I fully accept freedom of faith (so long as the religious accept freedom of non-faith and other faiths) – but I don’t think anyone should sponser or benefit my religious or political organization. Let the churches be built, but I see no reason to fund them if I’m not interested in them.

  7. Even though I’m a Christian (baptist in doctrine) and I would be interested in places where I could go and worship, however, I too do not believe in the government funding to built them either. I think when the government gets too involved, especially when it comes to money, it’s not good for the church. If let’s say the government doesn’t like a particular belief, they can cut the funding.

    There has been an uproar over here among some atheist groups in America about giving taxpayer money to charities which already tax-exempt and are operated by religious groups. It’s the religious groups who operate it that concerns them.

    I agree about treating all people fairly or the same regardless of any particular belief or non-belief and having the freedom to express those beliefs.

  8. You display a truly admirable amount of open-mindedness. I’m not sure what’s annoying those atheist groups, but then again, I’m not sure why tax-payer money is going to religious groups in the first place – I mean, it’s not like the religious are shorthanded in population and economical influence, they don’t need nobody’s tax-money to flourish, right?

  9. Thanks

    What I believe propelled the situation for faith-based groups, is the government’s disaster relief and government community organizations in general here…

    There have in the past been numerous problems with government agencies in preforming much needed services at such high costs to the taxpayer. Faith-based organizations preform the same services but at less cost, So there has been a push to give faith-based charities taxpayer money as a result to save money rather than spend more.

    Let me ask you something, in America here, people tend to vote on particular issues, such as creation or evolution. For example, there are many atheists who wouldn’t vote for Sarah Palin because she is a creationist.

    Do you vote on certain issues that appeal to you, or do you vote on the overall issues than underline a person? Like economics, foreign affairs, security, and so on…

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