Is it really a losing battle?

January 31st, 2006

I feel that it is ever so important to comment on this story I found in the newswires. It states that abortion rights activists are facing a losing battle. Now, I know that there are many people in our government who are openly anti-abortion, including our president, and that we are looking at an anti-abortionist being voted into the supreme court. But, it can’t be a losing battle. Our country seems to be evenly split in terms of opinion, but many polls fail to recognize the huge numbers of people who have no opinion, or don’t think it should be a matter of discussion in our government.

The head of NARAL has even said that she believes “Roe will be dismantled.” It’s a future I don’t want to face, or have my children face. Since public sentiment seems so evenly balanced, it’s obviously a radical few who are pushing their agendas. And, there has got to be a way to overcome the minority voice with rational thought. If people have any sentiment on this issue, they should be writing their congressmen. For even though, there may be a biased opinion in our supreme court that doesn’t mean that legislation will be passed. If people voice their opinion like the few who are so vocal in opposition, there will be progress.

There probably are changes afoot. I’m sorry to see such a devolution in our populous that we are allowing religious sentiment interfere with public policy. Anti-abortionists want us to think of the children, which is fine. I say think of the children and don’t bring them into the world if they are unwanted. Don’t bring them into a world that won’t care for them. Think of the children and have some decency to give them a chance at a good life. Get the politicians to make laws that will protect children, their education, and their futures. Change the infrastructure before taking away rights and you won’t need to take those rights away. Science is learning more and more about our development, and that information should inform us, enabling us to make better decisions that don’t take away a woman’s right to choose, and protect children at the same time.

I thought so…

January 26th, 2006

I am pleased to report that scientists have verified what most of us probably knew to be true all along… sex relieves stress. AND… sex can help relax you before a stressful event, like public speaking. This isn’t any kind of sex though. It’s that good old fashioned penetrative kind that works best, especially for women. So, I know what I’ll be doing in preparation for my next speaking engagement. :)

Knew it all along

January 24th, 2006

So a recent study out of Emory University has figured out what we should have known all along. Democrats and Republicans are never going to agree. Why you ask? Well, it seems that extremely politically polarized individuals don’t think rationally. fMRI scans of the brains of decidedly Democrat or Republican individuals who saw pictures of politicians and bits of speeches before the 2004 election showed that the people used the emotional centers of the brain rather than those areas associated with reasoning.

Hence, the reason why the two political parties will never agree on anything… they don’t actually think about anything. It’s all about how we feel.

The question I have to ask is whether this makes Independents more reasonable people politically. Food for thought.

Happy New Year!

January 6th, 2006

As I start this new year trying to avoid resolutions having to do with exercise or diet (because I will surely fail myself within mere weeks), I am resolving to at least keep up with this here weblog. I finally have a reliable computer and web access. I have no excuse. I read a lot about science and stuff, so I should write about my thoughts every once in a while, non?

My biggest hope for this year is that we can escape some of the evolution/creationism shouting matches that were so ugly last year. We had a huge political victory for evolution in the Dover schools decision of mid-December (you can read the entire decision here). I have to say that the judge makes some eloquent well-thought statements. Although, on the other hand, I am sorry that science is being allowed into the hands of the judges and politicians at all. I mean, honestly, who better understands the definition and application of the word “theory”? A politician, judge, or scientist?

Regardless of what I want to see, it seems that this year may be a repeat of the “my team’s better than your team” mentality that we’ve seen the past few years, and that came to a head this past year. The race for Texas governor has suddenly become a proving ground for Intelligent Design. The current Repubican governor of the state has decided he knows what makes a theory better than some judges and scientists we know by announcing that ID is a scientific theory and should be included in science curriculums.

I’m sure that he’s not the only politician out there who’s going to jump on the bandwagon either. The Dover decision, while precedent setting, is not binding in other states. So, as schoolboards around the country come up for re-election and as curricula come up for review, we may see the Dover trials play out many more times before we reach the end of this road.

The assault upon science will continue as long as there are people who think that it threatens their way of life, and as scientists and educated people I think that we have an obligation to speak loudly and to make the truth behind science heard by the general populus. The zealots won’t ever listen, but most people make good decisions when they have the facts honestly presented to them. We need to stay away from shouting matches that will make people turn their heads and stop listening, and instead engage the public in the dialog that will shape the future of this country. As scientists and educated people, let’s resolve to stand strong against the onslaught this year, and not let twisted interpretations blur the messages we send.