Does science really matter to anyone except scientists? Are some folks just cut out to be rocket scientists and non-nerds might as well not bother trying? Is science just a concatenation of nutty ideas, most of which are probably wrong at some level?
Your opinions matter.
Science in the US is largely funded by taxpayer dollars. If America's voters decide to elect people who cut funding to science, it's not just a few scientists who run short of test tubes, we all suffer.
Cures for cancer and AIDS, new flu vaccines, drought-resistant crops --a whole host of everyday, practical solutions that make life better for hundreds of millions of Amercians; all these are derived from applications of a few major well-tested theories that form the main body of modern science.
The well-spring of all of biological theory is evolution. The idea that all life on earth has descended from common ancestors. For example, break-throughs in medicine derive directly from examining how genetic sequences of related species changed during evolution since they last shared a common ancestor.
A lot of folks figure that evolution is something that may or may not have happened a very long time ago and since it upsets a lot of people, maybe we shouldn't teach it in school. They couldn't be more wrong.
To deprive school children of a sound understanding of evolutionary theory is to deprive them of the basis for rational decision-making. How can citizens make responsible decisions about their own health care if they do not understand the basis of modern medicine? How can they vote on public policy if they do not understand basic facts of biology?
Biology is a major engine of economic development in the US and around the world. Bio-tech industries hold the promise of millions of jobs in the US. To be prepared for those jobs, America's kids need a world-class science education. To pretend that they can get that without a thorough understanding of evolutionary theory is, quite frankly, to fail to grasp reality.
Beyond the benefits offered by sound science education, lies an even larger and more basic issue --the future of freedom in America.
Our founding fathers saw what wars of religion had done to Europe and promised to do all they could to keep that from happening here. Since people are entitled to the freedom to profess whatever religion their conscience leads them to, the founding fathers proposed that the best way to keep religion safe and free was for the government to keep its nose out of it.
When it comes to the public schools, this means that teachers and school boards must not use the power of the state (ie the classroom) to teach religion.
Attacks on evolution education are religiously motivated attempts to use the science classroom to promote one particular, narrow view of monotheism. These attacks can take the form of disclaimers, or calls to teach "creation-science" or "intelligent-design" or so-called "critical-analysis" of evolution's "scientific strengths and weaknesses," but when the details are revealed, the corpus always turns out to be religous doctrine. That's why the courts have ruled against creationism time and time again --not because they are anti-religion, but because this country values freedom of religion so much.
But it can be hard to keep track of the name changes and rhetorical strategies of those who seek to co-opt our public school science classrooms to convert other people's children to religious views their parents don't hold.
Thus, we offer this web site as a clearing house for information on candidates seeking public office, particularly school board candidates. We make no guarantees about the accuracy of any information presented here, nor about the future actions of the individuals named herein. All we can say is we try our best.
We hope this will be a starting place for voters seeking preliminary information on candidates. We offer not the final word, but points of departure for important decisions.