Thursday, October 13, 2005

A Blue Island in a Red Sea

It is tempting to think in terms of Red and Blue states, but of course this is an oversimplification. As I write this, sitting at a desk in Research Triangle Park, NC, I am surrounded by one of the greatest concentrations of science and technology in the country. We are within spitting distance of four major universities with strong scientific research programs. The people here are proud of being one of the leading centers in the world for the industries of the future. It is no coincidence that some of these counties voted Blue as the state went Red.

Some issues transcend political allegiance. Voters here, whether Republican or Democratic, want their children to be taught real science in schools. They do NOT want their students told that biblical accounts of creation are scientifically equivalent to the theory of evolution. For these people, surrounded by communities bent on rejecting science, defending it may prove to be a lonely and disheartening struggle. For the more secular Republicans here, it poses a basic conflict, for they know their party has sold its soul to the flat-earth crowd in exchange for votes. They may hold the key to the future. What will they do?

There are some elected officials here who have worked doggedly and successfully to promote progress in North Carolina. Two or three of these people are considered strong candidates for the governership in the next election. If one of them indeed runs for governer, let's hope that he has the wisdom to reach out to the secular Republicans, and to refuse the religious zealots a seat at the table. We badly need leaders, especially in Red states, who will stand up to the forces of fear and ignorance.

2 Comments:

Anonymous eric selvin said...

You and Bob Parks.

I do think it is clever how the religious right has repackaged their Creationism in the new term of Intelligent design. The more you learn about the intricacies of the biology of the human body it is amazing that it came about through evolution. Given it took 3 billion years it is a bit more believable. But heck maybe I just have faith in science.

October 13, 2005 9:54 PM  
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October 14, 2005 1:54 AM  

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