But more frequently than not, deep pockets are the main factor that enables a person or an athletic team to claim victory. This applies as much in sport competition as it does in politics and love. Any competitor for the big prize in politics better have a good fund raising team, as well as a good political program (or at least one that appeals to the voters). Our romantic myths may say that love conquers all, but any man seeking a desirable partner in life better show at least a potential for a decent income if he is to succeed. A destitute lover usually remains destitute longer than he remains a lover.
In the former U.S.S.R. the story of Soviet genetics from 1937 to 1964 was one of the most tragic examples, with disastrous results, of a pseudo-scientific belief rising to absolute dogma. During this time a plant physiologist and charlatan named Trofim D. Lysenko rose to power, eventually achieving absolute control over all genetic and agricultural research. Lysenko not only destroyed the lives of thousands of scientists and stifled the development of biology in the U.S.S.R. for decades; he also had a devastatingly destructive influence on Russia’s entire economy.
Today, tens of millions of American Christians are pro-choice. For the last several decades, dozens of different Christian and Jewish groups have supported excellent contraception, emergency contraceptive pills and a woman’s right to choose. The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC) represents over 40 different denominations and faith groups in this country. They argue that since major religious sects in the U.S. strongly disagree among themselves on the abortion issue, this issue obviously cannot be a “struggle between the God-fearing and the Godless”, as often portrayed by the anti-choice activists.
I believe that science educators have a duty to defend the scientific method and good science from irrational attacks. I also feel an obligation toward those students in the audience who are still undecided — students whose minds haven’t already been snapped shut by anti-evolution pseudo-science. Even so, there are still several excellent reasons for both scientists and science educators to not debate the anti-evolutionist
The politician who gets my vote is the one who makes female equality one major part of his or her platform. After all, an investment in global economic opportunities for women, plus reproductive health care (including sex education, contraception, emergency contraceptive pills and early abortions) would provide one of the greatest benefits to humanity in the history of civilization.
My point relates to the morality and legality of our military ‘evolution.’ The moral and legal problems that arose with use of technology as a deadly weapon were recognized internationally around the time of World War I when gas warfare was outlawed. Strangely enough the use of deadly machine guns and early tank attacks were considered fair play in the game of war. Even more strangely, as we progressed to the war technology of World War II, the massive bombing of civilian centers (cities) was considered a morally acceptable way of doing war.
Scientists have been working around the clock for decades to conquer AIDS, a tragic disease spread by a deadly virus that has already killed tens of millions of people. Like most crises, AIDS has brought out the best and the worst in human nature. Thousands of professional and voluntary care-givers have generously come forth to care for the sick. . . But AIDS has also aroused mean-spirited responses due to the fact that the disease first struck already stigmatized populations: gay men, IV drug users and prostitutes.
Having sex with the same sex is usually a choice. Having a homosexual orientation is not. The homosexual orientation is not a lifestyle or preference. Nor is it a temporary condition, any more than a heterosexual orientation is a free choice or a temporary condition.
But regardless of scientific findings, until quite recently most Americans continued to believe that homosexuality was either a disease, or an abominable sin against God, or even a crime to be punished. They continued to believe the scientifically discredited hate propaganda that people choose to be gay, that homosexuals were child molesters and trying to recruit the young, that homosexuality was spreading and endangering the family unit.
By 1986, 24 states still had laws against oral and anal sex, referred to as “crimes against nature”. The following states actually imposed jail sentences of from 5-20 years for sodomy, whether straight or gay, married or not: Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. Thus, to admit that one was gay or lesbian in these states was, in essence, to admit to a felony!