Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Religio-tific?



One thing that young Americans need to keep in mind as we move forward through our lives as responsible liberal citizens is that science and religion are and should be considered distinct paradigms.

To illustrate, many people would like to frame the debate between creationism and evolutionary biology / geography / geology / archaeology / physiology / behavioral psychology / etc., as a debate about scientific integrity. Pathetic wannabe institutions like the Creation Museum assert the existence of an alternative "science" that supports Adam and Eve's children cavorting with dinosaurs on the riverbanks. ...Really?

Religion, unlike science, is a belief system. As Spock would likely say, religion is illogical. However, this does not mean religion has to be counter-logical. If individuals and institutions wish to assert a faith that does not contradict the basic physical and chemical laws of the universe, they must adapt their faith to these realities, not the other way around.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

the Independent Voters Alliance



A friend of mine in Cincinnati has a dream to reform American politics in a fundamental way. His dream relies on the presumption that the dissemination of information is the single most important tool for choosing elected officials. It follows that if we can circumvent political advertising paid for with big money by the big parties, then we can elect independent representatives unbeholden to special interests and party lines.

Although Rich Stevenson grew up in the era before computers and certainly before the internet, he recognized the possibility of reforming the political system with these tools well before Howard Dean or Barrack Obama. In fact, his organization, Common Sense II: Political Reforms, has been around in one form or another since 1997.

The current manifestation of Rich’s movement is the Independent Voter’s Alliance (IVA). The goal of the IVA is to secure ballot access for independent candidates across the country. This approach differs from that of other independent-oriented political organizations by seeking to gain ballot access under the existing rules rather than reforming the system. Rich recognizes that with a small effort from many Americans, independent candidates can get their names on the ballot along with democrats and republicans.

The approach is novel and ingenious. By disseminating information on independent candidates via the internet, and particularly by getting ballot access for those candidates, Rich believes that we can change the face of American politics. Check it out and see what you think.