Tuesday, April 13, 2004

We need a second Renaissance

And we need it fast. The situation Europe encountered during the Medieval age, a life under the edicts of Faith, is returning, not to Europe, but to the United States of America. The Bush administration is maybe the most religious administration since a long time and it is not restricted to the war on Iraq. Like you might have observed already, this behaviour spread all over your nation. Research is only conducted and state-sponsored if it contains words like anti-terrorism, anti-anthrax or national defence. Other programs, the government had sponsored in the past, like AIDS-, cancer- or heart-research are on the brink of running out of money.

More than 60 famous scientist now acted, signing a letter to the change the christianisation of science. They complain about a government that distorts scientific facts, bends truth and builds obstacles in front of scientific research. The new immigration policy is just on of this obstacles. In the wake of 9/11, the national security has taken on immigration thus shrinking the immigration of valuable scientists. Those people now have to go through humiliating checks and interviews that last weeks until they are permitted to enter. This has already spawn consequences. The immigration of Chinese students to the Cornell University has decreased 36 per cent and more and more possible immigrants follow this trend. Charles Weissmann, for example, a famous Prion-expert should have taken over the leadership of an Institute in Florida by March, 1. He could not, because the Federal Agents had to check his Prions, because they were on the list of possible terrorist material.

This is just one example for the religious believes and fears taking over the former freest country in the world. Another grave development is the denial of certain theories which do not fit in Christian Theology. However, scientific subjects at school, like Biology or Chemistry, should not be affected by religious belief. The purity of scientific and thus provable, knowledge has to be preserved to prevent America from sliding from a secular state to a Theocracy. It is a shame that High Schools in certain Southern States teach the story of Adam and Eva as the only imaginable way of Earth’s creation, in Biology. This issue should be moved to religion and only religion, since it is not a result of scientific research thus has no right to influence biology. In this respect, I have to add, that in some schools they don’t even no Darwin’s theory of man’s development, which also plays on the same level as the one mentioned before.

Another example would be AIDS prevention, which is totally based on Faith and good will. Bush wants to extend the budget for Aids and child pregnancy prevention to 270 Million Dollars. This sounds good, but the actual application is horrible. Instead of supporting condoms as a mean to contain AIDS, the teachers are urged to teach Christian values of purity and virginity. They may not use words like promiscuity or condom.

The Bush administration approves of this way of deceiving children, because they say that it would prevent children from having sex too early or promiscuity. However, one of the most religious states, Texas, is amongst the states with the highest teenage pregnancies.

Abstinence, the Bushists claim, would solve the problem without the use of condom. They are right in a twisted way. Most children have sex a few years later, but then they don’t use a condom at all. The potential to receive or spread AIDs, because they know nothing about it, is even higher than with a condom. Another example of this terrifying course is the application to the heartland of AIDS, Africa. There, the Bush government uses the same reasoning and preaches abstinence and loyalty rather than showing the population the use of a condom.

There are more scientific reports on the effectiveness of a condom and the danger of AIDS than one could summarize on both hands, but still the religious right-wings neglect such theories, because they are scientific and not god-given.

All these drastic restrictions have led to an uproar of these sixty scientists and a change of course in Harvard. The government had promised 60 stem cells to the science community, but they go only 15 lines which are usable. This is why Harvard University decided to do it on its own. They plan to invest about 100 million dollar in the construction of a private stem cell center, which should be one of the biggest in the world. This project is financed by the University and private companies without state-sponsoring. IT will be completely independent from the religiously influenced Washington Administration and thus show the superiority and independency of privately financed research. The scientist George Daley added in respect to this intention: “Harvard has the resources, the knowledge and to be honest the liability to do so!

No comments: