In case any of you have missed it… Obama is increasingly the candidate who is the most science friendly. You can see a redux of his detailed plan for science and technology and the letter from 61 Nobel Laureates endorsing Obama . You can see more on the candidates’ positions on science & technology on the dedicated blog from Discover magazine – A Vote for Science.

My conservative Christian salvation-army family was visiting this weekend and we all delicately avoided questions of politics. I know they’re all voting for McCain, in part because of the McCain campaign’s support of intelligent design. A canvasser came to the door during their visit to ask who we were voting for, and my mother and I both whispered “Obama.” My aunt called out after him, “We all love each other, but we don’t talk politics.”

But, I mean, <sigh>, it’s a bit tough. Surprisingly, though, my uncle has taken me up on my suggestion to listen to Point of Inquiry (the podcast of the Center for Inquiry, devoted to rationalism). That’s a very thoughtful show, that doesn’t disparage people for their beliefs, simply promotes a rationalist view of the world. In particular its areas of interest are:

  1. Pseudoscience and the paranormal (Bigfoot, UFOs, psychics, communication with the dead, cryptozoology, etc.)
  2. Alternative medicine (faith healing, homeopathy, “healing touch,” the efficacy of prayer, etc.)
  3. Religion and secularism (church-state separation, the effects and proper role of religion in society, the future of secularism and nonbelief, etc.

My uncle said that he understands where “they” are coming from a bit more, now, and is considering writing an essay on the role of science and religion that can speak to both sides.

Here’s a nice post from Framing Science about how atheists’ condescending attitude towards religion is self-defeating.

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