Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Obama & McCain's Views on Scientific Issues

I just came across an interesting chart comparing the views of Sen. Obama and Sen. McCain on a number of scientific issues, including climate change, stem-cell research, sex education, and evolution vs. intelligent design (thanks to Masson's Blog for finding this). The chart was prepared by Scientists & Engineers for America, a non-partisan, nonprofit, educational organization with a mission to "facilitate evidence-based decision making at all levels of government".

A review of the chart shows that Sen. Obama and Sen. McCain agree on quite a few points. Among the differences that I noticed:
  • Sen. McCain favors subsidies for nuclear power but not for other types of alternative energy while Sen. Obama wants to invest money in research in alternative energy.
  • Sen. McCain wants to build additional nuclear reactors to address energy needs while Sen. Obama believes that nuclear energy may be necessary but that we need to ensure it is safe and has public support before embarking on the construction of new nuclear reactors.
  • Sen. McCain supports President Bush's view that abstinence-only sex education is the appropriate policy while Sen. Obama endorses comprehensive, age-appropriate sex education that is medically accurate and includes information about contraception.
  • Sen. McCain favors offshore drilling while Sen. Obama says that he is willing to consider offshore drilling if it would provide short-term relief or be part of a long-term strategy for energy independence.
  • Sen. McCain believes that intelligent design should be taught in classrooms while Sen. Obama recognizes the "difference between science and faith" and would not teach intelligent design in the classroom.
  • Sen. McCain does not think that the government should get into the issue of net neutrality until and unless it becomes a problem, believing instead that the issue should be left to market forces while Sen. Obama strongly supports net neutrality.

The chart includes much more detail, including quotations and links to interviews and the candidates' respective platforms. Take a look and make up your own mind as to which candidate's views you find most appealing.

For what it's worth, on each of these issues, I generally side with Sen. Obama.

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