David Paul Morgan
Skeptical Voter 2010 Questionnaire Response
1. Do you support the use of NHS money to provide unproven health products such as homeopathy?
No - However, we shouldn't underestimate the power of the 'placebo' effect, or just the effect of a bit 'tender loving care' from the medical staff, giving time to their patients.
2. Should schools be allowed to teach creationism as an equivalent theory to evolution?
No - absolutely not. If the scientific method cannot be applied, then it has no place in a science class, except maybe to put Darwin & Wallace into historical context.
3. Do you believe that religious belief should be legally protected from ridicule?
Not sure. there are already laws in place to prevent offensive language to be used against various groups. However, if people say ridiculous things in public or print, then they should expect robust criticism.
4. Should an independent government adviser whose views in their area of expertise conflict with government policy be able to express those views publicly?
Yes, of course. Such an adviser should also speak out if he or she thinks that their work has been mis-represented.
5. Should religious courts such as Sharia and Beth Din be recognised as alternative systems within UK law?
No, no exceptions to the rule of law. However, Sharia organisatioins or Beth Din advisors have their place within social counseling such as informal marriage guidance, provided such advise does not contradict with people's basic human rights as enshrined within law.
6. Do you agree that testing on animals (within strict criteria) is a necessary part of the development of medicines?
Partial - I still believe that there is a lot of un-necessary (re-)testing which goes on, but for new medical testing and procedures, I would say yes. Of course, animal models are not always reliable and any results should be double-blind tested on a human volunteer cohort.
7. Should policy-makers trust scientific evidence even when it appears counter-intuitive?
Yes - but once again, not blindly. There are many examples in science and mathematics which produce counter-intuitive ( where people would say it goes against 'common sense') but as long as a result can be re-produced, or is statistically sound, then it should be supported.
8. Do you think that abortion time limits should always be determined by the current scientific and medical consensus?
No - because this is very much a personal issue. It is becoming more and more likely that 'going to term' is something which the medical profession could dictate. What I mean is that it has become more and more feasible to 'save' a prematurely born baby and what will happen if that ability moves further and further back. 26 weeks is six months. 13 weeks is three months. The woman who is pregnant is the only one who should have the final say. Politicians should take the 'premature baby' time and subtract 4 weeks!
9. Should religious leaders be entitled to vote in the House of Lords?
No - and we should move to dis-establish the church of england as well. The bishops and rabbis should have no automatic entry into the house of lords.
10. Do you support the reform of English and Welsh libel law to allow a stronger 'public interest' defence?
yes - I take it you're thinking of the Simon Singh/Guardian case? Liberal Democrats have already noted that we are the laughing stock of the world on libel laws which is why the Americans like to sue for libel over here!