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But anyhow it is impossible not to trace the supremacy of Teutons, Greeks, and Romans in part to their common form of government. The contests of the assembly cherished the principle of change; the influence of the elders insured sedateness and preserved the mould of thought; and, in the best cases, military discipline was not impaired by freedom, though military intelligence was enhanced with the general intelligence.

Physics and politics: a happy marriage?

A Roman army was a free body, at its own choice governed by a peremptory despotism. The mixture of races was often an advantage, too. Much as the old world believed in pure blood, it had very little of it. Most historic nations conquered pre-historic nations, and though they massacred many, they did not massacre all. They enslaved the subject men, and they married the subject women.

Class 9 Political Science - Introduction

No doubt the whole bond of early society was the bond of descent; no doubt it was essential to the notions of a new nation that it should have had common ancestors; the modern idea that vicinity of habitation is the natural cement of civil union would have been repelled as an impiety if it could have been conceived as an idea. But by one of those legal fictions which Sir Henry Maine describes so well, primitive nations contrived to do what they found convenient, as well as to adhere to what they fancied to be right. When they did not beget they adopted; they solemnly made believe that new persons were descended from the old stock, though everybody knew that in flesh and blood they were not.

They made an artificial unity in default of a real unity; and what it is not easy to understand now, the sacred sentiment requiring unity Edition: current; Page: [ 45 ] of race was somehow satisfied: what was made did as well as what was born. Nations with these sort of maxims are not likely to have unity of race in the modern sense, and as a physiologist understands it. What sorts of unions improve the breed, and which are worse than both the father-race and the mother, it is not very easy to say.

The subject was reviewed by M. Quatrefages in an elaborate report upon the occasion of the French Exhibition, of all things in the world. Quatrefages quotes from another writer the phrase that South America is a great laboratory of experiments in the mixture of races, and reviews the different results which different cases have shown. In South Carolina the mulatto race is not very prolific, whereas in Louisiana and Florida it decidedly is so. In Jamaica and in Java the mulatto cannot reproduce itself after the third generation; but on the continent of America, as everybody knows, the mixed race is now most numerous, and spreads generation after generation without impediment.

Equally various likewise in various cases has been the fate of the mixed race between the white man and the native American; sometimes it prospers, sometimes it fails. And M. Early in history the continual mixtures by conquest were just so many experiments in mixing races as are going on in South America now.

New races wandered into new districts, Edition: current; Page: [ 46 ] and half killed, half mixed with the old races. And the result was doubtless as various and as difficult to account for then as now; sometimes the crossing answered, sometimes it failed. But when the mixture was at its best, it must have excelled both parents in that of which so much has been said; that is, variability, and consequently progressiveness.

There is more life in mixed nations. France, for instance, is justly said to be the mean term between the Latin and the German races. You have in France Latin, Celtic, German, compounded in an infinite number of proportions: one as she is in feeling, she is various not only in the past history of her various provinces, but in their present temperaments. Like the Irish element and the Scotch element in the English House of Commons, the variety of French races contributes to the play of the polity; it gives a chance for fitting new things which otherwise there would not be. And early races must have wanted mixing more than modern races.

But the mixture of races has a singular danger as well as a singular advantage in the early world. The union of the Englishman and the Hindoo produces something not only between races, but between moralities. They have no inherited creed or plain place in the world; they have none of the fixed traditional sentiments which are the stays of human nature. In the early world many mixtures must have wrought many ruins; they must have destroyed what they could not replace—an inbred principle of discipline and of order.

But Edition: current; Page: [ 47 ] if these unions of races did not work thus; if, for example, the two races were so near akin that their morals united as well as their breeds, if one race by its great numbers and prepotent organisation so presided over the other as to take it up and assimilate it, and leave no separate remains of it, then the admixture was invaluable.

It added to the probability of variability, and therefore of improvement; and if that improvement even in part took the military line, it might give the mixed and ameliorated state a steady advantage in the battle of nations, and a greater chance of lasting in the world. Another mode in which one state acquires a superiority over competing states is by provisional institutions, if I may so call them. The most important of these—slavery—arises out of the same early conquest as the mixture of races. A slave is an unassimilated, an undigested atom; something which is in the body politic, but yet is hardly part of it.

Slavery, too, has a bad name in the later world, and very justly. We cannect it with gangs in chains, with laws which keep men ignorant, with laws that hinder families. But the evils which we have endured from slavery in recent ages must not blind us to, or make us forget, the great services that slavery rendered in early ages. There is a wonderful presumption in its favour; it is one of the institutions which, at a certain stage of growth, all nations in all countries choose and cleave to.

But Wakefield knew what he was saying; he was a careful observer of rough societies, and he had watched the minds of men in them. He had seen that leisure is the great need of early societies, and slaves only can give men leisure. All freemen in new countries must be pretty equal; every one has labour, and every one Edition: current; Page: [ 48 ] has land; capital, at least in agricultural countries for pastoral countries are very different , is of little use; it cannot hire labour; the labourers go and work for themselves.

There is a story often told of a great English capitalist who went out to Australia with a shipload of labourers and a carriage; his plan was that the labourers should build a house for him, and that he would keep his carriage, just as in England. But so the story goes he had to try to live in his carriage, for his labourers left him, and went away to work for themselves.

In such countries there can be few gentlemen and no ladies. Refinement is only possible when leisure is possible; and slavery first makes it possible. It creates a set of persons born to work that others may not work, and not to think in order that others may think. The sort of originality which slavery gives is of the first practical advantage in early communities; and the repose it gives is a great artistic advantage when they come to be described in history.

The patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob could not have had the steady calm which marks them, if they had themselves been teased and hurried about their flocks and herds. Refinement of feeling and repose of appearance have indeed no market value in the early bidding of nations; they do not tend to secure themselves a long future or any future. But originality in war does, and slave-owning nations, having time to think, are likely to be more shrewd in policy, and more crafty in strategy. No doubt this momentary gain is bought at a ruinous after-cost.

When other sources of leisure become possible, the one use of slavery is past. But all its evils remain, and even grow worse. But wholesale slavery, where men are but one of the investments of large capital, and where a great owner, so far from knowing each slave, can hardly tell how many gangs of them he works, is an abominable state. This is the slavery which has made the name revolting to the best minds, and has nearly rooted the thing out of the best of the world.

There is no out-of-theway Edition: current; Page: [ 49 ] marvel in this. The whole history of civilisation is strewn with creeds and institutions which were invaluable at first, and deadly afterwards. Progress would not have been the rarity it is if the early food had not been the late poison. A full examination of these provisional institutions would need half a volume, and would be out of place and useless here. Venerable oligarchy, august monarchy, are two that would alone need large chapters. But the sole point here necessary is to say that such preliminary forms and feelings at first often bring many graces and many refinements, and often tend to secure them by the preservative military virtue.

There are cases in which some step in intellectual progress gives an early society some gain in war; more obvious cases are when some kind of moral quality gives some such gain. War both needs and generates certain virtues; not the highest, but what may be called the preliminary virtues, as valour, veracity, the spirit of obedience, the habit of discipline.

Any of these, and of others like them, when possessed by a nation, and no matter how generated, will give them a military advantage, and make them more likely to stay in the race of nations. The Romans probably had as much of these efficacious virtues as any race of the ancient world,—perhaps as much as any race in the modern world too. And the success of the nations which possess these martial virtues has been the great means by which their continuance has been secured in the world, and the destruction of the opposite vices ensured also.

Conquest is the missionary of valour, and the hard impact of military virtues beats meanness out of the world. In the last century it would have sounded strange to speak, as I am going to speak, of the military advantage of religion.

Physics of Politics: Commentary, Andrew Zwicker

Such an idea would have been opposed to ruling prejudices, and would hardly have escaped philosophical ridicule. But the notion is but a commonplace in our day, for a man of genius has made it his own. In spite of his great genius, after a long life of writing, it is a question still whether even a single work of his Edition: current; Page: [ 50 ] can take a lasting place in high literature. There is a want of sanity in their manner which throws a suspicion on their substance though it is often profound ; and he brandishes one or two fallacies, of which he has himself a high notion, but which plain people will always detect and deride.

But whatever may be the fate of his fame, Mr. But we now know that the trust was of as much use as the powder, if not of more.

Panofsky on Physics, Politics, and Peace - Pief Remembers | Wolfgang K.H. Panofsky | Springer

That high concentration of steady feeling makes men dare everything and do anything. This subject would run to an infinite extent if any one were competent to handle it. Those kinds of morals and that kind of religion which tend to make the firmest and most effectual character are sure to prevail, all else being the same; and creeds or systems that conduce to a soft limp mind tend to perish, except some hard extrinsic force keep them alive.

Thus Epicureanism never prospered at Rome, but Stoicism did; the stiff, serious character of the great prevailing nation was attracted by what seemed a confirming creed, and deterred by what looked like a relaxing creed. The inspiriting doctrines fell upon the ardent character, and so confirmed its energy. Strong beliefs win strong men, and then make them stronger.

Such is no doubt one cause why Monotheism tends to prevail over Polytheism; it produces a higher, steadier character, calmed and concentrated by a great single object; it is not confused by competing rites, or distracted by miscellaneous deities. Polytheism is religion in commission, and it is weak accordingly. But it will be said the Jews, who were monotheist, were conquered by the Romans, who were polytheist. Yes, it must be answered, because the Romans had other gifts; they had a capacity for politics, a habit of discipline, and of these the Jews had not the least. The religious advantage was an advantage, but it was counterweighed.

No one should be surprised at the prominence given to Edition: current; Page: [ 51 ] war. We are dealing with early ages; nation- making is the occupation of man in these ages, and it is war that makes nations. Nation- changing comes afterwards, and is mostly effected by peaceful revolution, though even then war, too, plays its part. The idea of an indestructible nation is a modern idea; in early ages all nations were destructible, and the further we go back, the more incessant was the work of destruction.

The internal decoration of nations is a sort of secondary process, which succeeds when the main forces that create nations have principally done their work. We have here been concerned with the political scaffolding; it will be the task of other papers to trace the process of political finishing and building.

The nicer play of finer forces may then require more pleasing thoughts than the fierce fights of early ages can ever suggest. It belongs to the idea of progress that beginnings can never seem attractive to those who live far on; the price of improvement is, that the unimproved will always look degraded. But how far are the strongest nations really the best nations?

I cannot answer this now fully, but three or four considerations are very plain. The insensibility to human suffering, which is so striking a fact in the world as it stood when history first reveals it, is doubtless due to the warlike origin of the old civilisation. Bred in war, and nursed in war, it could not revolt from the things of war, and one of the principal of these is human pain.

Since war has ceased to be the moving force in the world, men have become more tender one to another, and shrink from what they used to inflict without caring; and this not so much because men are improved which may or may not be in various cases , but because they have no longer the daily habit of war—have no longer formed their notions upon war, and therefore are guided by thoughts Edition: current; Page: [ 52 ] and feelings which soldiers as such—soldiers educated simply by their trade—are too hard to understand. Very like this is the contempt for physical weakness and for women which marks early society too.

The non-combatant population is sure to fare ill during the ages of combat. But these defects, too, are cured or lessened; women have now marvellous means of winning their way in the world; and mind without muscle has far greater force than muscle without mind. These are some of the after-changes in the interior of nations, of which the causes must be scrutinised, and I now mention them only to bring out how many softer growths have now half-hidden the old and harsh civilisation which war made.

But it is very dubious whether the spirit of war does not still colour our morality far too much. Metaphors from law and metaphors from war make most of our current moral phrases, and a nice examination would easily explain that both rather vitiate what both often illustrate. The military habit makes man think far too much of definite action, and far too little of brooding meditation.

The century of complexity

Life is not a set campaign, but an irregular work, and the main forces in it are not overt resolutions, but latent and half-involuntary promptings. The mistake of military ethics is to exaggerate the conception of discipline, and so to present the moral force of the will in a barer form than it ever ought to take. Military morals can direct the axe to cut down the tree, but it knows nothing of the quiet force by which the forest grows. What has been said is enough, I hope, to bring out that there are many qualities and many institutions of the most various sort which give nations an advantage in military competition; that most of these and most warlike qualities tend principally to good; that the constant winning of these favoured competitors is the particular mode by which the best qualities wanted in elementary civilisation are propagated and preserved.

The best nations conquered the worst; by the possession of one advantage or another the best competitor overcame the inferior competitor. We judge of them by the present effects, not by their first. The love of law, for example, is a virtue which no one now would call martial, yet in early times it disciplined nations, and the disciplined nations won. Alone among ancient nations they had the deference to usage which combines nations, and the partial permission of selected change which improves nations; and therefore they succeeded.

Just so in most cases, all through the earliest times, martial merit is a token of real merit: the nation that wins is the nation that ought to win. The simple virtues of such ages mostly make a man a soldier if they make him anything. No doubt the brute force of number may be too potent even then as so often it is afterwards : civilisation may be thrown back by the conquest of many very rude men over a few less rude men.

But the first elements of civilisation are great military advantages, and, roughly, it is a rule of the first times that you can infer merit from conquest, and that progress is promoted by the competitive examination of constant war. They are still in the preparatory school; they have not been taken on class by class, as No. And it explains why Western Europe was early in advance of other countries, because there the contest of races was exceedingly severe.

Unlike most regions, it was a tempting part of the world, and yet not a corrupting part; those who did not possess it wanted it, and those who had it, not being enervated, could struggle hard to keep it. The conflict of nations is at first a main force in the improvement of nations. But what are nations?

What are these groups which are so familiar to us, and yet, if we stop to think, so strange; which are as old as history; which Herodotus found in almost as great numbers and with quite as marked distinctions as we see them now? What breaks the human race up into fragments so unlike one another, and yet each in its interior so monotonous? The question is most puzzling, though the fact is so familiar, and I would not venture to say that I can answer it completely, though I can advance some considerations which, as it seems to me, go a certain way towards answering it.

Perhaps these same considerations throw some light, too, on the further and still more interesting question why some few nations progress, and why the greater part do not. Of course at first all such distinctions of nation and nation were explained by original diversity of race. They are dissimilar, it was said, because they were created dissimilar.

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But in most cases this easy supposition will not do its work. You cannot consistently with plain facts imagine enough original races to make it tenable. Some half-dozen or more great families of men may or may not have been descended from separate first stocks, but sub-varieties have certainly not so descended. You may argue, rightly or wrongly, that all Aryan nations are of a single or peculiar origin, just as it was long believed that all Greek-speaking nations were of one such stock.

But you will not be listened to if you say that there were one Adam and Eve for Sparta, and another Adam and Eve for Athens. All Greeks are evidently of one origin, but Edition: current; Page: [ 55 ] within the limits of the Greek family, as of all other families, there is some contrast-making force which causes city to be unlike city, and tribe unlike tribe. Certainly, too, nations did not originate by simple natural selection, as wild varieties of animals I do not speak now of species no doubt arise in nature.

Natural selection means the preservation of those individuals which struggle best with the forces that oppose their race. But you could not show that the natural obstacles opposing human life much differed between Sparta and Athens, or indeed between Rome and Athens; and yet Spartans, Athenians, and Romans differ essentially. Old writers fancied and it was a very natural idea that the direct effect of climate, or rather of land, sea, and air, and the sum total of physical conditions varied man from man, and changed race to race. But experience refutes this.

The English immigrant lives in the same climate as the Australian or Tasmanian, but he has not become like those races; nor will a thousand years, in most respects, make him like them. The Papuan and the Malay, as Mr. Wallace finds, live now, and have lived for ages, side by side in the same tropical regions, with every sort of diversity.

Even in animals his researches show, as by an object-lesson, that the direct efficacy of physical conditions is overrated. The Moluccas are the counterpart of the Philippines in their volcanic structure, their extreme fertility, their luxuriant forests, and their frequent earthquakes; and Bali, with the east end of Java, has a climate almost as arid as that of Timor. Yet between these corresponding groups of islands, constructed, as it were, after the same pattern, subjected to the same climate, and bathed by the same oceans, there exists the greatest possible contrast, when we compare their animal productions.

Nowhere does the ancient doctrine—that differences or similarities in the various forms of life that inhabit different countries are due to corresponding physical differences or Edition: current; Page: [ 56 ] similarities in the countries themselves—meet with so direct and palpable a contradiction. Borneo and New Guinea, as alike physically as two distinct countries can be, are zoologically as wide as the poles asunder; while Australia, with its dry winds, its open plains, its stony deserts and its temperate climate, yet produces birds and quadrupeds which are closely related to those inhabiting the hot, damp, luxuriant forests which everywhere clothe the plains and mountains of New Guinea.

And though some of Mr. Climate is clearly not the force which makes nations, for it does not always make them, and they are often made without it. Nations, as we see them, are if my arguments prove true the produce of two great forces: one the race-making force which, whatever it was, acted in antiquity, and has now wholly, or almost, given over acting; and the other the nation-making force, properly so called, which is acting now as much as it ever acted, and creating as much as it ever created.

The strongest light on the great causes which have formed and are forming nations is thrown by the smaller causes which are altering nations. The way in which nations change, generation after generation, is exceedingly curious, and the change occasionally happens when it is very hard to account for. Something seems to steal over society, say of the Regency time as compared with that of the present Queen. If we read Edition: current; Page: [ 57 ] of life at Windsor at the cottage now pulled down , or of Bond Street as it was in the days of the Loungers an extinct race , or of St.

Or let any one think how little is the external change in England between the age of Elizabeth and the age of Anne compared with the national change. How few were the alterations in physical condition, how few if any the scientific inventions affecting human life which the later period possessed, but the earlier did not! How hard it is to say what has caused the change in the people! And yet how total is the contrast, at least at first sight! In passing from Bacon to Addison, from Shakespeare to Pope, we seem to pass into a new world.

In the first of these essays I spoke of the mode in which the literary change happens, and I recur to it because, literature being narrower and more definite than life, a change in the less serves as a model and illustration of the change in the greater. Some writer, as was explained, not necessarily a very excellent writer or a remembered one, hit on something which suited the public taste: he went on writing, and others imitated him, and they so accustomed their readers to that style that they would bear nothing else.

The age of Anne patronised Steele, the beginner of the essay, and Addison its perfecter, and it neglected writings in a wholly discordant key. And this is doubtless the true account of the manner in which a certain trade mark, a curious and indefinable unity, settles on every newspaper. Perhaps it would be possible to name the men who a few years since created the Saturday Review style, now imitated by another and a younger race. But when the style of a periodical is once formed, the continuance of it Edition: current; Page: [ 58 ] is preserved by a much more despotic impulse than the tendency to imitation,—by the self-interest of the editor, who acts as trustee, if I may say so, for the subscribers.

The regular buyers of a periodical want to read what they have been used to read—the same sort of thought, the same sort of words.

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The editor sees that they get that sort. He selects the suitable, the conforming articles, and he rejects the non-conforming. What the editor does in the case of a periodical, the readers do in the case of literature in general. They patronise one thing and reject the rest. Of course there was always some reason if we only could find it which gave the prominence in each age to some particular winning literature. There always is some reason why the fashion of female dress is what it is. But just as in the case of dress we know that nowadays the determining cause is very much of an accident, so in the case of literary fashion, the origin is a good deal of an accident.

What the milliners of Paris, or the demi-monde of Paris, enjoin our English ladies, is I suppose a good deal chance; but as soon as it is decreed, those whom it suits and those whom it does not all wear it. Just so a literary fashion spreads, though I am far from saying with equal primitive unreasonableness—a literary taste always begins on some decent reason, but once started, it is propagated as a fashion in dress is propagated; even those who do not like it read it because it is there, and because nothing else is easily to be found.

The same patronage of favoured forms, and persecution of disliked forms, are the main causes too, I believe, which change national character.

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  • Some one attractive type catches the eye, so to speak, of the nation, or a part of the nation, as servants catch the gait of their masters, or as mobile girls come home speaking the special words and acting the little gestures of each family whom they may have been visiting. Edition: current; Page: [ 59 ] They will there see the opinion of a great practical leader of men, of one who has led very many where they little thought of going, as to the mode in which they are to be led; and what he says, put shortly and simply, and taken out of his delicate language, is but this—that men are guided by type, not by argument; that some winning instance must be set up before them, or the sermon will be vain, and the doctrine will not spread.

    I do not want to illustrate this matter from religious history, for I should be led far from my purpose, and after all I can but teach the commonplace that it is the life of teachers which is catching, not their tenets. And again, in political matters, how quickly a leading statesman can change the tone of the community! We are most of us earnest with Mr. Gladstone; we were most of us not so earnest in the time of Lord Palmerston.

    The change is what every one feels, though no one can define it. Each predominant mind calls out a corresponding sentiment in the country: most feel it a little. Those who feel it much express it much; those who feel it excessively express it excessively; those who dissent are silent or unheard. After such great matters as religion and politics, it may seem trifling to illustrate the subject from little boys. But it is not trifling. The bane of philosophy is pomposity: people will not see that small things are the miniatures of greater, and it seems a loss of abstract dignity to freshen their minds by object lessons from what they know.

    But every boarding-school changes as a nation changes. In fact, some ruling spirits, some one or two ascendant boys, had left, one or two others had come; and so all was changed. The models were changed, and the copies changed; a different thing was praised, and a different thing bullied. A curious case of the same tendency was noticed to me only lately. A friend of mine—a Liberal Conservative—addressed a meeting of working men at Leeds, and was much pleased at finding Edition: current; Page: [ 60 ] his characteristic, and perhaps refined points, both apprehended and applauded.

    But the mass of the meeting was no doubt nearly neutral, and, if set going, quite ready to applaud any good words without much thinking. The ringleaders changed. The radical tailor started the radical cheer: the more moderate shoemaker started the moderate cheer; and the great bulk followed suit. Only a few in each case were silent, and an absolute contrast was in ten minutes presented by the same elements. The truth is that the propensity of man to imitate what is before him is one of the strongest parts of his nature.

    And one sign of it is the great pain which we feel when our imitation has been unsuccessful. There is a cynical doctrine that most men would rather be accused of wickedness than of gaucherie. And this is but another way of saying that the bad copying of predominant manners is felt to be more of a disgrace than common consideration would account for its being, since gaucherie in all but extravagant cases is not an offence against religion or morals, but is simply bad imitation.

    We must not think that this imitation is voluntary, or even conscious. On the contrary, it has its seat mainly in very obscure parts of the mind, whose notions, so far from having been consciously produced, are hardly felt to exist; so far from being conceived beforehand, are not even felt at the time.

    The main seat of the imitative part of our nature is our belief, and the causes predisposing us to believe this, or disinclining us to believe that, are among the obscurest parts of our nature. But as to the imitative nature of credulity there can be no doubt. He has never seen anything convincing Edition: current; Page: [ 61 ] himself, but he has seen those who have seen those who have seen those who have seen. In fact, he has lived in an atmosphere of infectious belief, and he has inhaled it. Scarcely any one can help yielding to the current infatuations of his sect or party.

    For a short time—say some fortnight—he is resolute; he argues and objects; but, day by day, the poison thrives, and reason wanes. What he hears from his friends, what he reads in the party organ, produces its effect. The plain, palpable conclusion which every one around him believes, has an influence yet greater and more subtle; that conclusion seems so solid and unmistakable; his own good arguments get daily more and more like a dream.

    Soon the gravest sage shares the folly of the party with which he acts, and the sect with which he worships. In true metaphysics I believe that, contrary to common opinion, unbelief far oftener needs a reason and requires an effort than belief. I only had 3 months to put together a campaign team we may have had the largest number of PhDs on a campaign staff in the history of American politics!

    The goal was to build up my name recognition as quickly as possible so we put out 2, lawn signs before anyone else, went to street fairs, private homes, carnivals, town hall meetings, anywhere that I could meet voters and talk about the issues. In the end, I can honestly say that it was mostly enjoyable, surprisingly stressful, and incredibly rewarding. I met so many new people, those that I never would have met otherwise and talked about issues that they cared about — taxes, health care, gun control, job creation, the environment, and more.

    I participated in a series of debates with the other candidates that felt like a general oral exam from graduate school, where I was asked anything and judged by strangers. But I was very well prepared and did what we always do as scientists, when asked a question I answered it directly. That stood out in the political arena and was greatly appreciated everywhere I spoke. In fact, the opposite can be true. Politics is about emotions while science is about facts. The trick is to learn how to combine the two. For many people, knowing that I was a scientist was a sufficient reason to vote for me because having more scientists in politics was that important to them.

    Republicans and Libertarians supported me too, typically because they were in a technical field and saw the advantage of a scientist representing them. The reality was that there was simply not enough time to get my name out there, to build up a network that would let me truly compete with people that have held public office for decades. In the end I think it is clear, scientists are uniquely trained and uniquely qualified to serve in public office. Librarians Authors Referees Media Students. In active-voter registration, Republicans in Iowa had the lead as of Thursday, albeit by only 1, votes in a state with more than 2 million voters.

    Independents still outnumber both Republicans and Democrats. Physicist Hauptman says neither candidate can really claim momentum in Iowa, at least not with any scientific certainty. They're not moving. From one day to the next they may have positive momentum up or maybe negative momentum down," he says. Romney planned to return to Des Moines on Sunday. And, in a nostalgic move, Obama planned a final campaign rally in Des Moines on Monday evening — a nod, the campaign says, to "where it all began" during the campaign for the Iowa caucuses.

    View the discussion thread.