6000 years of Republican debates

Contributed by
May 4, 2007
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If you read my blog, you probably read other blogs that promote science and try to stamp out antiscience. If so, you've probably seen or heard of this incident last night in the Republican presidential debates, where the moderator asked the candidates who "does not .. agree/believe in evolution". Three candidates raised their hands.

I am not sure how to feel about this. As familiar as I am with antiscience in this country, I'm still appalled that anyone who would run for office would state that they think evolution is wrong. Even after six years of this White House, I am still shocked to see such a flagrant attitude against reality.

Maybe I should be happy that it was only three of them. Given that anti-evolution is a platform in some states' Republican parties, a 30% disavowal rate of reality maybe isn't so bad.

I'm certainly not surprised at the three who did raise their hands: Brownback (Kansas, natch), Tancredo (from Colorado; my work will be cut out for me when I move, certainly-- though he's not from my district), and Huckabee (Arkansas). McCain equivocated, saying he thinks evolution is real, but then pandered a bit to the young-Earth base by talking about religion and the Grand Canyon.

I remember when the Republican party stood for strong science. It doesn't even seem that long ago. Wow.

I will be very interested to see what the Democrats have to say on this same issue. I don't think too many of them will make a strong stand, since it seems these days that every politician feels the need to twist in the wind, and face whatever way each breeze blows. Al Gore has made some particularly galling comments lately, too. Update: Gore may have not been as serious as many say.

I am not a one-issue voter, but peoples' attitudes toward science -- toward reality -- is very telling on many of their other attitudes.

And say it with me: evolution is not a belief system! You cannot believe in it or not. It is a matter of scientific fact. It exists, it is real, whether you stick your fingers in your ears and sing la-la-la or not.

Update: Chris Cillizza has written about this on the Washington Post blog. The comments are interesting. Thanks to Derek of Skepticality for the tip!