Politics and Evolution
Ronald Bailey has a helpful article over at Reason Online that describes each candidates stance on evolution. The Democrats all believe in evolution.
The Republicans…well you have quite a selection there. You have guys like Mike Huckabee who think the world was literally made in a week. To more sophisticated views like those held by Romney that can be described as theistic evolution. That evolutionary processes are at work, are what has shaped man, but that there is no reason that God might not have had some role in the process. McCain seems to be all over the map. In 2007 he stated he believed in evolution (which is a good thing since evolution is a fact*). However, in 2005 he expressed sympathy for the psuedo-scientific concept of intelligent design and that it should be taught in schools. In 2006 McCain also expressed sympathy for those who hold the view that the world was created in a week. Rudy Guiliani seems to have been very coy with his views on evolution, and true to form Dr. Congressman Ron Paul has a rather kooky view for a medical doctor that evolution is bogus.
Overall, on the Republican side I find Romney’s views the most appealing. However, given some of his speeches on religion and so forth, I don’t find him a very appealing candidate in general. That and some of his economic views also leave me quite cold.
Damn, but it is going to be a long year. Good thing I have access to lots of good scotch.
*For the scientifically illiterate: Evolution is a fact, evolutionary theory is just a theory…just like the theories of gravity are just theories, but please feel free to disbelieve them then jump off a building. If you’ve found this footnote offensive, please read the long winded explanation below the fold.
One of the things that never ceases to amaze me about those who support creationism, intelligent design and oppose the concept of evolution is that they are amazing hypocrites. They will say things like, “Evolution is only a theory.” No. This. Is. Wrong. Evolution–i.e. that organisms change at a genetic level–is an observed fact. The theory man has constructed to explain the myriad of facts that fall under the broad umbrella of evolution is “just a theory”. However, this applies to other real phenomena such as gravity. Take a penny and drop it. It falls to the floor. It always falls to the floor. Of all the billions and billions of times people have dropped pennies (hear on earth) there is not one instance where the penny has not fallen to the floor. Do we fully understand gravity and how it works? No. Is there a single theory of gravity? No. Are there “gaps” in the theory? Yes. So why don’t all these people who fight so vigorously against evolution fight just as vigorously against gravity? My guess is because they know that people will regard them as irrational kooks who really and truly are anti-science. But evolution and evolutionary theory…why that is hard to understand without lots of set-up costs. So evolution is a “soft target”. But the exact same arguments that the Creos use against evolutionary theory can be leveled against any and all scientific theories. The bottom line is that these people are either ignorant or willfully obtuse. In either way, I don’t see it as a good thing in a candidate for any office including dog catcher.