Sunday, January 13, 2008

Science in the 2k8 election - Part 1

So, Ron Paul says it's "inappropriate... for the presidency to be decided on a scientific matter." Paul also states about evolution, "I think it’s a theory, theory of evolution, and I don’t accept it, you know, as a theory."

And this from the guy who is supposedly the voice of reason in the Republican presidential field.

Reason Magazine just released a report of where all of the still-in-the-race presidential candidates stand on the big E issue. As summarized by CBR:

REPUBLICANS

  • Mike Huckabee — Rejects evolutionary biology, but says it shouldn’t matter.
  • John McCain — Has rejected, embraced, and rejected again intelligent-design creationism.
  • Mitt Romney — Believes in evolution. “In my opinion, the science class is where to teach evolution.”
  • Rudy Giuliani — Refuses to say and “successfully discouraged key advisors from speaking to Science about specific issues.”
  • Duncan Hunter [Patrick's note: Duncan Hunter is still in the race?] — Told the Creation Studies Institute that he would “support and encourage a more open approach to education in the presentation of scientific facts that contradict the theory of evolution.”
  • Ron Paul — Rejects biological evolution as “a theory.”
  • Fred Thompson — Has apparently never said publicly either way.

DEMOCRATS

  • Hillary Clinton — Believes in evolution.
  • John Edwards — Believes in evolution.
  • Barack Obama — Hasn’t been quoted on modern biology, but rejects intelligent-design creationism.
  • Dennis Kucinich — Hasn’t been quoted on the subject.
  • Mike Gravel — Has been rather emphatic on the subject. “My God, evolution is a fact, and if these people are disturbed by being the descendants of monkeys and fishes, they’ve got a mental problem. We can’t afford the psychiatric bill for them. That ends the story as far as I’m concerned.”
You gotta love Mike Gravel. Wouldn't it be fun to have a rambling, angry, irascible old man as president? The answer is no. No it wouldn't. We already elected one "fun" president, in that case so we could have a beer with him. And that hasn't worked out so well... But it sure would be funny to see him chase people off the White House greens shaking his cane at them: "You darn kids get off my lawn!"

But I digress. Some might ask, "Does it matter? Who cares whether or not a presidenti believes in evolution or not?" In and of itself, that question is worth debating. Should evolution be the sole issue one considers in a leader? Of course not. But how the president views science is of momentous importance, now more than any time in recent history.

More in Part 2 to come...

2 comments:

Chocolate-Loving Atheist said...

How interesting! Thank you for posting this! It's nice to know what the presidential candidates think about evolution, because it is indicative of their views on science. Which is very important when situations like global warming come about. We need a president who is willing to trust scientists and make policies that are healthy for not only the economy, but the earth as well.

I love Grovell's response. What a surly old man. He's always complaining about everything. And can I say that this post makes me fear Ron Paul even more? I am so relieved that he doesn't have enough votes for people to take him seriously.

Hillary and Barack continue to impress me. I think if either of them win, our country will soon be in good hands.

The Jovial Vanquisher of Prudes said...

I think the evolution question is extremely important. I don't know that I could vote for someone who couldn't at least concede that there is evidence that evolution freaking happens (and has happened in the past). Jesus! I mean, Oden!

I mean, if a presidential candidate flat out refuses to admit to something that has legitimate backing to it, how is (s)he going to be able to listen to reason on other issues?