Sarah Palin: Creationism Update (03 Sept)

BY NOW, everyone knows that Alaska Governor Sarah Palin — John McCain’s Vice Presidential running mate — is a creationist, and to some degree favors creationism in public schools. Our earlier articles on this matter can be found here: Curmudgeon’s articles on Politics and Science.

This blog isn’t about politics unless it touches on the evolution/creationism controversy. That’s why — until Sarah Palin’s name emerged — our few political articles have been like this one from 16 April: Presidential Candidates’ Opinions on Evolution. We haven’t had a single article specifically about the nomination of Obama, or McCain, or Obama’s selection of Biden to be his VP.

Yet here we are, scanning the daily press reports about Sarah Palin. We’re doing this because we’re interested in the freedom of scientists to pursue their work and to teach their subjects without political or ecclesiastical censorship. (We care about the other issues too, but we’re not blogging about them.)

With our specific focus on Governor Palin’s creationism, reviewing the daily press coverage has been a ghastly chore. The authors of most articles either adore Sarah, for any or all of her known positions; or else they hate her — especially those who really hate her for presuming to attract the vote of even one precious Hillary supporter.

Wading through all the partisan sludge, we managed to find one article specifically of interest. It’s an Associated Press item, and they’re strict on copyright matters, so you’ll have to click over there to read it. The article is: Palin has not pushed creation science as governor, and the headline alone is rather informative. They report Sarah’s saying the same things we’ve reported earlier:

“I don’t think there should be a prohibition against debate [about evolution and creationism] if it comes up in class. It doesn’t have to be part of the curriculum,” she said.

They also mention one revealing new item (bold added for emphasis):

Palin’s children attend public schools and Palin has made no push to have creationism taught in them.

Aside from that, the Palin news is all about Sarah’s indifference to polar bears, her Down Syndrome son, her daughter’s delicate situation, etc. There probably won’t be much to interest us until after her acceptance speech tonight.

For the moment, Sarah seems okay to us. She may be a tad goofy on one or two matters, but if we look at the big picture, especially when compared to her opposition and the entire press corps — she’s doing fine.

[Our related articles are here: Sarah Palin & Creationism.]

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2 responses to “Sarah Palin: Creationism Update (03 Sept)

  1. I commend the Sensuous Curmudgeon’s powers of observation in taking note of the fact that, unlike the crazed school board members in Dover, PA a few years ago, Palin has apparently never tried to use the levers of govbernmental power to advance whatever creationist notions to which she adheres.

    My best guess is that if she were a die-hard stealth Creationist, she would have by now revealed that fact by trying to appoint a raving anti-Evolution nutter to some state curriculum committee, or arranging for a Dingbat from the Discovery Institue to testifiy before a legislative or executive branch committee hearing on science curriculum.

    It may be (and I surely hope it is so) that Palin is that rare person who realizes that it is inappropriate to use the levers of coercive government power to advance her own personal views and beliefs. Her apparent sense of restraint is highly commendable

  2. Someone else pointed out that Alaska is very libertarian. Her attitude seems to reflect that. I have no problem with a libertarian creationist in office. There might be problems if such a person were to be teaching science, but that’s not the case here.