Sarah Palin’s Creationism: Can She Think?

WE HAVE SEARCHED through an extraordinary number of news articles this morning, all of which mention that Sarah Palin is a creationist. In our Curmudgeonly judgment, however, not one of them manages to focus on the importance of that issue.

Columns, editorials, and news stories — if Republican oriented — dwell on Sarah’s fine personal qualities, mentioning creationism only in passing; while the left-wing media predictably squawk about a long list of “horribles” she brings to the GOP ticket, creationism being merely one of them.

Some articles, such as this one: To weaken Sarah Palin, Democrats must take her seriously, attempt to give advice to Mr. Obama on the nearly impossible task of dealing with such a phenomenon, without being offensive or calling attention to his own flaws. Good luck with that.

But in all our searching today, we found only one item that mentioned our own concerns, and it wasn’t written by a journalist or a political pundit. It was a reader’s letter to the UK’s Financial Times. Ordinarily, we mention letters to the editor only as humorous displays of creationist idiocy. But this was written by Avinash Persaud, described by Wikipedia as:

Previously he was managing director and Global Head of Research at State Street Bank, the world’s largest institutional investor, (1999-2003) and Global Head of Currency and Commodity Research at J.P. Morgan & Co.(1993-1999). … He is an elected member of the Council of the Royal Economic Society (2006-2010). He is a Governor and Member of the Council of the London School of Economics (2004-2008) …

In other words, his is a letter worth reading: Creationism and the capacity for judgment. Excerpts:

It seems to me that this [her view that creationism should be taught alongside evolution] tells us more than anything else about her capacity for considered judgment.

He gets it! More:

The basic litmus test of a science is that it makes testable predictions. On that score alone, creationism is not a science to be taught in science classes. There is no raging debate on the evidence by creationists in the leading peer review journals such as Science, Nature and Cell. If a future President McCain became incapacitated and a far-reaching decision had to be made, we are to put our trust in the judgment of someone that cannot differentiate between science and faith.

Then Professor Persaud makes the ultimate point:

Why should we suppose this failure to differentiate between science and faith be limited to the teaching of biology? I hope “voodoo economics” does not make a reappearance in the White House.

That’s the key to the Palin-creationism issue. If she can’t think in one area, perhaps she can’t think in others. (Utterly irrelevant comment: we liked Reagan’s “voodoo” economics.)

It’s somewhat comforting, as we’ve pointed out in earlier articles, that Sarah seems to be that rarest of creationists — a libertarian creationist — one who is quite happy to keep her creation “science” to herself and not force it upon others. That is most commendable. But let’s not overlook Professor Persaud’s point.

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

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2 responses to “Sarah Palin’s Creationism: Can She Think?

  1. I’m keeping my fingers crossed the Curmudgeon is right in thinking Palin’s libertarian leanings more than offset her religious ones; if her actions are sound, I won’t give a damn about her creationist sympathies.

  2. Well, look at it this way: Before Darwin, everyone was a creationist. But somehow we ended up with people like George Washington, et al. and they seemed to be able to do the right thing when necessary. As long as she doesn’t try to tamper with the conduct of science and science education, I’ll be happy with her.