Sarah Palin: Creationism Update (06 Sept)

AS EXPECTED, this morning brings us at least a hundred more news articles on Sarah Palin — John McCain’s Vice Presidential running mate. Up to now, we’ve only been able to find maybe one article per day that described Sarah’s creationism in realistic terms — that is, she may indeed be a creationist (although that’s not really known) but she hasn’t tried to impose such views on anyone, or on the schools.

Far more typical is this, from New York Magazine, The Sixty-Day War, which embodies what now seems to be the standard formula for describing the campaign:

But now that the smoke has cleared and the Republican convention is history, there’s no escaping the meaning of McCain’s embrace of a gun-toting, pro-life, anti-sex-ed, possibly creationist running mate: that his general-election strategy is modeled on the one authored by Rove on behalf of Bush in 2004. A strategy, that is, that revolves around revving up and turning out the party’s base. Around God and guns and abortion and family values—a revival of the culture wars—combined with a withering onslaught to render Obama unacceptable.

With very rare exceptions, they’re all like that. Only the quality of the writing varies, never the “facts” and the analysis thereof.

We did find one truly thoughtful article today, but it’s not in a US publication. It’s in the UK’s Financial Times, a fine publication. There we read The evolution of creationism:

Leaving aside Alaskan regional exotica, from moose stew to snow-machine racing, the great novelty of Ms Palin’s candidacy is that she is the first national nominee since William Jennings Bryan a century ago to be called a “creationist” – a disbeliever in the theory of evolution. This is unfair. Those who describe Ms Palin that way are latching on to one exchange during the Alaska governor’s race two years ago when she said she had no objection if teachers questioned Darwin. “I say this as the daughter of a science teacher,” she said. “Don’t be afraid of information, and let kids debate both sides.” She explicitly ruled out putting creationism on school curriculums.

This article goes on to provide an excellent discussion of creationism and Intelligent Design as a social phenomenon, concluding:

Like so much else in US public life, the battle over evolution is a class conflict disguised as a religious or moral conflict. It is comforting to look at the fight over evolution as one that pits the educated against the ignorant. It is that. But it is also a fight that pits technocrats against democrats.

Most interesting. We hadn’t thought of it that way before.

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

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