THIS TIME it’s not about Sarah Palin. At the website of Fox News we read Platform Review: Candidate Positions on Science and Tech Issues. It’s a long article that discusses the candidates’ views on several issues, but we’re only going to excerpt (adding bold for emphasis) the one which concerns this blog:
Evolution and Creationism
In 1987, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in case of Edwards v. Aguillard that to require the teaching of “creation science” alongside evolution violated the First Amendment by promoting religion.
Creationism is the belief that God created the universe and everything in it, as described in Genesis. A variant of creationism, intelligent design, essentially accepts evolution but argues that Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection cannot fully explain the origin of life or the emergence of highly complex life forms. It looks to an unnamed intelligent force as the creator and guider of life.
Almost all scientists oppose teaching creation and intelligent design because they have no scientific basis.
Both McCain and Obama believe in evolution, and neither candidate wishes to see intelligent design taught as a science.
That’s pretty much all we need to know, but there’s more:
Obama does not support teaching intelligent design in schools at all. “Intelligent design is not science,” he said at a town hall event in Illinois. “I think it’s a mistake to try to cloud the teaching of science with theories that frankly don’t hold up to scientific inquiry,” he told the York Daily Record.
McCain has not clearly stated his position on the teaching of intelligent design in school. “I happen to believe in evolution,” he has said. “I respect those who think the world was created in seven days. Should it be taught as a science class? Probably not.”
But McCain has not ruled out teaching it in other classes, and he has said that “there’s nothing wrong with teaching different schools of thought.” He says that local school boards, not the federal government, should determine school curricula.
McCain is obviously straddling to keep his most peculiar supporters happy, but he’s basically okay. We can live with either candidate’s position. But wasn’t creation supposed to be in six days? That’s okay. Six days, seven days, what’s the difference?
Nothing is mentioned about Sarah Palin’s views — or Joe Biden’s either, remember him? — but presumably Sarah will adopt the McCain position, regardless of whatever she may personally think. On the subject of Sarah’s beliefs, you might want to see our Open Letter to Sarah Palin.
Five months ago, we posted an article also bearing on the views of the principal candidates: Presidential Candidates’ Opinions on Evolution.
As ever, the Curmudgeon has laid matters out clearly and rationally — a refreshing change to the usual partisan posturing.
I hope Gov. Palin replies (in some form) to the matters raised in the Curmudgeon’s ‘Open Letter’ to her on the topic. While I am generally pleased with Senator McCain, I do not wish to see President McCain electorally indebted to the irrational hyper-religious wing of the Right that has enthusiastically embraced Gov. Palin in the belief that she will pursue a Discoveroid/Creationist agenda. The sooner she distances herself (and her running mate) from such concerns, the better, imho.
While I certainly respect the Curmudgeon’s opinion, I do believe he continues to shade the truth a bit. Or perhaps I do. But in truth, McCain has waffled on this issue. The fuller quote set is found in this article (from an admittedly liberal blog) about how McCain was a keynote speaker for the Discovery Institute. Remember that place, folks?
He clearly says that “many scientists think” intelligent design is legitimate. In other words, McCain’s judgement is pretty much what you’d expect from someone with little or no grasp of modern science.
It’s not just Palin. It’s McCain. While he may indeed deign to allow us to continue evolution, he is clearly no friend of evolutionary biology and rational scientific inquiry. And as I have said before, this will indeed affect how he casts policy, just as it has affected how he presents scientists:
Again, you can decry the source all you want, but look at McCain’s *actions.* This isn’t about a wasteful earmark. This is about a man who fundamentally does not understand either what the law required or what the science said. Instead, he went for a sound bite about ‘bear paternity.’
Maybe you can live with McCain’s position. I can’t. His lecture to the Discovery Institute and choice of Palin alert me to his agenda. Even if teaching the fact and theory of evolution survives, what will become of American science? How exactly does he expect to restore the funding cut under the Bush administration, much less allow any sort of expansion relative to global competitors? By cutting $170 B in earmarks and then giving away $3.3 T in tax cuts? Right.
I agree with you moribundhund. If it quacks like a duck… and all that.
I’m not thrilled about either of the candidates. For me it’s a question of which one will damage the country less. Waffling on creationism isn’t a good sign, but even though that’s what my blog is mostly about, I’m aware that there are other issues.
Woah! Sarah Palin’s interview by Sean Hannity is on Fox now. She just discussed creationism. She said she wants evolution in science class. No waffling at all.
” For me it’s a question of which one will damage the country less. “
OK – so knowing what you do about Sarah Palin … What kind of Supreme Court justices do you think she (and McCain if he stays alive and sane) would nominate?? We’ve got probably 3 that are going to retire or die during the next presidency.
I am absolutely terrified at the possibility of what could happen to this country based on religious beliefs.
I have never voted for a dem in my life but keeping the Supreme Court balanced so that fundies don’t get to change the constitution at will is vital. IMO
What happened to mah kitteh? 😦
I donno. If they start burning witches, I guess I’ll be time to leave.
Look, if you guys really need a place to stay when you come to Canada, I can certainly build enough igloos to accommodate thousands. If you do stay with me, my wife, the hot tubs, the half naked girls and the dogs though, I will ask one thing of you – to help escort the Canadian CrIDers south. Some of them are quite big and stupid and can be touchy on occasion.
Damn, I wish you guys had a candidate a little more on the pragmatic side.
There’s room in Canada? Who knew?
“As ever, the Curmudgeon has laid matters out clearly and rationally — a refreshing change to the usual partisan posturing.”
I second that. Good job, as always.
It’s amusing to see such concerns over a possible future President and a possible future Vice President.
Now the current President, Bush believes in intelligent design, but how much pushing during his Presidency did Bush actually do in order to get ID in the public schools?
McCain and Palin have the same views as far as teaching evolution in the schools. None of them believe in banning evolution even before the interview on Fox it was quite clear. But I noticed even in here there is still concern. Even with an accurate view of both their positions on this issue
The strongest push for ID in the public schools comes from the local levels, and a little bit at the state level. LA is currently allowing critical thinking of evolution as they passed a bill during the summer which was then signed by the governor.
The governor of LA made no bones about it, he’s all for teaching ID in the public schools. It will be an interesting school year, most likely more hype about it from opposition, than substance.