Creationism & the Illinois Governor’s Race

YOUR Curmudgeon is always looking for creationists in high places. In the Chicago Tribune, the eighth largest newspaper in America by circulation, we read Ill. gov candidates mostly accept evolution. Here’s what it says, with bold added by us:

The Associated Press recently asked the candidates for Illinois governor about their views on evolution. Here are highlights from their answers:

QUESTION: Do you accept the theory of evolution? Please explain.

Excellent! The press should do this with with all candidates, everywhere. We need to know who’s rational. We wish they had also asked if they think the “competing theories” should be taught. And as we’ve said before, they should Always Ask Candidates: “How old is the earth?”

The rest of the article merely gives the candidates’ answers. Let’s take them one by one, starting with the Republicans:

Adam Andrzejewski: “Yes. As a practicing Catholic, I believe that God created Darwin. Let others debate the details.”

Huh? We continue:

Bill Brady: “I accept the theory of creation, as I was taught, and believe the world has continued to evolve since.”

Aaaargh!! A full-blown creationist. Here’s more:

Kirk Dillard: “Science seems to support evolution but there is no doubt that I have seen the hand of God at work in my travels and everyday life.”

Whatever that means. Next:

Andy McKenna: “Yes, but I also believe that the process of evolution has been guided by the creative power of God.”

Theistic evolution. Assuming it’s not intelligent design — and we need more information in such cases — it’s an acceptable response. We know that theistic evolution drives the Dawkins types crazy, but we don’t think anyone should be rejected as a candidate for giving such an answer. Here’s another:

Dan Proft: “The current political class in Springfield make me question the veracity of natural selection. That aside, I do not believe there needs to be a divide between religious belief and the scientific method. … The evidence seems to me fairly clear that, as Pope John Paul II wrote, human beings have a ‘common ancestry of life’ from which we have evolved.”

Another acceptable response (with the lingering question about whether he’s an intelligent design advocate). Moving along:

Jim Ryan: “Evolution is a reasonable theory. Regardless of the extent of its truth, I believe that God was ultimately responsible for our creation and infused human beings with a soul.”

Pretty much like that last two. Let’s see the next one:

Bob Schillerstrom: “I accept the theory of evolution. There is compelling scientific evidence to show that evolution does occur. I also believe science and religion answer life’s questions in complementary ways.”

Hey, another reasonably sane candidate. Not bad for the Republicans. Okay, now for the Democrats:

Dan Hynes: “I accept the theory of evolution.”

Gasp! That’s not only the correct answer, but it’s amazingly concise. Most unusual for a politician. Here’s the last one:

Pat Quinn: “I believe that the scientific theory of evolution is the best explanation we have for the origin and diversity of species on Earth. As a Catholic, I do not see any discrepancy between my acceptance of widely held scientific principles and my faith in God as the prime mover of the universe.”

Another good answer. We think Dan Hynes was the clearest and most straightforward of the bunch. But that’s just on this issue. Here’s his website: Dan Hynes for Governor. Looking at taxation as a key issue, his position is essentially what we expected — he’s not for tax cuts. He likes taxes as they are, but he favors tax credits — for activities that meet with his approval. Same old stuff. The dems all seem to like economic intelligent design, with their glorious selves as the designer.

That’s all we have on the Illinois governor’s race. It’s possible that whichever party wins, science education will be okay. But although a candidate’s position on evolution is a good indicator, bear in mind that it’s not the only issue in the world.

Copyright © 2009. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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6 responses to “Creationism & the Illinois Governor’s Race

  1. I’d also put in a good word for whoever formulated the question as “do you accept” – rather than “do you believe in”.

  2. Curmudgeon: “Another acceptable response (with the lingering question about whether he an intelligent design advocate).”

    Proft may have fallen for the misleading “natural selection is insufficient” sound bite, but the fact that he cites Pope John Paul II makes it unlikely that he’d sell out to the ID scam. A little better understanding of evolution (it’s not just NS) should set him straight.

    Whereas Andrzejewski’s “God Created Darwin” (ooh, did you think of that yourself?) and “Let others debate the details” (big tent hint) would lose my vote regardless of where he stands on any other issue.


    Megadittos for the “accept” over “believe in.”

  3. I LOL’d at Proft’s first sentence because I took it to be a slam of his opponents, not ‘falling for’ any creationism. I.e. he means that the idiots currently in office are too dumb to be the end result of any natural selection. If that’s the correct read of it, he’s being quite witty.

    Like TomS however I’d have preferred a different question. I.e. “Regarding evolution and design, what should Illinois science classes teach? Because I don’t care what a governor personally believes half as much as I care how they will govern.

  4. Well, Hynes is out. You need to at least give a wink or a nod to religion to get elected these days.

  5. RogerE: “Well, Hynes is out. You need to at least give a wink or a nod to religion to get elected these days.”

    Not just a wink/nod to religion – note how many offered an opinion of God even though that was nowhere in the question – but a wink/nod to the particular “kind” of religion they need to get elected. I have to wonder how many religious-right politicians pretend to be evoluition-deniers, and how many liberal ones are evoluition-deniers but pretend otherwise, because its what their key voters want to hear.

  6. Schillerstrom sounds like the most reasonable out of all the R’s. It’s too bad Mike Fortner isn’t running for governor.