Miss USA Contest: The Creationist Viewpoint

We hope you’ll bear with us as we post, one more time, the video we posted last week in Miss USA Contestants Asked about Evolution.

We tried to avoid it, but it’s essential in order to bring you the reaction of the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) — the fountainhead of young-earth creationist wisdom. Their article is titled Miss USA ‘Believes’ in Evolution. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

Pageant organizers asked the contestants, “Should evolution be taught in schools?” Of the 51 woman, 24 answered “yes,” two said “no,” 24 said both evolution and creation or “all perspectives” should be taught, and one chose not to answer.

The winner, Miss California Alyssa Campanella, was one of two contestants who said specifically that they “believe” in evolution.

We already know that. What do the creation scientists at ICR have to add? Let’s read on:

Whether one agrees or disagrees with Ms. Campanella’s responses and her winning of the pageant, something interesting to note are the 26 responses that were either not in favor of teaching evolution or in favor of teaching it along with other scientific theories.

Yes, that was interesting to note. What does it mean to ICR? We continue:

Oftentimes the respondents, including Ms. Campanella, spoke of evolution as a belief system. More often than not, the women supported presenting students with as much information as possible so that they could decide for themselves what would be best to “believe.”

ICR is trying to squeeze way too much out of this. Yes, Miss California said she “believed” in evolution. She’s obviously not steeped in the philosophy of science. If she were she would know that “belief” is a term often reserved for un-evidenced and untestable matters that are believed entirely on faith; and she would have given a longer and far more boring answer about how she “accepts” the theory of evolution (or “has confidence” in it) for the same reason she accepts special relativity — because the theory has been observationally confirmed every time it’s tested, and it has never contradicted by any verifiable evidence. But laypersons usually shortcut that by saying they “believe” it. ICR has no idea what Miss California was thinking when she said she “believed” in evolution.

Here’s more from ICR:

Just as many respondents who favored evolution had favored academic freedom, and many contestants acknowledged the faith required to accept evolution.

They “acknowledged the faith required to accept evolution”? How — by using the word “believe”? Is ICR quote-mining the ladies?

Here’s the end of ICR’s brief article:

As Dr. Vernon [molecular biologist Jamie L. Vernon] commented [on the Discover blog here: Miss USA 2011, “A Huge Science Geek”], the new Miss USA does indeed possess “a respectable appreciation and understanding of science,” as demonstrated by her implicit acknowledgment that support for evolution is a matter of belief.

But Dr. Vernon didn’t mention that there was an “implicit acknowledgment that support for evolution is a matter of belief” in Miss California’s answer. That “acknowledgment” is an ICR fantasy.

Our respect for the integrity of creation science is unchanged by this article. But look on the bright side — they gave us a good excuse to post that video again.

Copyright © 2011. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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7 responses to “Miss USA Contest: The Creationist Viewpoint

  1. The only thing “interesting” is that the ICR is still in business.

  2. Tomato Addict

    Silly ICR, if they wanted to get real mileage out of this, they should find a way to co-opt the swimsuit competition.

  3. That’s a pretty desperate article.

    Notice that they also mention in their article that not only does she believe in evolution, but she would agree to a nude photo shoot and favors legalization of medical marijuana. They aren’t saying it explicitly, but they sure want their readers to connect the dots between belief in evolution, sex and drugs….

  4. It is important that we keep emphasizing that one should NOT use ‘believe in evolution,’ but instead insist that one use ‘accept evolution.’ The use of ‘believe’ simply gives credence to the creationists false claim that evolution is a ‘religion.’ In giving talks to public groups, I always emphasize this point, but it is going against common usage.

  5. vhutchison says:

    It is important that we keep emphasizing that one should NOT use ‘believe in evolution,’ but instead insist that one use ‘accept evolution.’

    Yes, but with so many other issues, like “teach the controversy” and such, I tend not to emphasize semantics. But you’re right — we should speak correctly.

  6. There’s the old joke:

    Do you believe in infant baptism?
    Believe in it? I’ve seen it!

  7. techreseller

    So the contestant believes in evolution, will pose nude and is in favor of medical pot. Is she available for a date?