Mike Pence: Creationist?

There’s so much else going on recently that it’s difficult to find any news about The Controversy between evolution and creationism, but here’s something that might generate some interest. At the website of Popular Science, described by Wikipedia as “an American bi-monthly magazine carrying popular science content, which refers to articles for the general reader on science and technology,” we read Trump VP Choice Mike Pence Doesn’t Agree With Science.

As you surely know, Mike Pence has been selected by Donald Trump to be his Vice Presidential running-mate. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

Mike Pence, the putative next vice president of the United States, does not believe in evolution, thinks smoking doesn’t kill, would like creationism taught in public schools, and doesn’t think scientists agree climate change is happening.

That opening paragraph isn’t entirely supported by the rest of the article, which says:

We’ll learn a lot more about Donald Trump’s newly minted running mate in the coming days, but the Indiana governor is already on record as sharing some of the most easily refuted claims of the GOP’s anti-science wing. Some of his more remarkable lines come from a 2009 interview with Chris Matthews, the bombastic host of “Hardball.” Others are taken from previous statements made during his campaigns for Congress, or other interviews he’s done over the years. Here’s a selection.

We’ll skip the stuff about smoking and climate change so we can focus on creationism. Let’s read on:

To be fair, in the interview this quote comes from, Pence doesn’t outright say evolution is false; he just repeats that he believes God created the Earth. Chris Matthews presses him on what he means by this, but Pence demurs.

They give this link to a video of the interview, which we haven’t seen yet, but here are the parts they describe in their article:

MATTHEWS: You want to educate the American people about science and its relevance today. Do you believe in evolution, sir?

PENCE: I — do I believe in evolution? I embrace the view that God created the heavens and the earth, the seas and all that’s in them.

MATTHEWS: Right. But do you believe in evolution as the way he did it?

PENCE: The means, Chris, that he used to do that, I can’t say. But I do believe in that fundamental truth.

That sounds like Theistic evolution, but from those statements, it’s difficult to know what the man really believes. We continue:

A few minutes later, Matthews suggests that Pence himself accepts evolution but, cynically, won’t admit it:

MATTHEWS: I think you believe in evolution but you‘re afraid to say so because your conservative constituency might find that offensive.

PENCE: No, I’ve said to you, Chris, I believe with all my heart that God created the heavens and the earth, the seas and all that is in them.

MATTHEWS: Right.

PENCE: How he did that, I‘ll ask him about some day.

That’s all they have to say on the subject. The rest of the article is about global warming (Pence has said: “I think the science is very mixed on the subject of global warming”), and the harmful effects of smoking (Pence says: “smoking doesn’t kill” but he also said: “smoking is not good for you,” and that nanny-state politics are more harmful than second-hand smoke.

Oh, wait. Then the article circles back to creationism:

This line comes during a discussion of creationism, again in that Hardball interview. Here’s an excerpt:

PENCE: Science is an exploration of demonstrable fact, isn‘t it?

MATTHEWS: Right. Right.

PENCE: I think, in our schools, we should teach all of the facts about all of these controversial areas and let our students, let our children and our children‘s children decide based upon the facts and the science.

Okay, that’s it. We don’t know what to make of it. Pence obviously isn’t a scientist, but neither are any of the other candidates. We’ve seen worse — far worse. It’s doubtful that the election will be decided on these issues, because there are so many others of far greater importance, but for what it’s worth, that’s what Pence has to say. And we don’t yet know Trump’s position on any of those topics. Make of it what you will, dear reader.

Copyright © 2016. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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18 responses to “Mike Pence: Creationist?

  1. Trump isn’t sure what Trump’s position is on evolution. Literally. I’ve read three articles where the subject came up and he’s deked left and right without every answering the question. I think the subject bores him because however old the Earth is, he wasn’t around then, so why should it matter?

    At the very least, Pence acts like a creationist. Given that its his actions that matter, I’d say that whether or not he’s disingenuous or not, he should be regarded as one.

  2. docbill1351

    Pence is simply not very smart. Hey, you don’t have to be smart to be a mannequin governor. Pence has a BA in History from a small, private Christian college (Hanover) in Indiana. It’s safe to say he doesn’t know any more about science than a 5th Grader. His inability to understand the RFRA bill he signed into law, even after it was explained to him over and Over and OVER also indicates his critical thinking skills are very low.

    Of course he’s a creationist. He doesn’t know any better. Also, from his comments he doesn’t even appear cunning enough to actually understand evolution and accept it, but put up a creationist façade. Nope, his replies in the interview are 100% Grade A simple minded. He doesn’t know squat.

    Call me crazy, but I’d much prefer to have smart people in government than dolts like Pence.

  3. Both Trump and Pence are creationists, there’s no doubt about it. They just have trouble publicly admitting it, though their groupies all know the truth, they’re both idiots stuck in their ideological swamp.

  4. Charles Deetz ;)

    The inability of a politician to answer a question is always entertaining … and highly suspect of their views and intentions. Why so many vilify Hillary when she at least attempts her best, detailed replies, is beyond me, compared to this ducking and jiving.

  5. michaelfugate

    Apparently Catholicism wasn’t quite mean enough, so Pence became born-again to remove any remaining compassion. You have to love this statement form Grace Evangelical Church where Pence attended:

    God’s Word is all Sufficient—
    We value God’s Word as the source of absolute truth to transform lives.
    God’s inspired Word teaches, reproves, corrects and trains us for every good work.
    Clear biblical teaching is the catalyst for personal and corporate transformation.
    God’s Word is sufficient to deal with all problems.

    That pretty much sums up why they hate the Enlightenment.

  6. Stephen Kennedy

    When someone says that both creationism and main stream science should be presented in schools and the children should then decide which is correct you know you are dealing with a creationist. First, how can you put on an equal footing sciences like Biology, Physics, Geology and Astronomy which consist of theories that are evidence bases and make testable predictions and religious dogma that is based only on faith. Second, what qualifications and backgrounds do school children have to determine whether a scientific theory is correct or not? Pence is a flaming creationist. Trump neither knows nor cares anything about science or religion.

  7. Stephen Kennedy says: “When someone says that both creationism and main stream science should be presented in schools and the children should then decide which is correct you know you are dealing with a creationist.”

    Maybe so. But what he actually said was: “we should teach all of the facts about all of these controversial areas …” and let them “decide based upon the facts and the science.” That’s not what creationists usually say. They want all the “theories” presented. Pence may be hedging and trying to make everyone happy; it’s difficult to know. However, creationism isn’t a federal government issue, and we have bigger things to worry about. But if he’s an idiot, that is important.

  8. Politicians are cagey about hot button issues because there is no good answer that will improve their popularity.
    I am a bit concerned Mike Pence is a dullard, that’s sort of the buzz around him. I’d be inclined to not vote for him based on his social conservatism, but since he’d be de facto president in a Trump regime I’d feel better if he had good judgement and and sharp mind. (and yes that isn’t necessarily mutually exclusive with being a creationist.)

  9. michaelfugate

    Is he smarter than Palin?

  10. “Controversial areas”?

  11. “But if he’s an idiot, that is important.”
    If you think

    “I embrace the view that God created the heavens and the earth, the seas and all that’s in them.”
    is an answer to “Do you believe in evolution?”
    you’re an idiot.

  12. michaelfugate: my cats are smarter than Palin.

  13. Btw Pence denying global warming is also enough reason to call him an idiot. It’s even a better reason than creationism to keep his boss out of the White House.

  14. michaelfugate

    @Troy, but is Pence? Apparently he did graduate from law school and pass the bar. Then again, Palin graduated from college too…

  15. docbill1351

    Apparently he did graduate from law school and pass the bar.

    Even a blind squirrel finds the occasional acorn. Reportedly, Pence had a hard time getting into law school having been rejected on his first attempt. He pronounced his law school days as a “very bad experience” and only was in private practice 4 years. Then he was pres of some hokey foundation and, finally, a right wing radio talk show host. Like law school, Pence was defeated on his first run at Congress but got in on the second attempt. In Congress he apparently got nothing accomplished.

    I surprised that Trump hasn’t tweeted: Stuck with Pence! Weak!

  16. I doubt anyone makes their decision based on who the VP is. Okay, maybe some people decided not to vote for McCain because of fear that Palin would be that close to power. I don’t think Pence will prompt that sort of reaction. He’ll be nearly invisible in the campaign, which has to be all about Trump. Had Newt been picked, he would have stolen some air time from the reality star, and might even have thrown out an actual policy statement or two. Trump would have to learn some policy, or take a position. On the other hand, Pence can just do the religious circuit and keep a low profile.

  17. @michaelfugatea: It isn’t certain Palin earned a degree:
    http://palingates.blogspot.com/2010/08/sarah-palins-crazy-college-daze.html

  18. Eric Lipps

    PENCE: Science is an exploration of demonstrable fact, isn‘t it?

    MATTHEWS: Right. Right.

    PENCE: I think, in our schools, we should teach all of the facts about all of these controversial areas and let our students, let our children and our children‘s children decide based upon the facts and the science.

    Aaaaand here we are, back to those old standbys, “equal time” and “teach the controversy.” As no ne here should need reminding, these slogans were and are code for “teach creationism in public school science classes, and to hell (literally) with the courts.”