A Creationist Heads the EPA

Here’s a bit of disturbing news reported in The Scientist. We’ve seen this before, but it always showed up in political blogs. This is the first time it’s been reported in a science publication. Their article is titled EPA’s Scott Pruitt Doesn’t Buy Evolution. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

The administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Scott Pruitt, said that evolution, at least as it concerns the origins of humans, is a philosophical and not scientific matter, according to audio from a 2005 radio show unearthed by Politico [link omitted]. “There aren’t sufficient scientific facts to establish the theory of evolution,” Pruitt said.

Groan — he sounds like the typical letter-writer in our Creationist Wisdom series. Here’s Wikipedia’s write-up on the guy. They say:

Edward Scott Pruitt (born May 9, 1968) is an American lawyer and Republican politician from the state of Oklahoma who is currently the fourteenth Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Nominated for the position by President Donald Trump, Pruitt was confirmed by the United States Senate to lead the EPA on February 17, 2017.

[…]

Pruitt is Southern Baptist. According to the Oklahoma Office of Attorney General, the Pruitts are members of the First Baptist Church of Broken Arrow, where Pruitt serves as deacon. Pruitt was also a trustee at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Okay, back to The Scientist. They tell us:

It’s not clear how Pruitt’s disregard for a basic tenet of modern biology affects his work at the agency. But Republican lawmakers tell Politico that Pruitt’s faith — he is an evangelical Christian — should indeed guide his decisions. “He’s a believer. He is a Jesus guy. He believes in the principles,” Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) tells Politico. “I think it does [have an impact], and I think it has to. Anyone who denies that that has an impact isn’t being totally honest.”

One more excerpt:

According to Politico, the EPA’s press office took offense at a reporter asking if there could be a conflict between Pruitt’s anti-science beliefs and his job in running an agency that should be making evidence-based decisions. “If you’re insinuating that a Christian should not serve in capacity as EPA administrator,” the spokesperson said, “that is offensive and a question that does not warrant any further attention.”

So there you are. It looks like we’ve got a hard-core creationist as head of the EPA. We doubt that his belief that he ain’t no kin to no monkey will have any specific effect on anything that agency does, but the overall quality of his thinking is certainly in doubt. Make of it what you will.

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21 responses to “A Creationist Heads the EPA

  1. docbill1351

    Creationism aside, Pruitt’s “religious” foundation, he believes, gives him license to do anything with impunity. Just Google “pruitt friend banned from banking” to read about questionable loans Pruitt got from a friend, how that friend apparently drained a savings and loan company and once said friend was banned for life from banking got a job at the EPA managing the Superfund program. Who needs experience?

    It seems that Pruitt might have his sights on a run for Governor of Oklahoma. Let’s hope so and get him out of the EPA before he kills us all.

  2. Michael Fugate

    Given that he is best buds with Inhofe, be worried, be very worried.

  3. “If you’re insinuating that a Christian should not serve in capacity as EPA administrator,” the spokesperson said, “that is offensive and a question that does not warrant any further attention.”

    Dear Scott Pruitt,

    If you’re insinuating that you can inject your personal faith-based beliefs into what should be science-based policies that Protect the Environment, that is offensive and your qualifications do not warrant further attention.

  4. Holding The Line In Florida

    You just now figuring out that Pruitt out? Gave you more credit than that. Love the comment from the Pruitt’s mouth piece. Is there a conflict between a science denier and an organization built on science? “If you’re insinuating that a Christian should not serve in capacity as EPA administrator,” the spokesperson said, “that is offensive and a question that does not warrant any further attention.” Translation: My masters are happy with my job destroying the environmental protections developed over the years for the benefit of the common folk. What are you an anti-Christian commie loving, baby killing, LGBT, socialist, anti-Trump, lefty, liberal, tree-hugger, animal rightist, pro-Issus, Iranian promoting, gun stealing, New World Order, trade unionist teacher/Scientist? You probably are a vegan too! To quote that great philosopher Homer Simpson, “DOH!”

  5. Michael Fugate

    Pruitt insinuating that one need be a creationist to be a Christian – clueless.

    In related news, this should be interesting…
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/mar/05/monsanto-pesticides-roundup-court

  6. What was thought but not said:

    “If you’re insinuating that a Muslim or atheist or non-Christian should not serve in capacity as EPA administrator in our Christian nation,” the spokesperson thought, “that is a very good point that warrants further attention.”

  7. “Clueless” is not the first word that comes to mind.

  8. Creationism and Climate Change Denial do often seem to be co-morbid pathologies.

    But otherwise, color me unsurprised. Pruitt seems pretty much par for the course of associates of The Tweeter-in-Chief.

    However, I am sure that there is nothing more than co-incidence in this one: Ex-Trump adviser sold $31m in shares days before president announced steel tariffs

  9. Other known creationists in Trump’s White House: VP Mike Pence, HUD Sec. Ben Carson, Energy Sec. Rick Perry(?), Education Sec. Betsy De Vos, and probably others who are keeping their mouths shut, at least for the moment.

    Pruitt, Pence, and De Vos are the most worrisome, however, because of the policy they can influence.

  10. One would think evangelical Christians would be the first to defend the environment. After all, pollution is defiling the house the Lord has given us. It’s surprising that they make the argument that only God is powerful enough to change the climate.

  11. docbill1351

    One would think evangelical Christians would be the first to defend the environment.

    Nope. Gospel of wealth. Power, money and eternal forgiveness – and you can keep your stinking environment, bunch of tree-hugging commie hippies!

  12. I suppose that the proper reaction to what the spokeperson said is someting like ths:
    “I know that you would not want to go away with a misunderstanding of my question. My question was not about Christianity, which obviously would not be appropriate here. My question was about the ability of the secretary to deal with the many scientists whose work involves evolution. How will the secretary be able to understand their work?”

  13. Michael Fugate

    Not to mention, the end times are coming soon – ok for the last 2000 years they have been saying this, but this time…
    And if it isn’t the end times, then God will save us from ourselves, so shut up and pray.

  14. 2005 interview? Thats not surprising. He doesn’t like the press.

  15. @Mega aks our attention for “Ex-Trump adviser sold $31m in shares days before president announced steel tariffs ”
    The temptation to remind our dear SC that he’s so afraid of socialism that he voted for someone who advocates tariff walls (very un-enlightened) and against a non-socialist who advocates tearing them down (totally according to Enlightenment values) is impossible for me to resist.
    Check next Wednesday. The Donald apparently has started an economic war (but I never can tell how serious that guy actually is). The EU will react firmly. Remember: the USA have lost economic wars with the EU before. That weird organization is militarily and politically weak, but an economic superpower, especially when united against an external threat. This may become fun, with plenty of opportunities for The Donald to look even more foolishly than he actually is (and that’s saying something).

  16. Mark Germano

    I heard a wonderful quote from a (Republican) politician: “Tariffs are not a free market device.”

  17. The key to understanding Trump is to understand abortion politics. The evangelical vote is a one trick pony that only cares about overturning the dreaded Roe vs. Wade decision. The typical Trump enthusiast likely won’t notice if a slew of poor EPA policy comes out of the Trump administration. To the one issue anti-abortion voter Trump personifies the quote from Machiavelli, “the ends justify the means.”
    (Overturning gay marriage is in there too, but I doubt it factors in very much)

  18. Has our president declared himself, or acted against socialism? I have heard that he was in favor of government intervention to support economically failing coal mining.
    The most I have heard is that maybe his opponent might be more socialistic.

  19. Apparently Pruitt’s understanding of his evangelical religion’s interpretation of the bible is part of the problem. Pruitt’s religion interprets “dominion” to mean “domination,” that man is obligated to strip the wealth of the earth as given to him by his sky god whereas “dominion” to others means caretaker of those earthly resources and not pure exploitation as Pruitt sees it.
    Thus Pruitt, Turmp, et. al, see no problem with dirty air, water, over fishing, etc., as they’re all there for our taking, and the end of times will follow when all is gone and we’ll all, at least the Pruitt types, will flutter up to their sky god while the rest of us inherit the remains they’ve left behind.

  20. Michael Fugate

    It is an interesting protestant strain that claims only faith will get you to heaven, works won’t; you can be the most Jesus-like person on the planet, but if you don’t believe the lake o’ fire awaits. It is as if Paul were more Christlike than Jesus and the Apostles combined.

  21. But it is not as if you make a choice to believe the right things. Faith is a gift of God, and if you are not given the gift, too bad for you. For wxample, if you were born in a place were it is illegal to teach about the good news, you will grow up with no opportunity to learn the truth.