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.
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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