Eric comments on the strength of candidates who believe in creationism at Ames.

While I am not a creationist, and personally am amazed that there are people who really do believe that a) the Earth was created in a matter of a few, 24-hour long days, just a few thousand years ago and b)  we do not in some manner have a common ancestor, way, way far back that we share with, say, chimpanzees (with whom we share the overwhelming majority of our DNA), let me just play devil's advocate for a minute.

So Tom Tancredo, Sam Brownback and Mike Huckabee are creationists.  Does it matter?  What influence does the President have when it comes to specific educational curricula (what tends to inspire the most concern among evolutionists for creationists being in elected office)?

I will grant you that with an expanded federal role in education, courtesy of Ted Kennedy and George W Bush and No Child Left Behind, perhaps the President has more influence on what is taught in schools, loosely, than before, but I still don't think it's likely that we will see the President, or any of his appointees, setting specific rules as to what, in terms of creationist theory, goes into 7th grade science textbooks anytime soon.

Of course, Huckabee plainly seems to be in favor of the Department of Education getting even bigger and taking an even more active role, so potentially, were he elected president, my non-belief might be tested... But for the time being, the only major concern that I have about electing a creationist, in terms of that specific belief, is that it demonstrates on some level, in my view, a willingness to discount scientific evidence to the extent even that the theory that I recall being mentioned in Inherit The Wind (i.e., maybe the Earth was created in just a few days, but each of those days lasted far, far longer than 24 hours) is discounted.  And that someone would be willing to discount so much evidence (as opposed to faith) suggests that they might be willing to make important judgments without taking on board similarly important and credible information.

But I think I can safely  say that I'd be much more concerned about electing a candidate for school board who wanted to take all references to Darwin and/or evolutionary theory and/or Stephen Jay Gould out of textbooks and replace them with references to God and the Garden of Eden and so on (which a school board could do with much, much greater ease within their legally-accorded powers than could a President) than I would a possible Commander-in-Chief who wanted the same.

 

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