A reader writes:
I too, wanted to pretend like I didn't see that video of Ron Paul saying that he can't accept Evolution. I admire the man. He is clearly the most legitimate GOP candidate. But this has completely damaged my perception of him. As an Athiest, I often find it absoultely mind-boggling that so many people in the United States, in this day and age, can still deny that Evolution is real. But the truth is, while pretty much any person you meet who doesn't believe in Evolution is doing so for religous reasons, it is important to note that this issue goes far deeper than just religion itself. After all, the present day Vatican, and even Pope Benedict have a very sober stance towards Evolution. So this to me, highlights why Paul's denial of Evolution is such a big deal.
It is important because it says much more about him than merely what his religious beliefs are. It illuminates a major element of his thought process.
It tells me that he is able to completely filter out an entire planet full of empirical evidence supporting Evolution, because this evidence conflicts with his beliefs. Notice his choice of words: "don't accept". Its an act of outright denial. How could you possibly live in our world, as an educated person in 2007, and refuse to acknowledge that you see natural selection occurring everywhere around you? It is as if he is an ostrich, burying his head in the sand because he is too scared to acknowledge reality. It is truthiness, in its finest form, and it reminds me of the way Bush thinks.
This to me, has major implications for a presidential candidate. If he is able to turn a blind eye to Evolution, and deny it simply because it conflicts with his religious beliefs, how can I ever trust him to have sober judgment when it comes to serious issues facing a presidency? He has now demonstrated the ability to look away from reality when it proves inconvenient to his own beliefs. How could we ever trust him to deal with Global Warming, or Islamic terrorism, or any other issue that requires wide open eyes? The man really dissapointed me today. I could handle his legion of whacko supporters, I could handle his extreme libertarianism, but I'm afraid I can't handle this.