Thursday, May 3, 2007


Yesterday, at least one Democrat was trying to push the boundaries of foolishness in the digital age. Not to be outdone, the Republicans showed that they, too, can dare to be stupid. At tonight's Republican Presidential debate, three among ten of the Republicans' best and brightest announced that they don't believe in evolution. In case you think I'm kidding, Crooks and Liars has the video. According to the article, the three were Tom Tancredo, Sam Brownback, and Mike Huckabee. The video shows that John McCain answered that he did believe in evolution. Beyond that, I can't say, mostly because I don't care enough to try to figure out who the three smudges were that were raising their hands.

To me, this isn't an issue about Democrats versus Republicans. I don't care what party you belong to, there are certain constants in this world, and one of them is that science deals in the realities of our existence. While there are sometimes colorful exchanges and the occasional argument that gets out of hand, there are no Spanish Inquisitions among scientists. Scientists don't condemn each other to death or exile for their beliefs. Instead, they discuss and argue about how evidence is gathered and analyzed, and about whether experiments were performed and recorded in ways that don't introduce errors. The scientific method, as it is now known, of observing the world, proposing theories that explain the observations, and testing those theories is the basis for the technological and medical breakthroughs of the last few centuries. In contrast to the fashion of assuming that all ideas are equally valid as long as their spokespeople are equally attractive, science says that there are theories that fit the facts, and there are those that don't. Those that don't are less valid than those that do.

The idea that life evolves into other forms on this planet is one product of that scientific method. It is supported by the facts, and more importantly, it is not contradicted by them. That people don't understand all the whys and wherefores of how bioligists came to that conclusion is understandable, but the idea that somehow this idea is on par with Genesis and other creation myths is patently absurd. Evolution is a tested theory, creationism, the scientific window dressing for the book of Genesis, is a metaphor at best.

That three educated men who are running for our country's highest office could raise their hands to such a question is disturbing, to say the least. They might as well have asked those gentlemen to raise their hands if they don't understand the difference between the truth and a fairy tale. That one of these people might conceivably become the leader of our country is astounding.

UPDATE: Back to that Democratic stupidity - Jerome Armstrong posted a followup article this afternoon. Seems Joe Anthony, the amateur blogger, has landed an interview on MTV. Obama's staff haven't done him any favors on this one, and I think it's becoming more imperative than ever that he find a way to resolve this as amicably as possible.

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