So wonders Razib Khan over at Secular Right::

In any case, I’m on the record as saying that predictions for 2012 are very premature. But, it looks like 3 of the front-runners for the G.O.P. nomination are rather frank Creationists (Palin, Huckabee and Pawlenty). I’m skeptical about any of these as likely candidates (i.e., if you had to make a bet you’re going to be surprised), but if you keep adding individuals to the list it seems likely that we’re looking at a serious probability that the G.O.P. nominee in 2012 will be a Creationist.

In a primary debate last year John McCain forthrightly said he supported evolution. When Sam Brownback, Mike Huckabee and Tom Tancredo then raised their hands to indicate they did not support evolution, McCain was quick to add

I believe in evolution, but I also believe that when I hike the Grand Canyon and see a sunset that the hand of God is there also.

Certainly no Republican could get through the primaries on a platform that evolution is good science and creationism and ID are not. The thing is, though, that neither could a Democrat. This is one of those polarizing issues that politicians avoid like the plague. There is no advantage to them in taking a clear stand on one side or the other.

The typical answer for Republicans is either to say that they personally believe in God and believe all sides of this important issue should be presented in schools, or to punt by saying that it is a state issue. For Democrats the typical answer is to say that they personally believe in God and do not believe there is a conflict between science and religion, or to punt by saying it is a state issue.

My prediction is that the Republican nominee in 2012 will be someone who does not really care one way or the other about this issue, but will nonetheless pander shamelessly to those who do care.


  1. #1 Glen Davidson
    October 15, 2009

    Any predictions about whether the sun will be shining tomorrow?

    Glen Davidson

  2. #2 Jason Rosenhouse
    October 15, 2009

    Glen –

    Hey, I didn’t say it was a brave prediction!

  3. #3 Glen Davidson
    October 15, 2009

    Just having fun, of course.

    Seriously, it’s a better prediction (IMO) than that an outright creationist will be the GOP nominee, which seems to be what some hedgingly predict.

    Glen D

  4. #4 SLC
    October 16, 2009

    Actually, Vice-President Biden was quite forthright when asked about intelligent design. His response was, “it’s malarkey.”

  5. #5 Valhar2000
    October 16, 2009

    Well, Biden is supposedly well known for saying things on the spur of the moment that will come back to bite him in the ass. Not well known for saying things that are untrue, mind you, but for saying things that will bite him in the ass, and coming down on one side of the evolution-creation wars certainly qualifies as that in the current lunacy-infused climate.

  6. #6 Jason Rosenhouse
    October 16, 2009

    SLC –

    And Biden didn’t win the nomination, did he? (Frankly, I wish he had.)

  7. #7 JR
    October 16, 2009

    There is a quote by Biden in the latest (I think) issue of American Mathematical Monthly. It mentions inflection points.

    It made me somewhat more sympathetic towards him.

  8. #8 BaldApe
    October 16, 2009

    Creationism isn’t the only litmus test. In fact, party politics being what they are these days, the Republican nominee has to be a complete wingnut, and the Democratic nominee has to be a moonbat.

  9. #9 Reginald Selkirk
    October 16, 2009

    I’m rooting for Bobby “the Exorcist” Jindal.

  10. #10 robert
    October 19, 2009

    Surely the issue is not whether they declare they believe in god, or even if they’re a creationist. It’s what the reaction of the public is.

    You could get them to affirm both in the hope the public says “Aha! An anti-science nutjob that we need to avoid!”. However, isn’t it more likely the public will either not care or the majority will be OK with such views.

  11. #11 Kevin (NYC)
    October 19, 2009

    “and the Democratic nominee has to be a moonbat.”

    oh pluz. that is so false. and you know it. Moonbats are (arguably) non-religious, anti-bank, advocte free healthcare and housing, and lean towards group expression of civil power.

    what democrat EVER went that far? Obama?

    hah ah ahhaaa that’s funny to hear.

    e.g. I believe that mass transit should not collect fares. None. zip.

    all the costs of the system should be paid by taxes on corporations based on the number of employees, with a factor for average salary.

    ever hear that from a democratic candidate?

  12. #12 Tony
    October 19, 2009

    Therefore, do democrats then have to pass and Evolutionism litmus test?

  13. #13 BaldApe
    October 19, 2009

    The thing is, wingnuts don’t know they are wingnuts, and moonbats don’t know they are moonbats. 😉

    What is true, at least during primary season, is that both parties move toward the extremes, then try to un-scare the middle in the general election campaign.

  14. #14 Ann Klein
    October 21, 2009

    Since when is Pawlenty a Creationist? He’s my governor (unfortunately), but I’ve never heard a report about him backing Creationism. If he is now doing that, he’s pandering even more than usual. If I were in Republican leadership, I’d be afraid of this guy. He got elected as a moderate Republican and has actually been one. If he is twisting to the far right, he’s lying.

  15. #15 Anton Mates
    October 21, 2009

    To my limited knowledge, Pawlenty first said pro-creationist stuff last year, when it became a big media issue due to Palin’s comments.

  16. #16 Booger Boy
    October 26, 2009

    My prediction:

    There might be a republican (but not a conservative) elected who does pander to his/her base (as does Obama).

    However, I would not dare vote any into office who does not believe in Creation. A creationist president who be alot better that a marxist socialist global government supporter like the fruitcake that we have now. Methinks he might be the anti-Christ after all. Maybe his blood brother Soros is the false prophet? I don’t know. Anything is possible when evil triumphs

  17. #17 Modusoperandi
    October 30, 2009

    Shorter Booger Boy: “I’m not going to let facts get in the way of my argument! (unless, of course, I’m a Poe)”

  18. #18 电磁铁
    November 3, 2009

    thanks for sharing.

New comments have been disabled.