In the commentary about LA Governor Bobby Jindal’s disastrous response to Obama’s speech Tuesday night, we keep hearing how smart he is. So what do we call a supposedly bright person who is a creationist and believes that an exorcism cast out cancer? And this is personal:
Jindal and I both received degrees in biology with honors from Brown in the exact same year. Having gone through that program at the same time, there is no conceivable way that he received his degree not knowing that there is overwhelming evidence from the fossil record for evolution regardless of his focus (“the most minimal details of population genetics” have nothing to do with what Jindal erroneously claimed).
Like Razib, I’m willing to posit that Jindal is very bright. That leaves two possibilities: either Jindal was being willfully ignorant when he wrote the essay four years after he graduated, or he wasn’t paying attention in class. Razib rightly concludes:
I don’t doubt that Bobby Jindal is extremely intelligent, but if I had to guess what sort of person wrote the essay above I wouldn’t have felt embarrassed assuming that the author was an average student at a Christian high school! This doesn’t mean that Jindal isn’t an efficient technocrat, his record speaks for itself. But I think that this piece would suggest he is not truly broadly educated.
And that devalues my degree.
Nonetheless, conservatives such as NY columnist David Brooks still don’t get it–this is Brooks’ immediate response to Jindal’s speech:
While I almost feel sorry for him, what the hell is Brooks thinking? “A promising politician?” Your guy is a creationist and believes in casting out demons. Sweet baby Intelligent Designer, I had to use the post tag of “Demonic Possession” to talk about the man. Jindal is a fucking loon. That’s your problem, not the delivery or the strategy.