Pharyngula

A defining issue

James Trumm has a single issue, one that trumps all the others in the election booth, and I have to agree with him. It’s a kind of signal flare that says the person advocating it is a total loon and not to be trusted on anything.

That issue is creationism.

I will never vote for anyone who favors creationism, no matter how commendable their position on other matters. Trumm makes a good case:

Evolution is the canary in the coal mine of enlightenment, of science, of reality itself. When it finds it hard to breathe, that is a clear sign that the atmosphere has become toxic. Again, Chris Hedges, from his new book, American Fascists:

The goal of creationism is not to offer an alternative. Its goal is the destruction of the core values of the open society–the ability to think for oneself, to draw independent conclusions, to express dissent when judgment and common sense tell you something is wrong, to be self-critical, to challenge authority, to advocate for change and to accept that there are other views, different ways of being, that are morally and socially acceptable.

This, then, is my single issue, and why Mike Huckabee will only get scorn from me.

Don’t get me wrong—no one is going to get my vote simply because they accept evolution—but someone who does not is suffering from the rot of ignorance, and they won’t be getting my support.

Comments

  1. #1 Jen
    January 31, 2007

    I agree. I wonder how long it will be before someone accuses you of being “close minded” though, and ignoring other issues for just one issue.

    What some people don’t understand that it’s not simply agreement with evolution itself that is important–it’s not like you’re just supporting only those who agree with your pet theory–but the thought process that leads you to that agreement.. When someone lets their ideology so permeate their logic that they can ignore the mountains of evidence of favor in evolution, that simply doesn’t speak well of their rationality in other areas.

    After all, people wouldn’t think you were bigoted if you stated you wouldn’t support a candidate that didn’t “believe in” gravity. They’d rightly think he was a nutjob, and wonder how his irrationality would affect his other issues. But many people don’t see that connection.

  2. #2 Mike Haubrich
    January 31, 2007

    As a gradualist, I could never vote for a punk-eek’er.

  3. #3 Rupert
    January 31, 2007

    Any form of fundamentalism trips my wire.

    That’s not a belief in fundamentals – I have a few myself, and would distrust the basic humanity of anyone who didn’t – but in the more precise formulation, a fixed belief in a fundamental text or texts.

    The overwhelming majority of creationists I’ve encountered have that, of course, with the tiny remainder being contrarian kooks, but you can find plenty of other examples. I would distrust any physicist who said “Einstein wrote that, and there’s an end to it”: it’s also the basis for my constantly renewed cynicism about the output of press relations operatives and marketing executives. They take a given and then explain why it’s true in spite of any contradictions.

    It’s also why I can’t share PZ’s uncompromising hostility towards religion. I know and admire many people who are religious without being fundamentalists – people who can appreciate the many truths about the mysterious business of being human which religion contains, but don’t mistake the bottle for the contents themselves.

    But fundamentalism? It’s the enemy of the light.

    If you can’t say “But what if I’m wrong?” and mean it, you’ve abdicated your responsibility.

    R

  4. #4 Great White Wonder
    January 31, 2007

    Huckabee is a creationist? That’s pathetic. Say goodnite to another Southern Retard.

  5. #5 j
    January 31, 2007

    While I agree that one should not vote for candidates that support the teaching of creationism alongside evolution in public schools, I wonder if it is even possible to eliminate all candidates that believe in some form of creationism. That would narrow the field of ’08 presidential candidates to nobody, would it not?

  6. #6 j
    January 31, 2007

    By “eliminate all,” I meant “not vote for any.” Sorry for the poor word choice.

  7. #7 Fatboy
    January 31, 2007

    j kinda nailed it. I’d like to be able to exclude all candidates that support creationism, but the reality of it is that that may exclude all candidates in certain elections (I live in TX). Front loading and theistic evolution don’t really bother me so much, though. It’s belief in special creation that really requires ignoring all evidence.

  8. #8 J Daley
    January 31, 2007

    What about candidates who accept evolution but reject welcoming our Squid Overlords? I don’t think they can be trusted with anything, either.

  9. #9 Coragyps
    January 31, 2007

    Look over here:
    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/data/315/5809/187a/DC1/1

    Self-identified “conservatives” are about half as likely to accept the statement “Human beings evolved from earlier species of animals” as liberals are. Religious leaning is in there, too.

  10. #10 Paul D
    January 31, 2007

    I’ve shared this sentiment for years.

    I wouldn’t vote my own mother into political office if she were a creationist. No. Freakin’. Way.

  11. #11 Ichthyic
    January 31, 2007

    ). Front loading and theistic evolution don’t really bother me so much, though. It’s belief in special creation that really requires ignoring all evidence.

    uh, hate to burst your bubble, but there’s no evidentiary support for front-loading, either; lots of evidence to reject it as a concept, in fact. Moreover, proponents of front loading ignore just as much contrary evidence as YEC’s do.

    meh, what can ya do.

    bottom line here, though, is the willful ignorance of evidence. THAT’S the thing that needs to be rejected in our politicians.

    there really is no excuse. If a politician is ignorant on an issue, they have STAFFERS to help do research for them. Or, they can rely on experts just like the rest of us do.

    it’s when people like Shrub rely on the “expert” opinion of folks like Ted Haggard that we should immediately get that little bell going off in our heads saying:

    impeach.

  12. #12 Scott Hatfield
    January 31, 2007

    Pretty much the way I feel. I’ve been telling anyone who listens that we should compel candidates to come clean on the issue at every level, and vote against creationists. So far, I’m tilting at windmills…SH

  13. #13 Kagehi
    January 31, 2007

    And in other news of stupidity driven by religion:

    http://religionclause.blogspot.com/2007/01/proposal-for-court-stripping-amendment.html

    Some idiot is proposing legislation in *my* state that would strip the courts of any right to accept challenges against assholes, from cops to legislators, who use religion to promote their injustice, corruption and greed against everyone else.

    And here is the reason why its a $%@##@$@ problem:

    “Rape Victim Denied Morning After Pill By Jail Worker With Religious Objections”
    http://religionclause.blogspot.com/2007/01/rape-victim-denied-morning-after-pill.html

    But of course, Arizona religiously driven asses would **never** do such a thing right?

  14. #14 Fatboy
    February 1, 2007

    uh, hate to burst your bubble, but there’s no evidentiary support for front-loading, either;

    In that case, you’ve effectively eliminated every political candidate from consideration. And I disagree with your statement that “proponents of front loading ignore just as much contrary evidence as YEC’s do.” If someone believes in an omniscient, omnipotent god, it’s easy enough for them to believe that their god could have front loaded the universe, or tinkered with it throughout time. The only way around it is to get them to doubt their belief in an omniscient, omnipotent god. Good luck finding a politician that’s willing to admit that.

    But I fully agree with your statement about willful ignorance of evidence. And in that vein, creationism isn’t the only show stopper that would keep me from voting for a candidate. Global warming denial, AIDS denial, and countless other issues of ignoring evidence would automatically keep a politician from getting my vote (unless, of course, his opponent was no better).

  15. #15 David Marjanovi?
    February 1, 2007

    Self-identified “conservatives” are about half as likely to accept the statement “Human beings evolved from earlier species of animals” as liberals are.

    Reality has a well-known liberal bias.

  16. #16 David Marjanovi?
    February 1, 2007

    Self-identified “conservatives” are about half as likely to accept the statement “Human beings evolved from earlier species of animals” as liberals are.

    Reality has a well-known liberal bias.

  17. #17 Kevin
    February 1, 2007

    A few elections ago up here in Canada, the leader of the conservative party at the time was discovered to be a creationist. Stockwell Day was his name. Thankfully, our media had the balls to make fun of his insane beliefs. He didn’t win and was quickly replaced (by our current Prime Minister, who seems more a traditional conservative then a nutball Christian conservative, but he still sucks).

  18. #18 Ichthyic
    February 1, 2007

    In that case, you’ve effectively eliminated every political candidate from consideration.

    how do you figure?

    my guess would be that you equate front-loading with theistic evolution.

    if so, you are incorrect. the two are not the same thing necessarily.

    most theistic evolutionists are “ball rollers”; that is they think that some deity or ruther simply initiated the process, and the rest took care of itself.

    that’s not front loading.

    a theistic evolutionist has boiled down the the incongruity between evidence and faith to the most basic, non-eliminable concept – sometime, somewhere, some deity decided to set up laws that allowed evolution to take place. Impossible to falsify, so it suits the position well enough. from a political standpoint, it makes for good appeasement.

    front-loading, OTOH, is entirely falsifiable and has already been so. Any politician who would maintain this stance automatically sets themselves against the evidence.

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