From a 2006 debate:

Next, [moderator] Carey asked about teaching alternatives to evolution – such as creationism and intelligent design – in public schools. ?

PALIN: ?Teach both. You know, don?t be afraid of information.

?Healthy debate is so important and it?s so valuable in our schools. I am a proponent of teaching both.

And, you know, I say this, too, as the daughter of a science teacher. Growing up with being so privileged and blessed to be given a lot of information on, on both sides of the subject — creationism and evolution.

?It?s been a healthy foundation for me. But don?t be afraid of information and let kids debate both sides.?

McCain, of course, has taken both sides of the issue. In 2006, he told a Louisville paper:

On the issue of whether the teaching of evolution in public schools should also include “intelligent design” – the idea that life is too complex to have happened by accident – McCain said he agrees that “young people have a right to be told” about intelligent design. “It’s a theory, just like evolution is a theory … [even though] it may not be as plausible,” given there’s little scientific evidence to support it, he said. The “hand of God played a role,” he said.

But then told a paper in Aspen that same year:

?’I think Americans should be exposed to every point of view,’ he said. ‘I happen to believe in evolution. … I respect those who think the world was created in seven days. Should it be taught as a science class? Probably not.’”

During the 1999 fight over science standards, candidate McCain said that decisions about teaching creationism should be left to local school boards, a position he repeated in 2007:

Question: [What's your stance on teaching creationism in schools?]

McCain: I think that students should be exposed to every theory and every thought that we can…I don’t like communism, but I think students should be exposed to communism…. There are people that believe this is the the way the earth was created. I’m not saying it should be forced on them, but I don’t get this dispute….

Question: But in science class?

McCain: I’m not on the school board. I’d let them decide that. One of our fundamental beliefs is local control…

In 2005, George Bush took the same view, saying that:

“I felt [as Texas Governor] like both sides ought to be properly taught.” Asked again by a reporter whether he believed that both sides in the debate between evolution and intelligent design should be taught in the schools, Mr. Bush replied that he did, “so people can understand what the debate is about.”

Mr. Bush was pressed as to whether he accepted the view that intelligent design was an alternative to evolution, but he did not directly answer. “I think that part of education is to expose people to different schools of thought,” he said, adding that “you’re asking me whether or not people ought to be exposed to different ideas, and the answer is yes.”

Bush, McCain, and Palin, three peas in a pod.

By contrast, Barack Obama told the York Daily Record:

I’m a Christian, and I believe in parents being able to provide children with religious instruction without interference from the state. But I also believe our schools are there to teach worldly knowledge and science. I believe in evolution, and I believe there’s a difference between science and faith. That doesn’t make faith any less important than science. It just means they’re two different things. And I think it’s a mistake to try to cloud the teaching of science with theories that frankly don’t hold up to scientific inquiry.

Joe Biden, with typical bluntness, dismissed the notion of creationism, telling Bill Maher that it is “malarkey!”

Anyone who really thinks this election doesn’t matter isn’t paying attention.

Comments

  1. #1 megan
    August 29, 2008

    malarkey is SUCH a great word. Yay Biden.

  2. #2 richCares
    August 29, 2008

    Anyone who really thinks this election doesn’t matter isn’t paying attention.

    Thanks, I am now!

  3. #3 bill
    August 30, 2008

    Evolution is a crucial tenet of the humanist religion which is an athiest religion. Evolutionists like to teach that life spontanously generated out of random movements and the primordial stew. Now if instead of teaching kids that science says we come from random movements so there is no God, they just mention that some don’t think the first life came from random movements, some think it was from a higher power. What is so bad about this? The humanists are basically religious tyrants trying to force their religion on the masses through the public school system.

  4. #4 bill
    August 30, 2008

    “Joe Biden, with typical bluntness, dismissed the notion of creationism, telling Bill Maher that it is ‘malarkey!’ ”

    So Biden says he’s a Roman Catholic and then says it’s malarkey that God created us? What kind of Catholic is this? Cafeteria Catholic? Catholic In Name Only?

  5. #5 Joe
    August 30, 2008

    “Malarkey” is the correct assessment of creationist “theories”. Creationism is scientifically just as valid as a flat earth theory. It makes no falsifiable predictions and is purely faith-based. In the scientific community THERE IS NO debate between Evolution and creationism. Thus no such debate needs to be taught in public schools.
    The fact that conservatives in this great country are nominating political dinosaurs does not bode well for them or us, for that matter. This election definitely counts as far as science policy is concerned.

  6. #6 donsands
    August 30, 2008

    How did life begin from nothing? How did the Earth become a planet of living humans? Did it all start with an explosion?

    Evolution is nonsense. I’m not an evolved rock, or vapor. BTW, where did the gas, or vapor come from?
    SOMETHING can not come from NOTHING.

    There’s a Designer, Creator, and God. Jesus Christ is this God, and He testified to it. And He nailed down when He rose from the dead. Historical fact, Jesus of Nazareth, was murdered, and three days later rose from the dead.
    The truth is good news indeed.

  7. #7 island
    August 30, 2008

    How did life begin from nothing? How did the Earth become a planet of living humans? Did it all start with an explosion?

    Evolution is nonsense. I’m not an evolved rock, or vapor. BTW, where did the gas, or vapor come from?
    SOMETHING can not come from NOTHING.

    There’s a Designer, Creator, and God. Jesus Christ is this God, and He testified to it. And He nailed down when He rose from the dead. Historical fact, Jesus of Nazareth, was murdered, and three days later rose from the dead.
    The truth is good news indeed.

    I know a guy that blew his brains out and was still better informed than this guy… ;)

    That said… I’m sure that Bush and Cheney both support the teaching of intelligent design, so this predictable over-reaction around the blogosphere to the status quo is just another excuse for liberal alarmists to fight their culture war in the name of science.

    THE SKY IS FALLING, THE SKY IS FALLING!!!

  8. #8 Paul
    August 30, 2008

    The ideal educational system is supposed to be a marketplace of ideas. In that market valid and invalid ideas clash and through the process truth emerges. Restrictions on the market, in education as in the economy, are inefficient at best and counterproductive at worst.

    So neither creationists nor evolutionists should fear the marketplace; both believe they hold the truth, so let an open dialogue in our public school system begin. What are you so scared of? Will the big bad creationist bogeyman come and brainwash your children?

  9. #9 NJ
    August 30, 2008

    The ideal educational system is supposed to be a marketplace of ideas.

    And the ideal marketplace says that when one idea has failed in competition with another, it shouldn’t be subsidized by the government, right? Creationism has failed. Completely. Utterly. Without a doubt.

    So why do you hate the marketplace so much?

  10. #10 mark
    August 30, 2008

    The ideal educational system is supposed to be a marketplace of ideas.

    I have to disagree. If it were a marketplace, then the selling of ideas would have little to do with how well they explained the world around us. Instead, the advertising would be “Buy this idea because then you’ll get laid.”

  11. #11 donsands
    August 30, 2008

    “I know a guy that blew his brains out and was still better informed than this guy… ;)

    That said… I’m sure that Bush and Cheney both support the teaching of intelligent design, so this predictable over-reaction around the blogosphere to the status quo is just another excuse for liberal alarmists to fight their culture war in the name of science.

    THE SKY IS FALLING, THE SKY IS FALLING!!!”

    I have no idea what you are saying. I suppose you are trying to say something. No matter, human arrogance and wisdom is foolishness in the end, when set against the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ.

  12. #12 nj
    August 30, 2008

    another excuse for liberal alarmists to fight their culture war in the name of science

    WTF?

    Please be so good to explain as to how insisting that science – and only science – be taught in science classes constitutes a ‘culture war’.

    Perhaps you need to put down the Kool-aid…

  13. #13 snaxalotl
    August 30, 2008

    “Evolution is a crucial tenet of the humanist religion which is an athiest religion. ”

    I’m fascinated by the way that people wishing to denigrate evolution or atheism are able to temporarily grasp the fact that religion is, in intellectual terms, a bad thing; that it’s a slur to call something a religion, a put-down to describe these non-religious people as religious … a better put-down than just calling them wrong. And then they return to their comfortable world of uncritically accepting religion.

  14. #14 Paul
    August 30, 2008

    QUOTE: “And the ideal marketplace says that when one idea has failed in competition with another, it shouldn’t be subsidized by the government, right? Creationism has failed. Completely. Utterly. Without a doubt.” ENDQUOTE

    An idea only “completely” or “utterly” fails in the marketplace when people totally stop buying the idea proffered. For example, at one point in time Americans drove carts and buggies. Along came a new innovation, the car. For a time the two coexisted, but over time the car has come to dominate American transportation…cars were simply a more efficient means of transportation. The market figured that out without the necessity of intervention (government) in the marketplace. Indeed, to have government ban the use of carts and buggies outright may have only served to harm the smooth transition.

    In my analogy I am allowing you to interpret the “car” as evolutionism and the “buggie” as creationism; of course somewhere between a third and half of Americans would beg to differ, but for sake of argument that’s how we’ll interpret the metaphor.

    If evolutionism is the superior idea than it will vanquish unaided in a free marketplace just as did the car. Government intervention on behalf of one side or the other, as has happened to both sides in the past (Scopes Trial and Edwards v. Aguillard) is inefficient at best (did either case sway peoples’ minds?) and counterproductive at worst (bitterness over “unfair” rulings only entrenches partisanship).

    Evolutionists should welcome the teaching of creationism in public schools. Creationist parents will be less likely to withdraw their kids from the public system and exclusively propagandize them. Evolutionists won’t have to play the role of Big Brother.

    Fear not. Truth will out.

  15. #15 NJ
    August 31, 2008

    If evolutionism is the superior idea

    Except there is no such thing as ‘evolutionism’; there is only science that is supported by the data.

    Creationism has failed in the marketplace of scientific ideas. There are no reputable scientists that accept it. Similarly, laetrile has failed in the marketplace of medical ideas. There are no reputable physicians that accept it. And yet a few people cling to both ideas.

    Now imagine there was a laetrile lobby, trying to mandate that medical schools be required to ‘Teach the Controversy”. All without doing any type of research that might support their preference; just trying to legislate it in the back door.

    If creationists want to have their ideas considered seriously, they need to be doing the heavy lifting of science. Actual research, peer-reviewed publication in journals with real reputations. That they do not do this is telling. Instead they run massive PR campaigns, design to fool the unwary (like you, sport).

    So instead of pontificating to those of us with more experience that

    If evolutionism is the superior idea than it will vanquish unaided in a free marketplace just as did the car.

    why not try learning about the topic and the history of creationism? Your tune will change, rapidly.

  16. #16 NJ
    August 31, 2008

    Time to stop genuflecting before the current state of science

    Dude, back away from the ‘shrooms…

  17. #17 Josh Rosenau
    August 31, 2008

    Bill: Biden is the same sort of Catholic as the Pope. The current Pope’s right-hand man said this of creationism:

    The Catholic position on “creationism” is clear. Saint Thomas Aquinas says that one should “not try to defend the Christian faith with arguments that make it ridiculous, because they are in obvious contradiction with reason. It is nonsense to maintain that the world is only six thousand years old. Any attempt to prove such a thing scientifically means provoking what Saint Thomas calls the irrisio infidelium, the mockery of unbelievers. Exposing the faith to mockery with false arguments of this kind is not right; indeed, it is explicitly to be rejected. Let that be enough on the subject of “creationism” and “fundamentalism.”

    Indeed.

    Paul: Education is not a “marketplace.” We don’t let children decide whether the Midpoint Theorem is valid, we just teach calculus. We don’t let kids decide that the heart is what thinks, the brain is what processes nitrogenous waste from the blood, and the kidneys are what think. We teach them biology. And evolution is essential to teaching biology.

    The marketplace does exist though. It’s called the scientific literature. People get ideas, they form hypotheses from those ideas, generate testable predictions, and proceed to test them. Then they write up the results, and the community of scientists reviews the results. If an idea consistently generates testable predictions which are right, then the idea becomes widely accepted, as evolution has. If it fails to make predictions, or if the predictions are constantly wrong, the idea goes to the dustbin of history, as creationism has.

  18. #18 John Knox
    September 1, 2008

    Is the Teaching of Evolution True Science?

    The main point of opposition to teaching Intelligent Design in public schools is that it is accused of removing science from the classroom. I believe that the real question should be; is evolution true science? To find help in answering this question I went to my son’s high school biology textbook, Biology, The Dynamics of Life by the National Geographic Society. It is well known that this organization unabashedly supports evolution.

    There are many evidences in this book that all is not well with the idea that evolution is true science. Here are some quotes. My observations are at the end of each quote.

    Pg 377 “The Earth has existed an estimated 4.6 billion years. The first organism appeared about 3.5 billion years ago.” What is not mentioned here is that these dates are pure conjecture without a shred of scientific evidence. They are totally made up because scientists surmise that it would have taken that amount of time to evolve the complexity of life on our earth today. No scientific tests for these dates have ever been made.

    Pg 383 “Radiometric dating frequently produces inconsistent dates because the initial amount of radioisotope in the rock can never be known with certainty.” This shows that the only possible way of scientific dating available is at best very unreliable.

    Pg.389 “No one will ever know for certain how life began on Earth.” All the various theories proposed for the origin of life cannot be scientifically tested.

    Pg. 408 “Although paleontologists do not have intermediate forms of most species, they can often still understand the overall picture of how a species evolved.” How can the scientific method be used to understand how a species evolved without intermediate forms? This indicates that conclusions are being drawn without any evidence—very poor science!

    Pg 409 “Although analogous structures don’t shed light on evolutionary relations, they do provide evidence of evolution. For example, insect and bird wings probably evolved separately when their different ancestors adapted independently to similar ways of life.” This statement proposes that there is evidence of evolution when in fact there is none. Evolution cannot explain the complexity of wings scientifically.

    Pg. 410 “The similarities among the young embryos suggest evolution from a distant, common ancestor.” Many scientists have rejected the notion that the development of an embryo and the so-called tail and gill slits have anything to do with evolution. Yet this theory is still paraded in science textbooks as evidence for evolution.

    Charles Darwin made one fatal mistake. He did not know about genetics. It is the variety in the gene pool of a species that produces variation within the species. That is why there are 400 varieties of dogs, but they are all still dogs. That is why humans can all look so different but still be human beings. Even though there are claims to the contrary, there never has been any true evidence that new species are being formed.

    The fact is that Creationists strongly believe in the scientific method. The vast majority of my son’s science textbook is true science and can be profitably studied. The problem is that believing in evolution is taught as believing in science when in fact it is faith. If evolution is truly scientific, why is it that only 12 percent of Americans believe completely in evolution without the involvement of God? (“Was Darwin Wrong?” National Geographic Magazine, November 2004) Maybe it takes more faith to believe in evolution than in Creation!

  19. #19 NJ
    September 1, 2008

    The fact is that Creationists strongly believe in the scientific method.

    Then why do they work so hard to reject its findings John? What you really mean is they strongly believe in scientific authority, and what to co-opt it for their own political motives.

    If evolution is truly scientific, why is it that only 12 percent of Americans believe completely in evolution…

    Do you think that their incessant lying about evolutionary science might have something to do with that?

    …believing in evolution is taught as believing in science when in fact it is faith

    The only ‘faith’ involved is that doing science properly will lead us to continually better understandings of the natural world.

    Even though there are claims to the contrary, there never has been any true evidence that new species are being formed.

    Google is your friend, John. Despite the lies you’ve been told, there have been many demonstrated.

    I’ll let others get a chance to point out most of your other errors (rude to hog the buffet) in biology, and tackle your problems with geologic time.

    “The Earth has existed an estimated 4.6 billion years…” What is not mentioned here is that these dates are pure conjecture without a shred of scientific evidence….No scientific tests for these dates have ever been made.

    Uh, FAIL! There have been multiple measurements of the radiometric ages of meteorites using a variety of isotope systems. All converge on a date of about 4.55 bya. Check TalkOrigins.org for a nice overview, and let me know if you have specific questions.

    “Radiometric dating frequently produces inconsistent dates because the initial amount of radioisotope in the rock can never be known with certainty.” This shows that the only possible way of scientific dating available is at best very unreliable.

    FAIL again, although I will give you the benefit of the doubt and blame the book, assuming you are quoting it accurately. Radiometric dating is actually very well-understood and reliable, and the age-diagnostic techniques indicate when a sample has been either contaminated or leached. Inconsistent results are no more a problem than with any other analytical process.

    In short, John, you’ve been had. Reading creationist sources and then spouting off on a science blog is analogous to reading about treating cancer with coffee enemas and running down to the hospital to enlighten everyone. You’re going to get treated as a dimwit.

  20. #20 tresmal
    September 1, 2008

    Let me take a crack at one.

    Pg. 408 �Although paleontologists do not have intermediate forms of most species, they can often still understand the overall picture of how a species evolved.� How can the scientific method be used to understand how a species evolved without intermediate forms? This indicates that conclusions are being drawn without any evidence�very poor science!

    Fail! Scientists do however have intermediate forms for some taxa. Examples would include the land to marine transition for whales, the divergence of mammals from early tetrapods, the evolution of horses, the transition from aquatic to land dwelling and more.

    In addition they have enough to go on to make hypotheses that can be tested. For example, the story of tiktaalik. Paleontologists went way the hell up North in Canada to a particular layer of rock, of the right age, looking for fossils with particular features, that had not been found before but ought to exist. And they found them.

    Fossil evidence is supplemented by other forms. One is comparative embryology. Another line of evidence is genetics.

  21. #21 John
    September 2, 2008

    NJ, in making some dissenting points about my earlier post, suggested I look at a couple of web pages for more evidences of evolution, which I did. One article was by Chris Stassen in which he gives four examples of speciation events. Unfortuantely for evolution advocates, these examples do not even come close to giving evidence that evolution is possible. Let’s look at each one.
    #1 “Two strains of Drosophila paulistorum developed hybrid sterility of male offspring….” How can sterile males produce offspring? Obviously, they can’t, meaning no beneficial evolution is taking place.

    #2 and #4 The fireweed and fish examples. Even though it seems the newer varieties of fireweed and fish do not produce offspring with each other, they are still fireweed and fish. They never change into anything else. For evolution to be possible, there must be an upward evolution of species from simple to complex. That process has never been observed.

    #3 The mouse example. The note gives it away. “It is unlikely that forced breeding experiments have been performed with the parent stock.” Changes have occurred in line with the gene pool within the mice, which makes mating unlikely, but not impossible. No true new species has been formed.

    There is more that can be written, but I will end this by expanding on the analogy of a cure for cancer. If I was told by a doctor that I had cancer and that he thought he had a cure that was supported by all other reliable doctors, I would be encouraged. If he went on to say that the cure could not be properly tested and that there were many uncertainties regarding this cure, (as my son’s evolutionary Biology textbook does state about evolution many times) and failed to tell me that there were very capable doctors who did not believe in the cure, and said if I didn’t receive it I was a dimwit, I wonder who the dimwit really is?

  22. #22 Anne
    September 4, 2008

    Teach science in science classes and theolgical theory in philophy and/or theology classes. Creationism is a religious belief that belongs in the latter. To try to dress this it up as science is an insult to spirituyality and science both.
    If the creationists truly believed what they speil, they wouldn’t have to try to shove it down everyone’s throats. The proof would speak for itself… It’s clear they know at some level that they are trying to convince people (and themselves) that the Earth is indeed flat.

  23. #23 Zach
    September 4, 2008

    John #22 I find your analogy quite interesting and appropriate… the cacer patient in your metaphor is desperate and has nothing to lose, and so, will try anything. That’s rather insulting to parallel creationists thatw ay, but is probably a more accurate depiction than you intended.

    Where your analogy falls apart is that even the potentially effective yet-not-fully-proven treatement is derived from scientific method — if as you say, in your metaphor, it is “supported by all other reliable doctors”. Doctors are scientists not priests or pastors, friend.
    Your analogy is interesting but only shows how far off the beam trying to make a religious belief and science the same thing is.