It was a hard job, but someone had to do it. A few days ago, I sat down and watched a 15 minute video of Miss USA pageant contestants as they pondered the question: Should evolution be taught in schools?

Then I watched it again. And again. Until my eardrums bled I had a complete and accurate transcript.

So that you don’t have to do endure the same agony, I present the transcript below, as a service to the community, with timecodes relative to the video above. Enjoy. You can find the names and biographies of each state’s contestant at the Miss USA site.


“Should evolution be taught in school?”

00:34.12
AL: Evolution, no, I do not believe in evolution, I do not think it should be taught in schools, and I would not encourage it.

00:47.04
AK: I think it’s necessary that evolution is taught in schools because it is part of our history and the belief system that the west has held for a long amount of time, however personally I don’t believe in evolution, I believe that each one of us were created for a purpose by god and that just gives my life so much more direction and meaning.

01:11.11
AZ: I think it’s good to provide our students with both sides of the story and let them choose for themselves. I know that some people obviously believe in evolution and some people believe in creation. I think that teaching both of those and letting the students decide, whether it be on their faith or their personal belief I think that’s the best choice.

01:30.97
AR: I think evolution…personally I never was taught evolution in school, it was never a big focal point in our studies, but you know every school is different and if that’s something that they think they need to teach their children then that’s, you know, to each his own. And I can’t argue with that.

01:51.96
CA: Well, I was taught evolution in my high school growing up, and I do believe in it, I mean I’m a huge science geek, so I like to believe in like the big bang theory, and you know, the evolution of humans you know, throughout, you know, time.

02:05.80
CO: I think that we should definitely open up to offering differing ways to teach students about everything: different thought processes, different ideas, because it’s important to let students just decide their own ideas and what they want to believe in. So if it’s something that they do teach, I think they should teach evolution and just other concepts as well so that they can definitely decide what they believe in themselves.

02:29.49
CT: I do think evolution should be taught in school.

02:32.10
DE: I think evolution should be taught in schools, but in particular high school. It’s a growing process and I think everyone needs to learn these experiences on their own and not just based off of parents beliefs and if they can choose and opt to take it then that should be an option, so I think that’s definitely a great idea.

02:51.77
DC: I definitely think evolution should be taught in schools because I think it’s important to see a difference in perspectives to actually be able to formulate your own opinion.

03:02.73
FL: Evolution should be taught in school, it’s something that people do believe and it’s in existence and we really don’t know where the first level came, where the first person came from.

03:11.39
GA: I think that kids need a wide variety of things, not just be taught one or the other. I think evolution should be taught but I also think maybe the biblical stuff should be taught as well, you know. I think kids need to make their own decisions. We’re smarter than ever these days, so I mean why not teach everything and let people make their own decisions.

03:31.77
HI: I think evolution should be taught in schools, we have creationitism [sic] and a lot of other ideas and opinions that are taught to the children. I think everybody should be able to have their opinion taught, however I think it’s the parents and the family who should be able to be there for the children and to guide them in what their beliefs are as a family and as individuals.

03:50.20
ID: I believe that evolution should be mentioned in school. The thing is it’s all about what you believe in and it shouldn’t be pushed on you but again you should be knowledged about it I guess just different options. Because growing up in a family, you learn to live off of those values and morals and if you don’t have other options to believe in that’s what you’re gonna go by for the rest of your life.

04:14.47
IL: Uh, that’s fairly interesting, I think evolution should be taught in schools because it is information that should be available to students. It is a theory that people should know about.

04:25.99
IN: <shakes head> I don’t know. I think that we should leave that up to the government. I don’t think… I’m not sure, I think a lot of people would have an issue if evolution was taught in school, I think we should just leave that out of the equation.

04:39.84
IA: I took evolution in college and I really enjoyed it because it helped me gain perspective. I just believe that everyone should just have equal opportunity in education so if it is available it could be available as an elective I think.

04:55.49
KS: I think evolution should be at least introduced or exposed to students but I think it’s up to the student to either take it in and decide if they want to apply it to their life or not.

05:07.63
KY: I honestly don’t think you could ever have too much knowledge on any subject, that’s my personal view, but I do feel that evolution shouldn’t be taught in school just because there’s so many different views on it. So many different definitions like how do you teach a child the true meaning of evolution when so many different cultures have their different beliefs and scientists have their different theories, it’s just not a good subject that I feel everyone will agree on in classrooms, when kids come from all different backgrounds, different cultures, different beliefs, so I just personally don’t think it’s a good topic for school subjects, at all.

05:46.64
LA: I think so, um, you know it just, oh god, that’s kind of a tough one … Yeah, I think so.

05:58.53
ME: That’s a very difficult question. I feel that we should have evolution taught in schools, as well as a belief in faith, I believe that people should be able to choose what they believe in and that is something that I was taught in elementary school and it hasn’t hurt what I believe in and stand for today.

06:15.08
MD: I think that everything should be taught in school. I think the great thing about America is that we’re open to freedom of choice, freedom of religion, and I think if you’re going to teach one aspect of how you think the world has come to be, I think you should teach all the aspects. So evolution is definitely one, you know it’s a great theory, it’s something that has really helped us evolve as people, to use the word, but I definitely think it should be.

06:37.07
MA: I do think evolution should be taught in schools. I was personally taught evolution growing up even in a religious school, I think it’s an important aspect and I think it’s good because it broadens your horizons. I think any learning possibility is good. And I think people should learn as much as possible about different aspects of different … whether it’s religion whether it’s whatever it is, I think the more learning you can get, the more educated you are, the more educated you are, the better you come off.

07:07.48
MI: I do believe that evolution should be taught in schools. I think it’s silly to not know both sides and um it would be ignorant if it’s not, so yes, I do.

07:19.05
MN: Yes, I do, I think it should be. I grew up Catholic, so that’s a great question if evolution should be taught in schools, but I think it’s important that you understand all perspectives before making up your own decision, and I did learn from my priest growing up that evolution does not go against the Catholic faith and Pope John Paul II did accept the idea of evolution into your Catholic practice as well.

07:41.51
MS: I think evolution should be taught as what it is, it’s a theory so I don’t think it should be taught as fact, but I do think our children should know the theories that are involved in different sciences.

07:51.17
MO: That is such a tough one. I think that if it were to be taught in schools, that that would give kids a chance to decide what they want to believe for themselves, so that way if they learned about all sorts of different ideas, then they would be able to form their own opinions afterwards.

08:12.43
MT: I think that it should definitely be presented as an option and I think that both sides should be presented and that the student should be able to make their own choices and come to their own decisions.

08:24.75
NE: I think that in public schools you have to give all credited theories equal amount of time, so I think creation and evolution should both be able to be taught.

08:35.58
NV: I think evolution definitely should be taught in schools. I think there’s different ways to view evolution but as everyone can probably agree upon, everything evolves. We evolve as communities that build ourselves from scratch, and Nevada’s a good example of that, that we’ve evolved from a very small community to something much much bigger and much more successful so I think evolution can be taught in many different ways and doesn’t necessarily have to be about people and how people have evolved, but it can also be about communities as well.

09:13.40
NH: You know, I work in a hospital setting with children and families and I am constantly trying to provide interactions and interventions as a child life specialist that is culturally respective and sensitive to all points of view so I think that evolution is one of those things that needs to be incorporated but it shouldn’t be the only point of view taught.

09:32.74
NJ: I think everything should be taught in schools, every single aspect of evolution and anything you can think of. I think they should have the option of learning everything that there is to learn, and then kinda choose what they like to believe.

09:46.45
NM: I think evolution should be taught in schools because evolution is based off of science and I think science is a huge thing that we need to continue to enrich our schools with.

09:55.69
NY: I personally believe evolution should be taught in schools and I believe religion should be taught in schools. I think everything should be taught in schools and that knowledge is power and it’s good for all of our students to have a wider perspective of different beliefs and important things that a lot of people you know that’s scientific and as well as um what other cultures practice.

10:20.76
NC: I think it’s great to get both sides of the story. I’m personally a Christian so I believe the Bible’s version, but you can’t push opinions or beliefs on children so they need to know every side that’s out there, so yes, I do believe that should be taught. But so should the other side of the story.

10:38.99
ND: Sure, why not, evolution should be taught in schools. I think it’s good that people hear both sides of, I guess “the story” so to speak.

10:49.31
OH: You know what, I think, why not? Because I think it just gives young, the youth right now, in America, why not keep their options open. You don’t necessarily have to agree with it, but I’m not opposed to it.

11:03.51
OK: I do think evolution should be taught in schools. I think it’s important to teach young people kind of every version of everything and a little bit of everything so they can form their own opinions, I think that’s really important.

11:15.01
OR: I think that every theory of how we came to be here should get a shout out in education. So evolution definitely should be presented but I think other options should be presented alongside it, it shouldn’t be the only one.

11:28.32
PA: I think evolution should absolutely be taught in schools. I think we should explore all philosophies. So evolution should be taught and other theories should be taught as well, and then children should be taught as much as possible so that they can decide on their own what they think is the truth.

11:44.32
RI: I believe that evolution should be taught in schools because I think that kids need to know all different perspectives on how the world came to be.

11:51.40
SC: I think, you know, whether people believe in creation or evolution, everyone needs to know how we were made, why we’re here, and I think you know if the parents are fine with it then that’s OK.

12:03.69
SD: I think evolution is part of basic science and it should be taught, but I also don’t think that teachers or anyone should step on the toes of Biblical values either.

12:12.72
TN: I do think evolution should be taught in schools. Personally that’s not my belief but I do think that all ideas should be put out there for people to decide for themselves.

12:23.56
TX: I wouldn’t see why evolution couldn’t be taught in schools, I think it’s something that, again it would be the school’s preference, but I think it would be interesting to learn about and just have something extra for kids to know about

12:35.16
UT: Mmmm, it’s tough because everybody has their different beliefs, um, gosh, I don’t know, I, I would say yes, <pause> but I know some people are gonna be offended by it, it’s tough, it’s one of those things that I think you know either way somebody’s gonna be offended, so I would say yes, but you know, somebody’s mad now <laughs>

13:00.46
VT: I think evolution should be taught in schools, because not everybody necessarily has the same religious background and it’s important to have scientific facts about the world and we do know that evolution exists even on a small scale like with people and with bacteria that are becoming resistant to drugs and whatnot, so might as well learn about it.

13:22.87
VA: I think little bits and pieces of evolution should be taught in schools because it is a theory and after all we all need to know about different theories so that we can figure out what we want to believe is true.

13:34.27
WA: I think when it comes to evolution, I think science is great and that when it comes to teaching I think facts should be stated and we should know the facts as to how the world evolves because it does. But as far as when it comes to little theories and whatnot, I probably want to stay away from those. I believe in the truth and the truth only, not somebody’s imagination or hope or whatnot. So I think facts not theories should be taught.

13:59.11
WV: <pause> Yeah, I do think that evolution should be taught in schools, but I also don’t think that religion should be taken out. If you don’t believe in evolution, that’s fine, but you should at least be informed about it. And if you don’t believe in religion, that’s fine, but you should at least be informed about it. So I personally feel like they should incorporate both.

14:22.67
WI: I feel that evolution should be taught in schools only because it’s a great subject to touch base on.

14:28.05
WY: It’s ki… Uh, evolution’s kind of a touchy subject. I took a class called biological anthropology, though, and they taught the history of evolution and it’s very scientific, so I would think both should be taught in schools because you should probably know the whole story.

Comments

  1. #1 Raven0rb
    July 12, 2011

    Thank you for your service to those of us in the, you know, um, REALTIY BASED WORLD! I am saddened by how the Overton window has moved back towards pre-Enlightenment viewpoints. The right side of my head is getting flat b/c of too much headdesk activity.

    If you were to take out the word ‘evolution’ and insert ‘sex ed’, ‘human physiology’ or ‘quantum physics’ it would be difficult to tell which was the original question these respondents were answering. Also – if it weren’t for having already heard the CA woman’s response, I would have thought this might be an Onion item. A hearty “F.O.A.D.” to the republican establishment for turning the concept of “American Exceptionalism” into some bibble – thumping contest over the past 40 years.

  2. #2 Adriana
    July 12, 2011

    O______O

    Most of them don’t even know what the theory of Evolution is about… so, there you go, that’s the best proof that evolution shoud be taught, and well taught, in school. It worries me how most of the ones who said ‘Yes’ used poor arguments such an “alternate explanation”, “both sides of the story”, “knowing the other part”, not valuating the theory for itself and as if they were living in a Catholic country (USA is a secular country, right?) where the biblic stories should come first, not to mention the importance of scientific proof to consider something ´teachable´.

    Miss Kentucky is the most stupidisterest, Vermont’s answer was one of the best.

  3. #3 CRM-114
    July 12, 2011

    I thank you for this.

    I could not have transcribed this without putting my BP into the red zone. Also, I had to read it in segments, alternating with distractions. I’m not strong enough to read it straight through.

  4. #4 Lotharloo
    July 12, 2011

    So, basically, we can tell the creationists to relax because even if we teach evolution in the class, the students don’t learn it anyways.

  5. #5 Jamie
    July 12, 2011

    Evolution is true because Nevada has “evolved from a small community to something much bigger than that?”

    With persuasive syllogisms like that, who needs to read Darwin at all?!?

  6. #6 sophie rose
    July 12, 2011

    It is so sad to listen to representatives of one of the great nations of the world show their lack of understanding of the importance of knowing about evolution and related sciences. To ignore scientific knowledge in favour of religious dogma is leading the USA down the path of ignorance and a lessening of that great scientific thinking that has taken them to the stars. Such a pity!

  7. #7 Nick (Matzke)
    July 12, 2011

    You deserve a medal for this!

  8. #8 Greatbear
    July 12, 2011

    If I ever need to know how to prevent lip gloss from smearing, I’ll contact one these beauty queens. I could give a rat’s ass what they think about anything else. And reading the first dozen or so of these statements just confirms that position.

  9. #9 John Pieret
    July 12, 2011

    You’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din.

    I managed to sit through it once (and to take your survey twice) but to transcibe it …

    Incidently, I’m not sure that Miss Idaho said “knowledged about” but might have said “knowledgable about” but sinply swallowed the last syllable. But far be it from me to send your ears back to bleed some more.

  10. #10 JB
    July 12, 2011

    I say if they don’t “believe” in evolution there is no need to give them flu vaccines.

  11. #11 Vince whirlwind
    July 12, 2011

    I suppose Vermont’s not bad, but this is the one I liked best:

    “09:46.45
    NM: I think evolution should be taught in schools because evolution is based off of science and I think science is a huge thing that we need to continue to enrich our schools with.”

    She has exactly the right attitude, regardless of how clever she is, or is not.

  12. #12 Ned
    July 12, 2011

    I’m from CT and I’m very happy to see that she was succinct and did not equivocate that it should be taught.

  13. #13 rork
    July 13, 2011

    Like, you know, the goofy animals in Australia and New Zealand and Madagascar and the Galapagos just show the capricious nature of the creator, just like, you know, that almost all the fossils are from extinct species. Evolution can never explain that funny stuff and so should not be taught. I never learned anything about it.

  14. #14 antifia
    July 13, 2011

    You wonder what makes the organizers include such a question in the contest anyway. They either know what to expect and do it to have a laugh by exposing these young ladies to public ridicule or, worse: they actualy think that their contribution is relevant to the debate. It is not my intent to belitle their intelectual potential here; I am just saying that at this stage of their lives they are not in a position to evaluate the merits of any scientific theory. The whole thing just seems cruel to me.

  15. #15 Jack S.
    July 13, 2011
  16. #16 Chris Talerico
    July 13, 2011

    Next could someone ask them if the noise my car is making is going to cause problems down the line, or if I should have this mole on my arm looked at?

  17. #17 Rob Jase
    July 13, 2011

    And world peace!

  18. #18 Mari
    July 13, 2011

    I dunno… isn’t this a bit like kicking puppies? Such an easy target. Is anyone really going to take science or educational advice from any of these young ladies anyway?

  19. #19 Joe in A2
    July 13, 2011

    That wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought. Everyone made it seem like each contestant was simply saying “no”. A lot of dumb answer for sure, but not nearly as bad.

  20. #20 CRW
    July 13, 2011

    Visualize whirled peas.

    Why does anyone care what a bunch of plastic bobbleheads have to say? Pageant participants are anything but the paragon of intelligence and education. Let’s question next year’s crop of Rhodes scholars and see what they have to say. I guarantee it will be more meaningful.

    The fact that so many of them thought you needed “belief” to understand evolution shows how little most them understand about *basic* science.

  21. #21 BIOETHICS TODAY
    July 13, 2011

    Belief is the key concept here. The contestants are a sufficiently representative sample of American young people (of course with many confounders). Creationists have succeeded in many parts of the country in branding the theory of evolution as a belief. And as creationism is also a belief, the two can be reasonably equated on this severely distorted view. The significance and impact of evolution as a scientific theory is missed by many. As well, the overall concept of “theory” in science as distinct from “theory” in regular parlance has also been missed. This profound confusion is another effect of the rapid U.S. slippage in science and math education. We are increasingly being left at the station of ignorance as the train of relevance chugs further and further away.

  22. #22 Vince whirlwind
    July 13, 2011

    ….which is why I liked NM’s answer: she immediately equated evolution with science, and pointed out that science is a good thing.
    She made no reference whatsoever to “theories” or creationism.
    Perfect answer in my book.

  23. #23 Beckenor
    July 13, 2011

    My favorite is the Iowa, because she thinks that evolution is a class, like Algebra or Physics, instead of a major facet of biology.

    If evolution was just an elective, what would they teach in the required science classes?

  24. #24 Ian
    July 14, 2011

    Pageant culture gave us Sarah Palin.

  25. #25 Megan
    July 14, 2011

    I am both a former pageant winner and a career research biologist(say what you will, there is a LOT of scholarship money available there). I want to thank you for writing about science with clarity, honesty and humor. It’s time to take back control of the conversation. In our amazing society it shocks me to still hear, “we really don’t know… where the first person came from”.

  26. #26 Pierce R. Butler
    July 14, 2011

    WY: It’s ki…

    Last I heard, Wyoming ranked fairly low for teachers of aikido and other practices where that word would be used. How do you know she didn’t say, “It’s key…”?

  27. #27 Knightly
    July 14, 2011

    I’m sorry, but these individuals were not exactly chosen for their intellect or education. Some of them may be intelligent, such as Megan here, but pageants are still about looking pretty.

    …Why do we care in the slightest about their opinions again?

  28. #28 Remo
    July 14, 2011

    I wish one of the contestants had said:

    “I think evolution should be taught because you need to understand how it works if you are going to be a doctor, a scientist, or a generally well-educated person — but some people are going to be beauty pageant contestants (and politicians), so it really should just be an elective”

    Megan, You go girl! We need more contestants like you.

  29. #29 Web Design
    July 15, 2011

    This is just too funny. Good job they don’t end up running the world or anything.

  30. #30 Kristina
    July 15, 2011

    As someone who has been involved in pageants as a contestant, judge, director, web admin and promoter, I watched these mini interviews several times each to “rate” the contestants. I really appreciate the transcript. : )

    I was disappointed that so few established that the theory of evolution is about more than the origins of the universe/our earth. And surely all those ladies who said students should learn both sides and make up their minds didn’t mean that quite the way it came out. What else do students get to make their minds up about the existence of after having heard ” both sides” ? Gravity, reproduction, combustion engines?

    I wanted to say to antifia, pageant interviews can be “cruel” but except for the top pageants (Miss America, and Miss USA) contestants answers are usually not recorded and available to the public. The aim is not to humiliate the contestants or to aggrandize their opinions, but to test their mettle. Do they fall apart when presented with a controversial topic? Are they willing to state an opinion, and able to do so in a diplomatic way?

    And to anyone who cares, these “interviews” did not count towards the score at Miss USA; they were for entertainment purposes only. “Fans” who watched these mini-interviews were able to vote on their favorite to make it through to the finals, but the judges did not see them. The interviews that DID count almost assuredly included some other “controversial” and tough questions. Miss USA need not be a rocket scientist, or even have an above average IQ, but she DOES have to be able to speak in public without crumbling or offending a lot of people.

    I’ve seen one or two other posts on science blogs about these videos which proves that these videos fulfilled their purpose – to get people talking about the Miss USA Pageant -good, bad or indifferent.

    Again I REALLY appreciate the transcripts. : )

  31. #31 JJF
    July 15, 2011

    Kristina, with all due respect, the videos fulfilled their purpose only if the purpose was to make a laughingstock of Miss USA contestants. The question was truly a softball, not “controversial,” and the only answer should have been an unqualified yes. Exactly one, Miss Connecticut, got it right. 98% blew it. That falls somewhere between hilarious and frightening.

  32. #32 humanapexx
    July 16, 2011

    “It was a hard job, but someone had to do it.”

    Many thanks for your hard work. Now I can read their bullshit without having to look at their stupid looking faces.

    Human Ape

  33. #33 Chris Lee
    July 16, 2011

    WARNING: Sarcasm alert! (just in case anyone thinks I believe this)
    Oh, these scientists and their theories. They’re just guessing. The theory that the planets (including earth) rotate round the sun is “just a theory” because we can’t stick a stake in the ground and watch how they all move round it so we should be teaching geocentricity alongside heliocentricity. The stars can’t be more than 4000 light years away otherwise their light wouldn’t be visible as they’ve only been around that long. I think it’s hard to say that the “round world” theory has much going for it these days – that’s a tough one to get past. There isn’t enough water vapor in the atmosphere to cover all the land masses no matter how hard or how long it rained but maybe there was more water then. An ark that would take two of every species on the planet would be the size of a small country but hey, maybe Noah had a miniaturization ray (idea for movie: “Honey, I shrunk the animals”). As for atomic theory, who’s ever seen one with the naked eye? All this science stuff is just a bunch of theories. We should be teaching facts that come straight from the guys who know all the answers because God gave them to them and treat these theories as what they are – just guesses by a bunch of heathens.

  34. #34 Isabella
    July 16, 2011

    I personally agree with Miss Mississippi’s answer.

    MS: I think evolution should be taught as what it is, it’s a theory so I don’t think it should be taught as fact, but I do think our children should know the theories that are involved in different sciences.

    True, she probably doesn’t have much knowledge of the actual theory, but she’s right. Evolution should be taught in schools, because the theory isn’t going to disappear just because people choose to ignore it. However, teachers need to emphasize that Darwin’s theory of evolution is just that – a theory (NOT fact), and should be taught as such.

    [That said, in public schools at least, religion should probably be left out of the equation. I think the fact that other theories, like biblical creation, exist should be mentioned, but the actual teachings should be left for the home and/or church/mosque/temple/etc.]

  35. #35 jre
    July 18, 2011

    I just had the great pleasure of participating in your TAM workshop with Eugenie Scott and Donald Prothero. To anyone who read the above and is having trouble finding a reason to go on, I say despair not! There are many, many smart people out there who are dedicated to the principles of the enlightenment and hip to the opposition’s tricks. If we stay alert and stick together, the flame of reason is not likely to be extinguished any time soon.

    We now resume our regularly scheduled cynicism and depression.

  36. #36 Elizabeth-Anne Grummitt
    March 24, 2013

    So, most of them think evolution should be taught in schools. I’d rather read an article about the poor state of education that led these ladies, many of whom express themselves very well, to have an inadequate understanding of what the theory of evolution is, or possibly the hypocrisy of Miss USA pretending that it cares a fig for the contestants’ opinions or intelligence. But I suppose laughing at them passes the time for some.

  37. #37 Erin Kelly
    United States
    March 24, 2013

    In all fairness, nobody asks 18-year old boys their opinions on science or politics. I doubt they’d do much better.

  38. #38 Calpurnius
    United States
    March 24, 2013

    Exceptional example of “Everything is good because somewhere someone might believe, think, or feel differently, and everything and everyone MUST be inclusive. Unicorns fart rainbows. Thank you.”

  39. #39 Sharon
    March 24, 2013

    Yeah… I’m gonna go with exploitative here. We are selecting, assessing, and rewarding these women based solely on their appearance, and now they have to be erudite as well or be subjected to mockery? No.

  40. #40 Matt Underwood
    UK
    March 24, 2013

    Well Josh.. I hope you feel like the big man now. Look at you.. knowing some stuff the pretty girl doesn’t. Glad to see you used that knowledge to mock somebody.

    Now if you’d pondered the question from the point of, “Look at how a cross section of the US responds to a question of how evolution should be taught in schools” then you might have been on to something.

    Nice.

    Matt.

  41. #41 Kim
    March 24, 2013

    First, thanks for posting the transcript, it was painful to read and I can only imagine listening to it to get it all down. Evolution is science – as Neil deGrass Tyson said – On science: “The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it.”

  42. #42 Fritzi
    Germany
    March 25, 2013

    I don’t think the contestants wholly understand what it means to have religious education in public schools… The born-agains in Germany opt out of religious education classes in public schools because the theology taught there is too liberal for them (sort of like what Miss MN was taught).
    However, I look forward to the day when ALL versions of “the other side of the story” are presented in American schools; simply for the righteous indignation that will result.

  43. #43 Mark Beard
    United Kingdom
    March 25, 2013

    NOW HOLD ON A COTTON PICKIN’ MINUTE…

    These girls are contestants in a popularity contest and many are answering a divisive question in a way likely to alienate the least number of people. This is typified by the response of Miss Utah at 12:30 (see the anxiety in her face on the video). So perhaps we should interpret this less as a reflection of these contestants’ views, and more as a reflection of what they think is acceptable to say to remain popular.

  44. #44 龍山
    Toronto, Canada
    March 25, 2013

    the real question-why do we ask beauty pageant boneheads questions like this in the first place?

  45. #45 Abhi
    India
    March 25, 2013

    5mins into the video, i just STOPPED! You know why? Bcoz growing up in India, most kids my age always looked up at the US for leading in the field of science, space exploration, innovation.. So it was not uncommon when as kids we argue, for someone to justify their statement by saying “This is true bcoz the americans proved it” But going through this video, I am saddened & disturbed. If this is the way the educational system & mindset of a young, supposedly high school (at least) educated woman is, we in India are like way ahead.

  46. #46 Rob
    March 25, 2013

    Isabella, evolution is both a fact and a theory. Evolution happened and happens; that’s a fact. The theory is the larger explanatory model, the details of which can be updated and changed through research and new evidence. It does not mean that evolution is just a good idea that may or may not turn out to be true. That’s the wrong dictionary definition of theory.

  47. #47 Josh Rosenau
    April 1, 2013

    Since some recent commenters seem to have missed this, I created that transcript in the process of putting together this post that looks at these comments from the contestants by asking (to quote Matt) “how a cross-section of the US responds to a question about how evolutions should be taught in schools.” That was almost 2 years ago, FWIW.

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