Republicans and Creationism

There is a story over on Cosmic Variance that is a most read for anyone planning to vote or to try and influence someone’s vote in the U.S. 2008 presidential elections. To quote Sean: “It was an embarrassing moment in the first Republican presidential debate when the participants were asked, “Does anyone not believe in evolution?”, and three candidates — Sam Brownback, Tom Tancredo, and Mike Huckabee — raised their hands. Embarrassing for those three, obviously, but also for the Republican party, in which they are far from unrepresentative, and for the United States, that anyone would even think to ask such a question of serious candidates for the highest office in the land.” (Read entire story here)

I’m currently annoyed. I’m going to go get on my elliptical bike until my brain slows to the speed at which I type.

8 Comments

  1. Aaron Jackson June 6, 2007 at 11:55 am #

    I couldn’t get either of the links in this post to work, but it could be a problem with Firefox I guess.
    Are you annoyed because people running for the office of president do not believe in evolution or because this issue has become a litmus test for those running for the office?

  2. Aaron Jackson June 6, 2007 at 12:57 pm #

    The links are working now. I guess I will never run for president, or at least I won’t be expecting to many votes from the scientific community.
    It is interesting to note that we use the same type of logic in Christian apologetics. “We accumulate more and more evidence in favor of one theory…”
    I think the issue of most import when scientists and theologians discuss truth is that of epistemology. It seems to me that scientists often have a faulty epistemology (a misunderstanding of what knowledge is and how it can be known). The premise that we can only know that which can be tested by the senses is itself untestable…a self-refuting statement. Science is built on a set of untestable presuppositions that must be accepted by faith before science can even happen, but for some reason this is not seen as a contradiction.

  3. Ed June 6, 2007 at 1:38 pm #

    While much is made of three Republicans in the debate believing in Creationism (or Intelligent Design), it should be noted that none of them are the front runners and for all practical purposes will not be nominated for the Republican ticket. It would have been much different if Giuliani, McCain, and/or Romney would have answered that way. (Not sure where Fred Thompson sits on this issue yet.)

    In other words, given that the Democrats are all evolution believers, as well as the leading Republicans, I don’t think the scientific community has much to worry about from this perspective at least.

  4. Autumn June 6, 2007 at 2:20 pm #

    Science lacks faith, and religion lacks science. What’s right is in the eye of the beholder. You can boast for one side or the other, scream bloody murder at eachother, and make general assumptions all you want but on an issue like this, but you’re not likely to change anyone’s mind because they have already decided if they are going to base their reality on fact or on faith.

    That said, if they start teaching any sort of Young Earth theories in public schools I am packing up my kids and moving to Holland.

  5. Aaron Jackson June 6, 2007 at 6:07 pm #

    I disagree. Science depends upon faith and religion is bolstered by science. Those that are willing not to look at the situation as black versus white can increase their knowledge on both sides of the table.
    Good point about these guys not being front runners. Regardless of my position, I would waste too much effort worrying about these particular candidates.

  6. pamela June 6, 2007 at 7:31 pm #

    There is more of this universe painted shades of gray then you’ll ever find cast in pure black or pure white.

    It concerns me when any educated leader disregards evolution. While none of these folks will (following probabilities) be president, the still have influence, a vote, and more of a voice than I do.

    It frightens me when any leader derides belief in evolution as “athiest theology.”

  7. Aaron Jackson June 6, 2007 at 8:28 pm #

    Surely you can see the connection between atheism and evolution? I’m not saying that if you believe in evolution you are a de facto atheist, but rather there is a much higher probability of your being an atheist than say, a Christian Theist. Not to mention that if you happen to be a theistic evolutionist, chances are high that you have a low view of the Bible. Again, not a necessary conclusion, but a higher probability. Of course a low view of the Bible creates huge problems with explaining your Christian worldview in a way that is cogent, comprehensive and non-contradictory.

    I think this is why so many Christians consider evolution as an “atheist theology”. Taken in light of the growing number of militant atheists, and the fact that (as you have demonstrated here) dissenting views are taken as pure ignorance and not even in the realm of possibility, you can see why such reactions occur.

    I have to take a small amount of offense with the idea that educated leaders must agree with evolution or else be considered unqualified for office. I’m not a doctor as you are, but I’m also more than a high school graduate and I do not adhere to the theory of evolution. I’m not saying that there isn’t evidence for evolution (there is much evidence), I am saying that a) there are problems with the theory at the biochemical level at least and perhaps problems that punctuated equilibrium does not answer (among others) and b) if I believe in a Theistic Christian worldview because the evidence points in that direction, then I must take the Bible as my authoritative norm or I end up with the problems I alluded to above. Having said that, I am not saying that theistic evolution is an impossibility, but I do believe it would require looking at Genesis in a way that I’m not convinced is the most appropriate hermeneutically. Nor am I saying that everyone that believes in evolution is an atheist or even a “bad” Christian. C. S. Lewis was an evolutionist for goodness sake!

  8. Ed June 7, 2007 at 2:35 am #

    Pamela, I have to disagree with you on one thing. You have more of a voice, I’ll listen to your 30-minute podcast over their 30-second commercial any day! ;-) Am I alone here??

Leave a Reply