January 14, 2008

Does Your Candidate Believe In Evolution?

Does it matter that most of the Republican presidential candidates (including Ron Paul) reject evolution? You bet it does! Panda's Thumb provides a link to a great article in Reason explaining why. I'll provide an excerpt below, but this is one you'll want to read.

From the Reason article by Ronald Bailey:
A larger question is whether a candidate's belief about the validity of evolutionary biology has anything to say about his or her ability to evaluate evidence. A January 4, 2008, editorial by Science editor Donald Kennedy correctly argues, "The candidates should be asked hard questions about science policy, including questions about how those positions reflect belief. What is your view about stem cell research, and does it relate to a view of the time at which human life begins? Have you examined the scientific evidence regarding the age of Earth? Can the process of organic evolution lead to the production of new species, and how? Are you able to look at data on past climates in search of inferences about the future of climate change?" Kennedy concludes, "I don't need them to describe their faith; that's their business and not mine. But I do care about their scientific knowledge and how it will inform their leadership."
I agree, and it baffles me how atheists who value science could support Ron Paul.
In a South Carolina forum, Paul was asked about his views on evolution, to which he replied, "I think it's a theory, the theory of evolution and I don't accept it as a theory." He also said that he thought it was an inappropriate question to be asking presidential candidates.
Not only do I consider this a vital question, but I am convinced that anyone who refuses to accept the foundation of modern biology probably disqualifies himself to lead America. To support an evolution denying candidate strikes me as comparable in some ways to supporting a holocaust denier.

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