Palin: Pro-Intelligent Design, or Just Anti-Thought?

By Melissa Lafsky | September 2, 2008 10:12 am

So, yeah, Sarah Palin was named as McCain’s VP choice last Friday, in the slim chance that you hadn’t heard. The pro-hunting, anti-choice, pro-drilling, experience-lacking Alaskan governor already has the media—and much of the country—talking in circles about whether her nomination is a boon for women, conservative voters, the GOP, etc.—or a disaster. But while her “talk tough” ways may sound progressive, and her willingness to penetrate the “good ‘ol boys network” may signal a positive direction for the GOP, her views on teaching creationism are anything but encouraging.

The daughter of a public school science teacher (sweet irony), Palin had this to say during the Alaskan governor’s race when asked about teaching creationism in public schools (via Tapped):

“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. 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.”

When later asked to clarify her position, she backtracked into “I’m just promoting the free exchange of ideas” territory:

“I don’t think there should be a prohibition against debate if it comes up in class. It doesn’t have to be part of the curriculum.”

She added that, if elected, she would not push the state Board of Education to add such creation-based alternatives to the state’s required curriculum…

“I won’t have religion as a litmus test, or anybody’s personal opinion on evolution or creationism,” Palin said.

Which sounds like exactly what it is: a political maneuver to stick to the conservative, pro-ID platform while still ostensibly supporting science. But the most alarming remark came next:

Palin has occasionally discussed her lifelong Christian faith during the governor’s race but said teaching creationism is nothing she has campaigned about or even given much thought to.

We’ve covered the Sisyphean efforts science teachers are making to get some semblance of evolution taught in their classrooms—and the high costs that science “ineducation” may have on this country in the future. This is an issue that draws fierce disagreement nationwide and requires a full understanding of the complex theories—and mass influx of misinformation—that are dominating the debate. Do we really want a vice president who’s never really given it much thought?

Comments (5,389)

  1. Reginald Selkirk
  2. Juggernaut

    She’s obviously against forcing ID into the classroom, and just as obviously doesn’t understand the fear that the left has about even talking about it. Any opinion disagreeing with the libs must be silenced at any cost, freedom of speech is not for Conservatives. Sarah’s going to be a very large thorn in the left’s side for many, many years. Ha ha.

    Oh, and she’s not “anti-choice,” she’s pro life, i.e. anti murder, as opposed to Obama.

  3. peter

    as for “anti murder”…with her other simplistic, stereotypical, ignorance based world view I’m confident she’s all for “killing prisoners” (that’s also called the “death penalty”). So “anti murder” ain’t what she stands for. Thus far the evidence suggests she’s all about “poor parenting” and “bad choices” based on fear, limited experience and a small brain.

    Predictions are: Picking Sarah Palin for VP will make the simply incompetent choice of Harriet Meyers (supreme court justice nominee) look like inspired genius.

  4. I’m not surprised that her knowledge of history is weak and her point of view on Creationism is not fully formed. For god’s sake, the woman is a wife, a mother of 5, the governor of a state, is breast feeding a baby, and a special needs one at that. Her plate is full!

    Of course, with all that going on, one wonders how she’s ALSO have time to campaign for national office (she’s not giving up her governorship until elected) AND help her teenage daughter go through the difficulties of pregnancy, marriage, and raising an infant.

    I’m all for multi-tasking, but I don’t know if I want my vice-president to be quite that distracted…

    Peter
    http://www.FlashlightWorthyBooks.com

  5. joe

    The thing about evolution theory debate that puzzles me is while we are told that something like 80% of Americans reject Darwin, we still seem to have an ample supply of scientists- some of whom also hold strong religious views. In the past when we were really kicking scientific butt, that number could only have been higher. So, what I mean is, why is it obvious we need everyone or even a larger minority to accept Darwin (as I do) to be a better country? Am I missing something? Put another way, who cares what people happen to believe as to the origin of life? Perhaps so far as many liberals are concerned the answer is that they feel that Darwin puts science on their side against religion generally…

  6. Joe and Melissa are both correct:

    There are about three people who are actually qualified to speak on the subject in its entirety, and people most commonly just abuse very incomplete science for the sole purpose of furthering their political agenda and fight their culture war. This is true of both sides, including scientists , and science has absolutely nothing to do with it.

    Seriously, Palin doesn’t have a clue beyond the party line, and liberals are using this typical alarmist tactic to keep female democrats from falling for this republican play for them.

  7. Dan

    The problem I have with Creationism is that it seems to halt all investigation of natural processes beyond our level of understanding at the time the Bible was written: “God did it; that explains it; end of discussion.” This is based on the self-evident fact that, since life on earth is so wonderfully complex, it cannot possibly have happened without an Intelligent Designer. My reply to that is that the idea of an Intelligent Designer is so wonderfully complex, it cannot possibly have happened without an Intelligent Designer:

    Big fleas have little fleas
    Upon their backs to bite ‘em.
    And little fleas have lesser fleas,
    And so, ad infinitum.
    — Ogden Nash

    I’m still waiting for paleontologists to discover a dinosaur fossil with a saddle on it, as depicted in the Creationist Museum.

    As for abortion, the pro-life people want to define it as murder, and they want to define most contraception as abortion (http://www.suntimes.com/news/marin/1139448,CST-NWS-marin02.article). That makes any woman who wants to take the pill, or get an IUD, or actually seek an abortion subject to prosecution for murder and, I presume, the death penalty, since that’s usually the preferred pro-life sentence for murderers. I just want them to be honest about the implications of their beliefs.

  8. “She’s obviously against forcing ID into the classroom, and just as obviously doesn’t understand the fear that the left has about even talking about it.”

    Yes, that’s her stance….It’s been well-known in Alaska that…

    “As far as I know, Gov. Palin has not been aggressive on this front,” Matt Olson, a biology professor at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, said in an e-mail. “Up to now she has not pushed an agenda to teach creationism in public schools.”

    There has been a push of accusing Gov. Palin of trying to force ID in the school which is totally false, if anything the University in Alaska would have been outraged, the ACLU would have been suggesting court action, and it would have been all over the blogs if she tried to force ID in the public schools in Alaska.

    There is a difference with her with believing in ID and actually enforcing it while in public office.

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