The Flintstones Candidates: A Plague of GOP Evolution Deniers

Rick Perry really shows off his ignorance in New Hampshire:

“How old do I think the earth is? You know what, I don’t have any idea,” said the Texas governor when asked about his position on the issue by a woman and her son. “I know it’s pretty old so it goes back a long long way. I’m not sure anybody actually knows completely and absolutely how long, how old the earth is.”

Perry regarded evolution as “a theory that’s out there” and one that’s “got some gas in it.” He added that in the Lone Star State both creationism and evolution are taught to students in public schools. He explained, “I figure you’re smart enough to figure out which one is right.”

A. He clearly doesn’t understand what the word “theory” means in science.

B. He ACTUALLY claims his state is violating settled Constitutional law regarding the teaching of creationism in public schools.

C. How can Perry expect a child to be “smart enough” to figure out how Creationism is fractally wrong for himself, when Gov. Perry (presumably an adult) isn’t? You don’t teach kids both alchemy and chemistry and ask them to figure it out for themselves, after all.

Ken Ham lying to kids

And then God created the Brontosaurus Burger...

Of course, this striking ignorance of scientific fact hasn’t formed in a bubble. The fundamentalist Christian agenda imposing religious dogma in the realm of science education has been going on for decades. It’s just lately the race to the bottom among GOP candidates just has the appearance of accelerating. Some of the other candidates are either wishy-washy, or impossibly dense, on the subject.

Michele Bachmann:

“I support intelligent design,” Bachmann told reporters in New Orleans following her speech to the Republican Leadership Conference. “What I support is putting all science on the table and then letting students decide. I don’t think it’s a good idea for government to come down on one side of scientific issue or another, when there is reasonable doubt on both sides.”

Problem is, there isn’t anything “reasonable” about her side’s doubt.

And, I’m not even going to waste my time on Rick Santorum. I wasted my time on Michele Bachmann because her flailing about with complex subject matter is amusing to some extent. Santorum is not, in any way, amusing.

However, even Ron Paul, the ‘legalization’ candidate, gets in on the act:

You know it is a theory, nobody has concrete proof of any of this. But quite frankly I think it’s sort of irrelevant, that because we don’t know the exact details and we don’t have geologic support for evolutionary forms, it is a theory, even though it’s a pretty logical theory. But my concept of understanding of a creator is not related one bit to whether or not I or anybody has to believe in evolution or not believe in evolution.

The idea that if you don’t [?] believe in evolution means that you don’t believe in a creator is total nonsense. So I think this once again is overly played and we spend too much time on it. And besides, if you’re in politics it shouldn’t be a bother. This is something maybe not dealing with science as much with your own spiritual life, your personal beliefs. The important thing is that you have a political system where you can debate this and make a decision and government rule shouldn’t be based on this. If you have governments basing their rules on this, then it becomes very important. But in a libertarian society these beliefs aren’t nearly as critical.

Somehow he tries to tie the reality of evolutionary science into a “personal” matter, a deflection based on his so-called libertarianism. His stance on education is enough for me to think maybe the film ‘Idiocracy’ could actually come to fruition. If there’s no “proof” for the theory of evolution, that makes the position of creationism even that much more untenable, “Doctor” Ron.

Thanks to this consistent pull from the far-right fringe, the ‘Tea Party’ largely made up of religious social conservatives, the Republican party continues to foster too many candidates who are either providing dishonest lip-service to their arch-conservative constituents, or completely in bed with the anti-intellectual mobs.

Is it too much to ask that someone pull away from the grasp of superstition and dogma?

To be clear. I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy.

Oh, Jon Huntsman, tweeting against the engulfing tide of the theocratic and the delusional. Here’s to tilting at windmills, good sir!

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