According to a recent Gallup poll, fully 40% of Americans reject the science of biological evolution altogether, believing literally the Bible Book of Genesis story in which God created the Heavens and the earth, as well as all plants, animals and human beings in six days time, just as they all appear in their myriad forms today. Another 38% believe that the same God personally guides the evolution process.
Only 16% of Americans – barely 8% of Republicans -- accept the factual observations and conclusions of Charles Darwin, in his landmark book, On the Origin of Species, published in 1859, together with the many subsequent scientific discoveries by every other credible biologist and geneticist since then, all supporting with solid proofs the well established science of biological evolution by means of natural selection -- without any Divine or supernatural intervention.
While the Democratic party has been held hostage by the left wing socialists for many years, the Republican party is likewise held hostage by the right wing religionists. The only party of reason are the Libertarians but few listen to them as we all know so well.
Republican candidates for president who voice their outright support for evolution do so at their extreme peril because it puts them “out of sync with [their] own party,” said Frank Newport, editor in chief of Gallup. "To very religious people, it’s a very sensitive issue," he added. He’s right.
Candidate, Jon Huntsman, who says he believes in evolution, has virtually no chance to win the Republican nomination. "You can’t win as the anti-science party, simply can’t win elections," he told Fox News. Maybe so, I sure hope so, but he surely can’t secure the Republican nomination without pandering slavishly to the religious right.
Many of the other GOP candidates are trying mightily to avoid any controversy and the resulting wrath of the right wing Bible thumpers by playing both sides of the issue in true obfuscating political form. “Both science and God are responsible,” they declare meekly with fingers crossed behind their backs.
Texas governor, Rick Perry, was caught dancing around the subject recently when a little New Hampshire boy, prompted by his mother, asked him how old the earth is. "I have no idea - it's pretty old. It goes back a long way - I'm not sure anyone knows really completely know how old it is," he answered. "I know your mom is asking about evolution," he added, seeking to have it both ways. "It's a theory that's out there and it's got some gaps in it. In Texas, we teach creationism and evolution because I feel you're smart enough to figure out which one is right."
If Perry is telling the truth, of course, then his state of Texas is violating the U.S. Constitution First Amendment Establishment Clause, and long held Supreme Court precedent, which prohibits the teaching of creationism in public schools. But Perry evidently knows what it takes to woo the early primary and caucus states voters of his party in Iowa and South Carolina and he’s not about to let a small matter like the Constitution stand in the way of political gain.
“What Perry has done by mentioning creationism is to send this little signal to fundamentalists that says, "I’m one of you,” political analyst Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics, said. Next question: “Why doesn’t governor Perry believe in science?”
Few politicians today have the raw courage to stand up to the legions of religionists like Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City did recently when he insisted he will not reconsider his decision to exclude clergy from the ceremony marking 10 years since the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center. To them, it was as though the mayor was committing an unforgivable sacrilege. They simply can’t stand to be left out of any government sponsored activity.
If a candidate for president like Perry, Michelle Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Sarah Palin, Herman Cain, or Newt Gingrich truly believes the Biblical creation story of Genesis literally, and rejects out of hand the science of biological evolution, they must believe also that our Earth is only 6,000 years old; that Earth existed before the Sun and the stars; that grass, herbs and fruit trees were growing before the first rain, and before the sun even began to shine; that humans lived side by side with the dinosaurs.
For my part, I really don’t care much about what fantasies people believe in until they decide they would like to govern my country as congressman, senator, or president of the United States.
I just don’t want to have to wonder whether their spiritual fantasy trumps reason and science in their conniving minds when it comes to making decisions affecting my liberty.