Which Republican Presidential Candidates have a Titanium Spine?

Republican presidential candidates at tonights night’s debate in Ames, Iowa should be asked whether they agree with Newt Gingrich’s 2006 statement, “I believe evolution should be taught as science, and intelligent design should be taught as philosophy.” Most would much rather spend their evening calling President Obama a socialist or demanding Tim Geithner’s resignation rather than being forced to choose sides in a debate which scientists resolved long ago. But answering this question will go a long way in telling us about their backbone, their sanity and their vision for creating jobs in the 21st century.

It would also make interesting theater.

Will Newt Gingrich crawfish away from his earlier statement as he did when he renounced his prior concerns about climate change?

Will Jon Huntsman stand by what he said in 2005, that “intelligent design should not be taught in science classes and that the time to talk about [intelligent design] comes largely at home or in religious settings,” or will he back off to pander to the religious right?

Mitt Romney has been running away from a lot of the best things he’s ever said and done, including providing a blueprint for health care reform with “Obamneycare.” Does Romney still think evolution should be taught in science class like he did in 2007 when he asserted, “science class is where to teach evolution” and “if we’re going to talk about more philosophical matters… that’s for the religion class or philosophy class or social studies?”

Let’s not forget Tim Pawlenty, because he’s easily forgettable. Will he finally realize that pandering to the creationists won’t help him outflank Michelle Bachmann and Sarah Palin? They’ve already cornered the market on crazy. In 2008 Pawlenty explained that “Governor Palin has said intelligent design is something that she thinks should be taught along with evolution in the schools, and I think that’s appropriate.” He also said, “Intelligent design is something that, in my view, is plausible and credible… from an educational and scientific standpoint, it should be decided by local school boards at the local school district level.” By the way, Governor, no gold star for you with that answer. It’s not a local issue; it’s a constitutional one. Teaching creationism in public schools was found unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in Edwards vs. Aguillard back in 1987. And intelligent design, which is essentially creationism dressed up in a lab coat to make it appear scientific, was also found unconstitutional in Dover vs. Kitzmiller in 2005 (P. 43, 137).

The ultimate panderer is physician turned congressman Ron Paul. Paul’s libertarian cult followers are largely in support of evolution, but he knows they alone can’t win him the election. That’s why when he’s talking about evolution, he panders by saying things like “it’s a theory… and I don’t accept it.”

If the Republican candidates aren’t pandering, they’re just plain nuts. Paging Michele Bachmann. Bachmann seriously believes that “there is a controversy… over evolution” and there is “reasonable doubt” about it’s validity. Why? Because she believes “there are hundreds and hundreds of scientists, many of them holding Nobel Prizes, who believe in intelligent design.” So far, these Nobel Prize winning scientists only exist in her head, because she hasn’t come up with a single name.

These men and women are in the running to be leader of the free world and to take on the responsibility to put America back on top. We’re ranked 23rd globally in science according to the Program for International Student Assessment. What’s their plan to close the science deficit? If we’re serious about creating jobs and winning the future, we need to be number one in science education. To get to the top spot, we don’t have time to waste pandering to the religious right and pretending that evolution is not science.

Coming from Louisiana, the one state in the country that actually has a creationism law, I can see its effects firsthand. Too often Louisiana students don’t have the science background they need to compete with kids from around the world for admission into college and to get cutting edge science jobs when they graduate. And this anti-science attitude is driving away scientists and science investment and even tourism revenue from our state. While the rest of the world is competing to see who can teach science best, we are wasting time, energy and resources re-debating settled science.

We should not be putting creationism into public school science classes. Instead we should be teaching science better than every other country.

That’s why this question should be asked at Ames. We need to know which of these candidates is going to pander to the creationists. Politicians used to be able to say one thing and do another once they were elected, but not anymore. With the debt limit brinkmanship, the Tea Party has proven they will hold the Republicans to their pandering promises. America deserves to know who has the “titanium spine” needed to lead our country and who wants us to stay 23rd in science education.

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5 Responses to Which Republican Presidential Candidates have a Titanium Spine?

  1. roybaty says:

    Can any of you darwinists provide a single transitional fossil that darwin said would be found in the millions. That’s right you can’t. Nor can you explain how any complex organism “evolved” into another. This is the reason that you are so protective of your hoax, and so hateful ANY dissenting opinions. Yours is NOT science, its fraud.

    • Zack Kopplin says:

      First, every fossil is transitional. Secondly, most bones are not preserved as fossils, so it is understandable that every different stage of each evolutionary branch of animals won’t be completely documented.

      Third, here are some lists of transitional fossils, you could have easily found them through Google.

      Also, the NCSE has a page on Transitional Fossils that I would recommend (I would also recommend reading through anything that has been written by the NCSE, it is usually extremely well done).

      And for one more link about evolution, I’m going to refer you to Berkeley’s evolution page.

      On a final note, evolution is extremely well supported and the overwhelming majority of the scientists, and especially biologists agree on this. I tend to trust the what the overwhelming majority of the experts when it comes to science.

    • Tenncrain says:

      roybaty said, “This is the reason that you are…so hateful [of] ANY dissenting opinions”

      If dissenting opinions end up having have better scientific evidence confirmed by independent scientists, this can win over the scientific consensus despite any strong initial resistance. Click here for examples, including where Darwin’s cornerstone idea of natural selection was shown to be incorrect in a few cases.

      Here are more challenges by mainstream scientists of aspects of current evolutionary theory, including by biologist William Provine (showing that even Provine, a rather outspoken atheist, doesn’t defend Charles Darwin at all costs).

      If anything, it would be refreshing for creationist ‘scientists’ like Kurt Wise to routinely participate in the mainstream science peer-review process. But unless anti-evolutionists someday come up with real scientific experiments, unless anti-evolutionists routinely publish their results in mainstream science peer-review journals, unless they routinely show up at mainstream science meetings/seminars, anti-evolutionists only have themselves to blame.

      Unless any scientific evidence against evolution is finally accepted by the scientific consensus, science classrooms need to reflect what the scientific consensus accepts.

      Yes, all science facts/theories/laws are considered tentative and thus can always be revised or even rejected. But the virtual lack of scientific research done by anti-evolutionists is very telling. It’s also telling how anti-evolutionists mostly rely on the political process (appealing to school boards, state legislatures) in order to bypass the science peer-review process.

      BTW, I’m an ex-YEC (I grew up a young-earth creationist).

  2. Mick says:

    Y’know the funny thing here is that I actually do hope the US elects a staunchly creationist right wing president that immediately sets about destroying all science he sees as being contrary to his personal nonsense ideas…

    That might sound like a disaster but of course that’s relative…

    If Romney or Perry win the election their right wing buddies will be all over them to assert and stamp the creationist gravy train craziness into legislation…

    Science will go out the window, research will hot foot out of the US like rats deserting the sinking ship (as if they need any more hints the water line is rising)

    And during all of this madness as we all know the philosophy of both ID and creationism will simply halt all research in biology, medicine, probably chemistry and physics too (we can’t have those terrible things like radiometric dating knocking about). For sure geology and meteorology will die quickly and for the most part anyone including the oil companies, biomed, pharma and technology industries will hire from other nations that have staff qualified to help them.

    And during all this time the benefactors will be the other educated english speaking nations that are forging ahead in science.

    So while Rome burns the rest of the world will be doing very nicely indeed and I’m sure the Chinese will pick up the slack without having to worry about who their new customers will be in the medium to long term.

    Now why on earth would anyone want to see this come to pass you might ask? Well I’m European, Irish to be precise… and in this case whats a disaster for the US I just see as part of the normal process of civilizations rising and falling… as Robert K. Dick says in his famous book on gnetic modification… the star that burns so brightly burns for the shortest of periods and the USA has burned so very bright…

    So move over… adopt the nonsense of creationism… let anyone with half a brain leave the country as it collapses into theocracy…

    And the rest of us will just shrug, scratch our heads in bafflement as poverty takes hold and get on with it…

  3. Thomas Groover says:

    Hey Zack: I live in Houston, and in fact was the guy who offered to fly evolutionary biologist Nick Matzke to Houston for a lunch discussion with James M. Tour at the Rice faculty cafeteria. You can read the thread where I made this offer. In fact the thread was after a post to introduce to the intelligent design community to James M. Tour who does not ‘get’ Darwinian evolution. I posted in the thread as MSEE: http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/a-world-famous-chemist-tells-the-truth-theres-no-scientist-alive-today-who-understands-macroevolution/

    Since I earned an MSEE from UT Austin, you might gather that I am substantially trained in the sciences and mathematics. Now I have a few of questions for you:

    1. Is Dr. Tour’s science a science of the future?

    2. Since you say Darwinian evolution is the basis for the science of the future, does that exclude Dr. Tour’s science since he doesn’t ‘get’ Darwinian evolution?

    3. Since I am a supporter of the ID project, to the exclusion of the 19th century naturalist, does that mean I have no future?

    4. Unlike creationism, ID proposes no scenarios for the emergence of the life forms on the planet. So I would ask given the previous, why do you equate ID with creationism by referring to it as ID creationism?

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