Sarah Palin The Creationist

She’s okay with creationism being taught in Alaska’s public school science classes. Ugh. Well, it could be worse; if you RTFA, you’ll see that she clarified her initial “teach the controversy” statements to the Anchorage Daily News:

In an interview Thursday, Palin said she meant only to say that discussion of alternative views should be allowed to arise in Alaska classrooms:

“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.

Members of the state school board, which sets minimum requirements, are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Legislature.

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

Well, that’s on the margin of acceptability. I’d agree that if a student brings up the issue of creationism in science class, the teacher has no choice but to deal with the idea and talk about the subject, and there should be no sanctions to either student or teacher for that. That isn’t much of a statement, I realize. But the kids need to learn evolution because that’s science. Religion they can learn at home, free from governmental interference.

I say that because because even if someone’s religion were to pronounce that π = 3 in math class* doesn’t mean that the statement has to be treated as worthy of “equal respect,” any more than the theory aetherial vorticies have to be treated with “equal respect” to the theory of gravity, or the stork theory deserves to be given serious treatment in a sex ed class.

As for Palin and her putative sympathy to creationism. Well, no one was going to be perfect, and I think a top priority for McCain was shoring up his skittish right base. Pain is acceptable to them — she’s a lifetime member of the NRA, personally proved her pro-life beliefs by carrying to term a Down Syndrome child recently, and is at least superficially friendly to creationism.

Query as to how much appeal she will maintain with disaffected and embittered Hillary Clinton supporters once they learn those things about her. I would have thought of Clinton supporters as moderate-to-liberal in political preferences, and rabidly pro-choice. But maybe there really are that many voters out there who want to see a woman, any woman, regardless of her views or policies or experience, holding Constitutional office in the White House.

* Judaism and Christianity – at least as interpreted by those who insist the Bible is “literally-every-word-is-infaliably-true-and-inspired-by-God” – make that claim. See 1 Kings 7:23. I doubt that even the ancient Hebrews believed in math so ludicrously bad, though; anyone who has ever built anything circular knows intuitively that π > 3.

Burt Likko

Pseudonymous Portlander. Homebrewer. Atheist. Recovering litigator. Recovering Republican. Recovering Catholic. Recovering divorcé. Recovering Former Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. House Likko's Words: Scite Verum. Colite Iusticia. Vivere Con Gaudium.


  1. Dang…. I totally commented in the wrong spot. This isn’t going too well.

  2. Your comments are still welcome, though. We all know what you meant.

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