Getting evolution right

May 13, 2007

Odd thing happened the other day: The Philadelphia Inquirer carried an editorial that rather accurately described evolution theory. Just when I’m ready to lambaste my colleagues in print media, they come through.

The editorial’s point of departure was the Republican “debate” among presidential contenders, in which they were asked whether they support evolution or creationism. Three of the candidates confessed they don’t “believe” in evolution.

Why did these three, all of whom wish to be the leader of the most powerful country in history, say they did not believe in evolution? There might be thousands of reasons. Perhaps they misheard: “I’m just curious: Is there anyone on this stage who doesn’t believe in elocution?” But two reasons are more likely:

(1) They really don’t think evolution exists. As in, it’s not happening and never did. We got here some other way. There’s no evidence for it.

Uh, yeah, there is. Although technically a theory, Charles Darwin’s version of the evolution of species is a theory-with-the-status-of-fact, robust and vigorous, demonstrated in living color each and every day in field and laboratory everywhere. No jury is “out.” The verdict’s in and everybody’s gone home. Way home.


(2) These men raised their hands because they knew it would get them votes from religious conservatives.

Tancredo, Huckabee and Brownback know they need the Christian conservative vote to win the Republican nomination. Christian conservatives don’t like Rudy Giuliani. They’re lukewarm on John McCain, perplexed by Mitt Romney.

But any candidate who would ignore science to attract conservative votes has made a lousy calculation.

The newspaper’s editorial board concluded:

So, while pundits are calling the evolution flap an embarrassment to the GOP, what it really is is a call to the Republican faithful: “We’re in trouble. If we don’t rally on the wedge issues now, by 2008, a Republican majority may seem as far away as the Planet of the Apes.”

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Carnival still in town? We didn’t miss it?

May 13, 2007

History Carnival 52 was up on May 1 at Clioweb. What sort of a fog have I been in? Check out especially this post at Food History, demonstrating several uses of critical thinking tools as they might analyze the bizarre idea that most meat in Middle Ages Europe was rancid, thereby leading to a rise in the use of spices. Spices don’t make up for stomach cramps, for example. There must be some sort of critical thinking exercise in there for a world history class.

Carnival of the Liberals 38 came online earlier this week, at This Is So Queer. With fires raging in the hills around Burbank — documented with eerily beautiful photography — a fire of war in Iraq, and a fire around the Second Amendment, posts collected at the carnival offer fuel for intellectual fires on big issues.

Moton HS historical markerAnd, the venerable Carnival of Education, issue 118, was up earlier at NYC Educator, with good posts on laptops in school, parenting, administering, enduring, and everything else related to education. (Click on the photo for a larger image — it’s the historical marker at the former Robert R. Moton High School, in Prince Edward County, Virginia — where one of the most poignant of the cases against school segregation began, Davis vs. Prince Edwards County Schools — part of the Brown vs. Topeka Board of Education case decided in 1954. Photo from Virginia Commonwealth University.)

Carnival of Homeschooling 71 lolls, at On The Company Porch.

And, of course, if you wish to nominate a post for the next Fiesta de Tejas!, scheduled for June 2, just use this button:

Blog Carnival submission form - fiesta de tejas!

Have a good Mother’s Day — call all the mothers you know. Why be picky?

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