Are any national-level politicians on record as completely writing off creationism?

Are there any politicians out there, with a national profile, who have been blunt and forthright about creationism’s scientific validity?

Anyone gone on record basically saying “It should not be taught in science classes … the evidence supports evolution”?

Rep Pete Stark? He’s an atheist, so I imagine that that precludes any belief in the validity of creationism or that it should be taught in science class.

Biden is strongly against creationism and has ridiculed it publicly.

But sadly, rational thought is seen as a negative trait by half of the country.

Ah, my own congressman.


Depends what you classify as “blunt and forthright”. Just a few weeks ago, Nature submitted a series of questions on science policy to both the current presidential candidates. I’d describe Obama’s answer as carefully worded rather than “blunt and forthright”, but it is indeed basically saying “[ID] should not be taught in science classes … the evidence supports evolution”. (McCain’s camp declined to take part; to get a comparison, Nature quotes from previous statements by him.)

I don’t understand why people are so opposed to talking about ID in the classroom. I wish I was able to find out the other side of the evolution debate so I could ask my teachers questions about it. Namely, why it’s ridiculous. Now I’m left to my own devices to try to prove it wrong. The reason 51% of people believe in ID is because no one’s ever dispelled it for them.

Therefore, it is totally unreasonable to assume that a politician that says “I think students should hear all view points.” is rooting for the ID side to win out. To me, it’s clear that McCain is saying “ID is phooey, and let’s teach that to the kids so they don’t grow up stupid.”

Except there is no “other side” and there is no debate. People actually thinking there are “two sides” to this is where the first problem lies. There’s not. There’s one side with a mountain of evidence and science backing it up, and there’s another side with absolutely no evidence, bad science, misconceptions, and other religious nonsense. ID is a scientifically unsupported, religious fairy tale and if people want to discuss it, they should be doing so in a theology class. ID shouldn’t be discussed in a biology classroom any more than astrology should be discussed in an astronomy class.

If “talking about it” means saying that it is complete and total bullshit, then I agree with you. Unfortunately, that’s not what it means.

ID would be an excellent topic in science class from the perspective of teaching the scientific method. Here is evolution, with all the research, evidence, and peer review that goes into developing a scientific theory. Here is ID, which has none of that (and therefore isn’t really science). One of the reasons so many people advocate the “teach the controversy” hooey is that they don’t understand what science and the scientific method are.

The word “creationism” can mean different things to different people. So, even if a politician didn’t mind alienating people he actually did disagree with, he’d have to be very careful how he worded his “complete writing off of creationism” so that he didn’t alienate a lot of other people as well (such as, for example, the people who believe that evolution is the (or a) mechanism God used to create the world’s plant and animal life).

I highly recommend you all see the Peabody-winning NOVA special “Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial,” about the Dover, Pa. intelligent-design controversy and subsequent Federal lawsuit. A fascinating account, with interviews with all of the major participants, including school board members, teachers, students, and even the judge who decided the case. Good stuff.

I assumed this was true when writing the OP, but I was curious is some politicians threw caution to the wind.

In another thread over in GQ, there is an ongoing discussion about future Republican presidential candidates. One was mentioned (LA governor Bobby Jindal), and then slapped down by another poster for being pro-intelligent-design-in-schools. I am wondering how many politicians – of either party – were able to get away with a strong and public denunciation of creation.

Does The Pope count ?