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Palin: Pro-Intelligent Design, or Just Anti-Thought?

Reality BaseBy Melissa LafskySep 2, 2008 2:12 PM

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So, yeah, Sarah Palin was named as McCain's VP choice last Friday, in the slim chance that you hadn't heard. The pro-hunting, anti-choice, pro-drilling, experience-lacking Alaskan governor already has the media—and much of the country—talking in circles about whether her nomination is a boon for women, conservative voters, the GOP, etc.—or a disaster. But while her "talk tough" ways may sound progressive, and her willingness to penetrate the "good 'ol boys network" may signal a positive direction for the GOP, her views on teaching creationism are anything but encouraging. The daughter of a public school science teacher (sweet irony), Palin had this to say during the Alaskan governor's race when asked about teaching creationism in public schools (via Tapped):

“Teach both. You know, don’t be afraid of information. Healthy debate is so important and it’s so valuable in our schools. I am a proponent of teaching both. Growing up with being so privileged and blessed to be given a lot of information on, on both sides of the subject—creationism and evolution. It’s been a healthy foundation for me. But don’t be afraid of information and let kids debate both sides.”

When later asked to clarify her position, she backtracked into "I'm just promoting the free exchange of ideas" territory:

"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...

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

Which sounds like exactly what it is: a political maneuver to stick to the conservative, pro-ID platform while still ostensibly supporting science. But the most alarming remark came next:

Palin has occasionally discussed her lifelong Christian faith during the governor's race but said teaching creationism is nothing she has campaigned about or even given much thought to.

We've covered the Sisyphean efforts science teachers are making to get some semblance of evolution taught in their classrooms—and the high costs that science "ineducation" may have on this country in the future. This is an issue that draws fierce disagreement nationwide and requires a full understanding of the complex theories—and mass influx of misinformation—that are dominating the debate. Do we really want a vice president who's never really given it much thought?

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