The Republican Candidates and Evolution

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In summary, during a Republican Candidates debate, three candidates raised their hands when asked who does not believe in evolution. However, it is likely that these candidates were lying and actually do believe in evolution, as it is a common political strategy to change one's beliefs for political gain. It is also possible that the candidates who did not raise their hands were also lying about their beliefs. According to statistics, a majority of Republican voters do not believe in evolution, while a significant portion of Democratic voters also do not believe in evolution. The topic of evolution in politics raises questions about the role of personal beliefs and political strategy in seeking power and control over others.
  • #1
Economist
In case you haven't already heard, when the Republican Candidates were asked, "Who doesn't believe in evolution?" 3 of them raised their hand. If you didn't see it, I attached the clip below.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1485973023887850580&q=republican+evolution&total=119&start=0&num=10&so=0&type=search&plindex=5

I have been thinking about this for a few days now, and I honestly don't even believe the candidates. In my opinion, every person that raised their hand is lying, as I think all candidates (both Democrat and Republican) surely believe in evolution. In my opinion, this response was no different than any other politicians response to a question, in other words it's complete bs that serves another purpose. In this case, the Republican candidates lied because they think (and maybe correctly so) that claiming you reject evolution is a smart political move.

My analysis leaves me with the following unanwered questions. How sick and twisted does one have to be in order to intentionally lie about their personal beliefs, all for gain of power? How much of an egomaniac and how power hungry does one have to be to care about political office that much? How arrogant do you have to be to want so much control over the lives of other human beings?
 
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  • #2
You'd be amazed at how many people don't believe in evolution, or more accurately, don't understand it.
 
  • #3
I have dial-up, can you please tell me who raised their hands.
 
  • #5
To answer Economist's original question, it is very plausible that each of these three truly "does not believe in evolution." All I can say is, two down, one to go.
 
  • #6
It may actually be more than three who were lying...
 
  • #7
A little more fair representation of Huckabee's views on evolution. Probably not much better than raising his hand saying he doesn't believe in evolution, but at least a fuller representation of his beliefs.
 
  • #8
Does everyone reject my claim that there's a high probability they believe in evolution but don't want to admit it? Is that really that hard to believe? I mean, politicians flip-flop on all kinds of issues, changing their mind when it serves their political purpose. I see this as no different. I could be wrong, maybe they do not believe in evolution. However, I think there is a much greater chance that it was a political move.
 
  • #9
All three candidates who raised their hand are evangelical Christians, and Huckabee is a former evangelical minister. I truly doubt they are lying only about their opinions on evolution. Yes, politicians lie all the time, but not in this case.
 
  • #10
Economist said:
Does everyone reject my claim that there's a high probability they believe in evolution but don't want to admit it? Is that really that hard to believe? I mean, politicians flip-flop on all kinds of issues, changing their mind when it serves their political purpose. I see this as no different. I could be wrong, maybe they do not believe in evolution. However, I think there is a much greater chance that it was a political move.

I wouldn't reject your claim when it comes to Sam Brownback. He tries to claim he deserves the backing of every religion he's ever belonged to. I guess it could be a real religious conversion, but converting to Catholicism didn't change his views on evolution.

I'd believe Tancredo. He's never displayed the smarts necessary to be a suave political maneuverer. He's the type that only gets elected in districts where there's only one political party. Turnout in primaries are so small that any fanatic can get elected if there's nothing to check them in the general election. There's parts of Colorado (Colorado Springs included) that desperately need a Democratic Party even if the Democrats wind up more conservative than the Republicans.

Huckabee clearly doesn't reject evolution completely even if he's not willing to reject the Genesis story completely. I guess that's a pretty clear case of straddling the fence even if he's more to the anti-evolution side of the fence. He'd have an easier time in life if he didn't belong to a religion that takes such a literal translation of the Old Testament. In fact, I'm not sure how his religion can combine the Old Testament into any sort of coherent theme. Somewhere along the line they have to pick and choose which parts to take literally and which parts are "difficult to understand", so why Genesis?
 
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  • #11
Economist said:
Does everyone reject my claim that there's a high probability they believe in evolution but don't want to admit it? Is that really that hard to believe? I mean, politicians flip-flop on all kinds of issues, changing their mind when it serves their political purpose. I see this as no different. I could be wrong, maybe they do not believe in evolution. However, I think there is a much greater chance that it was a political move.
It's possible - but it is also possible that it was the ones who didn't raise their hands who were lying.
 
  • #12
russ_watters said:
It's possible - but it is also possible that it was the ones who didn't raise their hands who were lying.

I agree, that's possible. I'm not trying to claim that I know, and I totally realize that all I am doing is speculating.

I just think it's much more likely that everyone on that stage believes in evolution, and the decision to raise the hand or not came down to nothing other than political strategy.

Just like what Bill Clinton said about Jesse Jackson winning South Carolina. It was no accident or slip of the tongue. Slick Willy knew exactly what he was doing, in fact it was likely a premeditated statement.
 
  • #14
EL said:
68% of Republican voters do not believe in evolution (while 30% do).
Sometimes my own political affiliation disgusts me. Every time I read these statistics is one of those times ... and then I read stuff from the other side ...

Given these statistics, and given that political parties tend to be driven by their extremes, I would place more likelihood in Russ' assertion (some of those 7 who did not raise their hands were lying) than in Economist's.
 
  • #15
Ron Paul also does not believe in evolution:

 
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  • #16
Myself I would never ever be able to vote for a candidate who doesn't accept evolution.
If he's honest about it, he's simply stupid.
If he's lying, it proves he would basically lie about anything just in order to become president.
 
  • #17
EL said:
68% of Republican voters do not believe in evolution (while 30% do).
40% of Democratic voters do not believe in evolution (while 57% do).
48% of Americans do not believe in evolution (while 49% do).

D H said:
Given these statistics, and given that political parties tend to be driven by their extremes, I would place more likelihood in Russ' assertion (some of those 7 who did not raise their hands were lying) than in Economist's.

Interestingly enough, I believe the above numbers actually improve my chances of being correct. I'm pretty sure that belief in evolution and education are highly correlated, and I imagine that most of those Republican candidates are pretty educated. In other words, I find it hard to believe that people of their "status" don't believe in evolution. Furthermore, the fact that 68% of Republican's don't believe in evolution increases the payoff from lying about it.

Either way, I guess we'll never know.
 
  • #18
Economist said:
In other words, I find it hard to believe that people of their "status" don't believe in evolution.

As you say, we'll probably never know, but I'd actually not be very surprised if they are honest about it. Higher education is probably a good cure if it's in natural science, otherwise I'm not sure the effects are that big. If there are about 48% nuts, why shouldn't a few of them have been able to reach some positions...
 
  • #19
EL said:
If there are about 48% nuts, why shouldn't a few of them have been able to reach some positions...

Yeah, I've thought about this too. It's definitely possible (assuming the poll was well done).
 
  • #20
I've noticed there are some republican voters here at PF who (in other respects) seem quite reasonable. Question is then, would you as a republican ever be capable of voting for a candidate like Huckabee, or would you rather go for a scientific friendly democrat?

If I, hypothetically, were allowed to vote, I would definitely much rather put my vote on a sane republican than on a creationist democrat, even though my political views are much more on the liberal side.
 
  • #21
Why not start with a simpler question:
who believes the Earth is flat ? :smile:
 
  • #22
The real question is: Does that candidate respect the separation of church and state? Huck has stated that we need more of the Bible in the Constitution, so that alone disqualifies him for the job. And the fact is that all of the candidates are Christians who accept creationism on some level, so if we are to make any distinctions, we are really talking about fundamentalists and zealots who fundamentally reject science.
 
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  • #23
Moridin said:
Ron Paul also does not believe in evolution:



That's amazing. He's a physician! How many physicians reject evolution, I wonder?
 
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  • #24
EL said:
Adding some numbers:

68% of Republican voters do not believe in evolution (while 30% do).
40% of Democratic voters do not believe in evolution (while 57% do).
48% of Americans do not believe in evolution (while 49% do).

Source: http://www.gallup.com/poll/27847/Majority-Republicans-Doubt-Theory-Evolution.aspx

and if it wasn't for the link you posted, I would have said I don't believe these numbers...
 
  • #25
EL said:
I've noticed there are some republican voters here at PF who (in other respects) seem quite reasonable. Question is then, would you as a republican ever be capable of voting for a candidate like Huckabee, or would you rather go for a scientific friendly democrat?

A republican can respond to your question by asking if you would vote for a scientific minded democrat with ridiculous ideas as opposed to a creationist republican who had fairly sound ideas in all other areas?

Realistically speaking, evolution is not a big deal for most people. If a republican candidate promises a middle class taxcut while a democrat promises raisig taxes to balance the budget, something like evolution goes to the back of the line in terms of importance. Unless you have parkinsons disease, then things like stem cells, evolution, and creation become more important.

lisab said:
That's amazing. [Ron Paul] is a physician! How many physicians reject evolution, I wonder?
The ones who suck at their jobs. Isn't natural selection the concept of why you're supposed to take all of your antibiotics? If one bacterium survives, it evolves that strain to be immune to those antibiotics. This isn't exactly a far-out idea since it was media hyped for several years now. Remember how antibacterial soap is the end of the world and antibiotics are overprescribed? That's only the evolutionists who believe that. Creationists don't see that as a problem since evolution doesn't happen, man.
 
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  • #26
ShawnD said:
A republican can respond to your question by asking if you would vote for a scientific minded democrat with ridiculous ideas as opposed to a creationist republican who had fairly sound ideas in all other areas?
To make the question simpler then:
Who would you, as a republican, rather vote for: Obama or Huckabee?

Realistically speaking, evolution is not a big deal for most people. If a republican candidate promises a middle class taxcut while a democrat promises raisig taxes to balance the budget, something like evolution goes to the back of the line in terms of importance. Unless you have parkinsons disease, then things like stem cells, evolution, and creation become more important.
If evolution is a minor question for most americans, that's quite scaring. If people are not capable of spotting an (or actually, several) obvious nutcase(s), you can be sure a nut ends up in the top. (Well, we've already seen this happen. After his first four years it was pretty obvious GWB didn't have all his sandwiches in the picnic basket, and he still got reelected.)
 
  • #27
EL said:
To make the question simpler then:
Who would you, as a republican, rather vote for: Obama or Huckabee?
That's a bit of a strawman since you're taking a very specific example. I just mean in general does evolution take priority over things like foreign policy, taxes, spending, proposed laws, etc. In this specific case of the current US election, I think the people siding with evolution generally do have better foreign policy and spending policies, but that's just this one case. In the next election there might be a guy who's a creationist but he's against a bloated military, he's against rampant spending, he's in favor of social freedom, and he wants lower taxes for the lower and middle class. When that happens, we shouldn't automatically put him to the back of the line because of evolution. Vote on all the issues, not just 1 of them.


If evolution is a minor question for most americans, that's quite scaring. If people are not capable of spotting an (or actually, several) obvious nutcase(s), you can be sure a nut ends up in the top.
It is disturbing that a large percentage of Americans are functionally retarded in that sense, but it shouldn't be much of a problem as long as smart people are still a part of society. As long as the director of something like the CDC still believes in evolution, we're good. As long as the guys at the FDA believe in evolution, we're good. Leave science to the sciency people, leave politics to the politicians.
 
  • #28
EL said:
To make the question simpler then:
Who would you, as a republican, rather vote for: Obama or Huckabee?
Neither. You have zeroed in on my nightmare choice of candidates. Certainly some reasonable third party candidate would step into fill the void should this come to pass.
 
  • #29
russ_watters said:
It may actually be more than three who were lying...

I doubt it. Being Republican doesn't make you a fundie Christian. Even strong neocons can be agnostic or athiest. After all Reagon was famously nonChristian. It is more like the Republicans take advantage of the Christians rather than the other way around.
 
  • #31
I like the old saying (don't know who said it) that only in America do most people believe professional wrestling is real and the moon landing wasn't. I think I have as deep a faith as any of the candidates, but the evidence for evolution is overwhelming. Some of the mechanisms are still open to question, but the existence of evolution is no more open to question than, say, the 1st law of thermodynamics (oops, many Americans still believe you can burn water in your car). My lament is that so many of us are so ignorant about the very basics of science. Forums like PF are a help, but you can't get most politicians to participate.
 
  • #32
TVP45 said:
the 1st law of thermodynamics (oops, many Americans still believe you can burn water in your car). My lament is that so many of us are so ignorant about the very basics of science.

If it makes you feel any better, Asia has equally stupid ideas.

Fan Death!
"Many people in South Korea believe that when operated in closed rooms, electric fans cause sudden death, suffocating victims by stealing their oxygen."
:smile:
 
  • #33
ShawnD said:
If it makes you feel any better, Asia has equally stupid ideas.

Fan Death!
"Many people in South Korea believe that when operated in closed rooms, electric fans cause sudden death, suffocating victims by stealing their oxygen."
:smile:
And just when I was counting on China to forgive our debt and India to start opening factories here.
 
  • #34
What was the latest? 25% of Brits think that Gandhi and Churchill were myths...
 
  • #35
I'm thinking a position as a roadie with Douglas Adams is looking better and better.
 
<h2>1. What is the Republican stance on evolution?</h2><p>The Republican Party does not have an official stance on evolution. However, many Republican candidates tend to reject the theory of evolution and instead support the idea of intelligent design or creationism.</p><h2>2. Do all Republican candidates reject evolution?</h2><p>No, not all Republican candidates reject evolution. Some candidates, such as former Governor of Ohio John Kasich, have expressed belief in the theory of evolution.</p><h2>3. How does the rejection of evolution impact policies and decisions made by Republican candidates?</h2><p>The rejection of evolution can impact policies and decisions made by Republican candidates in various ways. For example, some candidates may oppose teaching evolution in schools or may support policies that limit scientific research on evolution.</p><h2>4. Are there any Republican candidates who support the theory of evolution?</h2><p>As mentioned before, not all Republican candidates reject evolution. Some, like John Kasich, have expressed belief in the theory of evolution. However, it is not a common belief among Republican candidates.</p><h2>5. How does the Republican stance on evolution compare to the Democratic stance?</h2><p>The Democratic Party generally accepts the theory of evolution and supports policies that promote scientific research and education on evolution. This is in contrast to the Republican Party, where many candidates reject or are skeptical of evolution.</p>

Related to The Republican Candidates and Evolution

1. What is the Republican stance on evolution?

The Republican Party does not have an official stance on evolution. However, many Republican candidates tend to reject the theory of evolution and instead support the idea of intelligent design or creationism.

2. Do all Republican candidates reject evolution?

No, not all Republican candidates reject evolution. Some candidates, such as former Governor of Ohio John Kasich, have expressed belief in the theory of evolution.

3. How does the rejection of evolution impact policies and decisions made by Republican candidates?

The rejection of evolution can impact policies and decisions made by Republican candidates in various ways. For example, some candidates may oppose teaching evolution in schools or may support policies that limit scientific research on evolution.

4. Are there any Republican candidates who support the theory of evolution?

As mentioned before, not all Republican candidates reject evolution. Some, like John Kasich, have expressed belief in the theory of evolution. However, it is not a common belief among Republican candidates.

5. How does the Republican stance on evolution compare to the Democratic stance?

The Democratic Party generally accepts the theory of evolution and supports policies that promote scientific research and education on evolution. This is in contrast to the Republican Party, where many candidates reject or are skeptical of evolution.

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