Sunday, August 21, 2011

GOP Primary: Why Views on Evolutionary Theory Matter

Rick Perry’s recent remarks regrading evolutionary theory has drawn media attention to his support of intelligent design. In  response, Kevin D. Williamson of the National Review argues that politicians views on matters scientific are irrelevant. No one expects a politician to have knowledge of the esoteric debates & competing hypothesis within evolutionary theory anymore then they would expect them to have a working knowledge of econometrics or input-out-put analysis. However, it would be disturbing if a front runner for the presidency did not understand the concept of supply & demand. With the U.S. quickly becoming an information economy to have our leader not have a basic grasp of what constitutes a science & what constitutes philosophy is disturbing. Science is simply empiricism--the observation of nature. It may not seem that impressive, but it has done more to benefit humanity then any other school of thought. And to dismiss a candidates views on it is misguided.  

Frankly, I find Perry’s admission that he does not believe in evolutionary theory more disturbing then if he had simply said it was not something he had looked into. At least then there is the possibility that provided with the relevant scientific data he could draw a correct conclusion, but by taking a stand on the issue Perry is stating that he’s looked at the relevant data and came to the wrong conclusion. In fact, he even studied a science in college, but apparently it did not stick with him.

A good leader can not be an expert on every subject. A good leader knows when and where to seek council & to whom to delegate authority. The fact that he flat out rejects a fact & a theory that has been established for over 100 years calls into question his sources of information & the people he keeps around him.

My criticism has perhaps been aimed a little too much at Perry. Indeed, most of the candidates have shown their ignorance to science. The only candidate that has not is Jon Huntsman. Here is Jon Huntsman defending science in his own words:    

J.A. Gibbons

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