Palin Has Not Pushed Creationism as Governor

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One of the smears being circulated against Sarah Palin is that she is in favor of teaching creationism in public school science classes, but as I pointed out last week this simply isn’t true. Apparently, she has a rather confused attitude toward evolution (an attitude she shares with about 50% of the US population), but when asked explicitly whether she would support teaching the pseudo-science of “intelligent design,” her answer was “No.” And today even the Associated Press has to admit that Palin has not pushed creationism as governor.

And by the way, John McCain is also on the right side of this issue.

Palin said during her 2006 gubernatorial campaign that if she were elected, she would not push the state Board of Education to add creation-based alternatives to the state’s required curriculum, or look for creationism advocates when she appointed board members.

At a GOP presidential debate in May 2007 in Simi Valley, Calif., McCain said he believed in evolution. “But,” he added, “I also believe, when I hike the Grand Canyon and see it at sunset, that the hand of God is there also.”

Palin’s children attend public schools and Palin has made no push to have creationism taught in them.

Neither have Palin’s socially conservative personal views on issues like abortion and gay marriage been translated into policies during her 20 months as Alaska’s chief executive. It reflects a hands-off attitude toward mixing government and religion by most Alaskans.

“She has basically ignored social issues, period,” said Gregg Erickson, an economist and columnist for the Alaska Budget Report.

UPDATE at 9/3/08 9:17:07 am:

On the other hand, another rising GOP star (who has signed a bill in Louisiana designed to sneak creationism into classrooms) has a much more problematic attitude: Questions for Bobby Jindal - The Convert.

Did you always want to be in politics? It was not something I anticipated doing. I always thought I’d go to medical school. I got accepted into medical school and did not end up going.

Where were you accepted? At Harvard.

Wow. Why would someone with so much knowledge of biology sign a bill allowing the biblical story of Creation to be taught in science class? I don’t think that schools should be run by bureaucrats. I think these decisions need to be made by local school boards. In terms of teaching my own kids at home, I do believe there is a Creator. Catholicism doesn’t teach authoritatively on evolution or the origins of life, but we do believe that God is our Creator.

There’s an interesting point here. The proponents of the Louisiana “academic freedom” stealth creationist bill have loudly insisted that it has nothing to do with the teaching of creationism—but when asked a direct question, Jindal doesn’t even deny it.

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