Friday, August 29, 2008

Well there goes McCain...

I see that John McCain has picked Alaska's governor Palin as his running mate. Intriguing choice since McCain likes to position himself as a maverick. But science wise the choice is a bit flaky, Palin seems to have bought into the beguiling argument that schools should teach both creationism and evolution. She is quoted here in the Anchorage Daily News:

"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."

Later on in the same interview she did back track a bit and qualified her remarks saying:

"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."

Of course the state Republican platform according to the same article says that:

"We support giving Creation Science equal representation with other theories of the origin of life. If evolution is taught, it should be presented as only a theory."

And that merely echos the common misunderstanding people have about the meaning of the word theory in science.

Clearly though regardless of what she thinks about creationism and its cheap suit version intelligent design, she doesn't understand much about science. Too bad because I honestly felt this was an election where I could "kick the tires" to choose between two great tickets. But John McCain certainly hasn't helped himself here among moderates and certainly hasn't boosted my opinion of his science policy. If he wanted to go the conservative evangelical route he should picked Huckabee.

To give Palin her due she doesn't seem to have the sort of skepticsm about climate change that one might expect. But then again considering how rapidly Arctic climate regimes are being altered by global warming, she probably wouldn't be able to survive politically unless she supported programs to help her state cope with warming.
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