Friday, March 06, 2015

Megan McArdle Thinks the Question to Scott Walker About Evolution is Misguided

She is right.  To a large extent, what a president thinks or does not think about evolution is largely irrelevant to the daily tasks of running the country.  We found that out with Ronald Reagan. In the current political crisis, involving what Scott Walker did or did not say with regard to evolution,  she writes:
I was at a dinner the other night where the very high percentage of Americans who believe in young-earth creationism was submitted as evidence of the failure of the U.S. school system. I don't think that's right. People forget most of what they learn in school almost as soon as they learn it -- I got an A in sophomore chemistry, and all I can tell you about it now is that it's sometimes measured in "moles" and there's something called a covalent bond that ... well, actually, I forget. And before you start looking all superior, STEM majors, what is the difference between the conditional and the subjunctive, and can you name four causes of the Thirty Years' War without resorting to Google?

Most of the people who "believe" in evolution don't have much more scientific foundation for their beliefs than a young-earth creationist does for theirs. I would be slightly surprised to learn that the reporters asking the questions -- or, for that matter, President Obama -- could deliver more than a few vague sentences about how evolution works, desperately dredged up from the Life Sciences module of their seventh-grade science class.
At the end of the article, she hints at why the question was asked in the first place: Scott Walker is a republican and, therefore, the natural subject of attacks by the press who are trying to trip him up. A starker contrast could not be found than the current issue with Hillary Clinton's private email accounts, about which the mainstream press is asking No Questions Whatsoever. 

They didn't ask Scott Walker a question about evolution because they wanted to know what he thought about it. They asked it because they know good and well that there is an established track record of republicans saying stupid things about science, publicly. That was their real target.

No comments:

Post a Comment