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And God made Sarah Palin a creationist – or not?

Posted by Richard D North in Media / Truth & Trust on 6 September 2008

Why we posted this: The left has fallen on the idea that Sarah Palin is a self-confessed “creationist”. But is she one? Would it it matter if she were? Why do the media repeat the “charge” endlessly?

The original story:
The evolution of creationism
 By Christopher Caldwell
The Financial Times
5 September 2008

Summary of the story:
This knowledgeable FT columnist says there is scant evidence that Sarah Palin is really any sort of creationist, let alone a very fundamentalist one. 

livingissues comment:
Sarah Palin may or not be a brilliant choice by Senator McCain to be his vice-presidential running mate in the race to the White House. But to condemn her candidacy on the basis that she is a creationist seems odd. The evidence that she might be an evolutionary sceptic seems to have come from a remark during the race for her present office, the governership of Alaska.

According to one scientific blogger’s account she seems rather informally to have suggested that children ought to be taught both Darwinian and creationist accounts of evolution. There seems little wrong in that. After all, such teaching might amount to a science lesson in Darwinism and a religious studies, or a sociology, lesson in creationism.

Besides, there are – as Caldwell suggests – many shades to creationism (and Mr Caldwell, I guess, is not a huge fan of any of them). Some very serious thinkers have opined that all the Darwinism in the world still leaves plenty of room for God, and maybe even in the unfolding of the development of species. 

One gets the impression that Sarah Palin does not have strong feelings on the matter. She may even speak in the cannily knowledge that an awful lot of people do. Either way, she seems to have figured that the trick is let children know that the debate is out there. The rest, they can wrestle with for themselves.

Why do the media love this story? As Caldwell says, red-necks may be creationist because it does no harm to hold the belief and it’s an act of defiance against the educated, liberal elite which is so confident that it knows what’s what. So it may be that the liberal elite rightly sees creationism as a very direct affront to its dignity – and a deliberate one.

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