The candidates on evolution, 2008

Ron Bailey at Reason magazine gives an accounting of the beliefs about evolution and creationism of all the major party candidates for U. S. President. This is worthwhile for a couple of reasons -- first, he includes analysis of candidates from both parties (Democrats having been questioned on this issue much less often than Republicans), and second he provides a different but complementary perspective from the one provided by Science earlier this month.

All of the candidates say they believe in God. So even those candidates who accept biological evolution as the scientifically valid way to describe how living things came to be are theistic evolutionists. They believe that God has somehow guided the process of evolution to create us (perhaps by intervening undetectably at the quantum level). It looks as though all of the Democratic presidential candidates are theistic evolutionists. Among the Republicans McCain, Giuliani, and Romney also appear to be theistic evolutionists. Both Huckabee and Paul say that they don't know how God created the world, but they both say that they don't accept biological evolution as the explanation. They, along with Hunter and Thompson, apparently would allow creationism/intelligent design to be taught in public school science classes.

If you're interested in U.S. politics, it seems like now is the important time to become aware of these issues -- in the primary season while there is a broad choice among candidates with different positions. It is certainly an educational article, focused on evolution specifically instead of science generally. You may be surprised by the positions taken by some of your favorites.

(via Gene Expression)