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Sarah Palin Unlikely to Push Evolution Issue was ‘Creation Science Enters the Race’

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No sooner was Sarah Palin’s candidacy announced, than the Anchorage Daily republished an October 2006 article giving highlights of the then gubernatorial race between three candidates, Palin being one.

Almost immediately, the paper has been deluged with request for comments, interviews, and transcripts to feed the frenzy, keeping their editors and writers quite busy.

In short order, Rev. Barry Lynn, who along with Jay Sekulow plays tag regarding church and state issues in a mutual column on Beliefnet.com, responded thusly:

… it now seems clear the not only is Governor Sarah Palin historically challenged, but scientifically challenged as well. A number of my pro-science colleagues have pointed out how “intelligent design” played a role in Palin’s gubernatorial campaign in Alaska. Here are all of old stale misunderstandings by the now-Governor about science, good education and acting like students are supposed to be able to distinguish between religion masquerading as pseudoscience.

The blog posting HERE:

Sekulow responded:

Gubernatorial candidate Palin had simply stated that debate is important on the issue of evolution and we should not be afraid to discuss information that challenges the orthodox view. Students should be free to question theories that are presented in class. Palin simply stated, “I don’t think there should be a prohibition against debate if it comes up in class.”

He went on to state that it was consistent with Edwards v. Aguillard, that if done properly it conformed to “secular intent”, and that the nation’s founders would have been receptive to it, under the “unalienable rights” clause.

The blog posting HERE:

Although a hot issue, institutions likely to be the most concerned (ACLU, NCSE, and Americans United for Separation of Church and State) have been largely silent on the issue. That may change. But in the meantime, a weekend article in the York Daily Record has come onboard stating:

“Palin [is] unlikely to push [the] evolution issue.”

“As far as I know, Gov. Palin has not been aggressive on this front,” Matt Olson, a biology professor at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, said in an e-mail.

“Up to now she has not pushed an agenda to teach creationism in public schools.”

“Palin, a self-described “hard-core conservative,” hasn’t attempted to push her views about social issues into policy as governor.”

“She has basically ignored social issues, period,” Gregg Erickson, an economist and columnist with the Alaska Budget Report told The Associated Press.”

Full article HERE:

So is Sarah Palin’s stance on teaching ‘Creationism’ a viable concern to the science community and their (and our) ’protectors’? Will they rise up to defend the science standards and protecting the American way? At best, the CS issue is in a dead heat with abortion, civil rights, energy & oil, and of course, whether Elk or Moose meat should replace beef on store shelves. I have a feeling that the ‘creation issue’ just may finish dead last.

"We are discussing creation science and intelligent design almost in the same breath."
Granted, in this thread, both have been brought up, although its point was merely to chronicle that a particular rag had brought up evolution vs. creationism as an emerging issue in Sarah Palins campaign. On the other hand, digressing into the pros, cons, and relevance of criticisms of evolutionary theory, as well as delineation of the two separate opposing positions seems to follow in endless discourse, primarily due to the misinformation that is out there. You concluding remarks pretty well sums up the dilemma, although the public is gradually becoming more informed of the difference between two positions that have been endlessly conflated, due to the relentless efforts of the NCSE, NAS and others. I say this based on a noted change in the general public's responses to posts and articles on the subject, over the past year in particular. The DeWolf, Meyer & DeForrest document, referenced by DLH above, sums up not only justifications for allowing ID in as an alternate hypothesis to modify evolutionary theory, and an allowance to present to primary grades, if also makes the case for its appropriateness. Not to teach it, but to present it as a viable alternative hypothesis. As to the issue of ID being creationism, the simple answer is that ID seeks empirical, algorithmic (modeling) and statistical verification or falsification of design in nature, while creationism purports to make assertions based on an a priori belief in a creator, and may make (according to some critics) inferences based on certain religious dogma. Whether completely valid or not, the tentative theological provisos here stated for creationism do not apply to ID. LeeBowman
We are discussing creation science and intelligent design almost in the same breath. And we here are supposed to know the difference. No wonder people do not want to get near ID. They see no difference between it and creationism and from reading this site, if one is not well informed might not know the difference. jerry
"Democrat Tony Knowles has one thing right: we should teach the best science."
His comments date to his 2006 gubernatorial race with Palin. It would be interesting to hear his current views, although he appears retired from the political spotlight. In addition, although the Anchorage Daily's caption was: "'Creation Science' enters the race", we haven't heard much regarding from the candidates of late. Could it be that it's 'too hot to handle?' Hot or not, it is bound to come up again in interviews and debates with the candidates.
"Sarah Palin understands that there is strong evidence supporting the theory of Intelligent Design. To restrict its discussion in schools is to impede critical thinking and intellectual discussions in the classrooms of our nation’s future leaders, teachers and parents."
Given ID's exposure in the news and over the Internet, not to mention its veracity and enduring fortitude, future classroom discussions are certain, and will not be prohibited if First Amendment rights, as well as the 'due process' clause of the 14th Amendment are to be honored and maintained. LeeBowman
I agree with Wallace's question: why is open discussion feared in the classroom? It can only benefit the student and ultimately the bulk of society. Unfortunately, many of the classrooms today simply give students information rather than help them seek it out. Critical thinking is a rare jewel, which works well for those who have obtained it, but handicaps those who have never been taught it or challenged by its characteristics. Democrat Tony Knowles has one thing right: we should teach the best science. I also believe that we should teach the best science: the search for truth. In reality, faith is required to believe in both Evolution and Intelligent Design. A scientist understands that ideas about creation, light, matter, speed, gravity, and several other scientific notions, have changed throughout time based on the compilation of knowledge, experiments and unique individual minds that have surfaced. For Knowles to say that Evolution is “what we should always teach,” is a poor and narrow statement that plainly says our generation has hit the peak of knowledge and there will be no further discoveries about the institution of life. Sarah Palin understands that there is strong evidence supporting the theory of Intelligent Design. To restrict its discussion in schools is to impede critical thinking and intellectual discussions in the classrooms of our nation’s future leaders, teachers and parents. srshibley
Tonight Senators John McCain and Barack Obama will be taking questions at a televised Public Forum at Columbia University. I encouraged all to watch it. RichardOwen
I still want to know, why do the evolanders fear free and open discussion in the class room? When I took honor physics in high school, I learned that Albert Einstein opined that "God does not play dice with the universe." Oh, wait, maybe that's why I am a creationist. LOL. Seriously, dominate religious beliefs can be taught in science class without adversely affecting science education. William Wallace
Design Institute reports: Biden, Clinton, Edwards, Kerry, McCain (in 2001) Agree: High School Curriculum Should Inform Students About the Evolution Controversy; Palin (in 2006) Lets It Be Optional
Press reports on Governor Palin as the Republican nominee for Vice President featured her position in 2006 on the teaching of alternatives to evolution: "Teach both. You know, don’t be afraid of education. Healthy debate is so important, and it’s so valuable in our schools." Palin later clarified: "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."
The vote is recorded at p. S6153 of the Congressional Record, June 13, 2001. 91 Senators voted to make it the law of the United States that "where biological evolution is taught, the curriculum should help students to understand why this subject generates so much continuing controversy, and should prepare the students to be informed participants in public discussions regarding the subject."
The vote of Yeas 91, Nays 8 is recorded at Congressional Record, June 3, 2001, p. S6153. Bibliography Bruce Chapman and David DeWolf review the legal basis for: Why the Santorum Language Should Guide State Science Education Standards David K. DeWolf, Stephen C. Meyer, Mark E. DeForrest developed: Intelligent Design in Public School Science Curricula: A Legal Guidebook The Foundation for Thought and Ethics, 2001 John H. Calvert, Esq submitted a: ”MEMORANDUM: TO: Members of the Minnesota Senate Education Committee, Steve Kelley, Chairman;DATE: January 23, 2004; RE: Proposed Science Education Standards” in which he discusses the Santorum language. DLH

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