We already know that Republican presidential candidate Michelle Bachmann supports creationism, claiming falsely that there are “hundreds and hundreds of scientists, many of them holding Nobel Prizes, who believe in intelligent design.” Since Republicans have historically been anti-evolution and anti-science, it’s no surprise that conservative Texas Republican governor Rick Perry—probably the current front-runner to challenge Obama in 2012—is also antievolution. It’s sad, and uniquely American, that important political figures deny the palpable truth about nature to cater to their conservative constituents.
Here’s Perry in a video from two days ago, talking to a young boy and claiming not only that he, Perry, doesn’t know the age of the Earth, but neither does anybody else. He also claims, falsely, that in Texas both creationism and evolution are taught in science classes, certainly also a lie if he’s referring to public schools, where such teaching violates the First Amendment. A report of the meeting follows the video:
Here’s the background and transcript from TPM News:
A woman who will probably not be supporting the Texas governor brought her young son along to a campaign event in New Hampshire on Thursday, and had the boy ask Perry his views about science. “How old do you think the earth is?” the boy asked. This was an apparent allusion to how fundamentalist Christians often insist that Earth — and indeed, the whole universe — is about 6,000 years old.
“How old do I think the earth is? You know what, I don’t have any idea,” Perry responded. “I know it’s pretty old. So it goes back a long, long ways. I’m not sure — I’m not sure anybody actually knows completely and absolutely how old the earth is.
Perry then steered the conversation to some questions the boy’s mother had been asking him, about evolution
“Here your mom was asking about evolution. And you know, it’s a theory that is out there — it’s got some gaps in it. In Texas we teach both creationism and evolution in our public schools. Because I figure–”
The mother cut back in: “Ask him why he doesn’t believe in science.”
Perry continued: “Because I figure you’re smart enough to figure out which one is right.”
The mother continued to tell her son, “Ask him why he doesn’t believe in science.” At that point Perry politely ended the conversation, and moved on to the next person in the crowd.
Imagine a presidential candidate claiming that nobody knows how antibiotics work, and that in Texas schools they teach both Western medicine and homeopathy, letting the children sort out the truth.