'Creationism' is a confusing term. In science, militant atheists will intentionally call all religious people 'creationists' and then complain creationists are anti-science, even about the religious people who are not anti-science at all. 'Young Earth' creationists think we were created in whole form 6,000 or so years ago and believe paleontology and biology are some test of faith but commingling the terms is intellectually dishonest. Politics makes even otherwise smart scientists do bad things.
It's the same scam progressive militants pulled regarding 'stem cell research'. No Republican had objected to 40 years of 'stem cell research' but when Bush restricted federal funding of human embryonic stem cell research to existing lines, Republicans were supposedly 'against stem cell research'. Generally, when a scientist uses a political term, you need to be extra-skeptical about how they are framing their data. With political pundits we already do that.
I don't actually know any young Earth creationists or anti-science religious people, though I know a lot of religious people. I know
anti-science religious people
are out there, it may just be the circles I run in(1). I can go to Seattle and find more anti-science, anti-religious people (25% of kids in one Seattle school have parents who refuse to get them vaccines) than I can find anti-science religious people in Mobile.
Apparently a lot of anti-science people are out there - if you frame the question the right way. But they are Democrats too. A recent Fox News article highlighted some comments by Texas Governor Rick Perry where he said evolution has 'some gaps in it' - a technically true statement but we all know what he was getting at; religion was the secret sauce and the science was invented to try and have an alternative view. Gallup figures in that same article noted only 8% of Republicans believe evolution was solely science - no God at any point, i.e., atheists. But only 16% of people overall believe that, which means a whole boatload of Democrats believe it too.
Now, I have no problem at all with belief. Evolution tells us how we got where we are today but no credible biologist says he or she can yet tell us about the spark of life, its origin. If you think you can find that answer, an entrepreneur wants to fund your research and will give you a cool $2 million to do so. That's right, you can be free of pesky government rules and just answer the question once and for all.
But I am betting President Obama is not going into the Bible Belt and proclaiming his atheism and saying science rules and religion is bunk - that's what Gallup poll editor-in-chief Frank Newport wants to establish as the standard for not being anti-science...for a Republican, anyway. Progressives who have never voted for anyone but a Democrat will rationalize that and claim Obama is secretly an atheist. Here is Bill Maher with that intellectual placebo:
Republicans are under criticism from some in science because they take the middle road - GOP contender Jon Huntsman tweeted, in response to Perry's evolution statement, “To be clear I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy”.
I look forward to calls from the science community to withhold votes from Democrats who do not also proclaim their atheism.
(1) Most famous demonstrated by New Yorker film critic Pauline Kael, who said, after Nixon's 1972 landslide victory in the presidential election, "I don't know how Nixon won. No one I know voted for him."
Creationism Wins Votes - For Both Parties
- The Left Is More Anti-Science Than The Right Unless The Right Is More Anti-Science Than The Left
- Cultural accommodationists and religion; what about 'creationist' politicians?
- Relax: Young Earth Creationists Can't Even Convince Other Christians They Are Right
- Science Media, Politics And The Big, White Elephant In The Room
- Maybe Assistant Comment Editors Shouldn't Write About Science