Our guest blogger is Rick Weiss, a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress Action Fund.
Is McCain’s choice for vice president a creationist? The record offers worrisome evidence that the first woman to make it onto a Republican presidential ticket holds to this backward and wholly unscientific view of reality.
As reported in the Anchorage Daily News during her race for the governorship of Alaska, Sarah Palin offered up a classic anti-evolution answer when asked during a televised debate whether creationism should be taught with evolution in the public schools:
“Teach both,” Palin said. “You know, don’t be afraid of information… I am a proponent of teaching both.”
“Teach both” and “teach the debate” have long been the mantras of the religious right and the Intelligent Design crowds, which have struggled over the years as court after court has batted down their efforts to inject unscientific teachings into the nation’s science classes.
The legal record suggests that Palin’s approach is not just ignorant of the facts, but a plain violation of the Constitutional boundary between church and state.
Recall, for example, the December 2005 United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania decision in Kitzmiller vs. the Dover Area School District. At issue was the legality of a 2004 Dover Area School District decision to inform all students that they should “keep an open mind” about evolution and to encourage students to peruse Of Pandas and People, which the school district gamely referred to as “a reference book,” to gain an understanding of a competing view of how life came to be, known as Intelligent Design.