It’s a sticky subject for many people in the world: was the Earth and the animals on it created by a higher power or is evolution really behind it all? Many scientists believe that is evolution, which is considered to be “the most basic and universally accepted tenets of science.” However, what would happen if the leader of our nation didn’t believe in evolution? Would we stop teaching this science principle in schools? Would we fall even farther behind other countries in the STEM subject areas? Well, nobody can say for sure what would happen, but maybe we should take a look at the opinions of the 2012 Presidential Candidates on this subject.
Mitt Romney believes in both evolution and intelligent design. In 2007, he said that he believed that God created the universe, but God also “used the process of evolution to create the human body.”
Rick Perry has said on several occasions that he thinks that evolution is just “a theory that’s out there” with “some gaps.” Recently, he even told a child in New Hampshire this belief. This makes me think that Perry would make a move to change the curriculum in schools concerning this controversial issue.
Jon Huntsman is a strong supporter of evolution being taught in public schools. In 2005, he said, “I would expect my kids in science class to be instructed in those things that are somewhat quantifiable and based on thorough and rigorous empirical research.” After hearing what Perry told the New Hampshire boy, Huntsman tweeted, “To be clear. I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy.” It seems like this man knows what he believes in and really sticks to his guns.
Newt Gingrich said in 2006 that “evolution certainly seems to express the closest understanding we can now have,” but earlier this year, he said that he believes “that creation as an act of faith is true and I believe that science as a mechanical process is true.” Like Romney, Gingrich walks a moderate line on this subject.
Ron Paul seems less likely to believe in evolution because it is a theory with no definite evidence to support it. In 2009, he said “Quite frankly I think it’s sort of irrelevant, that because we don’t know the exact details and we don’t have geologic support for evolutionary forms, it is a theory, even though it’s a pretty logical theory.”
Michele Bachmann supports teaching intelligent design and evolution in public classrooms because there is “reasonable doubt on both sides.” Bachmann is another candidate that seems unwilling to step out of the middle of the road and pick a side in this debate.
Rick Santorum strongly opposes the teaching of evolution in our public schools. He claims that there are “legitimate problems and holes in the theory of evolution.”
How do these Republican candidates compare to our current president? President Obama takes a moderate view in this debate, and in my opinion, he hit the nail on the head in 2008 when he said, “I believe in evolution, and I believe there’s a difference between science and faith. That doesn’t make faith any less important than science. It just means they’re two different things. And I think it’s a mistake to try to cloud the teaching of science with theories that frankly don’t hold up to scientific inquiry.”
What do you think about intelligent design versus evolution? What should be taught in public schools? Tell us your opinions below in the comment section.