Last year, we discovered that Sarah Palin had an inability to understand basic scientific concepts, and that she came from a kooky religious tradition that denied scientific concepts like biological evolution, while asserting medieval beliefs in the literal reality of monsters such as demons. We also discovered that Palin supports teaching Christian Creationist theology in public school science classes.
We never heard the explicit statement out of Sarah Palin‘s own mouth, however, that she is herself a Creationist, that she does not believe in the origin of species through natural selection. We never heard that, until now.
The following are Sarah Palin’s own words, from her book Going Rogue, carefully considered, and even passed by the eyes of a few professional book editors:
“I didn’t believe in the theory that human beings – thinking, loving beings – originated from fish that sprouted legs and crawled out of the sea. Or that human beings began as single-celled organisms that developed into monkeys who eventually swung down from trees; I believed we came about through a random process, but were created by God.”
The alarming thing about this statement isn’t that Sarah Palin rejects modern biology. At this point, that kind of thing isn’t a surprise. The surprise for me is that Sarah Palin doesn’t even have the intelligence to get Creationism right.
Palin says that she believes that human beings “came about through a random process” but were created by God. On the other hand, she rejects the only plausible random process by which human beings could come about – through evolution from single celled creatures, through forms of fish, then through monkey-like forms that lived in trees, eventually becoming human.
In one paragraph, Sarah Palin has managed to mix up two very different ways that Christians have tried to deal with advances in biology. One the one hand, there’s Creationism, which asserts the literal truth of the book of Genesis, and denies that human beings have evolved from other, non-human forms of life. On the other hand, there’s a kind of Christian Deistic figurativism, which asserts that biological evolution has brought about present day species of living things from an original, ancient primitive ancestor, but that the Christian God somehow sparked the process before stepping back and relinquishing control over the particulars of life on Earth.
Sarah Palin gives a nod to Deistic figurativism with her claim that “I believed we came about through a random process, but were created by God.” However, she asserts Creationism in the sentence fragments right before that, when she says, “I didn’t believe in the theory that human beings – thinking, loving beings – originated from fish that sprouted legs and crawled out of the sea. Or that human beings began as single-celled organisms that developed into monkeys who eventually swung down from trees;” These two ideas aren’t philosophically compatible. Put together, they’re incoherent.
The resulting impression I get of Sarah Palin is even more frightening than the idea that Palin is a fervent believer in Creationism. What seems clear about Palin is that she doesn’t understand her own beliefs. She rejects the scientific theory of evolution, but without understanding why she is doing so. She is able to combine incompatible theologies, because she doesn’t understand those theologies. Palin is only repeating phrases that she has heard other people say, without understanding what those phrases mean.
Sarah Palin is a grandmother, and she still hasn’t taken the time to think about these matters. She’s still accepting beliefs from elders without critically examining them to make sure that they make sense. Palin has failed to advance beyond the reasoning abilities of a child in elementary school.
I am haunted by the terrifying thought that this intellectual virgin seems to be preparing to run for President of the United States in 2012.