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Celebrate Darwin Day 2016 By Educating These Presidential Candidates

The time is almost here for Darwin Day, the secular holiday on February 12 when we observe the birth of Charles Darwin, not out of personal reverence for the man, but out of respect for the way that his ideas, and the scientific theories they have spawned, have delivered awe and insight for over 150 years now.

Darwin Day 2016 is particularly important because for the first time in a long time, the United States is facing a slate of Republican Party candidates who are zealously determined to anchor their politics in the knowledge of the early 1800s. Almost all of the Republican presidential candidates are either outright Creationists of cynically opposed to the idea of biological evolution through natural selection, even if they grudgingly accept that it is a fact.

Jeb Bush follows the cynical line, admitting that evolution is real, but insisting that children be kept ignorant of it. “I don’t think it should actually be part of the curriculum, to be honest with you,” says John Ellis Bush. What else would a new President Bush want to keep you ignorant about, I wonder?

Chris Christie tells reporters that it’s “none of your business” whether he is willing accept that evolution is a fact, and opposes state curricula including evolution in high school biology classes.

Oddly, Ted Cruz offers the most nuanced of all the Republican presidential candidate’s positions on evolution won’t say what he thinks, claiming to promote healthy skepticism as he flirts with Creationists, saying that “any good scientist questions all science.” Then, however, Cruz turns around and declares that climate change is bogus science – without citing any evidence to support his position.

John Kasich wants Creationist theology to be taught in high school science classes. Marco Rubio supports the same pro-Creationist position.

Mike Huckabee promotes himself as willing to allow scientists to teach evolution in public school science classes, if they want to, along with Christian Creationism.

Ben Carson claims that belief in evolution destroys morality.

It’s a firmly established scientific fact: evolution happens, so on Darwin Day 2016, take a stand, and commit to stand against the GOP presidential candidates who refuse to confront Creationist orthodoxy. Our country needs an executive leader who is willing to ground policy in reality rather than in blind faith.

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