In the presidential campaign seasons of 2008 and 2012, candidates for the Republican nomination were asked in televised debates whether they believed in evolution. Some did, and some didn’t. And the question made some of the candidates at least a little nervous.


You see, the issue of evolution is a little tricky among some Republican politicians. They realize that many rank-and-file members of their party are evolution deniers. A poll commissioned by the Pew Research Center a little more than a  year ago showed that a 48-percent plurality of Republicans believed all living things have existed in their present form since the beginning of time. A smaller percentage of GOPers — 43 percent — said they believed humans and other living beings had evolved over time.


Those numbers reflect an increase in anti-evolution notions among Republicans since 2009. Meanwhile, two-thirds of Democrats and political independents believe in evolution, as do 60 percent of the overall American populace.


So, what we have here is a quandary for Republican presidential hopefuls. If they express any doubt or question about evolution, they’re bucking one of the most settled issues in all of science. But if they don’t express such doubts, they’re perhaps courting rejection by the right-wingers who comprise much of their party’s base.


All of this comes to mind in the wake of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s awkward handling of the evolution question the other day.


Veteran political reporter Ron Fournier takes Walker to task HERE for his weaselly response:


Gov. Scott Walker wants to be president and is a serious contender for the job. But nobody who wants to be taken seriously for the presidency can duck a question like, “Do you believe in evolution?”


“I’m going to punt on that as well,” the Wisconsin Republican said in response to a question in London about whether he was comfortable with the idea of evolution. “That’s a question that a politician shouldn’t be involved in one way or another.”


(Snip)


In this case, the question is directly related to the job Walker wants. A president’s view on evolution would influence his or her position on climate change, precision science, stem cell research and scores of other issues connected to one of the most fundamental findings of the modern age.


 


 


 


In the presidential campaign seasons of 2008 and 2012, candidates for the Republican nomination were asked in televised debates whether they believed in evolution. Some did, and some didn’t. And the question made some of the candidates at least a little nervous.

You see, the issue of evolution is a little tricky among some Republican politicians. They realize that many rank-and-file members of their party are evolution deniers. A poll commissioned by the Pew Research Center a little more than a  year ago showed that a 48-percent plurality of Republicans believed all living things have existed in their present form since the beginning of time. A smaller percentage of GOPers — 43 percent — said they believed humans and other living beings had evolved over time.

Those numbers reflect an increase in anti-evolution notions among Republicans since 2009. Meanwhile, two-thirds of Democrats and political independents believe in evolution, as do 60 percent of the overall American populace.

So, what we have here is a quandary for Republican presidential hopefuls. If they express any doubt or question about evolution, they’re bucking one of the most settled issues in all of science. But if they don’t express such doubts, they’re perhaps courting rejection by the right-wingers who comprise much of their party’s base.

All of this comes to mind in the wake of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s awkward handling of the evolution question the other day.

Veteran political reporter Ron Fournier takes Walker to task HERE for his weaselly response:

Gov. Scott Walker wants to be president and is a serious contender for the job. But nobody who wants to be taken seriously for the presidency can duck a question like, “Do you believe in evolution?”

“I’m going to punt on that as well,” the Wisconsin Republican said in response to a question in London about whether he was comfortable with the idea of evolution. “That’s a question that a politician shouldn’t be involved in one way or another.”

(Snip)

In this case, the question is directly related to the job Walker wants. A president’s view on evolution would influence his or her position on climate change, precision science, stem cell research and scores of other issues connected to one of the most fundamental findings of the modern age.