FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Universe According to Santorum

The progress of evolution from President Washington to President Grant was alone evidence enough to upset Darwin.

Henry Brooks Adams, The Education of Henry Adams

Now that it appears that Rick Santorum is more than a flash in the hot (albeit not globally warmed) evolutionary pan, I confess to an oversight that occurred in this space in 2011 when I suggested that Michelle Bachmann and Rick Perry were the only ones among the Republican presidential candidates who believed that evolution was nothing more than a theory. I did Mr. Santorum a disservice by failing to acknowledge his long-standing support of creationism and his contempt for the idea of global warming.  His support for creationism in the classroom goes back at least as far as 2001.

When Congress was considering the 2001 education-funding bill now known as the “No Child Left Behind Act”, then Senator Santorum introduced an amendment that he said was intended to be a sense of the Senate that “deals with the subject of intellectual freedom with respect to the teaching of science in the classroom.” His amendment would have promoted “good scientific debate within the classroom” which would include creationism.  Although his amendment was not included in the final version of the Bill, it has become a talking point for those who want creationism taught in the public schools. Defeated but unbowed, Mr. Santorum continues his support of creationism and now that he has the possibility of becoming the Republican nominee for President of the United States (thus making the United States the laughing stock of the rest of the world) it is only fair that his scientific views be given their due.

In an interview with the editorial board of the Nashua Telegraph, a paper in Nashua, New Hampshire Mr. Santorum said teachers should be allowed to “teach the controversy” between the theory of evolution and any gaps in the study that would allow for dialogue on a divine beginning.  He explained: There are many on the left and in the scientific community, so to speak, who are afraid of that discussion because of my goodness you might mention the word, God-forbid, ‘God’ in the classroom, or ‘creator’  . . . and of course we can’t have that discussion.  It’s very interesting that you have a situation that science will only allow things in the classroom that are consistent with a non-Creator idea of how we got here, as if somehow or another that’s scientific. Well maybe the science points to the fact that maybe science doesn’t explain all these things. . . .”

Mr. Santorum was critical of Jon Huntsman, one of those seeking the Republican nomination.  Commenting on the fact that Mr. Huntsman accepted evolution as an established scientific theory, Mr. Santorum told the Philadelphia Inquirer in an email that:  “I believe in Genesis 1:1-God created the heavens and the earth.”  Displaying an astonishing ignorance (since most creationists know that it took seven days)  he said: “I don’t know how God did it or exactly how long it took him, but I do know that He did it.  If Gov. Huntsman wants to believe that he is the descendant of a monkey, then he has the right to believe that-but I disagree with him; on this and the many other liberal beliefs he shares with Democrats.”

In that column I also failed to acknowledge Mr. Santorum’s approach to global warming. He doesn’t believe in it.  He said on the Glenn Beck show that: “There is no such thing as global warming.”  To make sure no one thinks that this was simply a mis-speak, the Daily Coz reports that he told Rush Limbaugh that  global warming is “an opportunity for the left to create-it’s really a beautifully concocted scheme because they know that the earth is gonna cool and warm.  It’s been on a warming trend so they said, ‘Oh, let’s take advantage of that and say that we need the government to come in and regulate your life . . . .It’s just an excuse for more government control of your life and I’ve never been for any scheme or even accepted the junk science behind the whole narrative.”

The foregoing explains Mr. Santorum’s dismissive attitude towards President Obama’s support for making higher education available to more people.  As Mr. Santorum said in Ann Arbor before the Michigan primary:  “President Obama has said he wants everybody in America to go to college. What a snob.” Mr. Santorum realizes that the less educated people are, the more likely they will be to agree with his feelings about science and, even more important, the more likely it is that they will enthusiastically support his candidacy.

My apologies to Bachmann and Perry.  They were not the only science skeptics among the Republican candidates.  Mr. Santorum is their equal.  Should he become President of the United States, the country would be the butt of jokes around the world. Given the sad state of the world from Syria to Somalia to Afghanistan to Iraq and hundreds of other places, a bit of laughter would be welcome.   It’s just too bad it would be at our expense.

Christopher Brauchli is an attorney living in Boulder, Colorado. He can be e-mailed at brauchli.56@post.harvard.edu.

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
September 21, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond
Hurricane Florence and 9.7 Million Pigs
Andrew Levine
Israel’s Anti-Semitism Smear Campaign
Paul Street
Laquan McDonald is Being Tried for His Own Racist Murder
Brad Evans
What Does It Mean to Celebrate International Peace Day?
Nick Pemberton
With or Without Kavanaugh, The United States Is Anti-Choice
Jim Kavanagh
“Taxpayer Money” Threatens Medicare-for-All (And Every Other Social Program)
Jonathan Cook
Palestine: The Testbed for Trump’s Plan to Tear up the Rules-Based International Order
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: the Chickenhawks Have Finally Come Back Home to Roost!
David Rosen
As the Capitalist World Turns: From Empire to Imperialism to Globalization?
Jonah Raskin
Green Capitalism Rears Its Head at Global Climate Action Summit
James Munson
On Climate, the Centrists are the Deplorables
Robert Hunziker
Is Paris 2015 Already Underwater?
Arshad Khan
Will Their Ever be Justice for Rohingya Muslims?
Jill Richardson
Why Women Don’t Report Sexual Assault
Dave Clennon
A Victory for Historical Accuracy and the Peace Movement: Not One Emmy for Ken Burns and “The Vietnam War”
W. T. Whitney
US Harasses Cuba Amid Mysterious Circumstances
Nathan Kalman-Lamb
Things That Make Sports Fans Uncomfortable
George Capaccio
Iran: “Snapping Back” Sanctions and the Threat of War
Kenneth Surin
Brexit is Coming, But Which Will It Be?
Louis Proyect
Moore’s “Fahrenheit 11/9”: Entertaining Film, Crappy Politics
Ramzy Baroud
Why Israel Demolishes: Khan Al-Ahmar as Representation of Greater Genocide
Ben Dangl
The Zapatistas’ Dignified Rage: Revolutionary Theories and Anticapitalist Dreams of Subcommandante Marcos
Ron Jacobs
Faith, Madness, or Death
Bill Glahn
Crime Comes Knocking
Terry Heaton
Pat Robertson’s Hurricane “Miracle”
Dave Lindorff
In Montgomery County PA, It’s Often a Jury of White People
Louis Yako
From Citizens to Customers: the Corporate Customer Service Culture in America 
William Boardman
The Shame of Dianne Feinstein, the Courage of Christine Blasey Ford 
Ernie Niemi
Logging and Climate Change: Oregon is Appalachia and Timber is Our Coal
Jessicah Pierre
Nike Says “Believe in Something,” But Can It Sacrifice Something, Too?
Paul Fitzgerald - Elizabeth Gould
Weaponized Dreams? The Curious Case of Robert Moss
Olivia Alperstein
An Environmental 9/11: the EPA’s Gutting of Methane Regulations
Ted Rall
Why Christine Ford vs. Brett Kavanaugh is a Train Wreck You Can’t Look Away From
Lauren Regan
The Day the Valves Turned: Defending the Pipeline Protesters
Ralph Nader
Questions, Questions Where are the Answers?
Binoy Kampmark
Deplatforming Germaine Greer
Raouf Halaby
It Should Not Be A He Said She Said Verdict
Robert Koehler
The Accusation That Wouldn’t Go Away
Jim Hightower
Amazon is Making Workers Tweet About How Great It is to Work There
Robby Sherwin
Rabbi, Rabbi, Where For Art Thou Rabbi?
Vern Loomis
Has Something Evil This Way Come?
Steve Baggarly
Disarm Trident Walk Ends in Georgia
Graham Peebles
Priorities of the Time: Peace
Michael Doliner
The Department of Demonization
David Yearsley
Bollocks to Brexit: the Plumber Sings
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail