If I'm hearing right, then Sarah Palin has reached a level of public extremism unprecedented in national mainstream politics and government. According to sources, Palin says that creationism should be "discussed" in schools along with evolution. She didn't say that she supports intelligent design being taught along side evolution; she said "creationism". Can this possibly be true?
If the Boston Globe is right, then Sarah Palin says that creationism, not intelligent design, should be taught alongside evolution in public schools. You all remember creationism: In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth, and it took him six days (maybe they were long days), and then he created the beasts, then man and woman (you know, the helper made out of Adam's rib), then Adam, at Eve's urging, ate the apple of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, etc. etc. If you actually believe in creationism (as opposed to intelligent design), then you have to reject about a billion archeological facts. Fossils have to be fakes, evidence of ice ages undermines your whole world view, and you can't take your kids to those museums that have dinosaur skeletons because you can't explain them. Intelligent design is a wholly different concept (it's not a theory) that tries to accomodate extensive evidence gathered over the centuries proving that the Genesis myth can't be true with the idea that there is an intelligence guiding the natural world.
This is a shockingly radical view, and I hope Palin will be asked about it. I'd like to see her explain what her view is of how the universe began. Or maybe she should be asked, "Do you believe that the first two chapters of Genesis actually or literally happened?"
Now, it may be that she just slipped when she didn't make clear the distinction between creationism and intelligent design, but that's a big slip. Also, it may also be that this woman actually believes that the lovely story of Genesis is the origin of the universe.
By the way, Joe Klein's blog criticizing McCain for picking Palin mistakenly says that she supports teaching intelligent design. I think he just missed this, and I commented to that effect. If I'm wrong here, and Palin has NOT come out for teachin creationism, someone please correct me.