(I need to hire someone to write my title for me. I sux!)
A few posts out on the blags about presidential candidate Huckabee today; thought I’d pass them along.
Let’s start with a brief one found on Bad Astronomer:
Phil Plait’s entry is prompted by an also brief post from science blog, Pharyngula:
Both bloggers take great insult and not a little concern and fear regarding the state of society and our political leaders, and rightly so, from Huckabee’s evangelically religious views–primarily regarding this quote:
“I have opponents in this race who do not want to change the Constitution,” Huckabee told a Michigan audience on Monday. “But I believe it’s a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living god. And that’s what we need to do — to amend the Constitution so it’s in God’s standards rather than try to change God’s standards so it lines up with some contemporary view.”
Bad Astronomer Phil makes a rather astute observation:
Actually, heâ€™s not only demented, heâ€™s wrong: the Bible has been rewritten countless times by small groups of men (thatâ€™s why there are different versions, Huck)
Indeed, not only are there various English translation which change meaning and intent in each version, but countless versions with different included books. From the current differences between Catholic and Protestant Bibles, all the way back through the King James, the Wycliffe, the Bishop’s Bible, the Vulgate, the versions proceeding from the Nicean Councils, the literally countless versions that existed in the 300 years before Constantine forced some kind of general consensus. Not to mention the various Hebrew/Jewish versions of Torah and Talmud. The history of the Bible is rife with change and versions. The various different versions of the Gospels, such as Mark, with none of them being “the original,” and most of them being somewhat different from each other. The Dead Sea Scrolls showing that nearly every book of the Old Testament has different and varying versions (which was actually known since before the finding of the Dead Sea Scrolls–a fact every Jewish Rabbi is aware of).
If there’s one thing that can be asserted with 100% confidence and certainty, is that “The Word of God” is absolutely not immutable and unchanging.
Then there’s this nice post from Mike The Mad Biologist:
Mike discusses how Huckabee, as one of nearly all of the Republican candidates who doesn’t “believe” in evolution, would be a threat to science policy and advancement. Advancement that couldn’t be possible without understanding the facts of evolution. Mike spends a few wonderful paragraphs explaining how vital and integral an understanding of evolution is in practical science of understanding his work in disease and its cures. In this world in which we owe it to evolution for our medicine and medical treatments, to not “believe” in evolution is like not believing in gravity even while you’re walking around not flying off the face of the earth.
As some of the commentors on these blogs point out, Huckabee has virtually no chance of getting the Republican ticket, and less chance at the Presidency. But as the commentors also say, and I also agree, he is still a symptom of a serious problem in our culture. When nearly half of our presidential candidates don’t “believe” in evolution (or at least cynically say they don’t in order to pander to the faith-based religious base of the Republican Party) despite the fact that most of them have taken medicine or received treatments for diseases as serious as cancer, which wouldn’t be possible without understanding evolution, is absurd and surreal and scary. The social illness is how most of America places faith and belief that are counter to facts and reality first and foremost in their lives–whether that’s fundamental religious beliefs, or homeopathy, or “complimentary medicine,” or alien abduction, or ESP and talking to the dead…. We have a very, dangerously, sick nation of non-thinking people.