Posted by politicalpartypooper on May 6, 2009


Chris Matthews asked a Republican, on his show, if he believed in evolution.  He stated that all of biology and science are based on evolution, and that high school biology is entirely based on the theory of evolution.

I’m stunned.  Chris Matthews plays hardball.  Chris Matthews plays hardball?

The question, “Do you believe in evolution?” could be answered in any number of ways.  My response would have been designed to shut that drooling man’s mouth then and there.

“Chris, tell me using scientific studies and terms why you believe in evolution?”  I want to see some science, here, Mr. Matthews.  I want to know what you know.  I want to hear your empirical evidence on why you believe the science is done.

You see, anything such as evolution, which you might believe to be scientifically proven is nothing more than an issue of faith for you, if you cannot produce or understand the science behind it.  That puts about 99.9% of you in the same shoes as me, because I have never taken the time to study the issue, and frankly, I don’t care enough to seek it out.  But you’ll never hear me laugh at someone who doesn’t believe in it, because, scientifically, they are in the same boat as me.

Chris Matthews just made a fool of himself in my eyes, because he grilled a man on his show who couldn’t, or wouldn’t answer his question.  I wonder, Chris; how would you answer that question?  Do you realize that if you say you believe in it, that I am going to press for the science to prove it?

Around the blogosphere, debates are taking place even now.  Laypeople the world over are arguing about this one, and many other issues.  The problem with laypeople is that they tend to repeat whatever they’ve heard on the subject without understanding the reasoning behind it.

Hey, maybe we really are descended from apes.  Monkey see, Monkey do.



  1. jenami said

    Jumping in here, as a biology teacher.

    Not believing in any type of evolution is inexcusable. Genes for a particular trait increase and decrease in a population over time (hence the hedge “change over time” that I’ve used to teach evolution so as not to upset those who are offended by the very word.) If an organism is more well suited for its environment, it is going to have greater survival and hence reproductive success, and therefore will pass the gene that makes it more well suited on to its offspring. There is no denying that this takes place, sometimes over a relatively short period of time (years as opposed to centuries.) This is taught in high schools all across America. One answer to this question is “yes, I believe in the basic fundamental change in the population that takes place over time.”

    Human evolution is another kettle of fish. If an individual does not acknowledge the use of carbon dating as a viable means of dating fossils (which some people do not,) then he should have stated that that “I am not certain of the existence of human evolution because of the conflicts in theory that surround the issue,” for example.

    There is absolutely no conflict between believing in evolution (either type) and being a Christian (I live this.) However, the GOP is so beholden to the Christian right, that no representative is able to say with any alacrity about what they believe.

    Overall, my problem with the issue is that people like Pence that make policy on science do not understand its basic principles. That is unfair and unfortunate.

  2. politicalpartypooper said


    I agree, if that’s the definition of evolution. However, isn’t the actual definition having also to do with the origin of new species from old? This is where I get confused, and I’m a fairly smart fellow.

    My point is, I don’t know how many people can argue for or against that kind of evolution (and abiogenesis) without becoming “experts” in the field. Natural selection is one thing; it is easily tracked. But scientists long ago left me in the dust as far as understanding the chemistry and probability behind it all.

    • jenami said


      Technically, I would say that the “definition” of evolution is simply that “change over time” phrase I used above. It can be interpreted either loosely or strictly (and is, by various members of the scientific community.)

      As far as your point, I would be inclined to agree, since evolution, as a field, is really large and results that are obtained, say, on the morphological level may seemingly conflict on results on the molecular level.

      My point is that I don’t believe that this should be any kind of a political issue. The state of science (that is, the bulk of the scientific evidence) should be taught in schools. Parents that disagree should be responsible for teaching their views to their own children. What Pence believes personally is irrelevant, IMHO, but I can’t disagree with Matthews asking him if the GOP is going to allow itself to be branded as anti-science. I would suggest that they not push Creationism or ID on any level (as Jindal did) if they want to avoid that distinction.

      (And don’t get me started on stem cells.) 🙂

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