'Going Rogue': Is Sarah Palin a creationist?
In 'Going Rogue,' Sarah Palin says she is a creationist, rejecting Darwin's theory of evolution.
In her memoir, "Going Rogue," Sarah Palin reveals that she has creationist leanings, explicitly rejecting the belief that humans and other species evolved from a common lineage.Skip to next paragraph
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There's no precise definition of "creationism," but the term generally encompasses those who oppose all or part of the theory – held almost universally by biologists and supported by overwhelming amounts of empirical evidence – that all known species are descended from a common ancestor or gene pool and that complex life arises as a result of random mutation and natural selection.
On the hard-core end of the creationist spectrum are biblically inspired "young-earth creationists," who tend to believe that Earth is less than 10,000 years old, that humans coexisted with dinosaurs, and that God created all species "as is" in their present form. They usually don't mind being called creationists.
On the other end are proponents of "intelligent design." This hypothesis does not reject the timescale of evolution, nor does it reject the belief that all living things share a common ancestor. But intelligent design proponents do hold that certain living structures, such as the bacterial flagella, blood cells, and cellular pumps, are too complex to have arisen by mechanisms of random mutation and natural selection.
Instead, they posit a powerful being at the beginning of the process who consciously designed and built these structures. Intelligent design supporters generally don't like being called creationists, but a US federal court has ruled that they are.
Palin – whose father taught high school science – seems to fall somewhere in between, and is probably closer to the "young earthers." She doesn't reject Darwin's theory wholesale. She says that she believes in small evolutionary changes over time, but she clearly doesn't buy into common descent of different species, a concept central to modern biology.
[Schmidt] knew my position: I believed in the evidence for microevolution – that geologic and species change occurs incrementally over time. But I didn't believe in the theory that human beings – thinking, loving beings – originated from fish that sprouted legs and crawled out of the sea. Or that human beings began as single-celled organisms that developed into monkeys who eventually swung down from trees; I believed we came about through a random process, but were created by God.
"But your dad's a science teacher," Schmidt objected.
"Then you know that science proves evolution," added Schmidt.
"Parts of evolution," I said.
"But I believe that God created us and also that He can create an evolutionary process that allows species to change and adapt."
Schmidt winced and raised his eyebrows. In the dim light, his sunglasses shifted atop his head. I had just dared to mention the C-word: creationism. But I felt I was on solid factual ground.