'Going Rogue': Is Sarah Palin a creationist?
In 'Going Rogue,' Sarah Palin says she is a creationist, rejecting Darwin's theory of evolution.
(Page 2 of 3)
Science says she is not. All the available evidence, from the fossil record to DNA to comparative anatomy and biochemistry, point to a common ancestor of all species.Skip to next paragraph
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
Evolutionary anthropologists would agree with Palin on at least one point though – humans did not evolve from monkeys – but rather an ancestor of monkeys, apes, and humans. But scientists are almost certain that all vertebrates are descended from fish.
Others remember Palin's conversation with Schmidt and Salter differently.
Writing on the website for CBS News, Shushannah Walshe and Scott Conroy, coauthors of the book "Sarah From Alaska: The Sudden Rise and Brutal Education of a New Conservative Superstar," published earlier this month, note that, if Palin was a creationist at the time, she wasn't exactly advertising that fact.
Palin's version of the conversation contradicts the reporting we conducted for our own book, "Sarah From Alaska," which was published earlier this month.
"I'm the daughter of a science teacher. My father showed me fossils. I know about evolution, and I accept evolution," Palin said, we report in our book. "That doesn't mean that God didn't set everything in motion."
In "Sarah From Alaska," we reported that contrary to Palin's description of a pair of sunglasses shifting ominously atop Schmidt's head, both Schmidt and Salter were actually quite satisfied with Palin's answer, which dovetailed with the theory of Intelligent Design.
Two former McCain aides each independently maintained that Palin's recollection of the conversation in "Going Rogue," was inaccurate.
"If she had been, 'I am a creationist,' she would not have been the nominee," one former aide said. "McCain wouldn't have gone for that."
Another former McCain campaign aide maintained not to have recalled ever hearing Palin use the word "creationism" and said that it had been Palin, not Schmidt, who had raised the issue of her father's occupation as a science teacher.
Walshe and Conroy's account of this conversation is closer to what Palin said in her much-scrutinized interview with CBS anchor Katie Couric. If you watch this YouTube clip starting at about 2:10, you'll hear Palin say that she thinks evolution "should be taught as an accepted principle."
Palin adds that she sees "the hand of God in this beautiful creation that is Earth," but that "science should be taught in science class." In this interview, she doesn't qualify her acceptance of evolution, nor does she suggest that creationism should be taught alongside the science.