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'Going Rogue': Is Sarah Palin a creationist?

In 'Going Rogue,' Sarah Palin says she is a creationist, rejecting Darwin's theory of evolution.

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Two years earlier though, that's exactly what she said. During a televised debate for the 2006 Alaska gubernatorial race, she was asked whether creationism should be taught alongside evolution in the state's public classrooms. Here's her response, according to the Anchorage Daily News:

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"Teach both. You know, don't be afraid of information. Healthy debate is so important and it's so valuable in our schools. I am a proponent of teaching both. And you know, I say this too as the daughter of a science teacher. Growing up with being so privileged and blessed to be given a lot of information on, on both sides of the subject – creationism and evolution. It's been a healthy foundation for me. But don't be afraid of information and let kids debate both sides."

The ADN spoke with Palin after the debate:

Asked for her personal views on evolution, Palin said, "I believe we have a creator."
She would not say whether her belief also allowed her to accept the theory of evolution as fact.
"I'm not going to pretend I know how all this came to be," she said.

So it looks like Palin was skeptical of evolution in 2006, but that she dialed back her creationist beliefs for the 2008 presidential campaign, only to let them loose again in 2009. This isn't surprising: as this blog noted last year, her thoughts on climate change are similarly slippery.

Palin's beliefs about our origins may be vague and contradictory – as Slate's Christopher Beam points out, she has no reservations about describing people as "Neanderthals" – but she's in excellent company. A Gallup poll taken in February 2009 shows that only four in 10 Americans believe in evolution. Another 36 percent have no opinion, and 25 percent said that they do not believe in evolution.

A large number of Americans seem to have scant understanding of how mutation and natural selection can give rise to complex life: When Gallup asked which scientific theory Charles Darwin is associated with, only 55 percent were able to answer correctly.

Palin's rejection of human's evolutionary kinship with other species expresses itself in other ways. In a line that tweaks vegans, Palin quipped: "If God had not intended for us to eat animals, how come He made them out of meat?"

Humans, she seems to believe, are made of something else entirely.

See also:

Will Obama read Sarah Palin's book?

Is Sarah Palin Newsweek cover sexist? Palin says yes.

Sarah Palin: Going Rogue and making dough

Sarah Palin urges Israel settlement expansion, attacks Barack Obama


If you hated this post, you'll probably also hate this one, titled "Are climate change deniers like creationists?" And you would definitely not want to follow Eoin on Twitter.

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