To say I am not a fan of Rick Perry, Republican Presidential candidate, is to seriously underestimate my antipathy toward him. He is anti-science in almost every sense of the word, and his stance on nearly every issue on which I've heard him speak is the exact opposite of where I stand.
But then something like this comes along, and shows just how far outside of reality he is. In this video, a little boy asks him how old the Earth is, and Perry then gives an astonishing answer:
After equivocating about the age of the Earth, Perry -- a man who, if elected President, will swear to uphold the U. S. Constitution -- says, "In Texas we teach both creationism and evolution in our public schools."
This is a jaw-dropping assertion. I find it difficult to interpret this as other than him saying he supports blatantly violating the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution by teaching religion in public schools. Gawker does take a different tack saying, " Texas does not, in fact, teach creationism, or anything like it." But even if that's true, it means Perry is -- at the very least -- woefully out of touch with his own state's school system, and -- at the worst, which is where I think we stand -- he is unfamiliar with the very first amendment of the document upon which all the laws of the United States of America are based.
I could go on and on -- though apropos of this it's worth reminding you that Perry appointed creationists to be the head of the Texas State Board of Education three times in a row. It's very clear that this man has no concern at all for science (like, say, global warming, about which the Washington Post strongly implies he's a liar) or for doing and saying whatever it takes to push his religious agenda.
Every day, it seems, Perry says something similar to this, and it's very early yet in the campaign process. Yet, incredibly, he's leading in the Presidential candidate pool among likely Republican voters in the primary next year. We have a long, painful election journey ahead of us.
Tip o' the Burgess Shale to Ken Plume.