Listen, when you make comments that fly in the face of what 98 out of 100 climate scientists have said, when you call into question the science of evolution, all I’m saying is that in order for the Republican party to win, we can’t run from science, … And by making comments that basically don’t reflect the reality of the situation, we turn people off.
Huntsman is a politician, and speaking here qua politician his comments make some sense. Huntsman is merely pointing out that, in his view, Republicans need to acknowledge and respect the leading scientific opinions. Otherwise they risk losing votes. In other words, it seems he is talking about political strategy, not scientific realism.
There is of course the philosophical and ethical question that politicians always face. Should politicians “sell out” for votes? How many lies and absurdities should one tolerate to gain office?
But beyond this, one wonders if Huntsman’s remarks go beyond political gamesmanship. When the Palo Alto High dropout speaks of “the science of evolution” it almost sounds as though he is speaking as an evolutionary realist who believes evolution is true, or approximately true.
Adding to this speculation, Huntsman speaks of “the reality of the situation.” Does he mean the political reality of the situation, or the scientific reality of the situation?
Unfortunately Huntsman has never had the question put directly to him: Does he believe evolution is a fact?
Paying homage to evolution for political reasons, as low as that may seem, is an understandable political strategy. Believing in the absurd religious theory that the world spontaneously arose, is quite another.