Jon Huntsman Jr., a former Utah governor and ambassador to China, isn’t a serious contender for the Republican presidential nomination. And that’s too bad, because Mr. Huntsman has been willing to say the unsayable about the G.O.P. — namely, that it is becoming the “anti-science party.” This is an enormously important development. And it should terrify us.
To see what Mr. Huntsman means, consider recent statements by the two men who actually are serious contenders for the G.O.P. nomination: Rick Perry and Mitt Romney.
Mr. Perry, the governor of Texas, recently made headlines by dismissing evolution as “just a theory,” one that has “got some gaps in it” — an observation that will come as news to the vast majority of biologists.
Mr. Krugman’s concern is that a politician stated that evolution is just a theory and that it has some gaps in it.
In fact, evolution does not explain how mammals arose. Nor does it explain how reptiles, birds, amphibians or fish evolved. It doesn’t explain how species evolved abruptly in many cases. It doesn’t explain how the DNA code evolved or life itself first arose. In fact, evolution cannot even explain how a single protein could have arisen. There are 27 orders of magnitude between evolution’s expectations and reality. And that is going by the evolutionist’s own reckoning (in reality it is 100+ orders of magnitude). Indeed, practically all of evolution’s major predictions have turned out false. Need we say more?
Yes, evolution has gaps. Even evolutionists admit it has gaps. But Mr. Krugman believes otherwise. He thinks evolution’s many gaps would “come as news to the vast majority of biologists.” And he is alarmed that this is a sign of increasing anti-intellectualism.
Yes there is anti-intellectualism afoot, but it is much closer than Mr. Krugman thinks. He is not only ignorant of a rather straightforward topic, but he is ignorant of his ignorance. The result is an embarrassing political rant premised on a profound ignorance. Here is how Rabbi Shmuley Boteach reacted in the Huffington Post:
I am not a scientist. But beginning in about 1990 I started organizing an annual debate at Oxford University on science versus religion where the focus was almost always on evolution and which featured some of the world's greatest evolutionists like Richard Dawkins, who appeared several times, and the late John Maynard-Smith of the University of Sussex, who, at the time, was regarded by many as the greatest living evolutionary theorist. While I moderated the first few debates, I later participated in a debate against Richard Dawkins at Oxford which he later denied ever took place, forcing us to post the full video of the debate online where Dawkins is not only the principal proponent of the science side but actually loses the debate in a student vote at the end. I later debated Dawkins again at the Idea City Convention at the University of Toronto, the video of which is likewise available online.
What I learned from these debates, as well as reading extensively on evolution, is that evolutionists have a tough time defending the theory when challenged in open dialogue. Indeed, David Berlinski, the author of The Devil's Delusion, was, although an agnostic, on the religion side of one of the debates against Dawkins and tore large holes in evolution that Dawkins and Maynard-Smith struggled to address.
This does not mean that evolution is not true or that theory is without merit or evidence. It does, however, corroborate what Governor Perry said. Evolution is a theory.
It is unfortunate that hack journalism is alive and well, and misrepresenting science.