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Huckabee Proclaims Ignorance of Iran NIE, Evolution

December 5, 2007

Mike Huckabee is quickly learning that the frontrunner's life isn't always an easy one. After first brushing off questions Tuesday about his creationist beliefs, the former Arkansas Governor went on to display complete ignorance of the new National Intelligence Estimate on Iran now dominating the news and debate in Washington. But while Huckabee might be excused for being a foreign policy neophyte, the former Baptist minister is an old hand when it comes to promoting creationism at the expense of evolution in the nation's public schools.
On a day when he collected the endorsement of 60 pastors in Iowa, Mike Huckabee bristled when confronted with questions regarding the teaching of creationism in American public schools:

"I believe God created the heavens and the Earth. I wasn't there when he did it, so how he did it, I don't know.
That's an irrelevant question to ask me - I'm happy to answer what I believe, but what I believe is not what's going to be taught in 50 different states. Education is a state function. The more state it is, and the less federal it is, the better off we are."

Let's just hope that his home state of Arkansas isn't the model President Huckabee has in mind.
As the Arkansas Times detailed in 2006, the teaching of evolution in state classrooms reached a crisis of biblical proportions (pun intended) during Huckabee's tenure as Governor. One teacher reported his public school prohibited the use of the "e-word" and that "I am supposed to say that these rocks are VERY VERY OLD...but I am NOT to say that these rocks are thought to be about 300 million years old." In a survey of public school instructors attending professional science education workshops in Arkansas, "80 percent of the teachers surveyed are not adequately teaching evolutionary science."
As the Arkansas Times detailed, then Governor Huckabee claimed not to know that schools in his state were pressuring instructors not to teach evolution in the classroom. In its article titled "Scientists Discover That Evolution is Missing from Arkansas Classrooms," the paper documented this shocking July 2004 exchange between Huckabee and a pupil on "Arkansans Ask," his regular show on the Arkansas Educational Television Network:

STUDENT: Many schools in Arkansas are failing to teach students about evolution according to the educational standards of our state. Since it is against these standards to teach creationism, how would you go about helping our state educate students more sufficiently for this?
HUCKABEE: Are you saying some students are not getting exposure to the various theories of creation?
STUDENT (stunned): No, of evol...well, of evolution specifically. It's a biological study that should be educated [taught], but is generally not.
MODERATOR: Schools are dodging Darwinism? Is that what you...?
HUCKABEE: I'm not familiar that they're dodging it. Maybe they are. But I think schools also ought to be fair to all views. Because, frankly, Darwinism is not an established scientific fact. It is a theory of evolution, that's why it's called the theory of evolution. And I think that what I'd be concerned with is that it should be taught as one of the views that's held by people. But it's not the only view that's held. And any time you teach one thing as that it's the only thing, then I think that has a real problem to it.

It's no wonder that Arkansas' schools receive failing grades for science education. And it's certainly no surprise that talking about evolution and creationism is not part of GOP frontrunner Mike Huckabee's intelligent design.
For more on Mike Huckabee's extremist vision for a faith-based presidency, visit here and here.
UPDATE: As Murray Waas documents at the Huffington Post, evolution and the Iran NIE are now the least of Mike Huckabee's problems.

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Jon Perr
Jon Perr is a technology marketing consultant and product strategist who writes about American politics and public policy.

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