THE BLOG
03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Sarah Palin Is Flat: Change Without Evolution

Although the list is long and getting longer with each day, add one more very significant reason to the catalog documenting that Sarah Palin is not only unqualified to hold any public office, but also through her intellectual bankruptcy shows her as a threat to American leadership in one of the great financial opportunities of the 21st Century.

The only saving grace of her book, Going Rogue, is that perhaps it will ultimately find itself cataloged in most libraries as a work of fiction. However, let's assume for a moment that at least one part of the book reflects her real beliefs and that her recollection of conversations in this one instance bears some passing resemblance to reality.

During the vetting process for the number two spot on the Republican ticket in 2008, she apparently claimed to "believe in" microevolution. She then somehow contorted the entire field of biology by denying that all life on earth -- including human beings -- arose in the same evolutionary process. She thus denied the defining organizing principle of all of modern biology.

The recollections of others who participated in the vetting process and those who have researched the matter disagree with her recollection of her statements at that time. However, her writings (or the writings of whoever wrote the book) leave little doubt as to her position now and her total lack of understanding of biology. But why does this matter? After all, she doesn't plan to teach science. Let's just consider what her influence might be in any public position.

First let's think about the education of the children in the United States. If we continue to allow the promulgation in classrooms of discredited ideas such as creationism and "intelligent design" (creationism repackaged), we place the next generations of Americans at a great disadvantage as this century becomes the century of biotechnology and medical advances. The concepts of creationism and "intelligent design" deserve no more credibility than that given to those who continue to "believe" in a flat earth, the staging of the moon landings in a New Mexico desert and similar nonsense.

The proponents of creationism in the United States do have a kindred spirit, however. Muslim religious fundamentalists in Turkey are adopting the same tactics there to force creationism into the schools. Now that's quite a pairing -- creationists here uniting with Muslim religious fundamentalists to undermine education and throw out the overwhelming evidence for evolution. So far I haven't heard the creationists here push for keeping girls from being educated or to force women to cover themselves completely in public, as the Muslim religious fundamentalists propose or require, but perhaps I missed that memo.

Second, if we do not provide a workforce able to understand the basic precepts of biology, other countries are more than willing to seize leadership in this field from the United States. Do we want to yield another field to better-educated, more well-trained workers? The fruits of the biological and medical revolution are out there for the taking. Will we benefit by being able to be a leader in this field? Those who choose to keep America in the 19th Century in education will be responsible for having this country lose out on the financial windfall that will come to those able to understand these fields.

Sorry, Sarah, you are just flat wrong -- as wrong as the flat-earthers.