Mike Pence (R-IN) Gets Hammered on his Creationism by Chris Matthews

If you want to denounce science, then you should first understand science. Mike Pence, a Congressperson from Indiana, can’t even come clean about his Creationist beliefs:

A partial transcript:

Matthews: Do you believe in evolution, sir?

Pence: Umm… do I believe in evolution? I embrace the view that God created the heavens and the earth, the seas, and all that’s in them. The means, Chris, he used to do that, I can’t say.

Matthews: Did you take biology in school, did you take science?… The reason I’m asking this… if your party wants to be credible on science, you’ve got to accept science. Do you?

Pence: …On the global warming issue…I know that in the mainstream media…

Matthews: See how you’re hedging. This is why people don’t trust Republicans.

Matthews: Here’s the ludicrous part. You’re obviously as educated as I am Congressman. I’m not challenging your bona fides to have this argument, but there are people on your side of the argument who believe that all the prehistoric bones we’ve discovered in the world, all the dinosaur bones and all that stuff was somehow planted there by liberal scientists to make the case against the Bible. There are people that really are against science in your party who really do question not just the science behind climate change but the science behind evolutionary fact that we were taught, you and I in our biology books. They don’t accept the scientific method. They believe in belief itself and and once you hold that truth that I’m not going to be busted here on science, I’m not going to lose the argument on science some people say I don’t think your party really believes in progress, in human progress.

Pence: You know it’s an interesting straw-man you put up. I don’t know too many Americans that actually think that way Chris. I think most Americans are serious and study science.

Matthews: I think you’re afraid to say so because your conservative constituency might find that offensive.

Pence: No I’ve said to you Chris that I believe with all my heart that god created the heavens and the earth, the seas and all that’s in them. How he did that I’ll ask him about some day.

Pence dodges the questions about whether he accepts evolution. He also doesn’t respond when Matthews talks about other Republicans who think evidence for evolution is a lie.

(Thanks to Rebecca for the link! Transcript courtesy of Crooks and Liars.)

  • mark

    Hemant wrote:

    Pence dodges the questions about whether he accepts evolution…

    Now, Hemant. I support what you say and what you post 99 percent of the time but this statement is just plain unfair. Pence clearly answered the question. He said he didn’t know when he stated

    …The means, Chris, he used to do that, I can’t say…

    Answering a question by saying “I don’t know” is not dodging the question.

    There is no rule that says God can’t take a million years to evolve life on this Planet.

    The theory of evolution is pretty clear about WHAT happened to life on this planet but it doesn’t really address the driving forces other than to say “random chance did it”.

  • Richard Wade

    Pence talks like a long string dropped on the floor. You’re never, ever going to get a straight, frank answer out of him on evolution, just one distraction and obfuscation after another. He has more hedges than an English country road. Pence may secretly accept evolution but he is a vote whore and will never come right out and say so.

    At the end Matthews said “Thank you for your honesty.” ARE YOU KIDDING, CHRIS?? What honesty?

  • Arlo

    We got his answer… his squirming when asked whether he believed the literal 7 days interpretation of the bible said it all.

  • http://twitter.com/untheist unTheist

    He DID dodge the question. Saying, he thinks god did it but doesnt know how, is absolutely an evasion.

    First of all the question is not do you believe in a creator-god, it was do you believe in evolution. As Mark above pointed out, those are not mutually exclusive.

    Saying “I dont know how he created it” doesnt answer the question of if you believe evolution happened after the creation.

    Its an evasion, and Matthews did a good job, but he could have forced the issue a bit more. Great clip.

    Also, I have to agree a bit with Matthews, I think a lot of right wing politicians have to pretend to be bible thumpers – they are being intellectually dishonest.

  • Will

    I live and grew up in this guy’s district.

    fml.

  • Richard Wade

    mark,
    Evolutionary theory does not say that “random chance did it.” That is the kind of simplistic misconception that brings us the silly nonsense we hear from Ray Comfort. Evolution, like everything else in the universe is driven by physical laws. The possibilities and limitations of chemistry and genetics are the boundaries of evolution. Mutations in chromosomes occur randomly, but there is a lot more to it than that, and the very non-random processes that favor or eliminate those mutations in a changing environment over hundreds of millions of years are well understood.

    Saying that God may have been behind it is fine for one’s religion, but having no empirical evidence for that particular claim, it has no place in a science class.

    I don’t buy Pence’s “I don’t know” hedge. He’s lying. He has an opinion, but he thinks that sitting on the rhetorical fence will keep him the most votes. He was hinting at “creation science” when he said at 2:00 min. “We should be teaching all of the facts of all of these controversial ideas.” He spends all his time massaging the minds of his constituency. With all his hemming and hawing, we cannot rely on him or his Republican colleagues to take a courageous stand, honestly promote science and move us forward.

    This is political natural selection in action. The environment is changing and no longer favors superstition. We’re witnessing the extinction of the Ignorasaurus.

  • http://thinkingforfree.blogspot.com/ Eamon Knight

    He still did better than Gary Goodyear :-/.

  • Aj

    mark,

    The theory of evolution is pretty clear about WHAT happened to life on this planet but it doesn’t really address the driving forces other than to say “random chance did it”.

    Darwinian evolution certainly does not say “random chance did it”, it quite clearly says the opposite. Darwinian evolution claims that natural selection is the primary driving force in evolution, the origin of species, an obviously non-random process.

  • llewelly

    The theory of evolution is pretty clear about WHAT happened to life on this planet but it doesn’t really address the driving forces other than to say “random chance did it”.

    ‘random chance’ does not function as the driving force behind evolution. The driving forces behind evolution are natural and sexual selection. Those that are more fit – either for surviving or for mating – tend to have more offspring. Natural and sexual selection continue to work even if mixing of genes and mutations are substantially non-random. Sexual reproduction in particular would not work if the genes from sexual partners were recombined in a completely random manner.

  • Mark

    AJ replied:

    Darwinian evolution certainly does not say “random chance did it”, it quite clearly says the opposite. Darwinian evolution claims that natural selection is the primary driving force in evolution, the origin of species, an obviously non-random process.

    Hey, AJ, I’m not talking about the process of natural selection. I’m talking about where those new species came from. Is that point not clear to you or are you just evading the question? Gosh, why can’t I ever get a straight answer from those evolutionists? You can’t have natural selection until you have new species from which to select. Where did those new species come from if not random chance? You guys get as emotional and evasive with your fundamentalist “beliefs” with regard to evolution theory (that so far can’t be replicated in a laboratory) as those whacko religious fundamentalists get upset about their gods and their prophets.

    By the way. One of the stupidest things a person can ask is “do you believe in evolution”. Evolution is a scientific theory. One doesn’t “believe” in scientific theories. One hypothesizes and then proves or disproves the hypothesis through experiment. Chris Matthews really comes off as a blithering moron when he rants about “believing” in evolution.

  • bernerbits

    You can’t have natural selection until you have new species from which to select.

    This just isn’t true. All you need is a novel or advantageous trait: a color mutation making you less prone to predation; an extra vertebra in your neck enabling you to reach higher-up leaves; an extra peptide that renders you capable of metabolizing alternate sugars. New species don’t simply *pop* into existence. They’re simply the accumulation of several naturally selected traits over many generations.

    As a completely banal analogy, if I have a bag of marbles and take them out at random, but decide I will only *keep* them if I pull out red or blue ones, it’s hardly random chance that I only have red and blue marbles on the table, even if the underlying strata—the sequence of marbles itself—was random.

    By the way, if you gripe that I’ve introduced intelligent intervention in the above example, you’ve completely failed to grasp the heart of the matter. And if you start talking about mousetraps, Behe and flagella, you really need to pick up a biology textbook.

    You guys get as emotional and evasive with your fundamentalist “beliefs”

    I’m reading through the comments, and I’m lost. Who here got evasive and emotional?

  • karen

    Mark replied:

    By the way. One of the stupidest things a person can ask is “do you believe in evolution”. Evolution is a scientific theory. One doesn’t “believe” in scientific theories. One hypothesizes and then proves or disproves the hypothesis through experiment. Chris Matthews really comes off as a blithering moron when he rants about “believing” in evolution.

    So how do you suggest it be phrased? Although I agree with you about the “believe” part, we need to understand and ask this of the people in our government, maybe it’s to early and my coffee hasn’t kicked in yet, but I am at a loss for how else to phrase the inquiry. Maybe just asking the opposite do you “believe” in creationism? But I can just hear the answer now…believe is a hard word to omit when talking about these things.

    And i just want to add that I don’t think people who believe in creationism or even just pretend to, should be in our government at all.

  • Aj

    mark,

    Hey, AJ, I’m not talking about the process of natural selection.

    Then you’re not talking about the theory of evolution in modern science. Natural selection is the primary process in the origin of species, hence the title of Darwin’s book. If you don’t understand the process of natural selection, read about it, I suggest On The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin. If you want to talk about new species then you won’t get far without talking about natural selection. I’ve made this as simple as I can, if you still don’t get this point then I give up, you’re a lost cause.

  • Siamang

    You can’t have natural selection until you have new species from which to select.

    Natural selection doesn’t take place at the species level. It happens at the individual organism level. A lion eats a weak gazelle, it doesn’t weed out the species, it merely removes that weak set of alleles by one instance within the gene pool.

    Where did those new species come from if not random chance?

    Speciation is a process that takes many, many generations. I recommend reading this entry, which you may find helpful.

    You guys get as emotional and evasive with your fundamentalist “beliefs” with regard to evolution theory

    Which emotion am I showing right now? I’m providing links to the information you claim to seek. As always online in discussions about science, I will answer questions but I refuse to debate.

    If you desire to have questions about natural selection or speciation answered, you can post them here. But be aware that I have no interest in whatever game you’re playing with attempting to find fault with people’s emotional responses. If you want facts, I can help you find them. Emotions are worthless in finding scientific fact, or pseudo scientific falsehood, as a person can be emotional or detached when discussing either. Reality doesn’t depend on the emotions of the person discussing it.

  • Vincent

    Belief is the acceptance of a proposition as true.

    I accept the theory of evolution by natural selection to be true because of the mountains of evidence that support it and because of the time and time again demonstrations of its predictive ability.

    Therefore I believe in evolution through natural selection.

    (don’t confuse “belief” with “blind faith”)

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff

    What did one creationist say to another creationist at the sheep farm?

    “Behe behe”


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X