The Miss USA Pageant was last night. (
SPOILERS BELOW Oh, screw it, no one cares.)
Before the competition took place, all 51 delegates were asked a series of questions… including: “Should evolution be taught in schools?”
This is just full of fail…:
Watch that thing. All 14:48 of it. I dare you.
What you see are a lot of women who (at least in theory) are supposed to represent our country but who know jack shit about science.
(Come to think of it, they represent our country pretty well…)
What did the eventual winner, Miss California Alyssa Campanella, have to say?
Well, I was taught evolution in my high school growing up, and I do believe in it. I mean, I’m a huge science geek, so I like to believe in, like, the Big Bang Theory and, you know, the evolution of humans, you know, throughout, you know, time.
And that was one of the better answers. (Just FYI, Campanella referred to herself in the actual program as a “history geek“… traitor.)
Mind you, there’s nothing to “believe” when it comes to science. You accept it or you don’t. The evidence is there or it isn’t. There’s evidence for evolution and the Big Bang. There’s no evidence for Creationism and Intelligent Design.
None of the women seem to know that.
A couple other notables:
Brittany Thelemann of Minnesota said it should be taught in school, adding that she learned evolution in her Catholic school growing up and that her priest and Pope John Paul II have said evolution can be reconciled with Catholic beliefs. Sounds decent… but she also mentioned that we should know “all perspectives,” whatever that means.
Chandra Burnham of South Dakota said:
I think evolution is part of basic science and it should be taught, but I also don’t think that teachers or anyone should step on the toes of Biblical values, either.
That’s probably the best answer you’re going to get. It’s not the denunciation of Creationism/ID that I’d like to hear, but it’s the PC way of getting around that.
***Edit***: People want me to include Lauren Carter of Vermont, who said:
I think evolution should be taught in schools because not everybody necessarily has the same religious background so it’s important to have scientific facts about the world. And we do know that evolution exists even on a small scale like people and with bacteria that are becoming resistant to drugs and whatnot, so I just want to learn about it.
Again, it’s an ok answer, but it’s not great. Even if everyone had the same religious background, it doesn’t mean you teach an alternative. And she acknowledges microevolution (which even Creationists accept) without mentioning macroevolution. I’m not expecting her to say all of this, obviously — it’s already a better answer than most of her competitors. I just wasn’t blown away by it. But when pickings are slim…
The rest of the responses make it sound like each candidate was paid off by the Discovery Institute.
Only a couple candidates said, “Yes, evolution should be taught in school” without elaborating or without adding “we should also teach other perspectives.” None of them said it should be taught and that other “competing” theories should not be (because there’s no evidence for them).
This is not a “difficult” or “tough” question, nor is it about “teaching all sides” or “freedom of choice” or “more knowledge is always good!” as many candidates said.
I know this pageant is a joke to begin with — they’re judging candidates on their looks, “talents,” and possibly their ability to form a coherent sentence, not their brains. But would it be so hard to get some intelligent, educated women in the mix?