Ron Paul Backs Creationism, Denies Evolution

As is seen in the video above, Ron Paul shows a total lack of understanding of modern biology as he rejects science in response to a question on evolution.

This is not the first time I’ve noted that, despite his training as a physician, Paul has taken positions which vary from established science. Paul has supported legislation to eliminate the legal distinction between a zygote and a fully developed human. His support for the ban on so-called partial birth abortions can also be seen as taking an anti-science position considering the lack of medical validity of the term “partial birth abortion.”

While Ron Paul will never win a major party nomination or have enough influence on public policy to really matter, this is of some concern as Paul’s view does influence a small but noisy crowd. There are two general characteristics of the group which spams the internet supporting Paul: 1) they tend to follow their leader and lack the ability to think for themselves and 2) they are intolerant of the views of others and will spread their beliefs regardless of how absurd they are.

Just as Ron Paul’s followers have spent the last few days making lame excuses for Paul’s refusal to return the contribution from a white supremacist and neo-Nazi, we can now expect them to spam the blogosphere with all the usual bogus arguments given in favor of creationism.

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29 Comments

  1. 1
    Eric Dondero says:

    This is entirely consistent with all of the personal conversatons I had with my boss Ron Paul, and his stated views on evolution to me, during my 12 years of employment with the man.

    Ron Paul is surrounded personally by a number of hardcore Religious Conservatives, including his longtime Campaign Manager Marc Elam. Elam’s views on religious matters are in the extreme to say the least. You might say he’s a “Evolution Truther”.

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    Eric,

    Yes, there is a correlation between the mind set which could lead to rejecting basic science and/or accepting conspiracy theories. There was even the inevitable response from a Paul supporter who didn’t care about Paul’s views on evolution because of all the other candidates being in the CFR. Of course the Paul cultists fail to understand the problems of having a president who rejects such basic science in the 21st century as they repeat the usual creationist lines opposing science.

    “Ron Paul is surrounded personally by a number of hardcore Religious Conservatives…”

    If Paul ever gets out of single digits it will be necessary to take a close look at the people Paul is surrounded by as the people a candidate will bring into their administration is important.

  3. 3
    Eric Dondero says:

    Such a look into the people that surround Ron Paul won’t be a pretty sight, I promise you. As kooky as Paul can be, his supporters and handlers are even more so. I can only think of one single sane person in the entire Ron Paul operation. The rest are all eccentrics in the extreme.

  4. 4
    Ron Chusid says:

    While we can’t blame Paul for people commenting on the internet, they are the supporters I see the most views of and the bulk of them are extremely kooky. They are far more racist/conspiracy theorists/states rights advocates than libertarians. Most also have difficulty expressing a coherent thought when they try to move beyond their own echo chamber where they can just discuss things with people who share their own warped world view.

  5. 5
    Aegist says:

    Interesting. I’m very disappointed to learn that Ron Paul, a man which I had believed to be very intelligent, is a creationist. I really thought becomming a Doctor would fix such ridiculous notions.

    Nonetheless, his political ideals still at least secure that people and corporations will have the freedom to do what they want – so in theory his own personal beleifs should not impede scientific advance in any way. He probably won’t provide much funding for scientific research – but that has nothing to do with his beliefs, just that he is advocating a small government, hence there shouldn’t be much funding for just about anything – they have to fend for themselves.

    It is the only really fair system IMO.

  6. 6
    Ron Chusid says:

    An argument could certainly be made that Paul’s views don’t matter because he opposes government funding for education and scientific research. However the fact remains that we currently have a system of public schools and considerable public funding for scientific research and this isn’t going to change overnight. In coming years matters related to biology are going to continue to have an impact on public policy. Evolution is such a fundamental concept upon which biology is built that someone’s with Paul’s views cannot make intelligent decisions related to biolgical science.

    Then there’s the basic question of the candidate’s intelligence and judgement. Even if I agreed with him on most other issues I’d have serious qualms about someone who expresses this degree of ignorance of science.

  7. 7
    George Dance says:

    In the video, Paul is asked whether he thinks evolution is true or false. He replies that no one has absolute proof either way, but that it doesn’t bother him, doesn’t make any major difference, and that if it were the major campaign issue he would not be running.

    None of which makes him a Creationist – an actual Creationist would differ with Dr. Paul on each one of the above points. Your headline is misleading.

  8. 8
    Ron Chusid says:

    His claim of a lack of evidence for evolution shows a profound ignorance of modern science at very least. He is merely repeating creationist memes and clearly appears to be on their side.

  9. 9
    Brother Hand says:

    George Dance’s comments rings true to me. Maybe both creationism and darwinism should be removed from schools, as it clearly entails a religious preference (Science VS Church) The issue is more often used as a moral litmus test and has no place in federally funded institutions in the first place — either way you look at it

  10. 10
    Ron Chusid says:

    Science should certainly be taught in science classes in school and you cannot teach science without evolution. Evolution provides the framework of modern biology.

    Science vs. Church is not a religious preference. Religion is based upon faith without evidence. Science requires proof of its validity–and evolution has withstood this test.

  11. 11
    Jeremy says:

    I hope I’m not being too confrontational here, but George and Brother are both morons. Paul said that evolution is a theory, and that he doesn’t buy it, showing a complete ignorance as to what a scientific theory is. He’s talking about common theory which is made up of guesses and conjecture. Scientific thoery, like the theory of evolution, theories of gravity, atomic theory, etc., are made of of a bunch of observational and tested facts (and also SOME conjecture) that attempt to teach us about a particular something that happens to factually exist, such as evolution, gravity and atoms. Scientific theory doesn’t graduate into fact or law, and them being called theories do not mean the things they are attemping to teach us about are not facts. Is the existence of atoms in question because there is a theory called atomic theory? No. Same is true of evolution. Atoms exist, gravity exists and evolution exists. Anyone who understands what evolution ACTUALLY means, instead of the fictional bullshit creationists have come up with to confuse the issue and make their religion look more like science, understands that evolution is very factual and very observable just by looking around and using your brain. Ron Paul needs to go back to school, learn what theory means, what evolution means, and then get back to us. Right now, he has no business being in charge of anything other than possibly a religious organization.

  12. 12
    Ron Chusid says:

    “I hope I’m not being too confrontational here…”

    It would be preferable to simply show how far they are off on the facts. At that point, whether or not they are morons might be rather obvious.

  13. 13
    christo930 says:

    While I am an atheist and totally reject all religious claims, especially creationism, Paul’s answer really isn’t that bad. He’s a creationist, but doesn’t see it as very pertinent to modern life, but more importantly, he believes in a very small limited government. What does it matter what the gov thinks about creationism if it’s too small to force it on the people?

  14. 14
    Ron Chusid says:

    Yes, it does matter for a few reasons.

    First, someone who is willing to reject science based upon such religious beliefs shows an inability to think rationally, and this could very well carry over to other areas of science. Someone who believes in using religion rather than science as the way to evaluate the world around them is likely to make some very serious mistakes in the 21st century.

    Secondly, Paul believes in a very small federal government, but he is also a states’ rights advocate. If somehow Paul’s view of the Constitution were to take hold, states could become almost dictatorial theocracies under Paul, even if this is not his actual intent. This is why so many neo-Nazis and other extremist groups contributed to Paul. They realized that the best way to bring fascism to American was through Ron Paul and then go through the individual states. Even if things didn’t go this far, a Paul presidency would be a tremendous boost for the theocrats who are trying to prevent the teaching of evolution in the schools.

    Thirdly, if Paul was president he would be appointing judges. If he appointed judges who shared his views, we would have a tremendous weakening of the separation of church and state.

  15. 15
    White says:

    “someone who is willing to reject science based upon such religious beliefs shows an inability to think rationally”
     
    This is an extreme exaggeration, I need only show one rational decision on his part to disprove your statement and I think we can both agree he has made rational decisions.
     
    “this could very well carry over to other areas of science”
     
    This is a pretty weak statement. You offer no examples. I usually don’t see religious people arguing against science in any other field.
     
    “Someone who believes in using religion rather than science as the way to evaluate the world around them is likely to make some very serious mistakes in the 21st century.”
     
    You seem to imply that he rejects all science and that simply isn’t the case. He is a Dr. which means he has a pretty solid understanding of science. On a personal note, I have had more than one biology teacher tell me they had a sound belief in a creator while at the same time doing a very good job covering evolution.
     
    “If somehow Paul’s view of the Constitution were to take hold, states could become almost dictatorial theocracies under Paul”
     
    Again, no evidence. Have you read the state constitutions for most states? I find it interesting that we never had dictatorial theocracies in the first 100 years of this countries history when states had near absolute power.
     
    I’ll close by saying that Paul never says the theory is wrong, weak, or even bad, only that he rejects it. At some point even science becomes a faith since most people must rely on other people (scientist) to tell them the truth. Luckily good science is reproducible and so the degree of faith required goes down as more evidence is gathered and presented by independent sources. This is always going to be a striking point since we can’t reproduce the creation of the all life on earth in a repeatable fashion.
     
    To me this is pretty minor in comparison to the magnitude of relevance of his other positions, certainly in comparison to his competition’s alternatives.

  16. 16
    Ron Chusid says:

    Yes, it is an exaggeration. It doesn’t change the fact that Paul has repeatedly showed evidence of irrational thought, ranging from science to conspiracy theories.

    You are incorrect in claiming that denial of science by some religious people is limited to evolution. This is also seen in areas ranging from cosmology to geology when it contradicts their religious beliefs. Besides, denying evolution, which provides the basis of modern biology, is already a serious problem in itself.

    Being a doctor certainly does not indicate a solid understanding of science. Medical schools assume an understanding of basic biology. I don’t recall any instruction in evolution in medical school (although concepts of evolution are essential, such as in understanding antibiotic resistance). There are plenty of practicing physicians who show poor understanding of medical science. This problem is likely to be even worse for a physician who has gone into another field such as politics and is no longer keeping up. Besides, your claim is already contradicted by the ignorance displayed by Ron Paul.

    You are totally ignoring American history in denying the significance of Paul’s opposition to the 14th Amendment. Have you heard of things such as slavery, civil rights problems in more recent years, and ongoing attempts by the religious right to prevent the teaching of topics such as evolution in the schools? Without our Constitutional freedoms, the current situation would be far worse.

    These are hardly minor problems. The neo-Nazis know what they are doing in backing Paul as his policies provide the best chance of furthering their agenda. Even without such problems, we cannot afford a president who has demonstrated serious limitations in the ability to think rationally.

  17. 17
    Nate Dray says:

    This is a complete misrepresentation of what Ron Paul said. All he said was that the data was lacking and that evolution is theoretical.  There is alot of subtext and context here in this clip. He is essentially trying not to say that creationists are dead wrong and stupid. It’s politik. Nothing more. We don’t fully understand the ins and out of evolution. It’s relatively young – and saying you accept evolution so often implies the rejection of a Creator – though many in the Science community do not see them as mutually exclusive. YET – this distinction is difficult to make in short simple sound-byte type responses.

  18. 18
    Ron Chusid says:

    This is not at all a misrepresentation of what he said. His exact words are here. Even if he only said “the data was lacking and that evolution is theoretical” this would indicate a profound ignorance of science. Creationists who reject evolution are “dead wrong and stupid” and even if he were only pandering to such ignorance he would be showing that he is unfit for public office. There is no way to interpret Paul’s statement as coming from anything other than a kook.

  19. 19
    Brandon says:

    @Ron Chusid
    I am not a biologist, or a doctor.  In fact I know next to nothing about either of those two fields, so my opinion may not matter to you.  

      ”Evolution is such a fundamental concept upon which biology is built that someone’s with Paul’s views cannot make intelligent decisions related to biolgical science.”

    To the best of my understanding, evolution is a theory.  I find it hard to believe that a whole branch of science is based on a theory.  Part of biology is the study of cellular structure, for example.  This of course has its roots in the works of Robert Hooke.  It is not related to evolution.  But cellular structure is not a theory.  It is something that can be proven.  A person can see it with their own eyes simply by looking through a microscope.
    Your statement implies that Dr. Paul rejects biology because he rejects the theory of evolution.  Science is based on facts, not theories.  A person can argue and test theories certainly, but it is inaccurate to say that a whole branch of science is based on a theory.   If something is based merely on a theory then this discredits it as being science.  Biology is not theory, but evolution is.  
     
    Now I have a few questions for you.  
    How does the belief in a creator discredit the study of life on earth?  I would think that biology would allow a person to study life on the planet earth, whether it was created or not.  Looking at the beauty in the world, I tend to think it was created. 

    I think Isaac Newton would agree.
    “Gravity explains the motions of the planets, but it cannot explain who set the planets in motion. God governs all things and knows all that is or can be done.”–Isaac Newton

    -Brandon
     

  20. 20
    Ron Chusid says:

    You are misunderstanding what theory means in science, as opposed to popular use. Evolution is a theory, just like gravity is a theory. Evolution, like gravity, is also a proven fact. The evidence for evolution is overwhelming.

    This isn’t really about the belief in a creator. There are many people who believe in a creator who also believe in the fact of evolution. The problem with Ron Paul is not whether or not he believes in a creator, but his ignorance of basic facts of science, such as ignorance of all the evidence for evolution.

  21. 21
    Matt Fullone says:

    @JimNorton The words from his own mouth… http://t.co/pH5dG7L

  22. 22
    Wayne French says:

    I am an atheist and I am quite sure that evolution is a fact and not a theory and that creationism comes just from stories in the bible and has no basis in fact. That being said Ron Paul is, in my opinion, the best choice we have for our next president. You say that because of his religious beliefs he “shows an inability to think rationally.” Well what about the rest of the bone heads we have in Washington? People who think that we can spend our way out of debt.
     
    Do I agree with Ron Paul on religion? No. Do I agree with Ron Paul on economic policy? Yes. Do I agree with Ron Paul on ending the wars? Yes. Do I agree with RP on a whole host of other issues? yes.
     
    You may disagree but I believe that this country and most of the western world is on the brink of economic collapse caused by irrational thinking on economic policy for the last 30 to 50 years. The only major party candidate who is speaking out on these issues in a way that makes any sense at all, at least to me, is Ron Paul.  If we do have an economic collapse what someones religious beliefs may or may not be will be the least of your worries.
     
    And by the way, didn’t “most” of our founding fathers have very strong religious beliefs?

  23. 23
    Ron Chusid says:

    There are plenty of bone-headed thoughts in Washington, but among the worst is the rejection of science demonstrated by Ron Paul. “People who think that we can spend our way out of debt.” That is a mischaracterization of the beliefs of most others (with the possible exception of the Republicans who used to claim that “deficits don’t matter.” Economics on the far right is also essentially a religion as their echo chamber has developed a set of beliefs which are cut off from reality and in the end based upon religions-like faith.

    That is getting rather off-topic but as for the final line, no the founding fathers were nothing like Paul with regards to religion. Many were Diests, who totally rejected any concept of God’s involvement in human events. They would most likely be athiests today. Regardless of their religious beliefs, most of the founding fathers supported a strong separation of church and state, contrary to the views expressed by Ron Paul. They were not the type who would reject science because of religious beliefs. These were liberal, educated individuals who would join most people today in seeing Ron Paul as a crackpot.

  24. 24
    Nate Dray says:

    Somehow stumbled over myself here, but doesn’t President Obama number himself among the faithful?

    “You need to embrace Christ precisely because you have sins to wash away – because you are human and need an ally in this difficult journey.”

    “…So one Sunday, I put on one of the few clean jackets I had, and went over to Trinity United Church of Christ on 95th Street on the South Side of Chicago. And I heard Reverend Jeremiah A. Wright deliver a sermon called “The Audacity of Hope.” And during the course of that sermon, he introduced me to someone named Jesus Christ. I learned that my sins could be redeemed. I learned that those things I was too weak to accomplish myself, He would accomplish with me if I placed my trust in Him. And in time, I came to see faith as more than just a comfort to the weary or a hedge against death, but rather as an active, palpable agent in the world and in my own life. It was because of these newfound understandings that I was finally able to walk down the aisle of Trinity one day and affirm my Christian faith. It came about as a choice, and not an epiphany. I didn’t fall out in church, as folks sometimes do. The questions I had didn’t magically disappear. The skeptical bent of my mind didn’t suddenly vanish. But kneeling beneath that cross on the South Side, I felt I heard God’s spirit beckoning me. I submitted myself to His will, and dedicated myself to discovering His truth and carrying out His works…”
       – Barack Obama

    Sounds like alotta kooky-superstitious-holy-roller-malarcky to me. Doesn’t sound like something a sophisticated Deist would write/say. Or is this more of the pandering you refer to as making one unfit for public office?

    Also, to equate Relativity to Evolution may be inapproriate because there isn’t an ethical/moral question or a host of linked social or philosophical issues attached to the curvature of spacetime or the speed of light. 

    Oh, btw, Hadron collider? Higgs Boson? Einstein may very well have been wrong. Speed of light isn’t absolute max. The direction of time isn’t fixed, etc., etc. So maybe comparing Relativity to Evolution isn’t that far off, eh? Get it?  A “theory” that isn’t theory because it’s actually “fact” – empirically substantiated, loads of data, etc. – suddenly isn’t fact anymore. Oopsy! 

    Try proving Newton wrong at home sometime. It’s tough.

  25. 25
    Ron Chusid says:

    There are quite substantial differences between Obama and Paul. Obama supports separation of church and state. Paul does not. Obama accepts science, including evolution. Paul does not.

  26. 26
    feral mangos says:

    hello, i believe there are some misconceptions and distortions about ron paul and his supporters..He actually believes in the separation of church and state (he’s a constitution fanatic) and also believes that what is taught in schools or universities shouldnt come by goverment mandate (people like the atheist pro evolution magician Penn Jillete and the scientist Michael Shermer also support this view). Many of us support him because he seems to be the best option, and that theres little difference between Obama or Romney (war goes on, fed prints money out of the blue, debt goes up, drugs remain illegal, etc). Libertarians believe that the right and the left are the same bs just with little twitches. The acussation that being pro free-markets or against fiat currency is some kind of secular religion its just an ad hominem attack, a fallacy just like evolution is just a “theory” . Liberals have more in common with conservatives that they would ever recognize. 
     ”People have a hard time accepting free-market economics for the same reason they have a hard time accepting evolution: it is counterintuitive. Life looks intelligently designed, so our natural inclination is to infer that there must be an intelligent designer–a God. Similarly, the economy looks designed, so our natural inclination is to infer that we need a designer–a government. In fact, emergence and complexity theory explains how the principles of self-organization and emergence cause complex systems to arise from simple systems without a top-down designer.” 
    — Michael Shermer

  27. 27
    Ron Chusid says:

    The misconceptions about Ron Paul are on your part. He has made it clear that he does not believe in separation of church and state. The Constitution he is a fanatic about is an imaginary one in his head–not the actual Constitution as written by its framers.

    Science classes should teach science, not religious beliefs disguised as science.

    Ron Paul is not a libertarian. He is from the old right. He uses a lot of libertarian rhetoric and his states’ rights views lead him to oppose a lot of government action at the federal level. He has frequently indicated he would accept quite restrictive laws on the state level, believing the state has the right to make such laws. Ron Paul’s support comes from a strange mix of libertarians (who do not understand his views) and from neo-Nazis and white supremacists. The later understand Paul far better (and Paul has spent much of his career trying to appeal to such groups).

    Calling libertarian economic views a religion is not at all an ad hominem attack. It is an accurate description and what I found when I was once attracted to libertarianism. Like a religion, libertarianism can sound appealing if confused for the conditions necessary to actually promote individual liberty. I ultimately rejected it because I found that libertarians ignore facts in the same manner as religion which indicate that their economic views do not work in the real world. When discussing policy views, libertarian publications. will invariably choose a solution based upon their philosophy/religion, and then ignore any facts which don’t support their belief. Libertarianism is most definitely a religion.

    To believe that there is little difference between the left and right in American politics demonstrates a profound ignorance of current events, government policies, and the actual positions of the individuals on each side. This is the view of someone who is practicing a religion, not someone who is really aware of the real world.

  28. 28
    Gary C says:

    @MsGrumpy @rgonzales48 @GospelGuidance Sadly true. Otherwise, there was a lot of his ideas I liked. http://t.co/zkIOlWPm

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