LONDON, U.K. — Republican presidential hopeful and current Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker made headlines this week when he rather nakedly avoided a question about whether he believes in evolution. In his own words, the Wisconsin Republican decided to “punt” on the question when asked at a London think tank, “Are you comfortable with the idea of evolution? Do you believe in it?”
Walker decided not answering the question was his best answer. “I am going to punt on that one as well,” said Walker. He went on to say that “politicians shouldn’t be involved in one way or another” in the evolution debate. He also said that he was there to “to talk about trade, not to pontificate about evolution.” The question of whether Walker believes in evolution of course speaks to the notion that his party has become the anti-science party in that they avoid any and all scientific consensus on climate change, and instead choose only to embrace the narrow interpretation of biological science that “life” begins at conception.
The overwhelming majority of biologists and scientists in general accept the “theory” of evolution as scientific fact. That is because since Charles Darwin initially brought forth his theory that a series of naturally selected genetic factors influence the development of all species of life on Earth, over 150 years have passed and in that time gigabytes worth of data have been collected that show irrefutably the connections between the generations of various species.
But as the party that represents the Religious Right, Republicans must walk the tightrope of acceptable thoughts and feelings about evolution. We reached out to the Walker campaign and got a hold of Mary Senovinis, a mid-level walker campaign aide. We asked Senovinis why Walker, who is 47-years-old, wouldn’t just say he believes the science is in on evolution. “Governor Walker believes in every American’s right to ignore scientific data and react to the world around them based solely on non-scientific gut feelings and religious texts,” Senovinis told our reporter.
“Look, the governor is very aware of the fact that he is not a scientist,” Senovinis went on to explain. “He’s not therefore comfortable weighing in on all kinds of scientific topics.” We asked for some examples of topics Walker doesn’t feel comfortable weighing into, as a non-scientist. “Oh, that’s easy. The color of the sky and grass. Sure, by your own two eyes most people would be able to judge them as blue and green respectively, but Governor Walker isn’t about to let the government tell you how to view your world. If you want to see the sky as red and grass as polka-dotted, that’s your right as an American,” said Senovinis.
We asked why Republicans were so insistent on defining life as beginning at conception thanks to biological scientific fact, but were not willing to accept evolution considering it’s the building blocks for much of what we understand about gestational science. Senovinis said Walker “knows that liberal educational institutions want everyone to believe that evolution is fact, but if that’s the case, why do scientists keep calling it ‘the theory of evolution?”
Our reporter then spent 15 minutes explaining to Senovinis that in science just because something is called a “theory” that doesn’t mean it’s not proven fact. Senovinis responded,”Oh sure, if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, I’m sure you’re going to tell me it evolved from other bird-like species over millions of years of tiny little naturally selected traits giving modern era ducks the biological advantages they need to survive, huh? What a bunch of atheist crud.”