What is it lately with sports personalities who don’t accept science?
And now, during a Thursday night college basketball game on ESPN, broadcasters Bill Walton and Dave Pasch got into a passive-aggressive argument about evolution as colleague Jay Bilas looked on.
It started when Walton congratulated Pasch on his “Arizona Sportscaster of the Year” award by giving him a copy of On the Origin of Species…
Walton: … Here, we got The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin. We wanna make sure, wanna be sure that you believe in evolution.
Pasch: I don’t, but I’ll set this over here…
Pasch: Bill is in a giving mood tonight… He’s the urban philosopher. You can learn a lot. By the way, I have a book, Bill, that counters The Origin of Species, if you’d like me to bring that to you next game.
Walton: I believe in science and evolution. I’ve been to the Grand Canyon.
Pasch: We’ll take a break, eat some cake, talk about the book Bill gave me, maybe a little irreducible complexity to straighten Bill out.
The segment was awkward, hilarious, and full of ignorance on all sides (yes, even from Walton, since he misstated the name of Darwin’s book and because science isn’t something you “believe” in).
Walton, who clearly planned for this to happen in advance by buying the book, was perhaps a bit of a dick for embarrassing his colleague on air like that… but if you believe in Creationism, you should be called out on it. Even on ESPN.
I thought Pasch, as wrong as he is on the matter, handled the situation well.
On a side note, I would totally watch more pre-March college basketball if they got into more arguments like this during lulls in the game.