Among the many problems with Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as a Vice President — and there are many — readers of this site might be interested in a response he gave MSNBC’s Chris Matthews in 2009 when asked about evolution. It was a softball question for the then-House Representative and he whiffed.
Pence made his remarks (1:35) just after saying the science on climate change was “mixed”:
MATTHEWS: You want to educate the American people about science and its relevance today. Do you believe in evolution, sir?
PENCE: Uh, 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.
MATTHEWS: Right, but do you believe in evolution as the way He did it?
PENCE: The means, Chris, that He used to do that, I can’t say. But I do believe in that fundamental truth.
MATTHEWS: Did you take biology in school? Did you take science, which is all based on evolutionary belief and assumption?… If your party wants to be credible on science, you gotta accept science. Do you accept science?
PENCE: … On the global warming issue, I know that in the mainstream media…
MATTHEWS: See, now you’re hedging. This is why people don’t trust Republicans.
PENCE: In the mainstream media, Chris, there is a denial of the growing skepticism in the scientific community about global warming…
MATTHEWS: Do you believe that we should be teaching science in school, or Creationism? See, this is the problem. I asked you: do you have a passion? And I don’t think the Republicans have a passion for global warming and issues like the green movement. You have skepticism about it… I would argue you have a very strong split position on the issue of science. You have people in your party who don’t believe in stem cell research and federal funding of that, who don’t believe in evolution…PENCE: Oh, come on, Chris.
MATTHEWS: Well, let me ask you this: Does your party agree on stem cell research?
PENCE: What is science but an exploration… of demonstrable fact, isn’t it? I think in our schools, we should teach all of the facts about all of these controversial areas, and let our students, let our children and our children’s children, decide based upon the facts…
MATTHEWS: So you accept the scientific method, then…
PENCE: … I accept the scientific method, but what the administration did on stem cells was ignore scientific breakthroughs that obviated the need to destroy human embryos for research…
And then, with Pence shaking his head the whole time, Matthews stated his case like this:
There are people on your side of the argument who believe that all the pre-historic 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 once you hold that truth that, “I’m not gonna be busted here on science, I’m not gonna lose the argument on science,” people say “I don’t think your party really believes in human progress.”
Pence finished the interview dismissing Matthews’ charges, and also without saying he accepted evolution.
Just to state the obvious, the scientific community overwhelmingly accepts climate change and man’s contribution to it. Evolution isn’t in doubt among those who understand it. And it’s a horrible idea to teach “the facts about all of these controversial areas” in science class when Republicans have a misguided idea of what the controversies really are.
This is the man who will be influencing Trump on policy decisions. This is the sort of nonsense you’re supporting every time you vote for a Republican, anywhere on the ballot, this November. Don’t make that mistake.