Maine Candidates for Governor Asked About ID

During a debate last night in Maine, the seven Republican gubernatorial candidates were asked if creationism or “intelligent design” should be taught alongside evolution in public schools. Three of them (Paul LePage, Bill Beardsley, and Bruce Poliquin) said yes. Three (Peter Mills, Steve Abbott, and Les Otten) said no. And Matt Jacobson said, “Teach evolution in philosophy, and teach science in science.” Did he misspeak?

Alabama Political Ad Attacks Belief in Evolution

A group called “True Republican PAC” has released an ad attacking Republican gubernatorial candidate Bradley Byrne (formerly a Democrat) for supporting evolution and believing the Bible is not 100 percent literally true.

The most disappointing part: Byrne, a former member of the State Board of Education, has responded to the attack by denying he believes in evolution. As he writes on his Web site:

As a Christian and as a public servant, I have never wavered in my belief that this world and everything in it is a masterpiece created by the hands of God. As a member of the Alabama Board of Education, the record clearly shows that I fought to ensure the teaching of creationism in our school text books. Those who attack me have distorted, twisted and misrepresented my comments and are spewing utter lies to the people of this state.

What Spurs Activism on the Stem Cell Issue?

Back in 2006, stem cell research was a big campaign issue in the 2006 Wisconsin governor’s race. Now, a new study from researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison looks at what motivated residents of the state to get involved in political activities around the issue, like signing a petition or joining a demonstration. It turns out that media exposure, political ideology, and the potential positive outcomes of the research—economic benefits and scientific progress—were bigger motivators than religiosity was. As graduate student Kajsa Dalrymple, who worked on the study, explains:

What is really interesting is that religion and religious perspectives didn’t motivate people to participate directly on the stem cell issue. People were more interested in the social and economic aspects of the stem cell issue.

Evolution vs. Creationism in Florida Mayoral Race


A sign in St. Petersburg, Florida, where the mayoral race pits Kathleen Ford, who accepts evolution, against Bill Foster, a young earth creationist who believes dinosaurs and humans lived at the same time. (Field Notes, September 16, 2009)

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