As of this writing, only one of the Republican frontrunners for the presidential nomination — Mitt Romney — is not a creationist. Granted, the 2012 Republican field is currently limited to just the usual suspects (2008 also-rans like Mike Huckabee), Newt Gingrich, and Sarah Palin, but still, something to consider.
Against this background, HotAir attempts to argue, by necessity we assume, that a decent understanding of science is not necessary for high office. But the article misses the point (especially when comparing the Bible’s historical authority to its scientific authority… wow.). It’s not that religion and science can’t co-exist (they can). Or that we should care about how our candidates moderate that conflict which exists between the two disciplines. But we should care that they try, and those creationists that populate the Republican field are not that thoughtful type. Rather, they’re the type to reject not just abiogenesis-leading-to-evolution as an explanation for the origins of life, but even the idea of a watchmaker God, who sets up the world’s processes, including natural selection, and then lets the processes run as designed. This idea, theistic evolution, is vastly different from intelligent design, and a harmless way to acknowledge the agency of a god, while engaging fully in, and crediting, the scientific process. This, the front-runners won’t do.
The point isn’t that Palin, Huckabee, Gingrich, etc., etc., selected poorly among available theories, or that their personal beliefs should matter. It’s that arguing for the teaching of creationism can be explained by only two things: a complete misunderstanding of the scientific method, and its importance to the modern world, or shameless pandering. Both render them unfit for national office.