So, Matt Damon appeared in this video, wanting to know where Sarah Palin stands on the whole ‘evolution thing’. It’s a fairly pertinent question as a matter of fact, especially when, as Matt says, she is going to have the launch codes for the nukes.
It seems fairly clear that Palin is a Creationist, her having mentioned it at points during her (so far) fairly brief national status. And while the American media are getting into a wholly unjustified tizzy over whether Obama’s ‘pig in lipstick’ line was a jibe at her (or just at some dubious policy) I’d be rather more concerned about her pig ignorance.
Ignorance isn’t a sin. It is, in fact, the default position of pretty much all science: we don’t know something and want to find out. In this case, ignorance is actually good. You know you don’t know something (even if you don’t know what you don’t know, to borrow from Donald Rumsfeld) and want to rectify the situation. Pailn’s case is more worrying; her ignorance is wilful, pig ignorance. She does not wish to know and avoids doing so.
So, for example, to claim that there were dinosaurs were wandering the earth 6000 years ago is frankly absurd. Why? Here are some reasons:
- There must have quite a lot of dinosaurs around then, you’d think. So why does ‘The Bible’ not mention them. At all. It mentions quite a few different animals, but no dinosaurs. There weren’t any dinosaurs on the Ark. and you’d think that there’d be mention of an apatosaurus or a T Rex, wouldn’t you? And how do you fit more that one of them on an ark? Alternatively, if Noah was ordered to leave them behind (as some might claim), why? What was so evil about dinosaurs (and unicorns, come to think of it) that they had to be destroyed and other beasts spared?
- Now, if dinosaurs ‘pooped oil’ you’d imagine that people might have noticed. Oddly, one of the first human civilisations was in Mesopotamia, where modern-day Iraq sits now. And they got quite a lot of oil, so you’d imagine that there were lots of dumping dinos there too. Why isn’t there any record of Babylonians or Mesopotamians or Sumerians seeing any oil dumping thunder lizards? Can you guess?
- Some the oldest civilisations annoyingly (for a Creationist) stretch back to before the date that Bishop Usher calculated in his studies (for more commentary on this, read the opening chapter of Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman’s magisterially good Good Omens). It must be interesting to note that they didn’t really exist and that the evidence of their existence is just a test of faith. It’s quite likely that some of your aboriginal constituents back in Alaska could fill you in about this whole ‘existing before October 23 4004BC’ thing.
Like I said, ignorance isn’t a sin. But to sit there and refuse to assimilate evidence that flat out tells you that dinosaurs didn’t roam the earth with humans is just asinine and pig ignorant, plain and simple. What’s worse is that there are Americans who will let this woman (and other men and women like her, it’s not a woman thing) make the biggest decisions. If she can’t see evidence here and relies on blind prejudice, where else will she fail to see it?
Terrifying. And much, much worse than wondering about pigs in lipstick.