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Evolution and Republican politics

By Scott Tibbs, February 27, 2015

Despite the fact that just over 40% of Americans believe the Earth is less than 10,000 years old, belief in evolution is being used as a wedge issue against and litmus test for potential Republican candidates for President in 2016.

The theory is that if you believe in the Biblical account of a literal six-day creation, you are an ignorant, stupid, uneducated inbred hick. You probably live in Appalachia and are married to your first cousin. Most of the people mocking creationists will not admit they think this way, other than the "uneducated" part but the subtext is clearly there. Anyone who admits being a young-earth creationist - even the 27% who have a college degree - are clearly several steps below the rest of society.

But here is the dirty little secret - no one cares if a Republican candidate for President is a young-earth creationist. The people who do care and will vote based on that would never vote for a Republican candidate anyway. People are much more concerned about a candidate's relevant experience, his record in office, his policy proposals and political platform, and how his policies will impact them, their wallets, and the issues they care deeply about. Whether a Republican candidate is a creationist or not is irrelevant to these other factors.

While elitists love to puff up their chests and look down their noses at creationists, belief in the Biblical account of creation is not nearly as much of a political disadvantage as they think it is. In fact, the vindictiveness, snark and ridicule might actually benefit the candidate being attacked as average voters think they are also being mocked and insulted by the elite. Just as Mitt Romney's remark about the 47 percent harmed him in the 2012 election, deriding anyone who believes that what Genesis says is literally true can backfire badly.