Gov. Tim Pawlenty on Why He Supports Creationism
Matthew C. Nisbet, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Communication Studies, Public Policy, and Urban Affairs at Northeastern University. Nisbet studies the role of communication and advocacy in policymaking and public affairs, focusing on debates over over climate change, energy, and sustainability. Among awards and recognition, Nisbet has been a Visiting Shorenstein Fellow on Press, Politics, and Public Policy at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, a Health Policy Investigator at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and a Google Science Communication Fellow. In 2011, the editors at the journal Nature recommended Nisbet's research as “essential reading for anyone with a passing interest in the climate change debate,” and the New Republic highlighted his work as a “fascinating dissection of the shortcomings of climate activism."
The McCain choice of Sarah Palin has made creationism a topic that various GOP spokespeople are now being asked by the press to weigh in on. From the interviews, an emerging talking point appears to be that "it's a local decision." On Sunday, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty was asked by Tom Brokaw about Palin's position and his personal views on the issue. Video above and transcript below.
MR. BROKAW: Okay. In the governor's race, she refused to be specific about her views on Creationism versus evolution. But, as I understand it, she did say that she thought that the two subjects should be taught side-by-side in public schools. Do you think that's a good idea?
GOV. PAWLENTY: I saw her comments on it yesterday, and I thought they were appropriate, which is, you know, let's -- if there are competing theories, and they are credible, her view of it was, according to the comments in the newspaper, allow them all to be presented or allow them both to be presented so students could be exposed to both or more and have a chance to be exposed to the various theories and make up their own minds.
MR. BROKAW: In the vast scientific community, do you think that Creationism has the same weight as evolution, and at a time in American education when we are in a crisis when it comes to science, that there ought to be parallel tracks for Creationism versus evolution in the teaching?
GOV. PAWLENTY: In the scientific community, it seems like intelligent design is dismissed -- not entirely, there are a lot of scientists who would make the case that it is appropriate to be taught and appropriate to be demonstrated, but in terms of the curriculum in the schools in Minnesota, we've taken the approach that that's a local decision. I know Senator Palin -- or Governor Palin -- has said intelligent design is something that she thinks should be taught along with evolution in the schools, and I think that's appropriate. My personal view is that's a local decision --
MR. BROKAW: Given equal weight.
GOV. PAWLENTY: -- of the local school board.
MR. BROKAW: And you would recommend it be given equal weight?
GOV. PAWLENTY: We've said in Minnesota, in my view, this is a local decision. Intelligent design is something that, in my view, is plausible and credible and something that I personally believe in but, more importantly, from an educational and scientific standpoint, it should be decided by local school boards at the local school district level.
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Journalism got a big wake up call in 2016. Can we be optimistic about the future of media?
- "[T]o have a democracy that thrives and actually that manages to stay alive at all, you need regular citizens being able to get good, solid information," says Craig Newmark.
- The only constructive way to deal with fake news? Support trustworthy media. In 2018, Newmark was announced as a major donor of two new media organizations, The City, which will report on New York City-area stories which may have otherwise gone unreported, and The Markup, which will report on technology.
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