David Michael Miller
It should have been a stupid question, not a stupid answer.
Any sensible, reasonably well-educated person, asked their views on evolution, should be able to respond that it happened and is happening.
But it turns out that you are prohibited from making this self-apparent statement if you want to lead the world's most powerful nation and you happen to be a Republican.
So when Gov. Scott Walker, in London trying to prove that he could run foreign policy because he had once visited a nation that speaks the same language (sort of), was asked by a BBC journalist whether he agreed that evolution was a reality, he said that he would "punt on that one."
To British ears the question must have sounded like, "Is the Earth flat or round?" So Walker's response got the guffaws it deserved. "Really?" asked the British journalist, in what had to be mock amazement. "Any British politician, right or left wing, would laugh and say, 'Yes, of course evolution is real.'"
But Walker is an American politician who belongs to the party of denial, which also happens to be the dominant party in the U.S. right now and for the foreseeable future.
In the bizarre parallel universe that is Republican World, a person who wants the party's nomination for president can't confess too much familiarity with science. None of the potential GOP candidates will admit to complete acceptance of evolution or the idea that climate change is caused by humans.
Even Jeb Bush, who seems to be running a general election strategy right out of the gate, has said that he doesn't think evolution should be taught in the public schools. While Bush might have found a more elegant way to dodge the question in London, there's little doubt that he would have not answered it, just as Walker didn't. In the Republican primaries, ignorance is bliss.
And if you're living in Britain or most any other part of the world, how scary is all this? The person who, in a little more than a year, will probably end up with a 50% chance of leading a superpower democracy with the most powerful military and the world's largest economy can't even admit that he accepts fundamental science and has to at least pretend that he countenances a literal reading of the Bible.