Splitting the Conservative Creationist Wedge

Splitting the Conservative Creationist Wedge

This Free Republic article is just a repost of George Bush’s recent endorsement of ID. (Thanks to Fred at Pharyngula for the pointer.)

The interesting part is in the comments. It’s interesting to see two factions of Freepers emerge: those who support teaching creationism, and those who think, “It’s really hard to support the president when he starts pushing obscurantist nonsense.” It’ll be interesting to see whether creationism or anti-evolutionism becomes a wedge issue splitting the Republican party.

This dovetails with the fact that the GOP is currently an uneasy coalition of two factions: the traditional conservatives, and the religious nutcases. Together, they’ve gotten enough power to take the presidency and both houses of Congress. But clearly it’s a marriage of convenience. If creationism becomes as big an issue in future elections as gay marriage was in the past one, it might be possible to split the Republican block.

There are also already signs that the ID “big tent” is starting to collapse: read some of the comments at Uncommon Descent and you’ll see IDists who resent being lumped in with the ignorant creationists. And this report from the Mega Creationism Conference recounts a talk given by one Georgia Purdom on the flaws in Intelligent Design: from her point of view, ID doesn’t lead people to Christ; it only invokes God for some, but not all, features of living beings; and God is responsible for pathogenic microbes, carnivorous animals, and viruses just as much as for butterfly wings and daffodils.

So shall we start pressing the issue? Let’s ask politicians whether they stand on the side of Enlightenment values and science, or the side of obscurantism. It might split the GOP and its assault on everything good and progressive in America; or it might split the creationists from the not-quite-as-obvious creationists and diminish their assault on science. Either way, it’s worth a shot.