Evolution and America

I spent yesterday in Reno, Nevada campaigning for John Edwards along with about 70 other volunteers. Part of our mission was to find out which candidate Democratic voters were likely to choose in the January 19th Nevada caucus and which issue was most important to them: the Iraq War, health care, global warming, education or immigration. One issue that wasn't on our list, and never came up, at least not with me, was evolution.

But if evolution is not a voting concern to Democrats, it appears to be with Republicans. Which brings me to the following: which statistic would you find most surprising?When Republican presidential candidates were asked back in May to raise their hands if they did not believe in evolution, only three did: Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas, Representative Tom Tancredo of Colorado and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.

Brownback dropped out in October after failing to attract money or support from religious conservatives. Tancredo has never polled more than 3% in national polls, while his numbers in early primary states (Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Nevada) have vacillated between 1% and 4.8%. And then there is Huckabee.

It appears that the anti-science religious conservative voter has finally found its man in Mike Huckabee. Huckabee is a well spoken, affable, ordained Southern Baptist minister who is unafraid of taking controversial positions. When asked about evolution at the third Republican debate in June, Huckabee said:

"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the Earth. A person either believes that God created this process or believes that it was an accident and that it just happened all on its own."

"If Americans want a president who doesn't believe in God, there's probably plenty of choices. But if I'm selected as president of this country, they'll have one who believes in those words that God did create."

"If anybody wants to believe that they are the descendants of a primate, they are certainly welcome to do it."
Not only does he reject evolution, he also made comments in 1998, as blogger Callandor at "The Stone of Tear" points out, which suggest that Huckabee would like to see the United States become a Christian theocracy.

Is it conceivable that Americans could elect as President someone who does not believe in evolution, and furthermore rejects science? If so, what would be the ramifications to science education and research on global warming or stem cell research, not to mention our separation of church and state?