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GOP no longer ready for evolution : Editorials : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
GOP no longer ready for evolution

Do you believe in Darwin's Theory of Evolution? That was one of the questions we posed to the four Republican candidates for Congress in Tuesday's primary election. We published their answers in our March 6 election preview section, but in case you missed it not one of the four candidates indicated they believed in the theory. In fact, two of the candidates just declined to answer the question, another said "science and technology have progressed a great deal since the 1800s," and another said, "We do evolve, but I don't believe we used to be chimpanzees, no."

In responding to our question it's likely the candidates didn't want to offend the GOP's base voters in a primary election. Last spring a Pew Research Center survey found just 43 percent of Republicans now believe that humans evolved over time, down from 49 percent in 2009.

Frankly we're amazed that in a nation that has used science to successfully harness the atom, land a man on the moon and develop all manner of technologies that are so essential to our modern way of life that a growing number of Republicans apparently believe the earth is less than 10,000 years-old and prehistoric man once lived side-by-side with the dinosaurs just like Fred Flintstone.

Though a growing number of Republicans dismiss it, we would suggest they might want to read up on Darwin's Theory, especially the part about natural selection. In a nutshell natural selection explains how species adapt to their environment, which leads to evolutionary change. Those species that do not adapt eventually become extinct. One of the neat things about natural selection is that it can apply to politics, too. Our nation's history is filled with examples of political parties and movements that became rigid and failed to adapt and evolve with the changing times and demographics. Like the dinosaurs, those parties and movements are no more.

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