The evolution of the beauty queens
Gah! Care2 had this snippet on how most of the contestants in the Miss USA pageant (which, shockingly enough, I didn’t watch) said that either evolution shouldn’t be taught in schools, or that it should be taught with creationism. And I was prepared to chuckle a little and say “Oh, silly beauty queens,” and then move on with my life. But then I clicked on the link to the original Washington Post story, and that story had this video, which shows everyone’s answer to the question:
So many of them talk about how lots of people “believe” in evolution. IT’S NOT A BELIEF. IT’S NOT AN OPINION. IT’S NOT A PERSPECTIVE. IT’S NOT ONE SIDE OF THE STORY. IT’S ACTUAL SCIENCE. IT’S OBSERVABLE FACT.
Evolution is a theory the way gravity is a theory. In science, “theory” doesn’t mean “this is what I’m guessing is happening” — that’s a HYPOTHESIS. Theory means “what we’ve observed and what is supported by the evidence and what makes all the stuff we know hang together” — in other words, a once-hypothesis that’s undergone rigorous testing until proven correct. Yes, our understanding is evolving as we learn more, but belief has nothing to do with it.
Miss Vermont is the only one who actually says that it’s science. Everyone else — even “Science Geek” Miss California — talks about “believing” in evolution. You don’t “believe” in evolution the same way you don’t “believe” in gravity. It’s science. It just is.
Not that you’d know that in S.G. The school board here is too terrified of pitchfork-wielding parents to take a stand in favor of kids receiving a real (sane) education. So we get to learn the “theory” (see above, rinse and repeat) of evolution side by side with creationism, aka Intelligent Design. Bring up the fact that evolution is proven science in biology — a science class, last time I checked — and the teacher just looks nervous and tries to change the subject. It’s not because she doesn’t “believe” in it, or that there are too many “perspectives” to cover. It’s that she knows if she so much as suggests that little Faith McBiblethumper absolutely and without a doubt has a monkey for an ancestor and wasn’t personally hand-tailored by God himself, Mr. and Mrs. McBiblethumper, pillars of the community who also happen to own half the town, will have her head on a tastefully decorated pike.
I love you, evolution — I just wish you were happening a liiiiittle bit faster. Le sigh.