Mike Pence Doesn’t Believe In Evolution, He Claims It’s Just A ‘Theory’
In a move that reportedly blindsided the Health and Human Services secretary, President Donald Trump appointed Vice President Mike Pence to be his “coronavirus czar” on Wednesday, meaning Pence will spearhead efforts to contain the outbreak and reported directly to the president on the administration’s progress.
But Pence has a poor record when it comes to health- and science-related issues, as numerous reports have pointed out since the announcement was made — not the least of which being his lackluster response to the HIV outbreak he presided over as governor of Indiana.
Back in 2016, after Pence became the vice president-elect, paleontologist Shaena Montanari lamented in piece for Forbes that the now-coronavirus czar was a purveyor of bogus religious talking points on evolution.
In arguing against evolution and for intelligent design in 2002, Pence painted evolution as merely unsubstantiated theory during a speech before Congress.
He claimed that Charles Darwin “offered a theory of the origin of species which we’ve come to know as evolution. Charles Darwin never thought of evolution as anything other than a theory. He hoped that someday it would be proven by the fossil record but did not live to see that, nor have we.”
But as Montanari noted, Pence was wrong. “I have previously written about Darwin never seeing the fossils that would later support his theory, so I and most other paleontologists completely disagree that support for Darwin’s idea has never been found,” she wrote.
Montanari said it is difficult to tell whether Pence willfully or unknowingly misrepresented the scientific meaning of “theory” but either way, he was doing damage to public discourse on the matter.
“In scientific terms, a theory is the highest designation of knowledge and represents something that has been rigorously tested using the scientific method,” she wrote, adding that “98% of scientists surveyed believe humans evolved over time, so among experts, this is not a debate anyone is having.”
Americans are more likely than those in many other countries to disbelieve the merits of evolutionary theory — particularly those who subscribe to Christianity.
A 2014 Pew Research Center survey found that while 91 percent of atheists accept the evolution of humans through natural processes, only 21 percent of Christians said the same; 25 percent of Americans said they believe evolution is guided by a supreme being.
It would seem that Pence is among that 25 percent — only he holds more power than the average American.