During her bid for governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin argued that creationism should be discussed alongside evolution in public school science class. Later in the same debate, she pledged not to legislate creationism if she were elected governor.
Dan Joling of the Associated Press reports that Palin did not attempt to introduce creationism into public schools during her tenure as governor of Alaska.
It’s not clear whether Palin hoped kids would study Genesis and young earth creationism, or its more nebulous and politically correct counterpart, Intelligent Design (ID).
Palin’s church maintains that "the Bible [is] the only inspired inerrant Word of God authoritative for faith and practice." Genesis said the universe was created in seven days. If Palin believes that the story of Genesis is a literal historical record of the creation of life on earth, it’s hard to see how she could be anything but a young earth creationist.
Palin was an avowed young earth creationist in 1997, according to Philip Munger:
As the ceremony concluded, I bumped into her in a hall away from other people. I congratulated her on her victory, and took her aside to ask about her faith. Among other things, she declared that she was a young earth creationist, accepting both that the world was about 6,000-plus years old, and that humans and dinosaurs walked the earth at the same time. I asked how she felt about the second coming and the end times. She responded that she fully believed that the signs of Jesus returning soon "during MY lifetime," were obvious. "I can see that, maybe you can’t – but it guides me every day."
Munger reports that she later softened her stance to say that she "wasn’t necessarily" a young earth creationist anymore, but that her faith in the impending apocalypse remained undiminished.
Palin’s running mate, John McCain, claims to believe in evolution, but that didn’t stop him from delivering a 2007 keynote address to the Discovery Institute, a major ID lobby group.
When Palin is finally allowed to answer questions from the media, let’s see whether she’s still committed to a "hands off" policy when it comes to the science curriculum. Or, will she pander to the Republican base and embrace creationism in the schools wholeheartedly?