January 01, 2008

Has Ron Paul Lost The Atheist Vote?

Ron Paul On EvolutionIn a move that has brought ridicule and doubt from a lot of bloggers Ron Paul admitted that he doesn't believe in evolution - A scientific fact - And instead believes in a "creator" - The invisible sky daddy theory.

I have seen very few atheists say they will continue to support Ron Paul after he made public his views on evolution.

But are Atheists right to abandon Ron Paul based solely on his views on evolution? Yes, They are. Simply because someone who claims to be a champion of reason, Evidence and rationality can't help but question the intelligence of someone who believes in biblical creation in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. It would be hypocritical to demand evidence and rationality from everybody except the leader of your country.

The argument has been made by a few atheists that while his views are wacky, It won't effect the decisions he will make as president. While i partially agree, That is irrelevant. A belief in Santa, Elves or pixies wouldn't directly effect the decisions a leader makes either, But it would cast doubt over that individuals ability to think rationally.

If you want to call your self an Atheist and a champion of reason, You can't continue to support Ron Paul. If you want a rational leader, You can't put a creationist in to office.


  1. Most of the atheists I know are still in support of Dr. Paul. They admit that neither Jeebus or their missing-link apeman has been found. Here is the actual quote from Ron Paul:
    "'Well, at first I thought it was a very inappropriate question, you know, for the presidency to be decided on a scientific matter, and I think it's a theory, a theory of evolution, and I don't accept it, you know, as a theory, but I think [it probably doesn't bother me. It's not the most important issue for me to make the difference in my life to understand the exact origin. I think] the Creator that I know created us, everyone of us, and created the universe, and the precise time and manner, I just don't think we're at the point where anybody has absolute proof on either side. [So I just don't...if that were the only issue, quite frankly, I would think it's an interesting discussion, I think it's a theological discussion, and I think it's fine, and we can have our...if that were the issue of the day, I wouldn't be running for public office.']

  2. Since there are only about 3,000 atheists (if memory serves me) and voting is done by an electoral college, I don't think your vote is going to matter all that much. You make it sound like it is a huge demographic, when people aren't going to be campaigning to only 3,000 people.

  3. I would never vote for someone who denied the foundation of modern biology. If Bush has taught us anything, it should be that we need an intelligent and rational president.

  4. 3,000 atheists D? Where did you get that from? The bumper book of christian misinformation?

    atheists make up around 20% of the population.

  5. So what is your agenda here? There is noone to vote for in America if you are an Atheist and hold to what you are saying. For example, in parts of Tennessee it's against the law to be an Atheist and hold office.

    So what? Don't vote? Your position is absurd, that you should elect someone who isn't exactly like you. Even if it is rational thinking. I've met some emotional thinkers I would trust with decision making. My wife for example.

    Should I vote her out?

  6. It's not about voting for someone exactly like you, Monkey. it's about not voting for someone who, In your opinion (atheists opinion), is irrational and doesn't possess qualities you believe in.

    Not voting is a great idea. I would urge all atheists to do exactly that in this election. it's better than being dishonest and putting someone in office who fundamentally disbelieves something you believe fully.

  7. I admit I was disappointed when I heard Dr. Paul talking about evolution. However, I still agree with him on the big issues. Everyone else on the Republican side is a blatant theocrat. So I have to hold my nose on the evolution issue and vote for the greater good.

  8. Another question? When did Ron Paul actually say he was a creationist? I saw the video that started all this and the guy asked if evolution was "true or false". Ron responded by clearing up the terms and stating it's a theory, not something you label "true or false".

    Also, "creationist" != "theist". So, does he actually ever say he's a creationist? Is there a chance you're running off on a tangent here?

  9. he said "the creator that i know, Who created us and created the universe" - It's pretty much the definition of creationist.

  10. I think it's wrong to base a decision about a politician on his or her beliefs about evolution. It's entirely arbitrary and ignorant to do so, especially when Ron Paul knows and understands the constitution and its secularist nature. He has stated himself how inappropriate such a question is for a politician. It just doesn't matter because it just doesn't bear ANY relevance to his politics. If you are willing to invalidate a leader based on his opinion of science, then you must also be willing to invalidate every single significant person throughout history who has not accepted evolution, or who has believed in special biblical creation.

    If RP's religious beliefs truly affected his ability to lead, then he would be saying very different things right now. He would join in with the rest of the moral police officers and spout more pious garbage.

    Yes, he rejects something that has mounds and mounds of evidence to support it, but again, whether or not he supports this bears no relevance on the policies he wishes to put in place, or his ability to lead. I have lost much respect for RP as a result of this, and will continue to support other candidates.

  11. Here's hoping that white-power-money-accepting nutjob loses more potential votes!

    Every time I see an otherwise-intelligent person online supporting Paul, I shake my head at the ignorance of what he's really about. Yeah, he's mostly right on the war (it's hard not to oppose it now, unless you're brain-dead), but come on, the guy's a rightwing loon.

  12. i am an atheist. ron paul has not lost my support. the reasons are twofold: the first (and perhaps lesser reason) has to do with what he actually said. perhaps i am reading too much into it, but i think you have to carefully consider the wording of his statements. ron paul said that he didn't accept the theory of evolution. many people conflate "evolution" with "theory of evolution." the phenomenon of evolution is indeed a scientific fact. however, the theory of evolution (that is, the explanation of how and why evolution occurs) is the subject of much debate, even among scientists. lamarckism, transmutationism, and orthogenesis are all examples of theories of evolution. so when ron paul says he doesn't accept the "theory of evolution", in my mind, that could mean that he doesn't accept the current explanation of how and why evolution occurs. again, maybe i'm reading too much into his response, but until he says "i don't believe in evolution", i will give him the benefit of the doubt.

    as for the second reason: some are saying that his disbelief shows an inability to apply logic and reason to other issues of greater importance. i might be inclined to believe that if there was some evidence suggesting that he indeed fails to use logic and reason in other avenues. but, on the contrary, if you research his stances, you'll see that all his arguments are constructed with the utmost regard for logic and reason. as far as i can tell, he is the only candidate that continuously cites historical examples and historical precedent when explaining his positions on key issues. in fact, that's how i first noticed him: when other candidates were spewing forth platitudes like "they hate us because we are free", ron paul actually cited events from american history. he has never come across (to me, anyway) as someone who doesn't follow logic and reason. and for that reason, i will continue to support him.

  13. I disagree with your comments about the theory of evolution. The theory is supported with mounds and mounds of solid evidence. It is one of the most widely supported and widely evidenced theories science has ever known. It is NOT up for debate, really, unless you want to be one of those people trying to pass of "irreducible complexity" as some kind of argument against it. Ron Paul doesn't accept the theory because it contradicts his religious beliefs, period.

  14. In case you're keeping track. I'm an Atheist and Ron Paul has lost my vote. Anybody not willing to accept evolution has a mental block and I don't want them running the country or appointing judges.

    I really thought I had somebody decent to vote for this time, but alas again out in the cold with nobody to support.

  15. Sorry, my mistake. I heard it somewhere, but I guess I was wrong. But so are you,only 12% of Americans are Atheists. That makes 36,372,240. This sounds like a lot, but 12% of America isn't hardly anything, so the politicians won't campaign specifically to atheists, they will campaign to the majority, who have a belief in a deity.

  16. D said...

    That makes 36,372,240. This sounds like a lot, but 12% of America isn't hardly anything

    African Americans are about 12% of the population. Are you saying no politicians seek out their vote? There are enough atheists in this country to be a significant political force, but they just have not made themselves heard politically as a group.

    foth said...

    I disagree with your comments about the theory of evolution. The theory is supported with mounds and mounds of solid evidence.

    Evolution is of course a fact. I think he meant that natural selection and random mutation are still a theory of why evolution takes place. While well supported, it is still possible that future discovery may find other causes for biological change that add to neo-Darwinian theory.

    [ Matt ] said...

    he said "the creator that i know, Who created us and created the universe" - It's pretty much the definition of creationist.

    That would make everyone who believes in God a "creationist" wouldn't it? Since every major candidate of both parties has expressed a belief in God, I guess there is no one to vote for.

    The argument has been made by a few atheists that while his views are wacky, It won't effect the decisions he will make as president. While i partially agree, That is irrelevant. A belief in Santa, Elves or pixies wouldn't directly effect the decisions a leader makes either, But it would cast doubt over that individuals ability to think rationally.

    If you want to call your self an Atheist and a champion of reason, You can't continue to support Ron Paul. If you want a rational leader, You can't put a creationist in to office.

    Respectfully, I just don't think your argument makes any sense. When was the last time you think this nation had a "rational" leader at the helm? Being an atheist is no guarantee of thinking rationally on other topics, otherwise we would all have had to follow Christopher Hitchens into the Bizarro World of Neo-Conservative warmongering.

    Ron Paul opposed the Iraq war. He has opposed the Patriot Act and other assaults on civil liberties by the Bush administration. To me, when faced with the fact that the other candidates (of both parties) do not have either the courage or conviction to take such stands, Paul looks like the height of rationality and sanity when it comes to public policy, and he shall continue to have my support.

  17. I donated a few hundred dollars to Ron Paul in November because I liked his generally Libertarian views the best among the candidates. I had planned to give more in the coming months but not now. The problems created by his answer on creationism aren't just related to creationism. Science is a remarkably robust process that tells us how we can *know* things about the natural world in the most accurate way. I believe that the scientific method is in fact the greatest single achievement of mankind simply because most of the other achievements were accomplished using it (or similar principles before it had been fully articulated).

    Applying an accurate, proven process for knowing whether something is true or false is the most important trait I can imagine in an elected official. The things an official might have to evaluate the truth of include WMD in Baghdad or the effect of tax cuts at home.

    Ron Paul showed that he misunderstands even the most basic things about science. For example the term "theory" when used by scientists is quite different than the conversational meaning of 'something that isn't known for sure'. In science a theory explains facts. Evolution is both a fact and a theory. The fact of evolution has been proven through thousands of rigorous, specific, reproducible experiments. The theory of evolution successfully explains the mechanism behind the proven facts of evolution. A successful theory must be consistent with the results of all the existing experiments and make accurate predictions about the factual outcome of future experiments. Evolution is one of the most proven and successful theories in all of science. All it would take to blow the theory of evolution out of the water is one proven experiment that leads to a result different than predicted by the theory. Despite a hundred years of testing by brilliant scientists in many different ways (including recent DNA testing that wasn't even conceived of in Darwin's time) there are exactly ZERO experiments that disagree with evolution and thousands upon thousands that support it.

    Another error Ron Paul makes is to refer to "both sides". There aren't two sides. This is a false dichotomy proposed by religious fundamentalists. There is one huge set of absolutely proven facts (that evolution happens, we can actually observe it) and only one theory who's predictions match all those proven facts. There were many theories before Darwin's and there have been many after but none match the proven facts. Creationism (ie intelligent design), by the way, isn't even a theory (or science) because it makes *no* testable predictions, thus adding nothing but confusion. Creationists say "teach the controversy" which isn't actually a bad idea. Science students could learn quite a bit by studying alternative theories to evolution and there are many candidates to choose from. They have all been proven factually false because their predictions didn't match reality but the exercise would be instructive to students nonetheless. Intelligent Design can't be one of those candidate theories because it's not even a theory.

    The worst danger is that creationists, having failed to get their factually unsupported religious fantasy taught in any science classroom because every court has ruled that it's obviously not science, are now working at the school board and state legislature level to redefine and dramatically weaken the meaning of the word "science" to the extent that creationism could fit their "new" definition. The leading creationist proponents actually admitted under oath in a federal court that their new definition would be so weak that it would also include astrology, palmistry and alchemy. Creationism is not some misguided, benign religious sentiment. Creationists are working diligently to regress science, the greatest engine of human achievement, back to the 14th century! If we teach our young science students that the popular but unsupported ideas of non-scientists can be a legitimate "alternative" to absolutely proven facts then we are destroying our future. Let us not forget the hope we all share, that in these classrooms sits the soon-to-be great analytical and logical mind that will at last conquer cancer or Alzheimer's or heart disease.

    Oh, and to the person that said there are "3,000 atheists", the latest Gallup polls (and many others) show 14% of the U.S. population doesn't believe in God (and growing). The National Academy of Sciences is our most respected scientific organization. Every member must be nominated by several of their peers and undergo a rigorous vetting of the quality and value of their scientific contributions to mankind. In that august membership 93% are atheists. The UK equivalent, the Royal Academy of Sciences, has an even higher percentage of atheists. Similar percentages are true of Nobel prize winners as a group. There have been 47 independent studies done on atheists as related to the overall the population since the 1940s. Over 90% of those studies agree that atheists are far more likely to have higher IQ, education level, professional success and personal wealth. Oh, and a wonderful kicker, atheists on average score much higher on tests of biblical knowledge and religious doctrine than christians.

  18. I'm actually not surprised by this. I don't find many of Ron Paul's policies to be reality-based.

    For instance, his party platform recommends a return to the gold standard. Right... we've all heard of peak oil. Ever hear of peak gold, Ron? What else would you do? Raise William McKinley from the dead to be your running mate?
    As an anti-immigration measure he recommends getting rid of social welfare programs in the US. Wow, brilliant. If we treat our poor as badly as they treat them in Mexico, they won't want to come over here!

    I'm afraid most of Ron Paul's polices are based on wishful thinking for good-ol' days that never existed. His support of creationism is indicative of his thought processes overall.