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Science 101: a major test for the GOP

by Ryan Almodovar

While stumping for his recently announced presidential campaign, Texas Governor Rick Perry ran into some trouble when asked a question by a young boy about the age of the Earth and his views on the theory of evolution. Perry stammered for the most part, answering that, “It goes back a long ways. I’m not sure anyone really knows…” and that, “…evolution. That’s one theory that’s out there…” He also made some public comments casting doubt on global warming, stating “I don’t think from my perspective that I want to be engaged in spending that much money on still a scientific theory that has not been proven and from my perspective is more and more being put into question.” Hey Perry – I’ll concede that evolution remains a theory, but the Earth is 4.5 billion years old and the environmental quality of this blue dot has the ability to be our undoing. Rick Perry and his fellow GOP candidates seem to be letting science take a back seat in their campaigning – which is a trend that could prove harmful if it one day becomes policy.

Here’s the thing: the United States is lacking when it comes to the sciences, being far outstripped by many other nations. Our children are being far outranked globally in nearly every academic field of study. If we are even to stand a glimmer of a chance in competing in a globalized economy, we need to have a focus on science and technology. Dismissing new ideas and facts and not funding them because they are ‘from your perspective’ questionable, isn’t a good enough reason to not consider something, especially when the consequences are so great.

I understand that the GOP is supposedly the more ‘Christian’ of our two parties. If we are to use that kind of generalization, I can completely understand being opposed to the theory of evolution – I’m not here to argue that. My point is that if you are going to shun one theory for any reason – why take such a hard-line stance on everything else remotely scientific? At no point in the Bible does it read, “Thou shalt be willfully ignorant”. If you subscribe to the few scientists who have ‘rebuked’ global warming, why dismiss the theory in general? Because a few people said so? The logical thing would be to keep researching, or better yet fund the jobs that could be created as a result. You guys like jobs, right?

With the 2012 election fast approaching (assuming an earthquake or hurricane doesn’t do us in by then) we need to take a long hard look at our potential candidates. It’s no secret that we are in the midst of dire times in this country – but ignoring these scientific issue and brushing them aside would be a great disservice to ourselves and our futures.

To learn more about Ryan, visit Awkward and Dangerous.


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of
the author and should not be understood to be shared by Being Latino, Inc.


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About Adriana Villavicencio

Dr. Adriana Villavicencio is the youngest child of Ecuadorian immigrants. She has moved 29 times in her life, taking her on a journey from California to Bangalore, India, and New York City, where she recently earned a Ph.D. in Education Leadership and works as a Research Associate at New York University. An avid traveler, Adriana has collected experiences in four different continents and 16 different countries. But as a former high school English teacher, some of her fondest memories are those of her brilliant and brilliantly funny students in Brooklyn and Oakland. Adriana has contributed to several publications including the Daily News and, and is a managing editor for the Journal of Equity in Education. She earned a B.A. in English and an M.A. in English Education at Columbia University, and currently serves on the board of Columbia’s Latino Alumni Association (LAACU). She enjoys scary movies with red vines, Sauvignon Blanc, and her Maltese dog, Napoleon.

To learn more about Adriana’s education consulting company, please visit

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and should not be understood to be shared by Being Latino, Inc.


  1. Sylvia Vasquez says:

    Evolution is not a “theory”, it’s a scientific theory. Why don’t Americans understand what a scientific theory is? Is it our lack of education or our pig headed natures? Stephen J. Gould put it best: “Well evolution is a theory. It is also a fact. And facts and theories are different things, not rungs in a hierarchy of increasing certainty. Facts are the world’s data. Theories are structures of ideas that explain and interpret facts. Facts don’t go away when scientists debate rival theories to explain them. Einstein’s theory of gravitation replaced Newton’s in this century, but apples didn’t suspend themselves in midair, pending the outcome. And humans evolved from ape-like ancestors whether they did so by Darwin’s proposed mechanism or by some other yet to be discovered.”

  2. Nancy Sepulveda says:

    “At no point in the Bible does it read, “Thou shalt be willfully ignorant”” LOL! Love it! Good piece, Ryan.

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