Ann Coulter is unhappy with Huckabee, but not for his many failings that rational people see as an obstacle—but because he is insufficently critical of evolution. She really wants a presidential candidate to not just deny modern science, but to advocate a platform that proposes to take action in the schools against it.
Asked on CNN’s “Larry King Live” Monday night about his beliefs on evolution, Huckabee rushed to assure King that he has no interest in altering textbooks that foist this fraud on innocent schoolchildren.
It’s very strange. We’ve recently seen big-mouthed conservative pundits like Coulter and Limbaugh go on a rampage against Huckabee, but this argument simply rings false. I think every one of the Republican candidates will make mealy-mouthed deferrals like Huckabee did, but that’s not going to stop them from supporting some candidate, who will probably be the one who appeals most to the corporate wing of the Republican party. This is a scary tactic: they are trying to demolish the candidate of the religious wing of the party by claiming he isn’t crazy Christian insane enough — and once they cast sufficient doubt on Huckabee, they’ll switch to supporting Giulani or Thompson or some similar tool. What they may get is people who take them literally and start promoting a far, far right religious agenda.
Coulter also accuses Huckabee of being the candidate favored by liberals. The only reason I’ve seen liberals urge Huckabee on is that they think he’s the candidate most likely to flame out in ignominious defeat in the election.
But back to Coulter’s gripes against evolution…I was not at all surprised by this comment:
If the mainstream media are burning with curiosity about what critics of Darwinism have to say, how about asking me? I can name any number of mathematicians, scientists and authors who have also rejected Darwin’s discredited theory and would be happy to rap with them about it.
I read Coulter’s book, Godless. I saw bits of her media tour afterwards. I noticed there was little effort made to question her claims about evolution, and I know why.
Her book was batshit crazy.
She’s got several chapters on evolution in it, and her mode of discourse was to ‘research’ every lunatic creationist argument ever made and toss them in, without criticism or evaluation. It’s the kind of sloppy assembly of random factlets gleaned off the internet that I’ve seen in some freshman essays — an incoherent deluge of garbage. In chapter 8, the first that assaults evolution, first paragraph had six canards straight from Index of Creationist Claims. And the rest didn’t get any better. It was collection of comic insults, such as that one of the flaws of biology is that we let women do it.
I read it and threw up my hands, and I imagine the media airheads she complains about did the same thing. There is no coherent thesis anywhere in her diatribe, so there was nothing to grab onto, other than a generic “Ann Coulter hates evolution.” I gave up and made a long post that simply listed where you could find credible information on evolution, since I knew there were so many errors in that piece of crap that I’d be setting off on a new career just to address them all — it would be like Slacktivist’s dissection of the Left Behind books, an effort that would require years of essays. She wasn’t worth it.
So instead I offered a challenge. Rather than invest myself in crap that Ann Coulter heedlessly tosses off, I asked any of her supporters to stand up and tell me what single paragraph they thought contained a defensible critique of evolution. I’d be willing to read it carefully and propose my counterarguments.
So far, the number of takers is zero. There was a brief flurry of emails that offered more rants, more prayers for my soul, and more liberal blaming, but so far in the year and a half since I suggested that, not one has said something as simple as “I think Coulter made a powerful argument in paragraph 6 of chapter 9.” It’s been pathetic. Coulter shouldn’t be surprised that the media didn’t follow through on asking her about criticisms of ‘Darwinism’ — even her own fans can’t find anything substantial in her writing.