Bush Really Comes Out for Darwin!

In setting aside a gazillion nautical miles in the Pacific as a "marine national monument," outgoing George W. Bush isn't just trying to secure an environmentally friendly legacy in the last days of his failed presidency.

The one-time anti-evolution chief executive is giving Charles Darwin a big, sloppy wet kiss.

From Bush's statement "on the Occasion of the Designation of the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument, Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, and the Rose Atoll Marine National Monument":

Baker, Howland, and Jarvis Islands were first formed as fringing reefs around islands formed by Cretaceous-era volcanoes (approximately 120-75 million years ago)....

Palmyra Atoll is a classic Darwinian atoll that formed atop a sinking Cretaceous-era volcano.

I realize that Bush didn't write this statement (or probably even read it), but I would have loved to have heard him pronounce the following sentence:

"The waters surrounding Baker, Howland, and Jarvis Islands have fish biomass double that of the Papahânaumokuâkea Marine National Monument, and 16 times that of the main Hawaiian Islands, due to the Equatorial Undercurrent that moves from west to east along the equator, creating localized nutrient-rich upwellings in shallows next to the islands."

What a difference a few years make!

Back in 2002, Bush said, "On the issue of evolution, the verdict is still out." In December 2008, he was more accomodating, telling ABC's Nightline, "I think that God created the earth, created the world; I think the creation of the world is so mysterious it requires something as large as an almighty and I don't think it's incompatible with the scientific proof that there is evolution."

In December, Reason's Ron Bailey gave reasons to worry about the new president's science squad when it came not to evolution but to the environment. Read about that here.

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  • the innominate one||

    I'm quite sure that Bush did not, and even could not read that statement. He just signed it with an "X".

  • ||

    Endorsing Darwin's theory of atoll formation is not an endorsement of his theory of evolution.

    Sadly.

  • Naga Sadow||

    Truly, this proves that Bush's family tree does not fork.

  • ||

    This is not a comment on Bush's intelligence or lack thereof, but I doubt he's really a Creationist. Seriously doubt it. It's just one of those silly catering-to-the-idiots things some politicians like to do. Idiots other than Bush, I mean.

  • Naga Sadow||

    Pro Lib,

    What? Yesterday you claim joe is Gillespie. Now you claim Bush is pro-evolution? I'm seriously doubting you and your "views" dude!

  • the innominate one||

    Nigel - true, but the statement does allude to an earth hundreds of millions of years old, which many creationists deny.

  • Nigel Watt||

    the innominate one - Also, most fundies wouldn't know that and would assume that giving Darwin credit for anything is tantamount to being an evil gay athiest sodomite.

  • ||

    Ah, but Bush is not pro-evolution, clearly. That would imply that he was promoting the concept. I'm just saying that he probably isn't really a Creationist. Which makes what he does all the more wrong, especially given the importance of science and technology to this country's continued success.

    Gillespie and joe are one and the same. You'll see.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    "I think the creation of the world is so mysterious it requires something as large as an almighty and I don't think it's incompatible with the scientific proof that there is evolution."

    Y'know, you can laugh all you want at that, but that puts the President on the same plane as a whole mess of Deistic scientists 'n stuff. Plenty of intelligent people still believe in a First Cause or the Immovable Mover.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Also, most fundies wouldn't know that and would assume that giving Darwin credit for anything is tantamount to being an evil gay athiest sodomite.

    And giving Republicans credit makes liberals think you're a Klan-running, N*gger-lynching redneck with a truck and a gun rack.

  • Naga Sadow||

    Pro Lib,

    Thats just crazy jive talk for "trust me". And about the joe and Gillespie thing . . . (wink) don't know what you're talking about. My past references to Gillespie's Fonzi jacket AND joe's Fonzi jacket are separate jokes entirely. That's like suggesting JW is also Jesse Walker . . . it's just crazy talk!

  • ||

    Y'know, you can laugh all you want at that, but that puts the President on the same plane as a whole mess of Deistic scientists 'n stuff. Plenty of intelligent people still believe in a First Cause or the Immovable Mover.

    He's not a dumb guy, just lazy and too trusting of his advisors.

  • the innominate one||

    I think the creation of the world is so mysterious it requires something as large as an almighty and I don't think it's incompatible with the scientific proof that there is evolution."

    I'd agree with the latter part of that statement. The first part of the statement, however, is incompatible with a strictly rational worldview and violates the principle of Ockham's Razor.

  • alan||

    In setting aside a gazillion nautical miles in the Pacific as a "marine national monument," outgoing George W. Bush isn't just trying to secure an environmentally friendly legacy in the last days of his failed presidency.

    Hey, Bush, if you are still trying to make William Jefferson Clinton's presidency the most Conservative of the last twenty years, you succeeded a long time ago. This land grab designation is just another layer of icing on that cake.

  • ||

    Bush did this in an attempt to define his legacy. He will say he was pro-environmental. I don't think it will work.

    I saw an article yesterday or today about how gas is cheaper than when Bush took office. That might be true if you take the one snapshot in time, but hardly reflective of the big picture.

  • alan||

    First Cause or the Immovable Mover.

    Ever see the Lucky Louie episode where Lewis C Kay and Jim Nolan speculate that God, The First Cause, was actually 'The First Cunt' (or, the episode where about the fact women don't like that word)?

  • The Angry Optimist||

    The first part of the statement, however, is incompatible with a strictly rational worldview and violates the principle of Ockham's Razor.

    Yes, you're right. But so what? Like I said, there are so many Deist scientists and the like out there that I do not find it particularly important whether you violate Occam by believing in "Evolution + First Cause" or just "Evolution".

  • Geoff Nathan||

    Of course he couldn't pronounce

    the Papahânaumokuâkea Marine National Monument

    They spelled it wrong! The marks over the a's should be long marks (simple straight lines) not circumflexes. Tsk. The things a linguist has to take care of these days...

  • ||

    Bush did this in an attempt to define his legacy. He will say he was pro-environmental. I don't think it will work.

    I agree that it won't work, but not because Bush is some kind of Gaia-raping nutbar. It won't work because the enviros hate Bush with the intensity of a thousand suns.

  • ||

    Papahânaumokuâkea



    What's so tough about that? It's pronounced exactly the way it's spelled.

  • ||

    I happen to know that Papahânaumokuâkea is pronounced "Smith".

  • ||

    No, PL, that's just in Welsh.

  • ||

    What did Bush do for the enviros? You don't have to be Gaia-raping or a nutbar to show that environment is on the bottom of your priorities.

  • the innominate one||

    TAO - I suspect those deists, whether scientists or no, are aware of their assumptions and premises, whereas Bush converged on their intellectual position more or less by chance. The latter part of his statement clearly shows the strawman of his perception of evolutionists.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    Nick, I love you man, but Bush did the deal with the NW Hawaiian Island Nat'l Park Thingy almost three years ago. It wasn't a parting gift.

    I recall reading about it at the time. It wasn't an X on the line he was actively lobbied and convinced that the designation was the right thing to do.

  • Elemenope||

    You don't have to be Gaia-raping or a nutbar...

    There is something inexplicably hilarious about this phrase, all by itself.

  • ||

    I think the creation of the world is so mysterious it requires something as large as an almighty and I don't think it's incompatible with the scientific proof that there is evolution.

    By that logic, wouldn't something so large an mysterious that it can create a large and mysterious world require a creator too*? After that, of course, nothing but turtles.

    * I've never gotten how people who toss out the watchmaker argument forget that watchmakers have parents and grandparents.

  • alan||

    * I've never gotten how people who toss out the watchmaker argument forget that watchmakers have parents and grandparents.

    Also if you take as given the concordant argument of IDians that in computing the mathematical chances of life evolving a few billion years of the earth's existence is not nearly enough, if true, just imagine how long it would take to create a God being. Surely the span of one Universe would not suffice. Imagine several universes ago, there was a humble creature I'll call Vagina1 that was the end product of a dozen billion years of genetic evolution on an unusually geographically and ecologically calm and long lasting planet and through some means it survived the destruction of its origin universe and into the next several where it gained in sentience, scope and power until it was capable of seeding and shaping the earth.

    At the very least that it what it would have taken to assemble such a creature.

  • ||

    What did Bush do for the enviros?

    What did he do to hurt the enviros? Everything can't be a priority, after all (RC'z Law No 2: If everything is a priority, nothing is a priority).

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