The fact that the winner of the Miss USA competition (Miss California, yay) supported evolution, whereas most of the other contestants did not, has gotten a lot of attention in the newspapers and blogs. But I’m not sure how many people have actually watched the answers that the Miss USA contestants gave to the evolution question. Here it is:
I haven’t watched every last answer yet – gotta go to post-Evolution 2011 bar-hopping – but I wasn’t amazingly impressed with even Miss California’s answer (she is at 1:52 if you want to skip there). Sure, she says she’s a science geek (and she used the words “history geek” in answer to another question…good line I guess), and supports evolution. And unlike most responses she doesn’t do a “yes, teach evolution, but teach both sides” sort of answer. But I guess it would asking too much for one of the contestants to say, “Actually, I’m a [scientific field] major and I know that evolution is the central organizing theory of biology, and everyone should learn it as part of a complete basic science education.”
Anyway, it is educational for us evonerds and academics to watch the video. The answers are closer to the kinds of default answers you get when journalists spring the evolution question on politicians. The Miss USA contestants are much closer to where the general American public is at than we are.
PS: Lauren Carter, Vermont, at 13:20 has the only decent answer I’ve heard on this video.
Hat tip: My friend Ashley Eden, who’s awesomer than this whole collection put together.