The scientific views of new presidential candidate Mike Huckabee

Today we get yet another presidential announcement. Mike Huckabee officially entered the contest for the Republican nomination. Huckabee is the former governor of Arkansas, and ran for the Republican nomination in 2008 as well.

Below are statements and positions Huckabee has made that especially pertain to his views on science. The main purpose of examining these topics is to see if scientific evidence influences his thinking or if he rejects evidence when it doesn’t suit his previously held belief. The first three topics are not at all controversial as far as the scientific evidence is concerned, but can be among the public.

Climate Change

During his 2008 campaign Huckabee said “One thing that all of us have a responsibility to do is recognize that climate change is here, it’s real. That what we have to do is quit pointing fingers as to who’s at fault and recognize that it’s all our fault and it’s all our responsibility to fix it.” He added “I also support cap and trade of carbon emissions.” Fantastic!

But unfortunately it appears that Mr. Huckabee has now reversed his position and even denies ever having made his previous statements (a silly thing to do in the age of video). Worse, on his radio show Huckabee has since made some outrageously wrong claims about climate science that muddles the issue. For example he said “The volcano that erupted over in Northern Europe actually poured more CO2 into the air in that single act of nature than all of humans have in something like the past 100 years.” in case you’re wondering, the volcano did emit CO2 into the atmosphere, but not even close to as much as humans dump out.

The theory of evolution

During his 2008 campaign Huckabee repeatedly said that he does not believe in evolution. He brushes the question aside as silly since he’s not running to be an 8th grade science teacher but instead running to be the President of the United States. It seems reasonable to me that anyone running for president should know things that are taught in 8th grade. He often defends his position by saying we just don’t know for sure, but that stands in the face of mountains of evidence telling us that we do know the answer. Evolution is true!

Vaccinations

When it comes to vaccinations Huckabee believes they are safe, effective and should be mandatory. “In my state as governor, we had a strong emphasis on immunizations. It’s very vital to keep kids healthy and well.”

In an interview he scolded Michele Bachmann for claiming that a certain vaccination caused mental retardation. “That raised a howl of protest from doctors who’ve been piling up stacks of research showing no links between vaccinations and serious brain problems.”

Science funding

Huckabee has made several favorable statements about the importance of increased funding for science research. He argues that federal funding should be spent on finding cures to diseases rather than on treatment. He even makes the case that there is no private solution that can do the job as well as the federal government because, as he puts it: “You put it in the hands of the private sector, doesn’t make sense because there is no money long-term if you cure the disease.”

Politicus Cerebri

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