Tancredo Believes in an Infinitely Plastic Past

From the Rocky Mountain News pages, one finds this:

CREATE FIRST, EVOLVE LATER

“Evolution explains changes in life. Creationism explains its origin.”

Rep. Tom Tancredo, amending his position following a debate last week in which he raised his hand when asked who among the Republican candidates didn’t believe in evolution.

I’ve used the phrase, “infinitely plastic past” (IPP), for people in conversations who find that the plain meaning of the words they’ve uttered or committed to writing have become inconvenient, and instead of retracting the old and stating a new position, try to claim a new position while asserting that everything they’ve said before is consistent with it.

In Tancredo’s case, he was asked to hold up his hand if he did not believe in evolution. While the question is poorly phrased (scientists don’t “believe” in evolution; they accept that the evidence strongly supports evolutionary mechanisms), Tancredo’s response was to disown evolution. The quoted damage control would pose the question, “Do we believe that Tancredo’s first reaction to the question was so confused that he gave the wrong answer?”

Wesley R. Elsberry

Falconer. Interdisciplinary researcher: biology and computer science. Photographer. Husband. Christian. Activist.