Political Science

On July 17, 1959, while excavating In Olduvai Gorge, Tanganyika (now Tanzania, in East Africa), Mary Leakey unearthed a hominid skull that was dated to 1.8 million years B.C.E., a find that profoundly altered the then-accepted notions of human evolutionary history. I will now imagine the possible responses to this discovery by some of the current Republican Presidential candidates.

Michele Bachmann: “I insist that biology textbooks used in American public schools change the date of these bones to 4,000 B.C., since as every right-believing evangelical Christian knows, the earth is just 6,000 years old. On a personal note, I wish I could have been alive back then, so that, as a child, I could have played with dinosaurs.”

Rick Perry: “As another Texan once so eloquently put it, ‘The jury is still out on evolution,’ and I am certainly not going to question the wisdom of George W. Bush in matters related to science, economics, or national security.”

Sarah Palin: “I think that Africa is a beautiful country.”

Mitt Romney: “I have just one wife. Really.”

Ron Paul: “I’m something of a fossil myself.”

Charles Christie: “I told you guys – I’m not running. But I would certainly like to assist Mary Leakey in her digging, since I know that I could be a big help to her. I mean, who would know more about the location of buried bodies than a politician from New Jersey?”

Tim Pawlenty: “Since I haven’t had enough time to change my mind three or four times, I have no comment on this subject, but I sort of think that we should accept the findings of science, unless, of course, they contradict the inerrant truths of Scripture.”

Newt Gingrich is vacationing in the Bahamas and could not be reached for comment, though his answering machine did offer this suggestion: “If you have any questions, just ask my wife. The third one.”

Rick Santorum: “I have nothing against hominids personally, but if we allow them to marry, it will destroy the American family.”

I think that all intelligent voters share the hope that the result of the next election will be determined “scientifically.”

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