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Daily Gamecock Response

I’m writing this in response to last week’s article by Robert Sinners entitled “Republican candidates should balance science, beliefs”. Mr. Sinners raises a few objections to the views represented by Republican presidential candidates in recent debates, and I was very disappointed with his commentary – both in writing style and content. Right or wrong, his arguments are ill-researched at best, and rely on a few fairly large assumptions that require further thought.

Mr. Sinners first states that Republican candidates “reject exploring scientific principles and demonize any sense of progress” by their views on climate change, same-sex marriage and evolution. This seems to suggest that a disbelief in his own views is a staunch rejection of truth – that there are not two sides to any of these issues. What evidence, you may ask, does Mr. Sinners have concerning climate change? This is answered (I think) when he urges all those who don’t believe to “inhale exhaust fumes, and report back to me on their findings”. What’s your point, Mr. Sinners? There may be a logical connection, but if you’re going to write an open letter to students at such a large university, please expound.

Playing devil’s advocate, I would also argue that a removal of constraints and clarifications from a right qualifies more people for that right. In the case he presents, marriage. Will a redefinition of the word “marriage” open the door for a horse-man union? Maybe, maybe not. Either way, it affects our day to day life as American citizens, and must be discussed. Mr. Sinners, I think, is absolutely wrong in calling this a threat to progress. For starters, belief in progress itself is ridiculous (like, let’s say, progressing towards the edge of a cliff). If our end goal is a safe and prosperous nation, then an in depth, transparent discussion of controversial topics among our nations leaders is the type of progress we should crave as American citizens.

Lastly, we arrive at what I believe to be the most glaring issue with this article – his claims about evolution. Sinners claims that creationism is actually not contradictory to evolution at all! In fact, it…wait – in fact what? This shocking statement is followed by no explanation, other than saying that humans are evolving all the time – a statement that has absolutely no bearing on the topic at hand, at least without context. Is Mr. Sinners suggesting that humans are evolving, but were also created by an intelligent designer? That’s a debate worth having.

The fundamental problem with Sinners article is that he fails to see the correlation between beliefs and his political views. Sinners actually states that he believes candidates should have both faith and a scientific understanding – but should still think a certain way. So are faith and science mutually exclusive? What, I might ask, would you say to a person whose faith and scientific observations and research have persuaded him to believe in creationism and against evolution? What about someone who aligns their views with the many climate change scientists who disagree with global warming? Is it possible that there might actually be candidates, with different views than yours, who back their beliefs with both faith and science?

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