The anti-evolution Congressman who ran for president, Tom Tancredo, was on Chris Matthews’s MSNBC program today, and it was one of the most infuriating segments of talk television I’d seen in a very long time, as Matthews largely gave Tancredo a platform for making one false statement after another about evolution. Tancredo, for example, claimed that there is no scientific evidence that one species of animal has ever evolved into another. And Matthews clearly doesn’t know what the fuck he is talking about when he discusses evolution. It was a pathetic performance from Matthews, who ought to be better prepared for such segments. And after the segment, there were no scientists—absolutely none—to rebut Tancredo’s creationism. In short, the whole segment was like entering an alternate reality where everything that science has established as fact over the past century is suddenly up for grabs because Tom Tancredo says so. Surreal.
And will there ever be a time when talk television programs, when they discuss scientific topics, actually bring on scientists? Anyway, YouTube already has the segment up. Have a barf bag handy:
Please notice that Tancredo, with regard to evolution, denied that there is any data for macroevolution, and with regard to the age of the earth—whether it was made “eight thousand or eight billion years ago”—he said that “it could have been any of those.” Both of these statements are false, and Matthews left them to stand without rebuttal from anyone in the scientific community.
But if scientists have established anything over the past century, it is: (1) Earth is over four billion years old; and (2) plants and animals have changed dramatically over time. These are not live issues that are still seriously up for grabs in the scientific community. They are only up for grabs in Tom Tancredo’s imagination.
For an example of a recent “macroevolutionary” transitional fossil discovery that Mr. Tancredo must have missed, see here. And if Chris Matthews is interested, he can see here how a real scientist talks about macroevolution.