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Answered 2010-03-07 13:34:26

Sarah Palin is Not a Literal Creationist

Sarah Palin has apparently stated that she considers herself a creationist in the sense that she thinks God is behind all evolution. However, Sarah Palin is not a literal Creationistin the sense that she believes the world was created in 7 literal days and is only a few thousand years old. She is flexible with dating in The Bible and according to her church does not believe that Dinosaurs literally roamed Earth with man. Some creationists believe that before man was created, God created the world in 7 days where each 'Day' is an extended period of time.

Sarah Palin was born into a Catholic family. Her family later attended a Pentacostal Christian church. She now considers her home church to be the Wasilla Bible Church, which is an independent church not associated with any major Christian denomination.

This exact line of inquiry stems from various internet sources. Three of the most prominent are a video interview with Matt Damon, an internet blog, and an article in the LA Times.

1. Internet Blog

These allegations appear to stem from a blog post that included "fake Governor Sarah Palin quotes" made up by a blogger at unbearablebobness.typepad.com. He states that his blog post was an attempt to satirize Gov. Palin's beliefs, and does not reflect those beliefs in any way.

The direct quote from unbearablebobness.typepad.com is as follows:

"God made dinosaurs 4,000 years ago as ultimately flawed creatures, lizards of Satan really, so when they died and became petroleum products we, made in his perfect image, could use them in our pickup trucks, snow machines and fishing boats. Now, as to the ANWR, Todd and I often enjoying caribou hunting and one year we shot up a herd big time, I mean I personally slaughtered around 40 of them with my new, at the time, custom Austrian hunting rifle. And guess what? That caribou herd is still around and even bigger than ever. Caribou herds actually need culling, be it by rifles or wolves, or Exxon-Mobil oil rigs, they do just great!"

The post concludes with the following disclaimer:

"Disclaimer: She didn't actually say these things - I made them up. But thanks for all the visits."

It thus appears that, to a large extent, people have attributed this belief to Gov. Palin after believing that she actually made what many believe to be 'fictional' statements.

2. Matt Damon

Damon said in an interview that he wanted to know if Sarah Palin thinks dinosaurs were "here 4000 years ago." The interview can be found on YouTube.

Damon does not provide any basis for his desire to ask Palin about her beliefs. Accordingly, it is unclear whether Damon's assertion stems from a mistaken belief that Palin actually made the statements attributed to her on the aforementioned internet blog.

3. The LA Times

An LA Times article has cited an anonymous source as stating that, shortly after being elected mayor of Wasilla, Alaska in 1996, Sarah Palin stated that she believed humans and dinosaurs existed at the same time. Some have questioned the truth of those allegations because the person who told that story operates a political blog primarily directed toward opposing Palin's candidacy, the source never published his story prior to Palin's nomination for Vice President, there were apparently no other witnesses to the statement, and no one else has come forward as stating that they have heard Palin endorse similar beliefs. (See Related Links for the LA Times article.) Apparently, the article has not gained wide circulation in other newspapers partly because of questions related the truth of the source's allegations.

According to the article:

"Soon after Sarah Palin was elected mayor of the foothill town of Wasilla, Alaska, she startled a local music teacher by insisting in casual conversation that men and dinosaurs coexisted on an Earth created 6,000 years ago -- about 65 million years after scientists say most dinosaurs became extinct -- the teacher said.

"When he asked her about prehistoric fossils and tracks dating back millions of years, Palin said "she had seen pictures of human footprints inside the tracks," recalled Munger, who teaches music at the University of Alaska in Anchorage and has regularly criticized Palin in recent years on his liberal political blog, called Progressive Alaska."

http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-na-palinreligion28-2008sep28,0,3643718.story?track=rss

4. Did Not Attempt to Teach Creationism in Schools

Palin has NOT called for creationism to be taught in schools along side evolution (see FactCheck.org article on "Sliming Palin"). She has said that students should be allowed to "debate both sides" of the evolution/creationism debate comes up in class, but has also said that creationism should not be part of the curriculum. She has not pushed a bill to teach creationism in Alaska during her tenure as Governor of Alaska.

In an interview with Katie Couric, Sara Palin states that "[creationism] should be taught as an accepted principle."

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