Ah, just what we needed right now — Herschel Walker coming out as the anti-science candidate. Maybe I was optimistically ignorant to think we’d left mainstream creationism in the twentieth century, but Walker, who has become a prominent conservative political figure in his state and is the leading Republican candidate for Georgia’s 2022 Senate opening, has shattered my high hopes of widespread basic scientific knowledge. A real tragedy.
At an event over the weekend at Sugar Hill Church in Georgia, Walker blew all of our minds by asking: if “science” says we came from apes, why are there still apes? Wow. Real groundbreaking stuff there. At least the Sugar Hill pastor thought so, telling Walker, “you’re getting too smart for us, Herschel.” The pastor also added that the people who say that “didn’t read the same Bible I did.” You know, the book where we get most of our scientific information from. Must’ve been a different one that the rest of us read! What are the odds?
Obviously, this was not an accurate description of evolution. Humans and chimpanzees are descended from a common ancestor, though the two species split evolutionary paths between 6 and 8 million years ago, per the Smithsonian Institute.
Walker also told the gathered crowd that science “can’t do” the “conception of a baby” because “there has to be a God.” This appears to have been referring to in vitro fertilization, which has been used in the conception of around 8 million babies since its inception. Not really sure where that one came from — or what it has to do with Georgia politics — but God knows I was waiting with bated breath for Walker’s take on IVF.
The former University of Georgia Heisman trophy winner and NFL journeyman (and member of the United States 1992 Olympic bobsleigh team) stepped onto the political scene in the 2010s, mostly through endorsements and speeches of conservative candidates in his state. He gained the attention of Donald Trump, who appointed him to the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition in 2018. He also served as the honorary co-chair of Kelly Loeffler’s campaign for Senate, the former co-owner of the Atlanta Dream (and Deadspin’s 2020 IDIOT OF THE YEAR), whose own team openly campaigned against her.
Walker is also a vocal election denier and a January 6 conspiracy theorist, and his Senate run has been endorsed by Trump and Mitch McConnell. If he wins the primary, he’ll run against Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock.