It's only been a dozen days since Darwin's birthday, and evolution is in the news, and not because of some new study, but because a possible presidential candidate punted when asked about it. Clearly at one level what difference could it possibly make what a politician thinks about evolution? A successful alumnus of our university with a position on the foundation board once asked TPP if he "believed" in evolution. TPP responded, "It's not a belief; it's a well documented and very useful scientific theory, and yes, I use it all the time". What most people don't understand is that if you could poke a hole in some major component of evolutionary theory (science proceeds by falsification) it could make your career. And what we do for research is constantly testing various components of the theory, and even though biologists have been at it for 180 years, the results have been to improve understandings and add components and nuances to the theory, to meld various fields together, but no holes have been punched. So why ask a politician what they think about evolution? An essay in the NYer does a nice job of explaining. "What the question means, and why it matters, is plain: Do you have the courage to embrace an inarguable and obvious truth when it might cost you something to do so? A politician who fails this test is not high-minded or neutral; he or she is just craven, and shouldn’t be trusted with power. This catechism’s purpose—perhaps unfair in its form, but essential in its signal—is to ask, Do you stand with reason and evidence sufficiently to anger people among your allies who don’t?" And in this context this is a more certain test than asking about climate change.