Does Bobby Jindal believe in evolution? He'd rather not say

The governor of Louisiana and likely 2016 candidate is trying to triangulate over the nature of existence

Published September 16, 2014 6:27PM (EDT)

  (AP/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
(AP/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Speaking at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor, Republican governor of Louisiana and likely future presidential candidate Bobby Jindal repeatedly dodged reporters' attempts to get an on-the-record answer to his views on that most basic of questions — whether a force called evolution led to humanity's present form, or whether mankind was crafted mere thousands of years ago in God's own image.

"The reality is I'm not an evolutionary biologist," Jindal said in response to a question from one reporter, according to TPM. "What I believe as a father and a husband is that local schools should make decisions on how they teach," he continued, flashing some of his suddenly robust and unflinching devotion to über-federalism in all things education. "I think local school districts should make decisions about what should be taught in their classroom."

Pressed further still by one reporter, Jindal elaborated slightly and somewhat evasively, saying: "I will tell you, as a father, I want my kids to be taught about evolution in their schools; but secondly, I think local school districts should make the decision."After being pushed one last time by the reporter, Jindal said, "I told you what I think. I think that local school districts, not the federal government, should make the decision about how they teach science, biology, economics."

Summing up his new "teach the controversy" pedagogical approach to the theory of evolution, Jindal added: "I want my kids to be taught about evolution; I want my kids to be taught about other theories." Then the one-time Rhodes scholar and biology student blasted the Obama administration for being a bunch of "science deniers," a charge he substantiated by pointing to the president's hesitancy to approve the Keystone pipeline.

By Elias Isquith

Elias Isquith is a former Salon staff writer.

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