The self-professed “science geek” seemed like an unlikely winner in a field of pageant queens who gave unclear, muddled, confused, and conservative answers to the interview question, “Should evolution be taught in schools?”.
In a sea of Sarah Palin-wannabes, Campanella’s strong affirmative interview answer stood out. While most of the contestants hedged their bets by saying evolution should be taught as “one of many theories,” three were flat-out opposed: Miss Kentucky USA from the home state of the Creation Museum; Miss Alaska USA, who assures “each of us was individually created by God for a purpose,” and Miss Alabama USA who doesn’t believe in evolution.
The scariest thing is realizing that most of the pageant candidates don’t know that religion isn’t taught in public schools. Many said they believe evolution should be taught along with the biblical creation story. Others appeared to not understand what evolution is, and many of them clearly don’t understand the difference between a scientific theory, which is based in quantifiable and observable phenomena, and the more casual use of the word “theory”.
Listening to this montage of all 51 contestants’ answers makes me realize how much our schools need good, basic, science education. (If you can’t stand hearing all of them, Campanella speaks at 1:15.)
It’s worth pointing out that Campanella’s title going into the pageant wasn’t Miss California, but rather Miss California USA. (You can read about the distinction in this post.) The next title for which she competes will be Miss Universe, not Miss America. The Miss California USA title was briefly held by Carrie Prejean, whose stated belief in “opposite sex marriage” made her a darling of the political right until she fell from grace dressed as briefly as she held the title.
The Miss USA pageant is owned by Donald Trump, who is obviously working hard for this nation, grooming the next wave of embarrassing female candidates.