Bill Maher embarrassed Mike Huckabee and himself during a brief inquiry into the Republican candidate’s position on evolution on a segment on Maher’s show Sunday.

Maher’s sloppy question, “Don’t you believe we’re descended from monkeys?” is obviously the wrong formulation because homo sapiens sapiens is not descended from monkeys as far as anybody knows. (The lines of descent for monkeys and man remain divergent as they descend toward different proto-types.) Better question: “Do you believe evolution accounts for the development of man from his non-human ancestors?”

Still, Huckabee’s casual attempt to dodge the question made for some rollicking self-exposure. He basically stated that ‘we really don’t know!’ But, to some extent, if not a large extent, much is known about the 3-4 million year development of homo sapiens sapiens from primitive homo-typical bi-pedal forms. Not only this, but Huckabee admitted implicitly that an eighth grader should know the sketch of development, yet this junior high knowledge was beyond him!

Should a President embrace or reject well-known scientific knowledge? Alas, in the majoritarian ignorance of the American people it is amazing the litmus test would favor ignorance. Still, there were lots of more pointed questions Huckabee which could have been (and should be) pitched to his, alas, tiny mind.

Such as:

Do you think alternatives to scientific understanding of human origins should be taught in public schools? Why? What is the principal challenge posed to current understanding this alternative proposes?

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