I don't like beauty contests. Oh, I have nothing against admiring attractive young women. That's just biology. It's natural. It's an instinct that's been around since before we even became human.
But beauty contests are pretty much just livestock exhibitions, with girls paraded around like sides of beef. Honestly, it's completely ridiculous. Beauty is very nice, but it's not the most important thing for anyone. And how many young girls can hope to look like that? Beauty pageants tell them that their looks are what really matter - looks that won't last for very many years, no matter who you are.
Oh, sure, beauty pageants include talent contests and interviews, to pretend that it's not just looks. But no one believes that, I suspect. And to demonstrate that, guess how many of the Miss USA contestants were actually smart and educated enough to support evolution, the bedrock of modern biology? Two. Just two out of 51! How embarrassing is that?
To her credit, the new Miss USA, Alyssa Campanella, pictured above, was one of them. From USA Today:
Score one for Charles Darwin. The newly crowned Miss USA, Alyssa Campanella, 21, of Los Angeles, who calls herself "a huge science geek," says evolution should be taught in public schools. ...
Before her victory night, Miss California earned her way into the semifinals in preliminary judging including interviews in which she was one of only two among 51 contestants to unequivocally support teaching evolution. ...
But the evolution answers would make Answers in Genesis -- the folks behind the Creation Museum and the upcoming Noah's Ark theme park -- proud.
One after another of the contestants, like Miss Maryland, confused the evolution of species with the origin of life (not the same) or said a variation of Miss Michigan's line that it's "silly" and "ignorant" not to know "both sides" including, evidently, religious views in public schools.
Three were flat out opposed: Miss Kentucky, home state of the Creation Museum; Miss Alaska who assures us "each of us was individually created by God for a purpose"; and Miss Alabama who doesn't believe in evolution.
Only Miss Massachusetts and Campanella stood up for Darwin.
Stood up for Darwin? I'd say stood up for science - and stood up for the Constitution of the United States of America, too. We don't teach religion in science classes! Evolution is science, solidly-established science, and there just isn't a competing scientific theory. Not one. And it's been that way for well over a century. So why wouldn't we teach it in science classes?
Clearly, beauty contestants' brains aren't their primary attribute. Two out of 51? That's even worse than the American public in general, and our ignorance of science is the laughing stock of the world (with the possible exception of certain Islamic countries, who push their own religion's version of creationism).
And no, these women weren't taken by surprise by this question, either. They all knew what they'd be asked ahead of time, apparently. They're just that ignorant. All but Miss California, Alyssa Campanella, and Miss Massachusetts, Alida D'Angona. They seem to be my kind of women - smart and well-educated.
PS. For the record, Miss Nebraska said, "In public schools, you have to give all credited theories equal amount of time, so I think creation and evolution should both be able to be taught."
The problem is that creationism is not a theory, "credited" or not. It's a religious belief, and while religious beliefs could be taught in a comparative religion class (assuming you include many different religions), they have no place in science classes.
As a Nebraskan, I'm embarrassed - not because a beauty contestant from our state is this ignorant, but because anyone from our state is this ignorant of basic science.