The Miss USA contestants need to either read a textbook or shut the hell up.
Aside from the asinine, sexist 1950s mentality that the "competition" is based on, the annual beauty contest is intellectually damaging to the young women who are looking to them as role models. We're steering them wrong by telling them to listen to people who have no idea what they're talking about.
I'm referring, of course, to evolution.
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compilation of their responses:
When this year's contestants were asked if evolution should be taught in schools -- a weird way to approach the creationism debate in the first place -- none who gave a substantial answer indicated that Christianity should be kept out of the classroom in favor of devoting class time to genuine scientific inquiry.
Which raises the question: If these people are being put on television and held up as role models, why couldn't we find contestants who had any brains?
Miss Florida USA Lissette Garcia, in her interview before Sunday's contest, said "we really don't know where the first level came, where the first person came from," despite the fact that, you know, we totally do.
Garcia did say that evolution should be taught in school, but only because it's "something people do believe in," like the Easter Bunny. Never mind, you know, that it's what the most advanced scientists in the history of the planet are telling us. Her lack of "faith" in what is by now wholeheartedly proven biological fact wouldn't be as disconcerting if she wasn't studying to be a physician's assistant.
If you want to empower women and embrace whatever it is the Miss USA pageant thinks it's embracing, that's wonderful. But are we really doing a service to the young women of America by glorifying a batch of vapid morons who think science is something people can "decide" to "believe" in? It's science.
There are two ways to fix it. Either find women who can answer questions like the role models they put themselves out there to be -- that is, intelligently -- or stop asking them questions that will confuse children when they're answered badly by the entire field.
If you want to make it about honest thought and open debate, great. But we all know it's about tits, and it is a disgrace that we, in the 21st Century, can put up with a bikini contest that tries to make a statement about what belongs in science classrooms.