The Republican nominee for lieutenant governor of Virginia, E. W. Jackson, wrote in his book Ten Commandments to an Extraordinary Life that he doesn't believe in evolution because animals don't have the ability to write or talk. Jackson wrote the book in 2008 in his capacity as minister before his failed bid for Republicans nomination for Senate in the 2012 or his current race.
The passage reads:
Scientist have made much of the fact that chimpanzees have been trained to use sign language. They take this as proof that primates are our ancestors because they, like us, have "language capacity." It is amazing the length to which people will go to prove what is so palpably false. The ability to make sounds which serve to communicate the simplest to most complex ideas is an astounding thing, almost supernatural in itself. Equally remarkable is the ability to reduce those sounds to written symbols universally understood and capable of conveying the ideas that those sounds represent. To suggest that all this is an accident of evolution belies the intellectual power language represents. Those are gifts given to mankind by God who created us. He gave those gifts to no other creature. There is an unfathomable gulf between humans and all other creatures because creation was designed that way. No amount of time or theorizing will ever bridge that gulf. Only mankind was made to represent the divinity and genius of God himself.
Jackson, responding to past controversial comments on gays, said last month, "I say the things that I say because I'm a Christian, not because I hate anybody, but because I have religious values that matter to me." Jackson made the comment to reporters at a campaign stop in Fredericksburg, according to the Washington Post.
Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
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