How much science matters to the average American?

Heard on the radio this morning, a commenter responding to a radio talk show host’s pointing out to him that Mike Huckabee doesn’t accept evolution as valid. This is as close as I can remember what he said, but the gist is correct:

We disagree on that. But not believing in evolution is something I can overlook. It’s not that important. It’s not as though he’ll have stormtroopers knocking down my door because of it.

Maybe not, but if elected Huckabee would have a huge say over federal educational and biological research policy and funding. Being a creationist, as Mike Huckabee is, to me is an indication of a huge lack of understanding of even the most basic principles of science. Worse, though, and more relevant to the Presidency, it indicates an even larger hole in his critical thinking skills–so much so that it’s pretty close to an automatic disqualification for the Presidency. Basically, to me belief in creationism of any stripe is an indication that a candidate is too likely for my taste to choose his religion and ideology over science and objective facts whenever the there is a conflict between them. We’ve had far more than enough of that already; we don’t need any more.

But, then, what do I know? I’m just a physician and a scientist.