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Evolution denier Mark Robinson could reshape North Carolina’s education system

Robinson said science education should be taken out of elementary schools

By Jesse Valentine - May 16, 2024
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Mark Robinson speaks to the crowd at Rep. Ted Budd's election night watch party in Winston-Salem, North Carolina on Nov. 8, 2022.
Lt. Governor Mark Robinson speaks to the crowd at Rep. Ted Budd's election night watch party in Winston-Salem, N.C., Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

In newly unearthed audio, Mark Robinson, the Republican candidate for Governor of North Carolina, endorsed a claim that the theory of evolution is “demonic.” Robinson has challenged similar areas of scientific consensus and called for science education to be removed from schools.

Robinson, who is currently serving as Lieutenant Governor, made the evolution remarks in a 2018 interview with the Politics and Prophecy podcast hosted by Chris Levels.

“We’re talking about Nancy Pelosi, and we’re talking about these Demon-crats, and we’re talking about the philosophy behind socialism, communism, evolution,” Levels said. “Evolution, because when you think about it, none of this is possible without that theory…that whole philosophy, it’s so demonic in its origin. What do you have to say about that?”

“That’s absolutely true,” Robinson responded.

Debates over evolution are nothing new. In the mid-2000’s, conservative evangelicals pushed for intelligent design to be taught in schools. President George W. Bush endorsed those efforts. In recent years, that debate has largely faded from public consciousness. If elected, Robinson could revive it. 

The next Governor of North Carolina will wield significant influence over the state’s education system. The governor appoints members to the State Board of Education. Every current member’s term has either expired or will expire by March 2025. The board is tasked with deciding course content as well as school funding and teacher pay. 

In his 2022 memoir, “We Are the Majority: The Life and Passions of a Patriot,” Robinson called for the wholesale removal of science courses from elementary schools.

“In those grades, we don’t need to be teaching social studies,” he writes. “We don’t need to be teaching science. We surely don’t need to be talking about equity and social justice.”

Other scientific topics Robinson has challenged include climate change and the efficacy of vaccines. 

In a 2019 Facebook rant, Robinson said climate change was “junk science” that was being used to exploit children for political gain. He claimed similar tactics were used by authoritarians like Adolf Hitler and Pol Pot. 

Robinson’s Democratic opponent is Attorney General Josh Stein. The North Carolina Association of Educators endorsed Stein’s campaign last year.

A Robinson spokesperson did not immediately respond to questions for this story.


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