Speed Reads


Did Antonin Scalia just confess to being a creationist?

In a speech at his granddaughter's high school graduation Thursday, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia hinted that he may believe some tenets of creationism.

"Class of 2015, you should not leave Stone Ridge High School thinking that you face challenges that are at all, in any important sense, unprecedented," Scalia said during the speech. "Humanity has been around for at least some 5,000 years or so, and I doubt that the basic challenges as confronted are any worse now, or alas even much different, from what they ever were."

ThinkProgress notes that Scalia's statement is a bit odd, since the earliest Homo sapiens lived in Africa about 100,000 years ago, and evidence of human culture, such as cave painting, dates back at least 50,000 years. ThinkProgress' Ian Millhiser points out that Scalia may have been denoting a core belief of young earth creationists, who think the planet is only several thousand years old.

While it's unclear whether Scalia intended to promote a creationist belief — the speech was at a Catholic high school, but creationism isn't a part of Catholicism — it's not the first time Scalia has made a polarizing remark about religion. In a 2013 interview, ThinkProgress notes, Scalia said he believes the devil is a "real person."