Speaking at the graduation of his granddaughter’s Catholic high school in Bethesda, Maryland this Thursday, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia gave a subtle shout-out to young earth creationists.
“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. “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.”
Now, if by “humanity” Scalia meant Homo sapiens, he was still about 150,000 years off, considering that’s about how long it’s estimated that modern humans have been around – never mind that we began to diverge from our chimpanzee lineage about 6 million years ago.
— Mike Sacks (@MikeSacksEsq) June 5, 2015
Being mostly a belief system hailing from evangelical Christians, young earth creationism is a fairly fringe sect in Catholicism, making Scalia a minority in his Catholic faith. Either way, this isn’t the first time Scalia has expressed his magical thinking publically, once saying that he believes the Devil is a “real person” but does not manifest himself in obvious ways.
“You know, it is curious,” Scalia said in a 2013 interview, “In the Gospels, the Devil is doing all sorts of things. He’s making pigs run off cliffs, he’s possessing people and whatnot. And that doesn’t happen very much anymore.”
He explained that the Devil no longer causes pigs to run off cliffs because “he’s smart.”
“What he’s doing now is getting people not to believe in him or in God. He’s much more successful that way.”
Watch Scalia’s speech in the video below. His creationism remarks begin at about 2:19: