Roy Moore Blamed Drive-By Shootings on Evolution Education: “They’re Acting Like Animals Because We’ve Taught Them They Come From Animals”

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Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore speaks during a campaign event in Alabama. Video has resurfaced of Moore making a speech in 1997 in which he links the teaching of evolution in schools with drive-by shootings. Jonathan Bachman/Reuters

Video has resurfaced of Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore making a speech in 1997 in which he links the teaching of evolution in schools with drive-by shootings.

“That’s the kind of logic they’ve used in our society today when we have kids driving by shooting each other that they don’t even know each other. They’re acting like animals because we’ve taught them they come from animals,” said Moore, who at the time was an Alabama Circuit judge. He was speaking at the “Role of Religion in the U.S. Government” conference hosted by the National Clergy Council.

Amanda Glaze, a professor who specializes in evolution education at Georgia Southern University, told Newsweek Friday that Moore’s 1997 statements were “inflammatory, ludicrous and unsubstantiated.”

About halfway into the 1997 speech, Moore joked, “Scientists who study evolution come up with some of the oddest things, don’t they? They tell us we evolved from something that crawled out of the water, but they have no evidence for that.”

Glaze countered that there is, in fact, good evidence for evolution. “Scientific evidence of evolution and development of species, and development within species, is extensive,” Glaze said, adding that detractors like Moore often have a limited focus on Charles Darwin’s work. “We have everything from biological evidence to DNA; we have the fossil records; we have 100 years of formal study of evolution post-Darwin’s time that explains descent with modification, that explains what evolution is.”  

This is not the first time that Glaze has heard such arguments. In fact, it’s not the first time she has heard Moore’s 1997 speech.

“I was actually a sophomore in high school in Gadsden, Alabama, which is Roy Moore’s county,” said Glaze, who watched the speech when it first aired in 1997. The full speech is available for viewing on C-Span.

Moore’s office did not immediately respond to request for comment.

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