A funny thing happened at the Republican presidential debate the other night. The debate came just before the release of the latest IPCC report on climate change, and I expected that the research and policy issues related to this topic would be the primary focus of science at the debate. Instead, evolution stole the show, at least based on much of the coverage in the press afterwards. All candidates were asked if they accepted evolution, and the three who did not have since released statements clarifying their opinions. Why did evolution appear at all, and why has the focus on it come at the expense of scientific questions that are more likely to set public policy?

more at arstechnica.com