Hi, and welcome to a potentially face-palming experience called 2016 POTUS Candidates and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Today, I’ll examine Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), who is going to formally enter the 2016 POTUS race tomorrow.

Quick biography of candidate

Rafael Edward Cruz, known as Ted Cruz, was born 22 December 1970 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. His parents were at the time working with Alberta oil industry: his mother and father both have mathematics degrees and worked in Houston TX for oil companies before moving to Calgary. Ted had a very good schooling; in junior high he wanted to go to MIT, study neurology, and start a business working on artificial intelligence. He eventually changed his mind at Second Baptist High School, where he graduated valedictorian, and wanted to study law. He graduated cum laude from Princeton and magna cum laude from Harvard Law School with a J.D. Since then he has worked in Texas law, being the Solicitor General of Texas from 2003 to 2008, then working at a private law firm in Houston. On 19 January 2011 he announced he was going to run for the US Senate, he won the Republican primary in July of 2012, and in November of that year he won the general election and became the junior Senator from Texas. Since then he has been a very vibrant conservative Republican. If asked for his own list of achievements, he would probably list the US federal government shutdown in 2013, which he blamed on his opponents not giving into his demands.

Does this candidate have a STEM background?

As mentioned above, Mr. Cruz did come from a family with a STEM education, and he himself thought about pursuing a STEM education, but he eventually decided not to, instead going towards the study of law.

How old does he think the world is?

Mr. Cruz has never given a public position on this question. His religious background doesn’t help in answering this question. While the Southern Baptist Convention’s Faith & Message says that “all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy”, and many Southern Baptists interpret this to mean that the Earth is only thousands of years old, not all do. But Mr. Cruz has yet to state his thoughts on the matter.

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Does he think humans evolved from other apes?

Mr. Cruz has never given a public position on this question. The Southern Baptist Convention’s Faith & Message says that “Man is the special creation of God”, but, once again, not all Southern Baptists agree with this. Mr. Cruz’s father very much does not think that humans evolved from other apes, but Mr. Cruz has never stated whether he does, or does not, agree with his father.

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Does he think human activity is warming the planet?

Mr. Cruz thinks no. Back in January the US Senate had a few votes on whether humans are causing climate change. The Hoeven amendment asked, Cruz said no. The Schatz amendment asked, Cruz said no. The Manchin amendment asked, Cruz said to table it. The Sanders amendment asked, Cruz said to table it. This is the wrong answer, since human activity is warming the planet, primarily through burning the product that his parents used to work with.

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Does he think that human lives begin at conception?

He appears to think this, only thinking that pregnancies should be terminated if they are a threat to the life of the mother. He has referred to some types of birth control, which generally do not cause induced miscarriages, as abortifacients, which is just plain wrong. In addition, he also thinks that second trimester fetuses feel pain, which is something that is not a scientific certainty.

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Report card

Mr. Cruz is not a STEM educated person, although both of his parents were ... although his dad doesn’t accept evolution. He has never stated his opinion on how old the Earth is, nor on whether humans evolved from other apes. On climatological matters, he is very often saying things that are wrong. On matters of human development, he supports things that do not have high scientific support.

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Mr. Cruz gets a D- on science. If he worked harder, he could improve, but he’s really close to failing on science.