President Bush waded into the debate over evolution and “intelligent design” yesterday, saying schools should teach both on the origins and complexity of life.
In a wide-ranging question-and-answer session with a small group of reporters, Bush essentially endorsed efforts by Christian conservatives to give intelligent design equal standing with evolution in the nation’s schools.
Hmmm. I have a theory: George Bush is an uncurious, intellectual lightweight, with little regard for either science or education. Based on my theory, I propose that the President’s meddling with our public schools should stray no further than occasional readings of My Pet Goat, while leaving the content of our science curriculum to people who actually understand and respect science… you know… like, scientists.
The National Academy of Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science have both concluded that there is no scientific basis for intelligent design and oppose its inclusion in school science classes.
“The claim that equity demands balanced treatment of evolutionary theory and special creation in science classrooms reflects a misunderstanding of what science is and how it is conducted,” the academy said in a 1999 assessment. “Creationism, intelligent design, and other claims of supernatural intervention in the origin of life or of species are not science because they are not testable by the methods of science.”
That’s right, intelligent design is not science, it is religion, and as long as we still have a First Amendment, we don’t teach religion in our public schools. If this is the President’s idea of education reform, perhaps what we really need is a “No Child Left Behind in the Middle Ages” act?
But wait… aren’t you being arrogant, Goldy? What of all those “scientists” who question evolution?
The Discovery Institute, a conservative think tank in Seattle that is the leading proponent of intelligent design, said it has compiled a list of more than 400 scientists, including 70 biologists, who are skeptical about evolution.
“The fact is that a significant number of scientists are extremely skeptical that Darwinian evolution can explain the origins of life,” John West, associate director of the organization’s Center for Science and Culture, said in a statement.
Yeah, and I’m skeptical that the Discovery Institute is an actual think tank. It’s not. It’s a far-right Christian propaganda mill, with absolutely no credibility on this or any other issue of scientific discovery… and the MSM should be absolutely ashamed of itself for indicating otherwise. The Discovery Institute is a sham, pure and simple, financed by wealth individuals with a dangerous, far-right-wing political agenda.
When the President of the United States suggests that our public schools should teach this retreaded, creationist bullshit on an equal scientific footing with evolution, the whole world laughs at us. And they should… we are becoming a ridiculous nation. No wonder our high tech industries can’t find enough qualified employees without importing scientists and engineers from overseas… while nations like India and China are retooling to compete and win in a 21st century economy, we’re busy turning our once proud public schools into the Evangelical Christian version of Taliban madrasas.
Bush’s statement in support of intelligent design not only represents a dumbing down of our educational system that our economy simply can’t afford, it is also an offense to those of us who don’t share the President’s faith. Science is about facts, not belief, and thus I no more want President Bush teaching my daughter science than I want Tom Cruise teaching her religion. If Bush wants to teach intelligent design, he should teach Sunday school. But stay the hell out of our public schools.