Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Evolution & Six-Foot-Tall Mutant Spiders

Leona sent a couple of links to a couple of news items demonstrating that Bush's endorsement of teaching "intelligent design" in U.S. schools is getting international attention. (I'll get to the spiders later.)

The first link was to a BBC news item:
President Bush's championing of intelligent design will be interpreted as further evidence of the growing influence of the religious right.
It points out that even wingnut Rick Santorium doesn't want to teach creationism via intelligent design in a science class:
"I'm not comfortable with intelligent design being taught in the science classroom," he says.
Rick "gay rights lead to beastiality" Santorium is now the voice of reason?!

The BBC article concludes:
Alan Leshner, the chief executive of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, says that the proponents of intelligent design are "trying to cloak a religious concept in the mantle of science".

"There is no science to intelligent design, it's not even a scientifically answerable question," he says.

In 1925, the Scopes trial marked a defeat for creationists and opened the way for evolution to be taught in US classrooms.

Eighty years on, intelligent design is offering the creationists new comfort.
The other link from Leona was to an editorial in The Guardian:
All this is part of the Christian right's agenda to introduce religion into the US classroom. It is no coincidence that Christian conservatives are a substantial part of Mr Bush's voting base ...

"This is a worrying echo of the Bush administration's refusal to recognise the evidence of how the burning of fossil fuels contributes to global warming. The depressing reality seems to be that the 21st White House is more at home with Christian literalism than scientific fact."
The Guardian cites several other editorials.
American high schoolers do badly enough on international science tests without the president casting doubt on the core theory of biology. - Boston Globe

While humans were floating in space above him, Mr Bush advocated trashing the scientific method that made it possible... -Philadelphia Daily News

...politics are no excuse for indulging quackery, not from a president - especially not from a president - who claims, at least some of the time, that he cares about education. - The Washington Post

"The doctrine of separation of church and state, which has guided Americans from the time of the founding fathers, is based on an understanding that this is exactly the kind of hornets' nest that arises when sincere believers decide that children should be exposed to their own personal visions of how God works on Earth. - New York Times
Regarding those giant spiders, Leona commented:
Personally, I think it's scarier than 6 feet tall mutant spiders.
Thanks to Leona for those links and comments.