The Intelligent President

August 4th, 2005

Ok, so I don’t post for weeks, and suddenly twice in one week. Well, some topics just shouldn’t be passed up. A fellow compatriot in the blogosphere sent me this story. It has people all up in arms because of the implied support by our president of teaching intelligent design in schools. I’d like to suggest that maybe el presidente does believe in intelligent design, but that’s not what he said during the press conference.

The actual questioning went as follows:

Q I wanted to ask you about the — what seems to be a growing debate over evolution versus intelligent design. What are your personal views on that, and do you think both should be taught in public schools?
“THE PRESIDENT: I think — as I said, harking back to my days as my governor . . . Then, I said that, first of all, that decision should be made to local school districts, but I felt like both sides ought to be properly taught.
“Q Both sides should be properly taught?
“THE PRESIDENT: Yes, people — so people can understand what the debate is about.
“Q So the answer accepts the validity of intelligent design as an alternative to evolution?
“THE PRESIDENT: I think that part of education is to expose people to different schools of thought, and I’m not suggesting — you’re asking me whether or not people ought to be exposed to different ideas, and the answer is yes.

I hate to play devil’s advocate, but shouldn’t people know what the debate is about? Shouldn’t students be taught the arguements used by both sides in order to form their own opinions. Now, I’m not stating that intelligent design (ID) should be taught as science, and I don’t think that is what Bush said either. He actually seemed to give a decent answer for once, although some may argue that he didn’t answer the question directly.

He didn’t say that ID isn’t based on science and shouldn’t be taught as such in science courses, which is what all supporters of evolution were hoping to hear. He just said that they were alternative views that should be presented as such. And, isn’t that really that truth. They are alternative views. Not alternatives, but alternative views.

I can’t believe that I’m actually kind of with the president on this one, but I kind of agree with him. We should have a populus that is educated without having information filtered for them based on the popular perspective. I think that ID would make a great topic in religion classes. Or, how much fun would it be to teach the scientific method by having your students compare and contrast the arguements used to support evolution and creationism, and have them learn why one is based in science and the other is not. I know, I know… people will complain that the teachers are bashing religion… blah, blah, blah.

In the words of a wise parrot descibed by Tom Robbins, “People of zee world… relax.” Words to live by these days.

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