In a statement sure to please his religious-right supporters, President Bush has said that schools should teach both evolution and intelligent design.
Asked again by a reporter whether he believed that both sides in the debate between evolution and intelligent design should be taught in the schools, Mr. Bush replied that he did, “so people can understand what the debate is about.”
Mr. Bush was pressed as to whether he accepted the view that intelligent design was an alternative to evolution, but he did not directly answer. “I think that part of education is to expose people to different schools of thought,” he said, adding that “you’re asking me whether or not people ought to be exposed to different ideas, and the answer is yes.”
Right. The theory of evolution has been validated by virtually every discovery ever made in the fields of geology, biology and paleontology. And intelligent design is an early objection to evolution, which was proposed and disproven over a hundred years ago. And now the President of the United States is saying that both should be taught to students as equal in merit?
And what is this “debate” that he’s talking about? Anyone who disagrees with a scientific theory can try to discredit it by saying it is “debated”. But the scientific method does not use debate – it uses experiment and observation to validate theories. And this method has been the basis of our technology and our understanding of the world for the past 400 years.
Sure, it might be entertaining to stage a debate between advocates of intelligent design and virtually the entire scientific community. Have each side present their best evidence, point by point, then decide. Problem is, we already had that debate 120 years ago. And evolution won.