Bush Endorses “Intelligent Design”, Creationism

| 157 Comments | 8 TrackBacks

Bush endorses teaching ‘intelligent design’ theory in schools

BY RON HUTCHESON Knight Ridder Newspapers

WASHINGTON - (KRT) - President Bush waded into the debate over evolution and “intelligent design” Monday, saying schools should teach both theories on the creation and complexity of life.

[…]

Bush compared the current debate to earlier disputes over “creationism,” a related view that adheres more closely to biblical explanations. As governor of Texas, Bush said students should be exposed to both creationism and evolution.

On Monday the president said he favors the same approach for intelligent design “so people can understand what the debate is about.”

Bradenton Herald

8 TrackBacks

It's only a small fillip on the vast rococo monument to incompetence, anti-science, and lies that the Republican party has erected over our country, but I take it personally. George W. Bush has endorsed Intelligent Design creationism's pl... Read More

Mr. Bush, Ludwig Wittgenstein would like a word with you... Read More

Surprising No One from Frothing at the Mouth on August 2, 2005 2:03 PM

Via the invaluable Pharyngula, the President we've got has endorsed Intelligent Design. It's a bit tiring, if unsurprising, for him to again prove his lack of interest in learning and his spineless acquiescence to the wingnut Christian right. Go lend... Read More

If you read any blog that has anything to do with science, you've probably already read about this story: WASHINGTON (AFP) - President George W. Bush has said he supports teaching US science students "intelligent design" -- a God-centered alternative... Read More

By now, almost everyone has commented on the President's interview with a group of reporters. I will give a representative, but certainly not exhaustive, set of links at the end of this post. The Knight Ridder News has one of... Read More

Just a brief follow up to my previous comments on War of the Worlds, to show that the issue of Intelligent Design is indeed topical and significant. Bush endorses teaching 'intelligent design' BY RON HUTCHESON Knight Ridder Newspapers WASHINGTON - Read More

Intellagament Design from Blog of the Moderate Left on August 2, 2005 10:36 PM

If George W. Bush endorses intelligent design, does it automatically have to forfeit the "intelligent" moniker? Not that ID deserves the term in the first place; creationism lite is far more accurate. Nevertheless, it's good to know the President ... Read More

Just yesterday, 1 Monday August, I had the pleasure of writing on H Allen Orr, the gifted scientist and essayist. Now, late Tuesday night (early Wendesday morning), I make the blog rounds to discover that President Bush has declared for intelligent ... Read More

157 Comments

We’re screwed.

Bush’s endorsement just lends weight to the fact that ID isn’t evidence-based. When has this administration ever let evidence stand in the way of policy?

Bush favoured the teaching of creationism when he was governor of Texas, knowing that it was a Bible-based subject? The end justifies the means for some people, apparently.

And if he was OK with overtly Bible-based stuff being taught in school, of course he’s going to be OK with intelligent design. I wonder if he’ll also support teaching that HIV doesn’t cause AIDS since the alternative being pushed by the HIV deniers involves AIDS being caused by what amounts to a sinful lifestyle.

Or that AIDS was engineered by the CIA or any number of crackpot ideas.

I think this lends weight more to the idea that the current American administration is heavily anti-science more than anything else.

Face it there’s no hope people! Quick, get a plane ticket to Australia. We have creationists here but they’re still weak and pitiful. The forces of reason can consolidate our power Down-Under and crush the Aussie creationists using our scientific might! Then we start a fun and dandy cold war between our critical-thinking democracy the failed-democracy-come-theocracy that is America.

Well, about as many creatures were designed by the Designer as there were WMDs in Iraq.

Well, many on the left believe that where James Dobson leads, so goes President Bush (Terry Shiavo, Supreme Court Justices, abortion, gay marriage, etc, etc.)

It’s probably a coincidence, but Dobson’s “Focus of the Family” is doing a two-parter (today and tomorrow) on Intelligent Design with none other than Stephen Meyer and John West from the Discovery Institute:

http://www.family.org/fmedia/broadc[…]a0037250.cfm

I only caught the final few minutes this evening, but these two shows appear to be a gold mine of misinformation and references to the religious aspect of their mission.

Only from what I heard, I caught them saying that it was important that ID was making great inroads in the publishing arena (funny, I thought research would be a little more crucial) but then they give “The Design Inference” as the main example, and that was published 7 years ago!

Meyer also stated that ID would be mainstream science within five years (start the clock, somebody) and then they could start to “get to the young people.”

Through Dobson, the DI is reaching out to its core constituency - the religious right and home schoolers. I would recommend that someone on the staff here listen to the shows and consider a more thorough write-up.

The first broadcast is online right now, the other should be tomorrow.

This is a political fight, not a scientific one. The fact of the matter is that scientists often forget this. They need to wake up right now, find a political advocate, and get cracking.

Face it there’s no hope people! Quick, get a plane ticket to Australia. We have creationists here but they’re still weak and pitiful.

Yeah, that’s because you exported all the “good” ones to America to wreak havoc over here.… thanks ;-)

Actually the UK is still pretty evolution-friendly (my old home turf) but I was a little dismayed last night to find Stephen Meyer popping up on BBC Radio there too:

http://www0.bbc.co.uk/radio4/today/[…]20050801.ram

Can’t they just leave well alone?

I think I put this news on par with the Dover fiasco – it’s good news. Bush supporting another wedge issue is just the sort of thing that will further alienate ID in public opinion, if anything, by providing more links between ID and old-fashioned Creationism. I think we should remember that for mainstream Christians, Bush is simply bad news. He is already the anti-science President many have come to know in recent times: challenging stem-cell research, and ignoring data about global warming and ecological effects of drilling in ANWR… His supporting ID is just icing on the cake.

Here’s the DIlemma: “teaching the controversy” for most fundamentalists is simply not enough. The DI knows it. Too bad for them, they let the cat out of the bag. The fundamentalists always want more. Can fundamentalists exert enough self control to simply stay on message with “teach the controversy”? I don’t think so. And neither does the DI. The problem here is that IDists know that when it comes time to put up, they got bumpkins. So, how do they spin the President’s endorsement of teaching Crea… uh “intelligent design” … when the official position of the think tank is the exact opposite? If Republicans pride themselves in party loyalty, then the only course of action is for them to rashly throw together a host of bills to teach ID. Each of them will just be another Dover delight.

Our creationists got exported to Australia and then onto America from there. Otherwise hardly anyone in New Zealand takes creationism seriously and it’s largely a non-issue. I know we have a few though, but they are ignored by everyone pretty much except extreme right wing magazines like Investigate.

Bah, what did you expect Bush to say? We know he’s not the smartest guy, and he certainly isn’t science oriented. I don’t think I’ll live to see the day where he says “Religion should be kept out of our schools, and evolution should be the only origins subject tought in biology”.

He didn’t have to come out and say he was for creation, we could of assumed years ago.

Wow. Bush is to the average person as the intellect of an amoeba is to omniscience.

It will be interesting to see how the DI spins this.

On the one hand, they can claim the Highest Support From The Administration. On the other, Bush is on record as endorsing the teaching of creationism in public schools.

How will the they promote the first, and bury the second?

This is quite the blow to Bush’s science advisor, no? It indicates that Bush isn’t paying attention to his advisors in science, and that, contrary to the administration’s earlier statements of support for the guy, they just don’t give a damn about the facts (of anything!).

As NCSE put it:

White House Science Advisor: Evolution a Cornerstone of Modern Biology During an on-line colloquy about science policy in the Bush administration conducted by The Chronicle of Higher Education on March 5, John H. Marburger III, director of the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy, was asked about the Bush administration’s scientific credibility in light of the president’s reported skepticism about evolution. He replied, “Evolution is a cornerstone of modern biology,” adding, “Much of the work supported by the National Institutes of Health depends heavily on the concepts of evolution. President Bush has supported the largest increases in the NIH budget in history.”

March 5, 2004

http://www.ncseweb.org/resources/ne[…]3_5_2004.asp

It looks to me as though NIH may be screwed – along with cancer research, research to stop HIV, and research to cure cystic fibrosis, etc., etc.

Let’s be clear – it’s not just a small group of “evolutionists” who have a stake in this. It is all of health care and all of agriculture. Beating the cotton boll weevil depends on evolution, not “intelligent design.” Finding oil depends on geology that supports evolution and falsifies creationism and intelligent design. Bush has announced in favor of cancer and malaria. Bush has announced in favor of American captivity to Arab oil.

Do we really think ADM and Exxon/Mobil will let him get away with it?

And let’s keep this thing in context:

On other topics, Bush said he has no idea how Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts would vote in a case challenging the legality of abortion because he never asked him about it. He also defended Baltimore Orioles first baseman Rafael Palmeiro, who was suspended Monday for using performance-enhancing steroids.

He’s probably pretty certain that bears don’t defecate in the forest, too.

This is quite the blow to Bush’s science advisor, no?

Not really. Marburger must be painfully aware by now of his importance in the grand scheme of things. Science is fine as long as it isn’t contradicted by things that are more important to Buxh (which, let’s face it, is almost everything). I should hope that a person taking the job of science advisor to this president would have had very, very low expectations from the outset.

I think the idea of equal time has merit. How about the Republicans give equal time to the Democrats?

Americans can have Bush for president during the first part of the day and Kerry for the second part of the day. Americans should be exposed to both points of view of governing.

Reed, governing? Bushco is to governing as YEC is to science. In the year 2005ce why are we having this conversation? THAT deserves study IMHO.

I think this is a small, but important, step for government simplification and budget reduction. So I sent this note to the Office of Science and Technology Policy.

I’m glad to see that the president is now supporting creationism. This will help the government to reduce costs since your office will no longer be needed and can be incorporated into the office of faith based initiatives.

LOL! Nice one. Let us know if they reply.

Cool, let’s teach the theory of ID in schools. Ooops I forgot there ain’t one. Of course the absence of supporting evidence has never deterred Bush from making assertions (WMDs come to mind).

Shit. I used to consider myself a moderate Republican (Libertarian at heart, but more in agreement with the Right than the Left), but with this sort of stuff going down…what the hell happened to the Republican party? (Answer: Religious nuts vote in larger numbers than the elderly.) This makes me retroactively glad that I voted for Kerry against my better judgement at the time, not that it did any good.

I wonder if the IDists are going to chastise Bush for not following the party line: “we don’t want to teach ID, we want to teach the controversy.”

It looks to me as though NIH may be screwed – along with cancer research, research to stop HIV, and research to cure cystic fibrosis, etc., etc.

Let’s be clear – it’s not just a small group of “evolutionists” who have a stake in this. It is all of health care and all of agriculture. Beating the cotton boll weevil depends on evolution, not “intelligent design.”

Could you elaborate on how you think the NIH and medical science in general will be screwed? Do you think that the community of biology, chemistry, medical researchers will turn against evolution, and lose the ability to do research?

I should hope that a person taking the job of science advisor to this president would have had very, very low expectations from the outset.

When NCSU’s Chancellor Marye Anne Fox was rumored to be considered for the post, I believe it was the NYT which reported something about the rumor that she was declining due to the implied requirement to support whatever the Bush policy was. I don’t know if it’s true or not, but they reported something to that effect.

steve wrote:

Could you elaborate on how you think the NIH and medical science in general will be screwed? Do you think that the community of biology, chemistry, medical researchers will turn against evolution, and lose the ability to do research?

They’ll lose the ability to do research when NIH funding for any evolution-related research dries up.

Are you sure he didn’t mean “Intelligence Design”? That’s where you create a “slam dunk” case for things that never happened. All of that evidence for WMDs was too complex to have been created by random errors in information.

In case anyone didn’t catch the message, Bush appointed Bolton (sidestepping the legislature) and made this announcement on ID in the same day.

People can joke all they want about his stupidity, this man is dangerous. And popular.

Now, I don’t think this is a moment for hopelessness. The U.S. occasionally surprised me, when for example over 70% felt that Congress overstepped its bounds in meddling with the Schiavo affair.

I hope this is the same kind of issue that will bite him in the ass, but to be honest I really don’t know.

I am the author of a book entitled “The God Theory” (can be ordered anywhere using ISBN 1-59129-380-4) The book examines the interface of science and religion. This comment isn’t about me pushing my book - though I obviously see it as “must” reading for anyone concerned with subjects such as “intelligent design” and “creationism.” What I want to very briefly assert is that there is direct empirical as well as circumstantial evidence for the notion of “intelligent design.” (If you want the arguments why, read the book.) The problem is that the people who are pushing the “intelligent design” agenda are biblical literalists, in the main, who are also hell-bent on bringing down Darwinism. This is why they have (and will continue to have) virtually no credibility within the scientific community. The vast majority of scientists support (and will continue to support) Darwinism for a number of very sound and objective reasons.

What I want to very briefly assert is that there IS direct empirical as well as circumstantial evidence for the notion of “intelligent design.” (If you want the arguments why, read the book.)

Which the troll isn’t pushing, of course.

Who was it who said this would no longer be a problem .… ?

Harold did. As I pointed out and explained, he was wrong.

Indeed, I noted that he was wrong, too.

I also noted why it would continue . …

And off we go. If you don’t want to participate in the discussion, Lenny, then don’t.

Thanks, dad.

Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as me not participating.

Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as me not participating.

Ok, so there’s also your whining about it.

To offer something a little more productive than current fare of this thread:

For those who were commenting about how funding for the NIH might change here was a NPR story from July 20 about just that subject. Sincerely, Paul

It’s a good thing we have a president who’s a uniter, not a divider.

Well, a president who wins his presidency through church support is certainly gonna try to convert us all into religious and creationist zealots with no knowledge of evolution and science.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Wesley R. Elsberry published on August 1, 2005 9:10 PM.

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