Science class is for science
August 24, 2005
Readers are surely aware that, while vacationing at the ranch, President Bush uttered a few unfortunate words about the teaching of so-called intelligent design: "Both sides ought to be properly taught...so people can understand what the debate is about...Part of education is to expose people to different schools of thought...You're asking me whether or not people ought to be exposed to different ideas, and the answer is yes." In the "he-should-know-better department," Senate Majority Leader and heart surgeon Bill Frist said much the same a week later at a Rotary Club meeting in Nashville. Meanwhile, in Kansas, the state board of education approved draft science standards that criticize Darwin's theory (see previous coverage here). What's going on? Pundits explain that evolution will be "the new gay marriage" in the 2006 Congressional election; egad. Gadfly, a highly evolved species himself, is prepping to defend the next likely target: Copernicus. (Newton is already in trouble, reports The Onion.) After all, the idea that the Earth revolves around the sun is only a theory - no one has actually traveled to the sun to make sure the notion doesn't have any holes. Regarding the likely wedge issue of 2008, early money is on attacking Leonardo da Vinci - after all, he was a scientist and gay! If you don't find any of this particularly amusing, do not fear: Fordham's review of state science standards, complete with an analysis of their treatment of evolution, will arrive later this fall.
"Bush Remarks on 'Intelligent Design' Fuel Debate," by Peter Baker and Peter Slevin, Washington Post, August 3, 2005
"Frist's Tennessee Recess Is Puzzling for a Presidential Hopeful," by Shailagh Murray, Washington Post, August 21, 2005
"Kansas Board Advances a Draft Critical of Evolution," Associated Press, August 10, 2005
"Evangelical Scientists Refute Gravity With New 'Intelligent Falling' Theory," The Onion, August 17, 2005