So, you may recall that President Bush says that we should teach egregiously false information to our students alongside of proven science.
Then, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist jumps in, courageously stomping to death any remaining credibility he has as a man with a science background, by saying that
I think today a pluralistic society should have access to a broad range of fact, of science, including faith…
His quotation is wonderful, in a way. Who could disagree with what he said? Except that he is arguing that we should teach Intelligent Design in schools. Of course, to his credit, he didn’ t include in his statement “grotesquely wrong ideas that will set our children so far behind in education versus other countries that we might as well just make a giant bonfire in the middle of the country – say, in Kansas – and throw all our science textbooks in it.”
But he could have. It’s what he means. And it’s what’ll happen if this goes on.
And then, out of the darkness, a voice of rationality, of reason. And it came from Howard Dean (also a doctor, but in this case one who embraces the science behind the profession). Dean came right out and accused Bush (and tangentially, Frist) of being “antiscience” (where have I heard that word before…?), saying specifically,
The president has been anti-science for a long time. This is the most antiscientific regime that I’ve seen in America in my lifetime. I’m a trained physician, as you’re aware. I’m insulted by that. It’s going to harm America. What serious business is going to invest in America if a scientific education is influenced by politics? Science ought to be taught as science. If you want to teach religion, that’s a separate debate. But science should be taught as science.
I don’t care what party you belong to, what wing you call yourself, for whom you voted, what your religion is, or even if you have one or not. Intelligent Design is not science; it’s not even religion. It’s just wrong. Purveyors of ID are stifling our children, killing their future, and literally destroying the chances our country has in being a player in the biotechnical industry that will become the biggest business of the 21st century. If this goes on, we’ll be firmly planted in the 15th century. Science is about looking ahead. ID is about sticking its head in the ground.