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(Updated) President Bush on Teaching the Controversy

UPDATE: Stephen Meyer’s O’Reilly interview has been canceled. Due to the unfortunate Air France crash, O’Reilly will not have time for the full ID discussion, so he’s only going to interview the Darwinist. And William Dembski reports that his appearance on Fox has also been canceled.

Discovery Institute has now issued a statement about President Bush’s comments on teaching the controversy over Darwinism. And here’s what the AP and other news sources are reporting on the issue:

During a round-table interview with reporters from five Texas newspapers, Bush declined to go into detail on his personal views of the origin of life. But he said students should learn about competing viewpoints, Knight Ridder Newspapers reported. “I think that part of education is to expose people to different schools of thought,” Bush said. “You’re asking me whether or not people ought tobe exposed to different ideas, the answer is yes.”

The president is a fan of open inquiry. He has gone on record before as saying that critiques of scientific theories (such as ID) should be a normal part of science education. From the Oct. 1 issue of Science (p. 51):

Science: Should “intelligent design” or other scientific critiques of evolutionary theory be taught in public schools?

BUSH: The federal government has no control over local curricula, and it is not the federal government’s role to tell states and local boards of education what they should teach in the classroom. Of course, scientific critiques of any theory should be a normal part of the science curriculum.

Note that while design theory does critique Darwinism, it also provides positive evidence for design in fields as diverse as biology and cosmology. The Discovery Institute’s position is that critiques of Darwinism should be part of public science education; and that discussions of intelligent design as a theory in its own right should be allowed there, but not mandated.

Jonathan Witt

Executive Editor, Discovery Institute Press and Senior Fellow, Center for Science and Culture
Jonathan Witt, PhD, is Executive Editor of Discovery Institute Press and a Senior Fellow with the Center for Science and Culture. His co-authored books include Intelligent Design Uncensored (IVP), A Meaningful World: How the Arts and Sciences Reveal the Genius of Nature (IVP), and The Hobbit Party: The Vision of Freedom That Tolkien Got, and the West Forgot (Ignatius Press). Witt is also the lead writer and associate producer for Poverty, Inc., winner of the $100,000 Templeton Freedom Award and recipient of over 50 international film festival honors. His latest book is a YA novel co-authored with astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez, The Farm at the Center of the Universe.



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