Bush Indicates Support for Intelligent Design

In comments to reporters President Bush indicated he supported the concept of Intelligent Design (ID). Further, the President indicated that he thought it was a good idea that children are exposed to a variety of creation stories. I think this is a good idea. I look forward to when the following are incorporated into science curriculums across the country.

  • Iyadola’s Babies: Basically the story goes that Nyame was bored so he created the animals, birds and plants and put them in a basket. He then cut a hole in the sky and placed the basket on Earth. Then Nyame sneezed and out popped man and woman.
  • West African Cosmogony: The creation myth of Mande-speaking people of southern Mali is an example of what is called a “cosmic egg myth.” As reflected in their culture, the creation myth has elements of an imperfect creation as a result of incest.
  • The Mayan Creation Story: Then while they [Tepeu and Gucumatz] meditated, it became clear to them that when dawn would break, man must appear. Then they planned the creation, and the growth of the trees and the thickets and the birth of life and the creation of man. Thus it was arranged in the darkness and in the night by the Heart of Heaven who is called Huracán.

As well as all the other creation stories. After all, what is a biology course without at least a week spent studying voodoo? Boring, if you ask me. And hey, how do guys like Dembski, Behe, and the rest of the Discovery Institute brethren know that Tepeu and Gucumatz are not in actuality the creators and this whole Jesus business is heresy? Of course, it really just could be aliens (paging Agent Fox Mulder).

FILED UNDER: Politics 101, Religion, Science & Technology
Steve Verdon
About Steve Verdon
Steve has a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles and attended graduate school at The George Washington University, leaving school shortly before staring work on his dissertation when his first child was born. He works in the energy industry and prior to that worked at the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Division of Price Index and Number Research. He joined the staff at OTB in November 2004.

Comments

  1. Steve Verdon says:

    Awww c’mon thunderbird, Evolution was a great movie.




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  2. ALS says:

    What’s wrong with how I learned it? The teacher started out the discussion on evolution, saying that students “…are probably learning different things from our parents and our churches, and that’s OKAY, because evolution is JUST A THEORY. No one really knows for 100% sure EXACTLY how we got here, but we want you to be aware that the theory of evolution is out there, and is generally accepted as being one of many explanations.”

    What is so wrong with that?




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  3. Steve Verdon says:

    Sigh

    Evolution is not just a theory, anymore than gravity is just a theory. Evolution, that organisms change, is a fact. Mutation, recombination are facts. Everytime a baby is concieved a new strand of DNA is created which leads to variation in the species. Same thing with every mutation.

    As for “how we got here” that issue is not part of evolutionary theory save tagentially. Evolutionary theory assumes the presence of life and then endeavors to explain the diversity of life. Origins questions are not part of evolutionary theory.

    And as for being 100% sure, then perhaps we should teach that objects fall because angels are pushing the objects to the ground. After all we don’t understand 100% about gravity now do we.

    What is so wrong with that?

    See the above.




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  4. RA says:

    Evolution is not a theory. It cannot be falsified. It is a postulate, just as IT is. The quest is to find which postulate is better supported by the science we know today.

    We have millions of billions of examples of species reproducing there own species. We have zero, none, zip, nada examples of one species reproducing a different species. These facts say evolution does not happen.

    Yes there are strains of viruses that “mutate” into othe VIRUSES that have developed immunities to certain treatment. But they are still viruses, not butterflies or worms.

    Similarities in genetic DNA prove nothing. All life shares similar building blocks. With this line of thought we may have come from watermelons because we share the same percentage of water that melons do. Or maybe people evolved into watermelons, I get confused.

    I give you the whole periodic table. Can someone please give me life. Inert chemicals, randomly mixed in a primordial puddle produces life!?? Does anyone really believe this? If you do please show me the mechanism.

    The univers was either created or is eternal. Evolutionists must believe it is eternal. The laws of Thermodynamics show entropy is changing useful energy into nonuseful energy (disipated heat). When the universe runs down how is all this dissipated heat energy changed back into useful energy? Where is the natural mechanism that does this? The Big Bang is a Big Bust.

    The science we know today says evolution could not have happened. The evolutionist must put his faith in we will find natural mechanisms to solve all these problems. That is not science. That is blind faith. Evolutionists are the ones practicing the religion of humanism.

    The monsterous complexity of human DNA is far to sufisticated to think it came about by accident. Accidents result in complex systems degenerating into simpler systems. Evolution needs simple systems to develope into more complex systems. Once again our observable science says this is not happening.

    Darwinian evolution is dead. That is why you hear this nonsense about spacemen populating the earth. Science on the earth says evolution cannot happen. So evolutionist take the arguement that is beyond scientific observation where they can postulate any science fiction they want.




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  5. legion says:

    Thanks, Steve, for performing an often-thankless task – correcting the most basic misconceptions about science.

    I’ll add on a thought or two… Evolution, in it’s most basic and (over-) simplified form, says only “over time, life changes”. It does not, as Steve said, address where life came from. There is _nothing_ in evolution that contradicts a faith in God – faith and evolution can easily co-exist.

    What evolution _does_ contradict is a strict, literal interpretation of the bible. Only a small sub-group of Christians take the bible literally, but it’s far too easy for today’s half-assed press to spin this into a conflict between Belief and Science (Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!).

    Although frankly, when you start with the belief that the entire universe is only ~5000 years old, there’s practically nothing any field of modern science teaches that you won’t have problems with…




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  6. Steve Verdon says:

    We have millions of billions of examples of species reproducing there own species. We have zero, none, zip, nada examples of one species reproducing a different species. These facts say evolution does not happen.

    Not quite, what this says is that the creationsist view of evolution does not happen. Nowhere in the theory or evolutionary theory does it say that one species suddenly plops out of the womb of another. If such were to happen that WOULD BE EVIDENCE FOR CREATIONISM AND AGAINST EVOLUTIONARY THEORY.–all caps for emphasis

    Yes there are strains of viruses that “mutate” into othe VIRUSES that have developed immunities to certain treatment. But they are still viruses, not butterflies or worms.

    But is it a different species? If your level of evidence is a giraffe giving birth to a goat then the problem is your evidentiary requirement not the theory of evolution.

    Similarities in genetic DNA prove nothing. All life shares similar building blocks. With this line of thought we may have come from watermelons because we share the same percentage of water that melons do. Or maybe people evolved into watermelons, I get confused.

    No, it is evidence of common descent. Not that the hypothesis of common descent suggests that disparate lifeforms should have many similarities in their DNA.

    I give you the whole periodic table. Can someone please give me life. Inert chemicals, randomly mixed in a primordial puddle produces life!?? Does anyone really believe this? If you do please show me the mechanism.

    Once again, this does not undermine the theory of evolution since the theory of evolution is not a theory of origins, but of…well…evolution.

    The univers was either created or is eternal. Evolutionists must believe it is eternal. The laws of Thermodynamics show entropy is changing useful energy into nonuseful energy (disipated heat). When the universe runs down how is all this dissipated heat energy changed back into useful energy? Where is the natural mechanism that does this? The Big Bang is a Big Bust.

    A God of the Gaps argument. We don’t have all the answer’s therefore angels are pushing items to the ground when dropped. I get it now.

    The science we know today says evolution could not have happened. The evolutionist must put his faith in we will find natural mechanisms to solve all these problems. That is not science. That is blind faith. Evolutionists are the ones practicing the religion of humanism.

    If I hit you on your foot with a hammer 20 times and it hurts, what is the probability it will hurt the 21st time I hit your foot with the hammer? Science has shown that relying on natural mechanisms has been good enough time and time again. Probabilistically speaking we should expect the “faith” that natural mechanisms will be found is pretty darned close to 1.

    Darwinian evolution is dead. That is why you hear this nonsense about spacemen populating the earth. Science on the earth says evolution cannot happen. So evolutionist take the arguement that is beyond scientific observation where they can postulate any science fiction they want.

    Acutally, I was joking. I view the spaceman theory as nonsense. In fact, I also think any believer in ID should view it as nonsense as well. After all, it automatically raises the question of who designed these advanced aliens? Surely not a natural mechanism, so we get right back to a divine designer. But, hey…maybe there really is a Cthulhu and mankind really did spring forth from a bit of protoplasm scrapped off of a shoggoth. Now that would at least be cool.

    legion,

    I’ll add on a thought or two… Evolution, in it’s most basic and (over-) simplified form, says only “over time, life changes”. It does not, as Steve said, address where life came from. There is nothing in evolution that contradicts a faith in God – faith and evolution can easily co-exist.

    Exactly right, IMO. As I have often heard, God works in mysterious ways. How is it sometimes people cannot deduce the methods by which God operates, but in others they are absolutely certain. Strikes me of arrogance…and isn’t that a sin? Why can’t God be subtle with regards to the diversity of life as he is in other areas? Why must God be hamfisted when it comes to biology?

    Although frankly, when you start with the belief that the entire universe is only ~5000 years old, there’s practically nothing any field of modern science teaches that you won’t have problems with…

    Again, correct, IMO. You’d have problem with meteorology, physics, and chemistry. All of which, I might add, rely on natural mechanisms and not some unseen, undetectable force that is doing things at the behest of some unexplained designer that could be anything.




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  7. Anderson says:

    You are so patient, Steve. At most I would send these people to TalkOrigins and otherwise forget about them.

    What does the President’s endorsement of stupidity say about this country & science? You are doubtless all too familiar with otherwise educated, intelligent people who will say the most embarrassingly dumbass things about evolution and natural selection. Because, hey, why would that science stuff matter? You can be an idiot about it, & where’s the harm?

    How long until America is no longer the world’s higher-ed destination?




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  8. bryan says:

    How long until America is no longer the world’s higher-ed destination?

    I expect quite a long time, since we still enjoy more freedoms than most of the places all these other bright minds come from.




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  9. ALS says:

    You all missed my freaking point.

    I do not agree with Bush on the issue.

    I do not believe people came from a “sneeze” or a “cosmic egg.”

    I was making the point that it IS POSSIBLE to teach evolution WITHOUT offending some student’s religious sensibilities.

    I was taught evolution, and the way it was taught to me did not contradict what I learned in my religious education. The very, very liberal Massachusetts public school system I attended went out of their way to ensure that the religious beliefs of its students were not offended. And they did it well. So it is possible.

    Jeez, people. I can do without the “sigh” and the “let’s educate the backwards redneck” bullshit.

    You all need to get over yourselves.




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  10. Steve Verdon says:

    I was making the point that it IS POSSIBLE to teach evolution WITHOUT offending some student’s religious sensibilities.

    No, I got that point, I just think your way of going about it is wrong. For example, the “just a theory” approach is misleading. It implies that all theories are equal or something like that when it is not at all the case. Evolutionary theory is the best explanation. Is it perfect? No. The “weaknesses” in evolutionary theory are not reasons to disbelieve it, but are research opportunities.

    As to not offending a students religious beliefs I think the best way to do that is to point out that evolutionary theory makes no claims about the existence of God, how God operates or any other supreme being. Such questions are completely outside the scope of biology and evolutionary theory.

    Jeez, people. I can do without the “sigh” and the “let’s educate the backwards redneck” bullshit.

    The “sigh” is becuase I see these arguments every single time. I have heard, “Its just a theory” so many times that if I had a nickel for each one I could probably buy a new car.




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  11. You’re right Steve, the “it’s just a theory” business is offensive and misleading. It’s like saying the Boston Red Sox are “just a baseball team” when they’re the world champion of baseball teams at the moment. Evolution by natural selecton must be taught as the world chamption of speciation theories until some other one wins the World Series.

    I think that approach would work well in Massachusetts at the moment.




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  12. ALS says:

    No, I got that point, I just think your way of going about it is wrong. For example, the “just a theory” approach is misleading.

    Sigh… you still don’t get it, bub, do you?

    It isn’t MY approach! Are you just looking for an argument where there isn’t one? WTF is wrong with you? How many times do I have to tell you – that’s how the SCHOOL SYSTEM approached the issue. Not me. I was 10, pal. And they carefully approached it so that they could teach kids evolution without pissing off the parents.

    That was the point of my original post, that school systems should teach evolution, and only evolution, and that if they introduce it correctly, they don’t even have to mention, much less offend, creationist and other religious theories.

    Jeez. It’s like you’re on a mission.

    And Richard – I don’t live in Mass anymore. Thank goodness.




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  13. Steve Verdon says:

    It isn’t MY approach! Are you just looking for an argument where there isn’t one? WTF is wrong with you? How many times do I have to tell you – that’s how the SCHOOL SYSTEM approached the issue. Not me. I was 10, pal. And they carefully approached it so that they could teach kids evolution without pissing off the parents.

    So what, the approach is misleading and wrong headed. Do you call gravity just a theory, that the sun is the center of the solar system just a theory, and so on just theories? No. So what is special about evolution that gets this special asterisk after it indicating that it is not indeed a fact. Here is one, the world is round is just a theory…after all the flat earther’s could be right. The idea of not pissing off the parents isn’t the concern here since we are talking facts. Parents are entitled to inculcate any beliefs that they want in their children, but they are not entitled to their own facts.

    Jeez. It’s like you’re on a mission.

    Sure, it is called doing my little tiny bit to try and convince people that ID and Creationism are not alternatives to sound science. Whacky I know.




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  14. You kind of came late to this game, didn’t you?

    Go forth and be touched by His Noodly Appendage!




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