Monday, August 29, 2005


Flying Under the Radar

We may not be getting any closer to finding WMD in Iraq, building a stable democracy there, or winning the war on terrorism, but we can thank George Bush for one thing.

His recent statement that, "Both sides ought to be properly taught so people can understand what the debate is about," said Mr. Bush, referring to intelligent design and the theory of evolution. "I think that part of education is to expose people to different schools of thought."

Yes, Red State Rabble believes supporters of real science education owe President Bush a deep debt of gratitude for raising the profile of intelligent design.

Since Bush spoke out for the "teach the controversy" side on intelligent design, the issue has received unprecedented coverage in the media worldwide.

Not long ago, RSR sometimes feared there was not enough happening on the ID front to merit daily blog posts. Now we can't even begin to keep up.

And the good news is that the media -- with very few exceptions -- have done a good job of explaining the links between intelligent design and its country cousin, creationism. They've looked at the so-called science behind ID and found it wanting. Most have pointed out there is no controversy, as ID proponents claim. Almost all see ID for what it really is, a political issue. A tool of the right. A battering ram in the culture wars.

Those who understand evolution, and those who have followed this issue for some time have expressed a certain disappointment or frustration with the coverage, and, indeed, there have been weaknesses.

That being duly noted, we have to resist the urge see this coverage through our own eyes. We have to try to see how it looks to someone for whom the evolution, intelligent design, creationism issue has flown across the radar screen for the first time.

Polls show that less than half the population knows what intelligent design is. RSR is confident that when people learn what intelligent design really is, they will reject it.

That's is why so many of the biblical literalists who run in local school board elections -- as Iris Van Meter did in Kansas -- run stealth campaigns. They understand instinctively that the more voters know about the real aims of the intelligent design and creationist activists the more likely they are to reject them.

Getting intelligent design out in the open is a positive first step in defeating it.

Thank you, Mr. Bush.


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