Monday, November 14, 2005


You Don't Need a Weatherman...

"U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum said Saturday that he doesn't believe that intelligent design belongs in the science classroom," reports Bill Vidonic of the Beaver County (PA) Times.

That's a bit different than what he wrote on March 14, 2002, in the Washington Times: "intelligent design is a legitimate scientific theory that should be taught in science classes."

Santorum, a stone right-winger, is in deep trouble in his bid for re-election in 2006 -- one Pennsylvania poll shows state treasurer Bob Casey beating Santorum by 16 percent. Do you suppose that little fact -- coming, as it does, on the heels of the Dover school board election last Tuesday -- had any bearing on his decision to throw the intelligent design albatross overboard?

No matter what he says now, voters may remember that Santorum not only wrote the Washington Times commentary, he also wrote an amendment to the 2002 No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act requiring teachers to help students distinguish “testable theories of science from philosophical or religious claims that are made in the name of science.”

Now, if you think what Santorum had in mind was good science, you might want to take a look at an opinion piece he also wrote for the Allentown Morning Call. In that piece, Santorum asserted that the “philosophical or religious claims that are made in the name of science” might just include Darwin’s theory of evolution:
“For one, biological evolution, the theory that all living things are modified descendants of a common ancestor, relies heavily on the sensitive belief that evolutionary change can give rise to new species, and can explain the origin of all living things.”

Readers should also remember that the wording of Santorum's statement, while it appears to distance him from ID, is still consistent with the Discovery Institute's "teach the controversy" position. Reporters will need to push Santorum on whether he believes evolution is, as Discovery claims, a theory in crisis.


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