President Bush today told reporters that schools should teach “Intelligent Design,” the most recent effort by creationists to drape the world’s most popular creation myth in scientific trappings, alongside the theory of evolution. Intelligent Design proponents insist on calling it a theory, but it meets none of the requirements of that designation.
Bush told the reporters that “I think that part of education is to expose people to different schools of thought. You’re asking me whether or not people ought to be exposed to different ideas, the answer is yes.”
In that expansionist intellectual vein, we suggest that schools avoid limiting their selection of creation myths to Intelligent Design. Native Americans, the Inuit people, Native Hawaiians and many other peoples and religions offer creation tales every bit as scientifically sound as, and far more entertaining than, Intelligent Design.
We would also urge that other neglected areas of science be returned to the classroom. Flat Earth theorists have received short shrift these past several centuries, and when was the last time exponents of Apollo’s charioteering got a fair shot at debunking the notion that nightfall occurs when the earth “rotates” away from the sun?
We applaud the president for this breathtaking display of pandering to a relatively small segment of the electorate. It isn’t often you find an elected official willing to consign entire generations of American school children to ignorance for the sake of a few votes.
Mount Rushmore it is, then, for our favorite box of rocks.