Candidates' views on teaching the controversy
Barack Obama accepted Nature's invitation to answer 18 science-related questions in writing; John McCain's campaign declined . . . . . . . Wherever possible, Nature has noted what McCain has said at other times on these topics.
Here are the answers on a question about evolution education:
Do you believe that evolution by means of natural selection is a sufficient explanation for the variety and complexity of life on Earth? Should intelligent design, or some derivative thereof, be taught in science class in public schools?
Obama: I believe in evolution, and I support the strong consensus of the scientific community that evolution is scientifically validated. I do not believe it is helpful to our students to cloud discussions of science with non-scientific theories like intelligent design that are not subject to experimental scrutiny.
McCain said last year, in a Republican primary debate: "I believe in evolution. But I also believe, when I hike the Grand Canyon and see it at sunset, that the hand of God is there also." In 2005, he told the Arizona Daily Star that he thought "all points of view" should be available to students studying the origins of humanity. But the next year a Colorado paper reported him saying that such viewpoints should not be taught in science class.
It looks like John McCain has been very wishy-washy about the issue.
It is generally well known that GOP V-P candidate Sarah Palin is in favor of teaching the controversy. Dem V-P candidate Sen. Biden has a mixed record on the issue -- one source said,
On an episode of Real Time with Bill Maher, Biden criticized teaching intelligent design in schools saying, "This is reversible, man. This is reversible. We don't have to go down this road. I refuse to believe the majority of people believe this malarkey!”
On the other hand, the Discovery Institute pointed out that Biden voted in favor of the "teach the controversy" Santorum Amendment in 2001.
Labels: Evolution education (new #3)