It is typical for this "Talking Point Memo" that Intelligent Design is referred to as a belief, and never as a theory. As in the beginning:
President Bush opined that he believes public schools should expose students to both evolution and the so-called Intelligent Design belief concerning creation.
This makes it an easy exercise to crack O'Reilly's logic. What does he find most sensible?
There is no reason that students cannot be told that more than a few people, including some scientists, believe
that creation of the world, no matter how it occurred, involved the higher power. What on Earth is wrong with that?
It would be wrong to teach Genesis a science class, that's for a theology course. But it is equally wrong to ignore the fact that evolution is not a universal belief.
So here is what's wrong with teaching Intelligent Design in science classes: Science is not about beliefs, it is about objective reality. If we agree that Intelligent Design is not a scientific theory but just a belief, it does not belong to science classes. Simple.
This isn't a complicated matter. Public schools have an obligation to put all subjects in perspective.
Of course, [evolution is] accepted science, it should be taught as such. But there is no downside to mentioning that many people of faith believe that a creator was involved in a process.
The right perspective in science classes is to distinguish beliefs from objective reality. The issue here is: is Intelligent Design
an accepted science, or just a widely hold belief? It seems that O'Reilly does not contest the answer.
And what is O'Reilly without spinning a spin (and more name calling and "mind reading"):
President Bush told the reporters that he favored an exposition of Intelligent Design so "people could understand what the debate is about". Seems logical to me.
But the Knight Ridder reporter named Ron Hutcheson spun it this way: "Bush essentially endorsed efforts by Christian Conservatives to give Intelligent Design equal standing with the theory of evolution in the nation's schools".
Well, I didn't hear anything about "equal standing" from the president. Of course, the reporter spun the story that way to make it seem like Mr Bush is a fanatic under the spell of religious zealous.
The reporter was not picking one or other Bush quote, but presenting the overall appearance of the whole Bush statement. From scientists' perspective, the appearance was essentially
that: Bush was taking the side of Christian Conservatives to give equal science status to evolution and Intelligent Design at schools. And the concern is not whether Bush is fanatic, but that Bush's endorsement hurts the public understanding of objective reality. And that's what scientists cannot like.
Returning to the "fascism" point, the concern of scientists about the Intelligent Design debate is not about respect or disrespect to anybody's beliefs. They just do a part of their job: resist distortions of our understanding of objective reality. Stopping them from doing this job is nothing but straight fascism. I almost hear Hitler or Stalin saying: "There is an opinion that Intelligent Design should be taught at schools..." If you do not get what to do with this opinion, you should be scared, yeah...
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