John McCain recently spoke out on evolution and ID. He just managed to demonstrate that he’s a dissembling fool.
Responding to a question about a report that he thinks “intelligent design” should be taught in schools, the senator mocked the idea that American young people were so delicate and impressionable that they needed to be sheltered from the concept, which says God had a hand in creation and which has been challenged by Darwinists as unscientific.
“Shhh, you shouldn’t tell them,” he said, mimicking those who would shield children from the fact that some people believe in intelligent design. The former prisoner of war said he also disagreed with Cold War-era efforts to prevent Marxist-Leninism from being taught in schools, saying it was better for Americans to understand their enemy. He noted that he didn’t say that intelligent design needed to be taught in “science class,” leaving unclear exactly what class he thought it should be taught in. He said he believed local school boards, not the federal government, should determine curricula.
“From a personal standpoint, I believe in evolution,” Mr. McCain said. At the same time, he said, “When I stand on the rim of the Grand Canyon and I see the sun going down, I believe the hand of God was there.”
First of all, no one is afraid of Intelligent Design, or thinks kids need to be sheltered from the concept. American kids as it stands now get more exposure to creationism than to science—in the home and church. The fight isn’t about hiding silly ideas from schoolkids. It’s about not allowing crackpots to waste our children’s time, and about promoting good, substantive science teaching. Do you want school to be a place where kids learn, Mr McCain? Or do you see it as a propaganda arm of the ideological apparatus of the state?
The comment about local school boards is what they all say. Local control has always been a disaster: school boards consist of elected officials who rarely have any competence in education, and who get into office on promises of keeping costs under control, for instance. They should not be in the business of regulating and defining educational content, but they all too often are. Who in their right mind would think the local hardware store owner, the retired bank clerk, and the part-time realtor are automatically competent to tell the high school biology teacher what she ought to teach in her classes?
As for that last paragraph…he’s a typical politician, trying to have it both ways and avoid antagonizing anyone. It didn’t work: I see a credulous twit who also lacks the courage of any convictions.