Eva sent me a link to a wingnut’s account of a debate between some 6th Congressional District candidates: Patty Wetterling (Democrat), John Binkowski (Independent), and Michele Bachmann (Rethuglican). It’s not a very good transcription—for one thing, the wingnut’s commentary is all tangled up with the words of the candidates, making it hard to tell who said what—but there’s one part of interest. They were asked the ID question.
Q5: Should “Intelligent Design” be taught (along with Darwinian Theory) in the p science curriculum in public schools?
Bachmann: “We need to trust teachers and the local school boards in what they want to teach. The federal government has no business in moving toward censorship. Bachmann stated that Darwinian theory was by no means ironclad, and to be able to question its tenets (i.e., the secondary law of thermodynamics, the fossil record) is a move toward academic freedom. She stated that it should be up to faculty, students and parents to draw their own conclusions.
Hypocrite. What about the state standards mandated by NCLB? Is this Republican going to reject the policies she pushed a few years ago, which specifies what ought to be taught?
No scientific theory is ironclad, but the objections that she or the wingnut blogger raised are not valid: evolution does not violate the second law of thermodynamics, and the fossil record is part of the evidence supporting evolution.
This Binkowski fellow illustrates why I am no fan of libertarians and their worship of the free market.
Binkowski: Related that he took a class in astronomy, and that it was a “mindboggling” and “spiritually moving” experience, and led him to the conclusion that maybe we aren’t alone. But he also said that Intelligent Design was not a proven scientific fact, and that it would be detrimental to teach it in the science curriculum. He suggested that it should be left up to the market to decide; that is, if schools wanted to teach it, Binkowski intimated that it would lead to lower scores in science to those who were taught Intelligent Design as part of the curriculum. (Binkowski left out the fact that it would only be the case if the science test didn’t contain Intelligent Design questions).
Oh, sure, let the market decide—when schools fail their students and those students wash out and end up selling fries at McDonald’s, the schools will get the message and improve. And if it happens to be your kids at the crappy schools…? Them’s the breaks. They will be the price paid on the altar of capitalism.
The wingnut’s stupid aside at the end gives me an idea. If we put Flying Spaghetti Monster questions on the SATs and ACTs, then the teachers will have to include it in the science courses, and that will make it automatically true.
Alas, there was no answer from Wetterling on this one.