Next, [moderator] Carey asked about teaching alternatives to evolution – such as creationism and intelligent design – in public schools. ?
PALIN: ?Teach both. You know, don?t be afraid of information.
?Healthy debate is so important and it?s so valuable in our schools. I am a proponent of teaching both.
And, you know, I say this, too, as the daughter of a science teacher. Growing up with being so privileged and blessed to be given a lot of information on, on both sides of the subject — creationism and evolution.
?It?s been a healthy foundation for me. But don?t be afraid of information and let kids debate both sides.?
McCain, of course, has taken both sides of the issue. In 2006, he told a Louisville paper:
On the issue of whether the teaching of evolution in public schools should also include “intelligent design” – the idea that life is too complex to have happened by accident – McCain said he agrees that “young people have a right to be told” about intelligent design. “It’s a theory, just like evolution is a theory … [even though] it may not be as plausible,” given there’s little scientific evidence to support it, he said. The “hand of God played a role,” he said.
But then told a paper in Aspen that same year:
?’I think Americans should be exposed to every point of view,’ he said. ‘I happen to believe in evolution. … I respect those who think the world was created in seven days. Should it be taught as a science class? Probably not.'”
During the 1999 fight over science standards, candidate McCain said that decisions about teaching creationism should be left to local school boards, a position he repeated in 2007:
Question: [What's your stance on teaching creationism in schools?]
McCain: I think that students should be exposed to every theory and every thought that we can…I don’t like communism, but I think students should be exposed to communism…. There are people that believe this is the the way the earth was created. I’m not saying it should be forced on them, but I don’t get this dispute….
Question: But in science class?
McCain: I’m not on the school board. I’d let them decide that. One of our fundamental beliefs is local control…
In 2005, George Bush took the same view, saying that:
“I felt [as Texas Governor] like both sides ought to be properly taught.” Asked again by a reporter whether he believed that both sides in the debate between evolution and intelligent design should be taught in the schools, Mr. Bush replied that he did, “so people can understand what the debate is about.”
Mr. Bush was pressed as to whether he accepted the view that intelligent design was an alternative to evolution, but he did not directly answer. “I think that part of education is to expose people to different schools of thought,” he said, adding that “you’re asking me whether or not people ought to be exposed to different ideas, and the answer is yes.”
Bush, McCain, and Palin, three peas in a pod.
By contrast, Barack Obama told the York Daily Record:
I’m a Christian, and I believe in parents being able to provide children with religious instruction without interference from the state. But I also believe our schools are there to teach worldly knowledge and science. I believe in evolution, and I believe there’s a difference between science and faith. That doesn’t make faith any less important than science. It just means they’re two different things. And I think it’s a mistake to try to cloud the teaching of science with theories that frankly don’t hold up to scientific inquiry.
Joe Biden, with typical bluntness, dismissed the notion of creationism, telling Bill Maher that it is “malarkey!”
Anyone who really thinks this election doesn’t matter isn’t paying attention.