More Fun With Our Post-Modern Politicians

By Carl Zimmer | December 28, 2005 10:03 am

Why is it that politicians who say they want to strengthen science teaching standards can sound so post-modern about science? Two examples:

1. John McCain grooving with the kids on MTV about evolution:

“I see no reason why students should not be exposed to all theories, recognizing that Darwin’s theory’s certainly one that is generally accepted in most of the scientific community. I think it’s not inappropriate to say there are also people who believe this. Let the student decide.” [Emphasis mine]

Okay students, we’ve spent our science class this year learning all theories about the universe. We’ve learned about astrology, about the creation tales of the Scythians, and we had a special visit from Mr. Peterson who has been trying to create his own universe in his garage with tin foil and a magnifying lens. I know some of you were not happy that we had to squeeze all of modern astronomy into a ten-minute survey, but it’s hard to fit all theories into a year. But don’t worry about your exam. See, here it is–just one question: “Which theory do you decide is right? Don’t bother to explain why.”

2. Jeb Bush’s Secret:

The governor of Florida has proven hiimself a real pro at hemming and hawing about evolution. In the wake of the Dover decision, Bush was asked by the Miami Herald whether he believes in the theory of evolution.

His response:

`Yeah, but I don’t think it should actually be part of the curriculum, to be honest with you. And people have different points of view and they can be discussed at school, but it does not need to be in the curriculum.”

Okay, students, today we’re going to learn about evolution. Since we couldn’t learn about it at school, we’ve come to the governor’s mansion. Remember, this is all off the record.

[Hat tips to Red State Rabble and Political Animal.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Evolution, Our Dear Leaders Speak

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The Loom

A blog about life, past and future. Written by DISCOVER contributing editor and columnist Carl Zimmer.

About Carl Zimmer

Carl Zimmer writes about science regularly for The New York Times and magazines such as DISCOVER, which also hosts his blog, The LoomHe is the author of 12 books, the most recent of which is Science Ink: Tattoos of the Science Obsessed.


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