A bunch of others have commented on this already. But I'd feel remiss if I didn't make some comment on President Bush's embrace yesterday of teaching creationism as a scientific theory in science classes.
That's hardly a surprise. The cardinal point of the Bush presidency, after all, is not getting out of step with the religious right ever on anything. But what about reporters at the Times, the Post and other papers.
Do they really need to pretend that there's a scientific debate over 'Intelligent Design' rather than a political tussle between science and the religious right?
Today in the Times Elizabeth Bumiller describes 'Intelligent Design' as a theory which is, "advanced by a group of academics and intellectuals and some biblical creationists."
Creationists just along for the ride?
Is that really an accurate description of who's behind this?
As Atrios aptly notes, there's a bit of a bait and switch afoot here. Most mainstream religious groups have long since made their peace with evolutionary theory. As in, most Protestant denominations, the Catholic Church, Judaism in its Conservative, Reform, and most Orthodox groups. The stipulation, in most cases, is simply that evolution is part of God's plan for the creation of life.
Few have any real beef with that stipulation because it is one that is just not relevant to the sorts of question evolutionary biologists study. It allows religion and science to happily coexist.
What you have here with the president and the intelligent design hucksters is an attempt to teach creationism as a rival theory to evolution in science classes. And more broadly, it is a brief for Biblical literalism being taught in the public schools, despite the fact that people as far back as Origen could figure out that at least certain parts of the Bible could not possibly be intended to be understood as literal truth.
Another thought. How can we deal with global warming if we're not sure the Earth is more than 6,000 years old?
And while we're at it? Where'd all the oil come from?