God versus science: that is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo".
While speaking to some Texas reporters, President Bush opined that he believes public schools should expose students to both evolution and the so-called intelligent design belief concerning creation.
Intelligent design says life on earth is too complex to have developed through evolution and that a higher power might be involved. Evolution, put forth by Charles Darwin (search), says that life organisms developed over time through random mutations and factors in nature.
Whatever your belief, it should be respected. But the National Academy of Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science both reject intelligent design and don't want it mentioned in science classes. That, in my opinion, is fascism. There is no reason the students cannot be told that more than a few people, including some scientists, believe the creation of the world, no matter how it occurred, involved a higher power. What on earth is wrong with that?
It would be wrong to teach Genesis (search) in a science class. That's for a theology course. But it is equally wrong to ignore the fact that evolution is not a universal belief. Just state the facts, whether it be science or any other subject.
Now President Bush told the reporters that he favored an exposition of intelligent design so, "people can understand what the debate is about". It seems logical to me. But a Knight-Ridder reporter named Ron Hutchinson spun it this way.
"Bush essentially endorsed efforts by Christian conservatives to give intelligent design equal standing with the theory of evolution in the nation's schools."
Well, I didn't hear anything about equal standing for the president. Of course, the reporter spun the story that way to make it seem like Mr. Bush is a fanatic under the spell of religious zealots. That's what some in the press do all day long.
This isn't a complicated matter. Public schools have an obligation to present all subjects in perspective. Again, "Talking Points" isn't advocating Adam and Eve in the science lab. But if you're going to discuss the biological procedure of abortion, for example, you have a responsibility to tell students that half the country feels it's morally wrong. Right? The same thing with evolution. Of course it's accepted science. It should be taught as such. But there's no downside to mentioning that many people of faith believe a creator was involved in the process.
Are the public schools in this country champions of free discourse or not? The president is right.
And that's "The Memo."
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
I want to thank The St. Paul Pioneer Press in Minnesota for publishing an honest article about the problems over at Air America. Very few newspapers will print the truth about the situation. And reporter Beth Gillen did a great job.
We have posted the piece on billoreilly.com if you are interested, and I guarantee you will not find it ridiculous. All right?
—You can watch Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points Memo" and "Most Ridiculous Item" weeknights at 8 and 11 p.m. ET on the FOX News Channel. Send your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org