Sunday, August 31, 2008

Add Tim Pawlenty to the ID ("teach the controversy") list...

Sigh! The sorry state of politicians continues. Now we have the Republican Governor of Minnesota, Tim Pawlenty, who personally believes in ID and is a supporter of "teach the controversy" nonsense. This issue came up while talking about the creationist views of Sarah Palin (Its still not clear if she simply believes in ID nonsense or worse still, young earth creationism). But kudos to Tom Brokaw on Meet the Press this morning. He brought up the creationism issue quite early and pushed Pawlenty on the topic. Here is the video of the segment. The creationism question is about 13 minutes into the video.

Below is the transcript of the show. Here Brokaw is referring to Sarah Palin:

In the governor's race, she refused to be specific about her views on creationism vs. evolution, but as I understand it, she did say that she thought that the two subjects should be taught side by side in public schools. Do you think that's a good idea?

GOV. PAWLENTY: I saw her comments on it yesterday, and I thought they were appropriate, which is, you know, let's--if there are competing theories, and they are credible, her view of it was, according to comments in the newspaper, allow them all to be presented, or allow them both to be presented so students could be exposed to both, and--or more, and have a chance to be exposed to the, to the various theories and make up their own minds.

MR. BROKAW: In the vast scientific community, do you think that creationism has the same weight as evolution, and at a time in American education when we are in a crisis when it comes to science that there ought to be parallel tracks for creationism vs. evolution in the teaching?

GOV. PAWLENTY: In the scientific community, it seems like intelligent design is dismissed. Not entirely, there are a lot of scientists who would make the case that it is appropriate to be taught and appropriate to be demonstrated. But in terms of the curriculum in the schools, in Minnesota we've taken the approach that that's a local decision, but I know Senator Palin, or Governor Palin, has said intelligent design is something she thinks should be taught along with evolution in the schools, and I think that's appropriate from my standpoint.

MR. BROKAW: Given, given...

GOV. PAWLENTY: But I believe--my personal view is that's a local decision.

MR. BROKAW: Given equal weight.

GOV. PAWLENTY: At the local school board.

MR. BROKAW: And you would recommend it be given equal weight.

GOV. PAWLENTY: We've said in Minnesota, in my view this is a local decision. Intelligent design is something that in my view is a plausible and credible and something that I personally believe in; but more importantly, from an educational and scientific standpoint, it should be decided by local school boards, by--at the local school district level.

In case you missed it, this is Pawlenty's own view on ID: "Intelligent design is something that in my view is a plausible and credible and something that I personally believe in".

Good luck Minnesota!


Unknown said...

Wow! I find it so hard to get my head around this. I can understand that people cling to this idea out of some emotional need but it's not plausible. It's wishful thinking. There is no alternative theory and no data that even points to the possibility of there being one.

Salman Hameed said...

The serious problem is that we have important decision makers who believe this nonsense. What kind of science policy can we expect from them?

hedge said...

I didn't vote for him.

The worrisome part is that there is a lot of rural Minnesota where that "local decision" process could seriously hamper scientific education, and Pawlenty knows it.

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