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President Bush Endorses Intelligent Design?
by Wesley R. Elsberry
In a press conference on August 1st, 2005, President George W. Bush responded to a question on "intelligent design". A Washington Post news article gives the complete exchange:
Scientists quickly reacted to the news. The American Geophysical Union, a scientific society of 43,000 members in the earth and space sciences, released a statement making it clear that "intelligent design" is not a legitimate scientific alternative to evolutionary biology.
In comments to journalists on August 1, the President said that "both sides ought to be properly taught." "If he meant that intelligent design should be given equal standing with the theory of evolution in the nation's science classrooms, then he is undermining efforts to increase the understanding of science," Spilhaus said in a statement. "'Intelligent design' is not a scientific theory. Advocates of intelligent design believe that life on Earth is too complex to have evolved on its own and must therefore be the work of a designer. That is an untestable belief and, therefore, cannot qualify as a scientific theory."The National Science Teachers Association also issued a statement taking issue with the comments made by President Bush.
"We stand with the nation's leading scientific organizations and scientists, including Dr. John Marburger, the president's top science advisor, in stating that intelligent design is not science. Intelligent design has no place in the science classroom," said Gerry Wheeler, NSTA Executive Director.The media turned to NCSE for commentary. Elisabeth Bumiller's article in the New York Times featured comments by NCSE Public Information Project Director Susan Spath.
Johanna Neuman's article in the Los Angeles Times conveyed NCSE Deputy Director Glenn Branch's view on this issue.