R. Reese Fuller

Gov. Jindal on intelligent design

by R. Reese Fuller

When it comes to "intelligent design," Gov. Bobby Jindal told Face the Nation yesterday that he doesn't think it's an issue that should be decided on the federal or even state level, but on the local level. (You can read a PDF of the transcript from Sunday's show.) Jindal told host Chip Reid:

As a parent, when my kids go to schools, when they go to public schools, I want them to be presented with the best thinking. I want them to be able to make decisions for themselves. I want them to see the best data. I personally think that the life, human life and the world we live in wasn't created accidentally. I do think that there's a creator. I'm a Christian. I do think that God played a role in creating not only earth, but mankind. Now, the way that he did it, I'd certainly want my kids to be exposed to the very best science. I don't want them to be - I don't want any facts or theories or explanations to be withheld from them because of political correctness. The way we're going to have smart, intelligent kids is exposing them to the very best science and let them not only decide, but also let them contribute to that body of knowledge. That's what makes the scientific process so exciting. You get to go there and find facts and data and test what's come before you and challenge those theories.

In a letter last week to Louisiana Speaker of the House Jim Tucker, the American Association for the Advancement of Science's CEO and the publisher of Science magazine Alan I. Leshner wrote of the "Louisiana Science Education Act":

The bill implies that particular theories are controversial among scientists, including evolution. But there is virtually no controversy about evolution among the overwhelming majority of researchers. The science of evolution underpins all of modern biology and is supported by tens of thousands of scientific studies in fields that include cosmology, geology, paleontology, genetics and other biological specialties. It informs scientific research in a broad range of fields such as agriculture and medicine, work that has an important impact on our everyday lives.

Backers of the bill, including the Louisiana Family Forum and the Seattle-based Discovery Institute, are longtime supporters of attempts to teach creationism or intelligent design as science. The judicial courts have ruled that both of these are religious concepts that do not belong in public school science classrooms. In fact, it was Louisiana's own "creation science" law that the U.S. Supreme Court declared unconstitutional in 1987.