The centuries-long debate over how to balance the theory of evolution with religious beliefs has moved from the courtroom to the blogosphere, fueled by a statement made this week by President George W. Bush. During a round-table interview with Texas reporters, Bush asserted his belief that schools should discuss "intelligent design" alongside evolution when teaching students about the creation of life.
The President declined to state his personal views on intelligent design--the belief that life forms are so complex that their creation can't be explained by Darwinian evolution theory alone--but endorsed efforts by Christian conservatives to give it equal standing with the theory of evolution in the nation's schools, according to Knight Ridder.
A related post on Slashdot has so far received over 2,000 comments, which is a lot even for the popular technology-related discussion site. "Intelligent design" is currently the top search item on blog aggregator Technorati, which has tracked almost 18,000 blogs on the subject.
The timing of the debate is worth noting. July marked the 80th anniversary of the Scopes Monkey Trial and the spectacle that surrounded it.
Blog community response:
"Good Lord. Pun intended. There is no 'debate' here. One 'theory' is the result of over a century of scientific inquiry. The other is blind faith. These are two different universes. And last time I checked, blind faith was relegated to parochial schools."
Bush "was not saying that ID should be taught instead of evolution, or even that it was correct. He merely said it should be taught so 'people could understand what the debate is about'...He has the gall to ask that both sides of an argument be presented to students and let them decide. How dare he?."
--Ankle Biting Pundits
"Why are left-wing groups opposed to schools presenting more than one side of this issue? If I was a hysterical conservative--as hysterical as the angry left--I'd demand that the extreme left-wing stop its censorship and allow free and open debate in our nation's schools."
"If the fans of intelligent design are so concerned with fairness, why are they not pushing for Hindu and Buddhist and Polynesian and Greek mythologies as well as their own favorite?"
--Who Loves Appetizers