In his never-ending pandering to Christian conservative groups, George Bush today told a group of Texas journalists that intelligent design should be taught alongside evolution in schools. Bush, who is a living argument that not all humans have reached the same plateau of evolution, said in an Associated Press wire story:
“I think that part of education is to expose people to different schools of thought,” Bush said. “You’re asking me whether or not people ought to be exposed to different ideas, the answer is yes.”
Let’s take that assertion to its logical conclusion. Then should Marx’s “Manifesto” and Mao’s “Little Red Book” and Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” be taught alongside the Constitution and Bill of Rights? Astrology alongside astronomy and physics? Alchemy alongside chemistry?
It seems that for every logical good idea (evolution), there’s its counterpart — an illogical bad idea (intelligent design). Christian conservatives say that the universe is too complex to be explained by evolution and could only be the product of the mind of an infinite God. To me, those two alternatives are not incompatible, while the notion that the world and all that’s in it was made in six days 6,000 years ago is just silly.
I give you an example that for me can support either argument — the plaster bag worm. We get these in my house. They are about a quarter-inch long and look like a little bag of plaster, except when the skinny red thing snakes out of one end of the bag. They eat one thing — spider webs.
Now whether (a) over millions of years of evolution, this critter was naturally selected to eat spider webs because there are spider webs everywhere, or (b) God makes the spider, then says, “Holy shit, We need something to eat the universe’s spider webs or We’ll be overrun by gossamer threads,” doesn’t matter because the plaster bag worm simply exists, and that’s enough for me.