Gore Shocks Scientists With Creationism Statement

Larry Klaes (lklaes@bbn.com)
Fri, 27 Aug 1999 12:04:24 -0400

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>Date: Thu, 26 Aug 1999 17:37:01 -0400 (EDT)
>From: Howard Rothenburg <hrothenb@bcpl.net>
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>Subject: Gore Shocks Scientists With Creationism Statement
>The Sagan List - Free Your Mind! -

>All the politicians are trying to claim they are for both creationism and
>>From Fox News Online:
>Gore Shocks Scientists With Creationism Statement
> 4.31 p.m. ET (2033 GMT) August 26, 1999
> WASHINGTON statement from his office that local school boards had the
right to
> creationism, although he personally favored the teaching of evolution.
> "The vice president favors the teaching of evolution in public schools.
> that decision should and will be made at the local level and localities
> free to decide to teach creationism as well,'' said Alejandro Cabrera, a
> spokesman in the vice president's office.
> The statement, in response to an inquiry from Reuters, came a week after
> Republican presidential front-runner George W. Bush supported the
teaching of
> creationism in public schools alongside the theory of evolution.
> When told of Gore's statement, Eugenie Scott, executive director of the
> Center for Science Education, responded: "My God, that's appalling!''
> "I understand politicians like to compromise and that faced with one
group who
> say two plus two equals four and another group that says two plus two equals
> will tend to arrive at a position that says two plus two equals five.
> sometimes the answer has to be four and this is one of those times,'' she
> Bush, the governor of Texas who leads the field for the Republican
> nomination by a wide margin, said last week in New Orleans he favored
> children to different theories of how life began.
> "I believe children ought to be exposed to different theories about how the
> started,'' Bush said, in response to a question about a decision earlier
> by the Kansas Board of Education to delete virtually any mention of
> from the state's recommended science curriculum and standardized tests.
> Bush's spokeswoman Mindy Tucker said: "He (Bush) believes both creationism
> and evolution ought to be taught. He believes it is a question for states
> school boards to decide but he believes both ought to be taught.''
> Harvard University chemistry professor Dudley Herschbach said he was shocked
> by the Gore and Bush statements and found them very disappointing.
> "It ought to be the birthright of our children to be taught honest
science that
>is not
> tangled up with politics and religion,'' he said.
> Evolution, first set forth by the 19th century scientist Charles Darwin,
is the
> that because there are certain similarities in all forms of life on
Earth, that
>all life
> evolved from common ancestors.
> Opponents of the theory say it contradicts the biblical account of the
> life by God and object to the notion that human life evolved from a lower
> form.
> Francisco Ayala, a geneticist at the University of California, Irvine,
said the
> United States was making itself a laughing stock in the world.
> "If we don't teach our kids good science, they will be handicapped later
in a
> world that depends on science and technology,'' he said. "I am disturbed at
> political trend. It is potentially terribly damaging to our children.''
> Among other Republican presidential candidates, publisher Steve Forbes and
> Sen. John McCain of Arizona both said the decision of what to teach in
> should be left to local authorities and took no position on the issue.
> Conservative Pat Buchanan said he supported teaching children that the
> was created by God, although he did not object to them learning about
> as a theory.
> "What I do object to is to teach Darwin's theory of evolution of human
> from animals without divine intervention. I don't believe in that and I
> object to that,'' he told Reuters in a telephone message.
> Republican candidate Gary Bauer, who is vying with Buchanan for the
support of
> conservatives, said on MSNBC: "Polling data shows Americans want both ideas
> exposed to children. I think that makes a lot of sense.''
> Barry Lynn of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, said the
> issue was becoming a litmus test for some conservative Christians who were a
> powerful constituency in the Republican Party.
> "When we have candidates saying we ought to turn public schools into Sunday
> schools, we have a big problem,'' he said.
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