.- While President George Bush’s remarks Monday that the theory of intelligent design ought to be taught along side of evolution in America’s schools has angered some, others applauded the remarks, which call for a “fair debate.”
In the president’s statement, made to members of the Texas media, he says that "Both sides ought to be properly taught so people can understand what the debate is about.”
According to an official transcript of the interview session, Bush added: "Part of education is to expose people to different schools of thought. . . . You're asking me whether or not people ought to be exposed to different ideas, and the answer is yes."
John G. West of Seattle’s Discovery Institute, said in a statement that President Bush is to be commended for defending free speech on evolution, and supporting the right of students to hear about different scientific views about evolution."
The president’s remarks come less than two months after Austrian Cardinal Christof Schonborn, in a New York Times editorial, clarified the Church’s position on evolution saying that “neo-Darwinian”, evolution, or the idea that there is no intelligent design behind creation, is incompatible with the Catholic Church and in conflict with nature itself.
“Evolution”, he said, “in the sense of common ancestry might be true, but evolution in the neo-Darwinian sense - an unguided, unplanned process of random variation and natural selection - is not. Any system of thought that denies or seeks to explain away the overwhelming evidence for design in biology is ideology, not science.”
A national debate currently wages over whether or not clarifications and alternatives should be added to the overwhelmingly taught theory of evolution curriculum in public schools in the U.S. One school district in Pennsylvania is fighting to allow stickers an biology textbooks clarifying that the theory of evolution is not proven fact--but a theory. A lawsuit involving the ACLU is currently being pursued to disallow the stickers.