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Thursday, August 4. 2005
Due to some activity by those nutty bloggers over at (of all places) redstate.org, an item from Jon Hurdle at Reuters came to our attention earlier today about how Rick Santorum "differed Thursday with President Bush's support for teaching an alternative to the theory of evolution known as 'intelligent design.'"
"I think I would probably tailor that a little more than what the president has suggested...I'm not comfortable with intelligent design being taught in the science classroom."
I guess Rick doesn't care that this is a 180-degree turn from what he said in The Washington Times back on March 14, 2002 --
"Research has shown that the odds that even one small protein molecule has been created by chance is 1 in a billion. Thus, some larger force or intelligence, or what some call agent causation, seems like a viable cause for creating information systems such as the coding of DNA. A number of scientists contend that alternate theories regarding the origins of the human species — including that of a greater intelligence — are possible.
"Therefore, intelligent design is a legitimate scientific theory that should be taught in science classes.
"Yet, opponents of intelligent design contend that by including the theory in the new teaching standards, the separation of church and state will be weakened. This is false. Proponents of intelligent design are not trying to teach religion via science, but are trying to establish the validity of their theory as a scientific alternative to Darwinism."
That's an article he wrote, by the way, not some reporter misquoting him out of context.
He either doesn't care about this incredible flip-flop, or he hasn't yet heard of the Internet, where just about anyone can find stuff he wrote three years ago in about 30 seconds.
To read more about Santorum and the issue of "intelligent design," read the SantorumExposed.com issue page titled "Why does Rick Santorum want to leave teaching a world-class science curriculum behind?"
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What incredible shamelessness! i'm sure he thought that just the right thing to say to an "NPR audience" would be the opposite of what he wrote for the "Washington Times audience." That way everyone will buy his book and he'll finally be a millionaire who can ride off into the sunset with his fellow ignorant cowboy to take advantage of all the tax policies he's been voting for...
Excellent observation about Rick's tendency to adjust his views for the audience.
Check my column: "I Feel a Foul and Frigid Wind (Every time Rick Santorum Opens His Mouth)." We detail similar flip-flops on Hillary Clinton and Terri Schiavo.
If God had wanted Man to have a great memory, he would've given us bigger brains. The Internet is an abomination.
Todd, hilarious! Seriously, we humans are so incredibly imperfect... hell, all animals are pretty weird and screwed up. What intelligence designed the appendix? What intelligence invented cancer?
Cancer would need to be invented, if it did not already exist.
I wonder what he really thinks and believes. When he flip-flops around this way, I start to think maybe he's "acting" his way to fame, fortune and power. Which is really sad. And maybe sick & twisted, too.
Not Intelligent, by Design…
Wake up ALL People worried about science and the Religious Right.
As stated by Senator Rick, in an article he wrote for the Washington Times:
In order to protect intellectual freedom in the classroom from the dangers of political correctness, I drafted an amendment to an education bill that emphasizes how students studying controversial issues in science, such as biological evolution, should be allowed to learn about competing interpretations. Teachers have a constitutional right to teach scientific controversies so long as the discussion is about science, not religion or philosophy. Teachers must teach these theories, even if some believe they have religious or philosophical implications. There is no reason to ignore or trivialize scientific issues involving controversial theories, regardless of their implications for religion or philosophy.
The barn door is open. Don't worry about stopping alternate theories. It's a waste of time and energy. The reality is to adopt the truly untasteful, yet very effective strategies of the Right.
I intend to start this with a scientific theory that attempts to explain the mental deficiencies of people like our Senator Rick.
A name for the group would help. Right wing nut job has been taken already. It should make a good acronym to ease the minds of those who would oppose it. Maybe…religious extremists against reason-REAR, …global war against religious extremists-GWARE,…human beings war against religious extremism-BEWARE.
Whatever the name the intent is the same…
My theory is that slavish devotion to any religion results in the underdevelopment of the ability to reason. This deficiency has resulted in many documented cases of mass hysteria and mass delusion, Historical evidence abounds. A few examples would be biblical acceptance of slavery before Christ and as justification for slavery in the US, sectarian violence in Northern Ireland, the violence and motives for the creation of India and Pakistan, the continuing violence of Sunni and Shite muslims, and last but not least the "debate" over Intelligent Design.
I propose that the scientific community set up a rigorous system to examine this and other historical information in detail. I also propose, as suggested by Senator Rick, that this examination not focus on the religion…but that as stated by Senator Rick:
Teachers have a constitutional right to teach scientific controversies so long as the discussion is about science, not religion or philosophy. Teachers must teach these theories, even if some believe they have religious or philosophical implications. There is no reason to ignore or trivialize scientific issues involving controversial theories, regardless of their implications for religion or philosophy.
Let us proceed with this grim undertaking. There will be no joy as we engage the enemy. As our Commander in Chief says; BRING IT ON!!
I'm not a big fan of Santorum but the guy is agreeing with what seems to be the majority opinion on this blog, including my own. So what if the guy has changed his opinion? Big deal. If you agree with the guy's conclusion, why give him grief for it? Don't be so thickheaded that you'll refuse a consensus on topic A just because you disagree with the guy on topic B -- or, in the case of Santorum, B, C, D, E, F, G, etc.
I'm not saying to throw the guy a parade but slamming him for agreeing with you just because you have a politically worthless accusation regarding his intentions will only have the effect of shooting yourselves in the collective foot.
You want to do political damage to the guy? Welcome his support on the issue. Declare that you hope to gain his support on other topics. Associate him with your positions when the opportunity comes up.
Denegrating him over his change of position shows that you don't really care about anything but destroying him personally. Even if that is your true goal, showing it off will only turn people against you. There's a time for venom and a time for honey and if you want to win, you need to learn the difference.
That's interesting, and might be relevant if Santorum had bothered to say that he'd changed his position on this. But that's not what's going on here. He is pandering. To win an election. To one side he says "i'm for teaching ID in science classes," and to the other side he says "i'm not for teaching ID in science classes." Maybe he really does agree with me -- but maybe if he's really a stand-up guy, he should flat out say that he has considered this and changed his position.
Anyone holding their breath waiting for THAT to happen? I didn't think so...
I fully concede he may be pandering. But, again I ask, so what?
Show me a politician who doesn't pander and I'll show you a politician out of office. Pandering is expected and pointing it out won't win converts. In the end, the evolution/ID issue is pretty low on the importance scale so it won't get much traction no matter how much you cry flip-flop.
However, given the close numbers of Santorum's 2000 election and its likely repeat in 2006, the best bet is if Republican's stay home -- shown by the large turnout in the urban areas in 2000 that still didn't beat the turnout of surburban voters (typically Republican voters.) Showing the man's flip-flops on an unimportant issue is not going to convince his supporters to stay home. Instead, focus on associating him with a group that is the anti-thesis of his supporter's goals. Again, you won't beat Santorum using the flip-flop tactic but you may beat him if he's seen as not Republican enough. Support him on the evolution/ID issue and it not only makes you guys look reasonable but it will also make him look bad by association. Democrats seem to forget the goal is to win, not to hear yourselves talk.
I have read his comments carefully. In the Washington Times, he says "proponents of intelligent design are not trying to teach religion via science, but are trying to establish the validity of their theory as a scientific alternative to Darwinism," and, "intelligent design is a legitimate scientific theory that should be taught in science classes." Yesterday, he said "I think I would probably tailor that a little more than what the president has suggested...I'm not comfortable with intelligent design being taught in the science classroom."
You may not see that as a change in position -- but I do.
His old position: ID is legit science and should be taught in science class. His new position: ID is not legit science and it should be discussed in some classroom, but not "taught" in "science class."
Look, bottom line here is we can discuss this if we want to, right? This is America. I hardly think anyone is claiming this to be the silver bullet that will bring Santorum down.
And is this one day or one moment of discussion all about "winning converts"? I don't think so. I don't know if there are any people looking at this who are even potential converts, either way.
Why is it so bad to stand back and examine such a moment of political wizardry, one wholly designed to confuse and obfuscate his position on an admittedly minor issue and bamboozle the public once more? And maybe to ask ourselves, "if he'll do this on such a minor issue, what about the great big issues of the day?"
This site is designed and paid for by a politically charged 527 group (similar to the Swift Boat Veterans) with the unstated goal of ousting Santorum in '06. I realize that a 527 is not allowed to advocate voting for or against a particular candidate but, come on, who are we kidding?
The comments section is open to all thoughts and discussions but the main page, where this 527 molds its official position, is not going to do much to influence cross-over voters with its current effort. The problem with the 527 crowd in the 2004 election is that they were so busy spewing venom and bile hoping to charge the Democrat base that, in the process, they alienated a large number of potential cross-over votes on other issues. This particular 527 seems to follow the same playbook that led to defeat in 2004.
That playbook says it is more important to attack the candidate than it is to attract voters outside the base. In this case, I don't think it's possible to attract enough voters against Santorum. In my view, the only viable strategy is to encourage Republican voters to stay home. As the 2000 and 2004 elections showed, turnout by itself is just not enough for Democrats to win.
This 527 ought to thank Santorum for his change of heart -- let the people in the comments section rip him apart. There's nothing of value to be gained by tattling to the voters that Santorum may have flip-flopped on a relatively innocuous issue. In fact, I argue it does more harm than good.
Now, I'm not saying that Santorum's victory or defeat is directly connected to this 527's effforts. However, I am saying that this group can either choose to be an effective opposition or just another bunch of loudmouths. So far, they've chosen the latter.
Respectfully, PG, I disagree with your premise. The fanatical Right is so up in arms over any deviation from their script that a wingnut delegation is staging a protest against Bush's Supreme pick 'cuz he spent some pro bono time on a Gay rights issue in 1996. Not to mention Focus on the Family's tirade about his lack of devotion to the poor.
Santorum has been a great poster-boy for most of Dubya's agenda items, but with this break and Frist's deviation on stem cells, SOMETHING's shaking in the GOP ranks... Creationism is a bedrock issue for fundamentalists. Anything associated with religion is an intractable part of their agenda. Santorum's doublespeak will gain traction among fundamentalists, and any votes he loses because of it help more progressive candidates.
Creationism is not a bedrock issue.
It's good gravy.
Mostly, if only, because the public isn't on board.
I don't think the issue of teaching ID is unimportant. Teaching stuff really does have an effect. If you teach ID and give it equal weight with legitimate science, you are not just giving the wrong impression about a few facts. You are saying that instead of gathering data, forming a theory based on the data, and making predictions about further data you expect to find; that science is actually about faith.
It isn't. Imagine a nation full of people who think that pi is 3 or that shaking hands with menstruating women will give you cooties, both Bible-based "facts." Imagine that nation trying to function.
Wait. We already have plenty of examples of nations like that, historical and current. They don't seem to do very well, do they?
mark, the point is hes pandering to the audience. Washington Times - for ID, NPR - against ID.
i do wonder what changed his mind.
What changed Ricky's mind is that the Discovery Institute has changed its mind about how best to pursue its strategy.
The pending case in Dover -- where the school board wants to teach Intelligent Design -- is a guaranteed loser.
When a court decides that Intelligent Design is creationism, the Discovery Institute will have to start all over again.
Essentially that's what's happening now. Intelligent Design is now being equated by its peddlers as "the [alleged] problems with evolutionary theory."
Santorum is just reciting the Discovery Institute script, exactly as he was doing earlier when he wanted Intelligent Design taught in schools.
Santorum's opinion hasn't changed.
His script has changed.
Yes, this is disgusting.
Read Santorum's comments carefully. There doesn't seem to be any change in his position. He is simply saying, don't teach it in the "science" classroom. That's because this is where the scientific community goes on the offensive. Nobody, not even the science community, is saying that it shouldn't be taught in topics in the classroom.
C'mon everybody, did you miss Santorum's interview with Wolf Blitzer last week? I know you didn't, because we were all laughing at him.
But, to remind you, when Wolf asked Santorum about his libelous statements about the city of Boston, in the wake of the Catholic scandal, Santorum looked incredulously at Wolf, saying something along the lines of "c'mon, that was 2002, it's 2005 now".
I'm serious. That is exactly his response. If I had the transcript, I would link to it, but Santorum was essentially implying that 2002 is ancient history and not worthy of being brought up in discussion.
I do appreciate, however, that Santorum is speaking sagely on this intelligent design issue today.
Pull your foot out of the bear trap.
There is no such thing as "intelligent design."
And especially, no such thing as an "intelligent design issue."
Never was. Never will be.
There is ONLY "Creationism." Period.
This is pure rightist marketing bull and we're falling for it.
Remember our victory on Social Security when we did not fall for the GOP's renaming "Privatization" with that "personal account" crap.
Again, it is "Creationism." Period. Any time you say it otherwise, Dobson and Falwell smile.
You want to use right wing wording, go ahead.
But horsecrap is horsecrap.
Not "a renewable, olfactory energy source."
Now, now, you meanies. Girls have always reserved the right to change their minds, and Rick is no exception.
This statement by Santorum requires a comment:
"Research has shown that the odds that even one small protein molecule has been created by chance is 1 in a billion. Thus, some larger force or intelligence, or what some call agent causation, seems like a viable cause for creating information systems such as the coding of DNA."
Leaving aside the fact that the senator doesn't cite any such research (at least not in the snippet I read), he really ought to know that no one claims that a protein molecule or anything else has been "created by chance." (This is similar to one of my favorite phony-baloney arguments against evolution that goes something like this: "The chances of life developing randomly is like getting an unabridged dictionary out of an explosion in a printing shop." Pretty cute, huh?)
The problem with this specious sort of non-argument is that while the mutations that give rise to variations among individuals are random, the selection of these variations for evolutionary success is not.
The "larger force or intelligence, or what some call agent causation" is natural selection, just like Darwin said. Perhaps Senator Santorum should spend more time thinking about dogs and less time trying to pretend he knows what he's talking about.
"The ability to change one's mind is a sign of intelligence"
That said, Santorum is a bit of a dick sometimes.
Take heed people. This is how this snake oil salesman wins elections. Pander to right, pander to the left....
6 More years of this clown.
I say that if they won't allow the teaching of the "theory of evolution" then we should likewise ban the teaching of the "theory of relativity" and any other scientific principle that contains the word "theory" ... since that is what gets the right-wing fundies so up in arms ("It's only a theory, not a proven fact." )
Why only one designer? I say the diversity of life makes the idea of a single designer preposterous. The only scientific explanation is that we have a whole host of designers, looking down on us from Mt Olympus.
Intelligent Design still requires the shaving of the bikini line and flip floppings bought at Target.
Pet peeve: "theory of inteligent design"
IT IS NOT A THEORY. Scientific theories are based in the scientific method, which requires experimentation to support a hypothesis. That is, if ID was a theory then there have to be experiments that prove it, experiments that can be repeated and have the same result, time and time again. ID is not even a demonstrable hypothesis, because there is no experiment that can be done to prove or disprove it.
ID is a belief, calling it a theory gives it equal footing with the theory of evolution, which is based in fact and enough experimental proof to bury the Kansas school board and still have room for "Dr." Dobson.
Presto. Lynx hit the nail right on the head. To ID proponents the term "theory" means nothing more than "guess", and as far as they're concerned, one is as good as another. By contrast, scientists view the term "theory" to be closely aligned with the term "law". And therein lies the heart of the confusion they're trying to create. And at this very moment they're busy clouding this important distinction, probably in your very own school district.
Sanatorium is changing his tune because the Discovery Institute, the "think tank" which is the primary force behind the Intelligent Design movement, told him to.
You see, it's like this. There is a court case in Dover, PA in which people are suing the school board to have the scientific theory of Intelligent Design taught in classrooms. Except, get this, there *is no* scientific theory of Intelligent Design!
Quite an embarrassing situation, to be sure. Knowing that the suit will soon bring the DI's duplicity into broad daylight, the word has gone out that no one should really ask that ID be taught in public schools. No no no. Now, they claim, they only want the flaws of Evolution to be taught to children. You know, to encourage free thinking and all that.
So the ID movement has reduced itself to nothing more than blatant opposition to the Theory Evolution--which is of course what scientists have been saying all along.
Mr. Santorum's comments usually aren't worth taking seriously enough to waste the time responding (despite the irony of my remark) He is usually so far off the mark on most issues I doubt if he would be taken very seriously by anyone if he were not a U.S. Senator. After all, what can you expect from a charter member of the "American Taliban"?