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Darwinists Upset McCain Speaking at Event Co-Hosted by Discovery Institute

By Rick Pearcey

Feb. 13, 2007 -- Presidential hopeful Sen.John McCain (R) is speaking February 23 at a luncheon event co-hosted by the Discovery Institute in Seattle. The Discovery Institute sponsors research on Intelligent Design, and some evolutionists are criticizing McCain's appearance before such a group. 

"McCain to Deliver Keynote Speech for Creationists" is how the website Think Progress headlined its post on the event. 

"On February 23, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) will be the keynote speaker for the most prominent creationism advocacy group in the country," alerts Think Progress (TP).

TP describes the Discovery Institute as a "religious right think-tank" that is "well-known for its strong opposition to evolutionary biology and its advocacy for 'intelligent design.'"

Of concern to TP is what it calls McCain's "ambiguous record on whether he supports intelligent design in the science curriculum." TP notes that, in 2005, McCain said Intelligent Design
"should be taught":

Daily Star: "Should intelligent design be taught in schools?"
McCain: "I think that there has to be all points of view presented. But they’ve got to be thoroughly presented. So to say that you can only teach one line of thinking I don’t think is -- or one belief on how people and the world was created -- I think there’s nothing wrong with teaching different schools of thought."

Daily Star: "Does it belong in science?"
McCain: "There’s enough scientists that believe it does. I’m not a scientist. This is something that I think all points of view should be presented."

But then in the Aspen Times "last year," notes TP, McCain said Intelligent Design "should not be taught in the science classroom":

“I think Americans should be exposed to every point of view,” he said. “I happen to believe in evolution. . . . I respect those who think the world was created in seven days. Should it be taught as a science class? Probably not."

TP placed its concern in the context of the "National Academy of Sciences, 'the nation’s most prestigious scientific organization,' [declaring] evolution 'one of the strongest and most useful scientific theories we have.'"

Moreover, says TP, "President Bush’s science adviser John Marburger calls it 'the cornerstone of modern biology.'”

Among the 143 comments currently posted at TP in response to the alert about McCain's Seattle appearance are these (unedited):

* "Flipper McCain’s affiliation with this group is sure to doom his campaign!"
* "That pasty-faced, flip-flopping madman McCain is not intelligent, but he has designs on the white house."
* "Groan . . . I thought we were done with all the 'Intelligent Design' hokum. The longest two weeks of my life was when our church started presenting it in Sunday School as an ‘alternative’ to evolution . . . and I had to spend my Sunday afternoons deprogramming my wife and her family. People should be able to sue proponents of Intelligent Design for permanent harm done to their ability to think critically."

Discovery says McCain is scheduled to speak on his vision of "The United States' Role in the World."

"Discovery Institute is pleased to co-present with CityClub of Seattle and the Seattle World Affairs Council a luncheon featuring U.S. Senator John McCain," says the institute's website.

Questions the senator is expected to address are:

* What is the role of the U.S. in the global community?
* How should the U.S. position itself over the next decade?
* What are the challenges, and how should they be addressed?
* What are the future global impacts on Washington State?

McCain will address these topics at the Westin Hotel in Seattle on Friday, February 23, from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m.

"As McCain continues his
lurch to the right, where will he come down on intelligent design in the science classroom?," TP asks. "We’ll be watching."

* Update: Discovery Responds

* Update -- Forum Added: What are your thoughts regarding "McCain Speaking at Event Co-Hosted by Discovery Institute"? Post your comments here.

Related
* Christianity Is a Science-Starter, Not a Science-Stopper, by Nancy Pearcey
* Why Intelligent Design Will Win: 5 Reasons to Keep an Open, Educated Mind, by Nancy Pearcey
* Darwin Meltdown Reaches England, by Rick Pearcey
* Secularism Takes Hit at British Airways, by Rick Pearcey

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Rick Pearcey is editor and publisher of The Pearcey Report.

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