Yesterday on CBS’s Face the Nation, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich — who is currently advising Republican senators about how win in 2008 — praised Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) as “spectacular,” and said he would be “far and away the best candidate” to be Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) vice presidential running mate.
Just before Gingrich came on to praise him, Jindal himself spoke on Face the Nation, where he invoked conservatives’ most-hated term, “political correctness,” to assert that teachers should teach intelligent design in the classroom:
I don’t think students learn by us withholding information from them. … I want them to see the best data. I personally think human life and the world we live in wasn’t created accidentally. I do think that there’s a creator. … Now the way that he did it, I’d certainly want my kids to be exposed to the very best science. I don’t want any facts or theories or explanations to be withheld from them because of political correctness.
Jindal insisted the federal and state government should not “impose” their views on local school districts, effectively giving school boards carte blanche to teach scientifically inaccurate ideas, just like Kansas did in 2005, when it rewrote standards to cast doubt on evolution. Watch it:
Of course, if Jindal — who has written about participating in an exorcism — were truly committed to “the very best science,” he would reject intelligent design as a religious idea unsuited for the science classroom — a fact recognized by federal courts. As Bruce Alberts, president of the National Academy of Sciences, explained, “Because ‘intelligent design’ theories are based on supernatural explanations, they can have nothing to do with science.”
Jindal’s stance deserves scrutiny following last week’s action by the Louisiana House, overwhelmingly passing a bill (SB 733) that opened the door to teaching creationism in schools. Though backers denied the bill had religious intentions, the Louisiana Family Forum, the group that spearheaded the bill, describes its mission to “persuasively present biblical principles in the centers of influence on issues affecting the family through research, communication and networking.”
Last year, McCain gave a keynote address to the Discovery Institute, a religious right-wing think tank that aggressively promotes creationism.