At an education forum at the University of Northern Iowa this afternoon, GOP presidential hopeful Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) said she favored the teaching of intelligent design and creationism in schools, saying that just teaching the science of evolution would be “censorship by government.” Asked by a Catholic student why it’s not a violation of the separation of church and state for a public school to teach the religiously-tinged theories, Bachmann said evolution is just a “theory” that even “evolutionists” are not sure of:
BACHMANN: I think what you’re advocating for is censorship on the part of government. So the government would prohibit intelligent design from even the possibility of being taught in questioning the issueof evolution. And if you look at scientists there is not a unanimity of agreement on the origins of life. … Why would we forstall any particular theory? Becuase I don’t think that even evolutionists, by and large, would say that this is proven fact. They say that this is a theory, as well as intelligent design. So I think the best thing to do is to let all scientific facts on the table, and let students decide.
Bachmann joins Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX), who said evolution was merely “a theory that’s out there.”
Of course, the difference here is that evolution is science — creationism and intelligent design are not. All of the world’s leading scientific organizations have affirmed evolution and dismissed intelligent design, noting that teaching it alongside evolution is counterproductive, as it would give the pseudo-science credibility. As the American Association for the Advancement of Science has repeatedly stated, “evolution is one of the most robust and widely accepted principles of modern science;” teaching intelligent design “would undermine” the teaching of science, just as teaching false mathematics or alternative history would.