Bachmann: Schools should teach intelligent design
June 17th, 2011
06:52 PM ET
12 years ago

Bachmann: Schools should teach intelligent design

New Orleans, Louisiana (CNN) - Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann explained her skepticism of evolution on Friday and said students should be taught the theory of intelligent design.

Bachmann, a congresswoman from Minnesota, also proposed a major overhaul of the nation’s education system and said state administrators should be able to decide how they spend money allocated to them by the federal government.

"I support intelligent design," Bachmann told reporters in New Orleans following her speech to the Republican Leadership Conference. "What I support is putting all science on the table and then letting students decide. I don't think it's a good idea for government to come down on one side of scientific issue or another, when there is reasonable doubt on both sides."

Intelligent design suggests that the complexity of the universe cannot be explained by evolution alone, and must also be attributed to a creator or supernatural being.

"I would prefer that students have the ability to learn all aspects of an issue," Bachmann said. "And that's why I believe the federal government should not be involved in local education to the most minimal possible process."

Bachmann said educators should be granted the flexibility - and the money - to make curriculum decisions at the local level.

The federal government, she said, should "block grant all money currently that goes to the states back to the states, so that Louisiana can decide how they want to spend the money, which may in fact be different on how Minnesota spends its money."

She said her proposal would cut out "billions in dollars of bureaucracy" from the federal government.

soundoff (84 Responses)
  1. labman57

    Evolution is a verifiable fact. It is the mechanism through which it occurs - natural selection - that comprises the theory.

    People who do not understand how science works seem to think that a "theory" is somehow lacking in power and validity.  Scientific theories are our best explanation for an event or phenomenon based on the available evidence, i.e., a theory tells us HOW it happens.  Theories have generally been subjected to rigorous testing and represent the consensus of the scientific community, whereas a hypothesis is a possible explanation and has not necessarily been extensively tested.

    Calling something a theory does not cheapen or weaken it.  On the contrary, the term "theory" gives it legitimacy as something that is scientifically testable and that has been rigorously examined either mathematically or empirically to the point that the available evidence overwhelming supports it.

    Theories are based on the best empirical EVIDENCE available, not PROOF. There is an incredible wealth of evidence–both geological and biochemical–to support evolution by natural selection.

    Creationism and ID are faith-based concepts. Their "evidence" consists of the allegories provided in the Bible, nothing more.

    I actually have no problem with the idea of discussing the merits of Creationism or ID in the public school classroom. It would make a fine topic in a social studies course on Religions in Society. But this topic has no business in a biology classroom, since science is based on verifiable evidence along with empirically and mathematically testable hypotheses, whereas religious beliefs are by definition faith-based.

    June 17, 2011 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  2. Michael Baker

    And this is what is wrong with America. Too many people take lunatics like this seriously. have to tell you, sweetie, the bible isn't science. It's superstition.

    June 17, 2011 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  3. dj98

    How does she know what our kids need to learn?

    June 17, 2011 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  4. jimm

    hmmm, and we wonder why our kids fall behind in science.

    June 17, 2011 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  5. Troy

    Great. Apparently Mrs. Bachmann doesn't realize that there is no scientific theory behind Intelligent Design, no research, no support other than from creationists (which makes ID religion). She also should stop to consider that perhaps the best people to decide if I.D. is science or not are the people with Ph.D.'s and years of field experience, not a bunch of high school students getting a watered-down, simplistic version of evolution that can fit in the reduced time our schools have to teach science. There is no way they could be exposed to enough of the massive amounts of evidence in favor of evolution – and be taught enough biology to understand all of it – to form a truly informed opinion. That's like trying to teach them enough of circuit design to understand and 'build' their own microchips, and if you can't say that we should be teaching "intelligent electricity".

    June 17, 2011 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  6. SR

    Sigh. News flash
    "What I support is putting all science on the table and then letting students decide." too. But ID isn't science. No matter how bad you want it to be taught, it is not science. Its also not a theory. Its a hypothesis.

    But why don't we do that with all subjects? "Little Billy says 2 +3 = 9..who am I to say he is wrong?"

    June 17, 2011 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  7. Rick McDaniel

    Take that thought to church.......and LEAVE IT THERE!

    Precisely why no one should be voting for you! We do NOT need to return to the dark ages, in philosophy.

    June 17, 2011 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  8. brobin

    It is scary to think that people running for the leader of the USA would be such religious, anti-science nuts. Intelligent design is a religious believe, not a scientific theory. Teach it in church if you must, but leave Science to schools. Of course, this explains more of her economic beliefs too.. they are based on her "faith", not economic education.

    June 17, 2011 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  9. truva

    "What I support is putting all science on the table and then letting students decide."

    As a dedicated christian...there is definitely no science in intelligent design.

    June 17, 2011 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
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