Wednesday, March 21, 2007

McCain delivers keynote speech to Creationism advocacy group

Transcript of today's show:

Senator John McCain spoke last month at the Discovery Institute, an Intelligent Design think tank. Despite his inconsistent support of including Intelligent Design in science education, McCain accepted the group’s invitation to deliver a keynote address. For years, McCain has fluctuated wildly in his advocacy of the religious right think tank, who has been described as a theocratic outfit that advocates the replacement of American civil law with biblical law. [source: Think Progress]

Listen to the 1-minute broadcast of this story [mp3]

Sound Off: Science & Faith. Our point/counterpoint regulars Shelley (the voice of science) and Peter (the voice of faith), comment on the story.

The Voice of Science: Shelley Greene, Ph.D., comments:
McCain’s on-again, off-again relationship with the religious right appears to be on again. For years, McCain has held an ambiguous position on teaching Intelligent Design in public schools. In 2005, he said it should be taught. Last year he said it should “probably not” be taught. One cannot help but see this speech as a warming up to the Intelligent Design community who may feel snubbed and confused. Perhaps he’s seeking political reconciliation with the well-funded, well-connected Discovery Institute, which we all know is home to a creationist think tank with a theocratic political agenda. Does McCain think that associating with conservative Christians will help him win in 2008? If he does, he better take a pro-Intelligent Design stance and stick to it once and for all.

The Voice of Faith: Peter Williamson, M.Div., comments:
Any assumption that Senator McCain is paying lip-service to those at the Discovery Institute is either based on dis-information or sheer denial of the facts. This speaking event was a gathering of the Seattle World Affairs Council and the CityClub of Seattle. The nature of the meeting, and of McCain’s speech itself, was discussion of the role of the U.S. in the global community. Intelligent Design and the teaching thereof in public schools was not topic on the group’s agenda.