Bachmann: teach both sides, no matter how stupid

June 17, 2011 • 5:50 pm

O Ceiling Cat, if you make Michele Bachmann the Republican presidential candidate in 2012, I’ll never doubt your existence again.  Surely somebody that looney, someone who so vociferously favors the teaching of intelligent design, could never be president of our great nation.

From CNN (today):

“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.”

Or, better yet, make Bachmann vice president on a Palin-Bachmann ticket.

Four crazy eyes

UPDATE: from the horse’s mouth, via Zack Kopplin:

And if you go to this page, you’ll hear her answer when she’s asked to identify those Nobel Laureates who “believe in intelligent design.”  Guess how many she can name?

77 thoughts on “Bachmann: teach both sides, no matter how stupid

  1. It’s even worse. To add insult to injury, look (Wikipedia) where she got one of her legal degrees, as I learned last night.

    1. You’re referring to the fact that she got her J.D. from a private Christian university? I’d be more skeptical of someone with a biology degree from a university like that than a law degree.

        1. Huh, they don’t seem to offer that degree anymore. They only offer an LL.M for lawyers educated outside the US which is an intro to US law.

  2. As a Minnesotan, I ask the nation’s forgiveness and mercy for inflicting Michele upon the electorate. Most of us know what a disaster she’d be as President. America, consider yourself warned.

    1. Thanks for the warning, still learning, but one look at Bachmann’s thousand-yard stare should be enough to unnerve anyone.

    2. It is not just the US though – for multiple economic & military reasons, that is why the rest of the world is, to say the least, nervous about the way you all vote!

  3. Not even kidding, I didn’t know whether to laugh or gasp when I saw the pictures side by side… Now that’s the winning ticket…

  4. I’m sure it’s been said before: why not present alchemy along with chemistry and let the students decide? Phrenology and psychology; throw Hindu and Shinto cosmology into the mix with biblical creation.

    I can’t look at pictures of either of those two without wishing there was a supernatural agency I could appeal to for something horrible to happen to them both.

    1. And we can teach that thing where you determine a person’s personality based off the way the bumps on their head are positioned alongside psychology, too!

  5. Bachmann-Palin ticket (oops, I almost said “icket”, which would have been sensible also) – that sounds something like Bachmann-Turner Overdrive, which I recall as a band that flourished briefly and flamed out many years ago.

    1. “Flourished briefly”? “Flamed out many years ago”?

      I’m afraid that you’re terribly out of touch.

        1. No, although I hear Randy Bachman every Sunday at 6:00 pm on the CBC, which is my signal to change stations over to CKUA.

          I was referring to how the group has a horrible sort of afterlife on Classic Rock stations.

  6. Anyone want to recommend another English-speaking country a young medical doctor can emigrate to? New Zealand perhaps? I’m not sure how much more of this I can take.

    1. @igakusei
      New Zealand would probably welcome you (don’t know for sure, I left 41 years ago; but I’m tempted to move back, and I know they need doctors). Canada might make sense also. From your nom-de-comment, you have some facility with Japanese, but you said ‘English-speaking’, so I vote for NZ, AU, CA, in no particular order except that I’m an ex-Kiwi and I’d love that ‘Godzone’ had enough doctors.

        1. Go somewhere where you can do more good. Canada & New Zealand have plenty of doctors. Also, if you leave that lowers the number of rational people in the US. The world needs rational Americans IN America so they can stop the loony religious people taking over. Seriously.

  7. I wonder if their combined IQ totals 100. The amount of idiotic statements that come from that pair is astounding.

    1. The only thing I can think of that is worse is if either or both of these people are really very intelligent and their stupidity is just an act. Their true evil genius will not become evident until it’s too late.


        1. As importantly, Bachmann actually appears to have the drive necessary to actually commit to running for office and then following through on it. There’s little to suggest that Palin would be willing or able to actually last all the way through the primaries and to the actual vote in November.

  8. Yeah, just imagine,I lived in her home-district for two years.
    Thanks, residents of St Cloud.

    1. That’s what I don’t get. Having visited Mpls and environs on many occasions, how can a mustering of intelligent people NOT banish an idiot like Bachmann to PTA committees, and nothing higher? Every stranger I mention her to, around Minnesota looks to the ground, hand on brow, and says, “I know, I know, she’s a total embarrassment.” And yet, elected(??!!!) over and over??

      1. I’m a Minnesotan and made substantial donations to Bachmann’s opponent in the last election even though I don’t live in the 6th district. She’s that bad. Her district arcs over Hennepin County (Minneapolis) and Ramsey County (St. Paul), both of which are in different and reliably blue districts. Bachmann’s district includes arch conservative Anoka County and extends to St. Cloud, (which seems to have an inordinate number of reported hate crimes) It’s easy to lump Palin and Bachmann together and they are, indeed, of the same loony-tune, far- right, evangelical stripe, but Bachmann is not as easy to dismiss as Palin–she’s far more articulate, is not a narcissistic opportunist, does not carry the dysfunctional family baggage and she loves to tout the fact that she is a tax attorney. I think she could have more appeal to independents and for that reason I find her candidacy to be more viable (and frightening) than a possible run by Sarah Palin.

    1. No kidding.

      The problem I have with a Palin/Bachmann or Bachmann/Palin ticket is that I’m not at all sure they’d lose. There are a lot of morons in this country, more than enough to put those two in office.

      1. Aski yourself about why that is possible. What has Obama done to build up his own base? No national health system, and caved in to Republicans on nearly everything.

        I was actually foolish enough to vote for him because I thought he would start implementing rational polices. Now the only reason is because of the alternative.

    2. Absolutely.

      How soon we forget that Ronald Reagan was elected president. Twice. I’d say the same about GWB, but I don’t think he was ever actually, you know, elected.

      I live in MB’s district and it is indeed painfully embarrassing. Worse even than having a pro wrestler as governor.

  9. Whenever someone argues that children should be “taught both sides” or that teachers should “teach the controversy”, mention the controversy about the existence of God and ask whether children should be taught about atheism. As far as I can see, there’s no possible answer that doesn’t invoke the fallacy of special pleading.

  10. Bachmann and Palin are twin sisters in sycophantic idiocy, and it goes without saying that our democracy would suffer irreparable damage if either would ever become president.

    1. You see, universes with slightly more ccomplexity are more likely to survive to reproductive age, or are viewed by universes of the opposite gender as really sexy. The more complex of the little universes they spawn are subjected to the same selective process. And so on. So you can clearly see that over time, universes would evolve to become increasingly complex.

  11. Ceiling Cat – when are you going to get your shite together and start dolling out some serious smiting? These pretenders are really starting to get on my nerves…

  12. More worrying is how Bachmann, Palin, Barton and others can simply make stuff up and not be called on it. Bachmann made up a story on the fly about “hundreds” of scientists “many of whom hold Nobel Prizes” who believe in “intelligent design” (creationism). When pressed to name a few of those scientists she avoided the question and gave a short speech.

    Of course she has no names. I doubt Bachmann could name a single scientist in any field, even Francis Collins!

    No, she lied pure and simple and she gets a pass. No accountability. Same with Palin’s bell ringing and Barton’s founding fathers debating evolution.

    Every day the lies become more brazen. Those media sources and websites who document the lies and call them out, of course, are labeled “left wing,” “fascist,” “communist,” and “European.”

    Seriously, I need a vacation to the left bank and fortunately, c’est voyage is in my future!

    1. That would be “ce voyage”. The other way means “That is trip”, like a Russian trying to speak French!

  13. She seems completely unaware that pandering to ID nowadays makes her look ridiculous. She’s a tad bit behind the times. 😀

    1. I’m not so sure. I live inside a religious bubble, and the vast majority of those I come into contact with on a daily basis would see nothing unreasonable in her statement. In fact, they see the exclusion of ID as the unreasonable stance.

      Last I checked, we naturalistic evolutionists only make up something like 20% of the population (someone correct me)? ID seems like a pretty harmless proposition to the other four out of five.

    2. Sadly, I don’t think you’re correct. ID suffered a serious setback following Kitzmiller Vs Dover, ever since that abomination known as Expelled came out there seems to have been a new surge in popularity for it.

    1. Thanks for the reminder! But we don’t really want to exclude what is -generally [if not in this case] the saner half of humanity… I suppose it is a case of ‘practice what you preach’.

  14. “what I support is putting all the science on the table…” I totally agree.

    But she mis-characterizes ID as science. Sure, searching for evidence to falsify a theory is a valid scientific pursuit. But that’s as close as ID gets… searching.

    I would be in favor of showing for example, how the human eye meets the criteria of IC, yet intermediate stages still appear in the fossil record and in living creatures. Teach a few examples like that, then let the students decide.

    1. And once we have diverged from pure science, let’s explore the question, “why doesn’t God heal amputees” for a little while.

      Then we can segway back with lizard tails, starfish limbs and chopping worms in half. God may not heal human amputees, but evolution provides nicely for at least a few lucky species.

    2. I would totally support teaching ID in the classroom in this way. Some of the kids have undoubtedly encountered some ID arguments and it is appropriate to address a few of them in an evolution unit. They eye is a great example. There are plenty of critters that get by today with eyespots, cup eyes, and pinhole eyes.

      The same goes for sociality and navigation in bees. I saw a show on “Nature” on PBS as a teen that showed how every aspect of honeybee navigation and communication exists in some solitary or semisocial bee as well. Some solitary bees do a flying version of the bee dance as a navigation check so they can make multiple trips to the same foraging area. I would love to see this show again as it showed how a very complex system like a beehive could be put together from behaviors that developed in other contexts.

  15. As an Australian, I ache for your political conundrum. Our crazies have inveigled their way into schools via Chaplaincy programs, however can’t touch the teaching of science.

        1. Try it again – these things have happened to me.

          By the way, just realized that an anagram of Charles Darwin is ‘Sacral herd win’…

          1. Thanks Dominic. Years ago I must have joined something as dawn4oz and some program found me. I’ve been using Dawn Oz for years….

  16. I don’t know if Bachmann can be elected but, if not, it won’t be evolution denial that prevents her becoming president. We’ve had presidents that deny evolution, going back to Eisenhower; Reagan, both Bushes, for instance, but more importantly a majority of the American people deny evolution. Evolution denial is a plus for Bachmann.

  17. The sentence “the federal government should not be involved in local education to the most minimal possible process” makes little sense – the first part is OK but ‘to the most minimal process’? Does she mean ‘at the lowest or most basic level’?

    This is perhaps an argument about an anti-science agenda & the usual anti-central government stance of the US right whereas perhaps it should be about the curriculum. I assume that you do not have a national curriculum (we have now in the UK) so a pupil at a school in Seattle will not have the same curriculum at the same age as a pupil in Washington?

    1. Correct. While the US has federal and state standards that schools are required to meet, the curriculum is left to the individual school districts to decide. It’s resulted in the US having far too much bureaucracy in its school system and, especially in rural areas, schools that have exceptionally pathetic science curriculums.

      1. Thanks – that is interesting. I have friends – Italo-anglian (Anglo-italian if you prefer) who live in Portland Oregon – I will be seeing them soon & must ask about science teaching there. They are both atheists of course & he is a computer scientist/chip designer so they hgave a very rational stance.

        1. You won’t find the ID issue in Portland public schools, or any Oregon public schools that I know of. I live in southern Oregon, the most conservative part of the state, and I’ve never heard of it being an issue. There is a furniture store in Portland named Intelligent Design, though.

          1. I went to a small, rural high school in Southern Oregon. Even there, with a highly religious biology teacher, we were taught that evolution absolutely was true. Granted, he didn’t exactly do much to try to teach us about evolution, but his stance was that it was the truth and he was going to continue to teach it as the truth unless God himself came down to tell him otherwise (exact quote).

            Oregon’s usually scored well on the NCSE’s rating of evolution education in public schools. In general, the places where there’s real problems tend to be in the Midwest or the South.

  18. Let’s teach flat Earth stuff then shall we?

    Oh, I know, let’s also teach that the Earth was formed after a Lotus flower grew from Vishnu’s belly button – let’s teach ALL the “science.”

  19. I just had the normal creationist argument today with a work colleague, evolution can’t be true, we haven’t seen animals change from one kind to another, micro-evolution may work but macro can’t, there are missing links, etc.etc.etc.

    All this from a guy who thinks religion is bullshit, the bible is rubbish, etc.

    I give up. It’s bad enough yec’s believe this crap but when your own side starts spouting it….

    1. A student doing a paper on evolution, for example, needs to learn that the opinion of Michelle Bachmann is of no value,

      Philosophically true. Practically, notsumuch.

      See here

  20. “I don’t think it’s a good idea for government to come down on one side of scientific issue or another”

    I think this is an excellent idea, and should apply to the state and local level government as well, so no elected person can dictate content. Popularly elected politicians have no place dictating the content of lessons in which they have no qualification.

    1. Yeah, I love how “the government has no business…” is conservative doublespeak for “we’re interfering.”

  21. Two books that should be on the table are WEIT and Richard’s The Greatest Show on Earth. If students have not reached a reading level that enables them to understand WEIT, they can look at Richard’s pictures.

    1. Creationism/creation science/intelligent design/ID/however-it’s-relabeled-next should be taught in school in context. It’s not science, but it is a field worth knowing as to its history and false claims.

      I was going to suggest it be taught as part of mythology, but it is a perversion of the metaphors therein in that it is an attempt to validate stories of fantasy.

  22. You missed a good talk (at least I didn’t see you in the room) in the “Education” session this afternoon. The Rice-Colbert paper at the end of the session showed that, among faculty from all disciplines at a major midwestern U., *theistic viewpoint* was the strongest predictor of 1) acceptance of evolution, attitude toward evolution, and 3) the nature of science (ie how science is done, how it develops, etc.) Not surprising and somewhat limited scope of inference but supportive of the general message you present on this website.

  23. There is not reasonable doubt on both sides. Scientists know Intelligent Design is myth, at least, reputable scientists. Evolution is fact, despite some dispute as to how it occurs in some cases.

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