Another GOP Creationist with Presidential Hopes

You know, I don’t think we have enough anti-science homophobic religious fanatic creationists in the running for the 2012 GOP nomination for President. We can always use another; for example: Rick Santorum.

Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) is well aware his forthcoming visit to Iowa will encourage presidential speculation, and he is doing nothing to tamp down the buzz.

Santorum, the ardent conservative who lost his seat in 2006, will give the final lecture in a year-long series put on by the American Future Fund, a conservative group based in the Hawkeye State. Santorum will speak to conservative Iowans at the University of Dubuque on Thursday.

Santorum is deep in the pocket of the deceptive creationist think tank called The Discovery Institute. Here’s some background on his attempts to sneak, cajole, and/or force the teaching of creationism into US public schools:

In 2001, Santorum tried unsuccessfully to insert language which came to be known as the “Santorum Amendment” into the No Child Left Behind bill that sought to promote the teaching of intelligent design while questioning the academic standing of evolution in public schools.[26] The amendment, crafted with the assistance of the Discovery Institute,[26][27] would have required schools to discuss possible controversies surrounding scientific topics, and gave the theory of evolution as an example, opening the door for intelligent design as an opposing theory to be presented in science classrooms.[28] A federal court in Santorum’s own state, along with the majority of scientific organizations, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science, say the Institute has manufactured the controversy they want to teach by promoting a false perception that evolution is “a theory in crisis”, portraying it as being the subject of wide controversy and debate within the scientific community.[29][30][31]

Though not included in the final version of the Act made law, the language from the amendment was included in a report attached to the Act known as the Conference Report. The Discovery Institute and many intelligent design proponents, including two Ohio Congressmen, have repeatedly invoked this to suggest that intelligent design should be included in public school science standards as an alternative to evolution.[32][33]

In a 2002 Washington Times op-ed article Santorum wrote that intelligent design “is a legitimate scientific theory that should be taught in science classes.”[34] By 2005 Santorum had adopted the Discovery Institute’s Teach the Controversy approach,[35] stating in an interview with National Public Radio “I’m not comfortable with intelligent design being taught in the science classroom. What we should be teaching are the problems and holes, and I think there are legitimate problems and holes in the theory of evolution”,[36] a statement which mirrors the Teach the Controversy strategy, the most recent iteration of the intelligent design movement.[37] The day after the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District decision that intelligent design is not science and is essentially religious in nature[38] came down, Santorum announced that he was resigning from the advisory board of the Thomas More Law Center which had defended the Dover school board.[3] Most recently Santorum wrote the foreword for the March 2006 book, Darwin’s Nemesis: Phillip Johnson And the Intelligent Design Movement a collection of essays largely by Discovery Institute fellows honoring the “father” of the intelligent design movement, Phillip E. Johnson.

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