"West Wing"

I love this show. It's smart in a way people don't even recognize anymore. This is verbatim from the script of the show. Two weeks ago Jimmy Smits character, the Democratic presidential candidate Matt Santos, was being pressed by the media for his views on teaching "intelligent design" alongside of evolution in public school classrooms. In this scene he is speaking to a group of young musicians and there is press and parents behind them:

To be a person of faith is to have the world challenge that faith. Was the universe designed by God? That’s up to everyone in this country to decide for themselves because the framers of our Constitution believed that if the people were to be sovereign and belong to different religions at the same time then our official religion would have to be no religion at all. It was a bold experiment then, as it is now. It wasn’t meant to make us comfortable. It was meant to make us free.

May I ask you if you believe in the theory of evolution?

Well, I think it’d be very difficult to teach geology, anthropology, and zoology without evolution, so yes, I do. I don’t believe it’s contradictory to believe in science and believe in God.

Do you believe that the theory of Intelligent Design and the Theory of Evolution should be taught alongside each other in the public schools?

Absolutely not. One is based on science, the other is based on faith. Intelligent Design is not a scientific theory, it’s a religious belief. And our Constitution does not allow for the teaching of religion in our public schools.

Many of us here would be more comfortable if our children were taught all points of view.

And I’m all for that. Evolution is not perfect. It doesn’t answer every question but it is based on scientific facts; facts that can be predicted, tested, and proven. Intelligent Design asks theological questions. I’m sure that many of us would agree that at the beginning of all that begat-ing, something begun.

The people laugh.

What was that something?

Congressman Santos, many of us want a version of science taught to our kids that’s in accordance with our beliefs.

I understand. But can’t we agree that the inclusion of non-scientific explanations into the science curriculum of our schools misrepresents the nature of science? And therefore compromises a central purpose in our public education which is the preparation of a scientifically literate workforce. If you have a problem with your child’s education, get involved. If you have a problem with what the School Board wants to teach, run for School Board. We can never forget that the best way to preserve our democracy is to take part in it.


Karoda said...

I wished I would have watched WW from its inception and because I didn't I have not picked it up.

But that line..."not to make us comfortable, but make us free" blew me away!!!!!! it appears to me that the sales corporate/political sales pitch is just the other way around and is very dominant in running our government.

6:31 AM  
Balwearie said...

Brilliant! I miss watching that show and now it seems to have gotten even better. I may have to break down and get cable.

8:04 AM  
Jan said...

You don't need cable to watch West Wing, do you? Go to Big Lots and get a set of rabbit ears in their tech aisle!Video stores also have whole seasons on DVD- that's how I watched another show Deb recommended-"Deadwood" on HBO. Story of the REAL West...

Or just see if Deborah will screen out the good lines and keep us updated.

I too have never watched it as I felt I have enough addictions to keep up with, but it sounds 'spongeworthy'...

11:00 PM  
debra said...

Some of us need cable to pick up any channel. I live in a large suburban area of the bay area... but I'm on the wrong side of hills. No reception no matter.

However, one can watch the entire series from the beginning on BRAVO. They currently are in year 3 during the day.. and last season at night.

The very best episode of the show was in season 2: The Stackhouse Filibuster. Infact I think season 2 was the best year of the show.

1:55 AM  

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