Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann says schools should teach children about evolution and intelligent design because "the best thing to do is to allow all scientific facts on the table."
During a question-and-answer session at the University of Northern Iowa Wednesday, Bachmann was asked if intelligent design should be taught as science in public schools.
"I think that all science should be on the table," the candidate explained. "I think the one thing we do not want to have is censorship by government."
"I do believe that God created the Earth," she continued. "And I believe there are issues that need to be addressed -- the Second Law of Thermodynamics, the issue of irreducible complexity, the dearth of fossil record."
According to many scientists, all three issues Bachmann mentioned do not discount the theory of evolution.
Scientific American's Steve Mirsky wrote in 2005 that arguing irreducible complexity as evidence against evolution was a "full-blown intellectual surrender strategy."
While Charles Darwin cited a lack of fossil records as "the most obvious and serious objection that can be urged against the theory," University of Chicago professor Jerry Coyne believes the objection is no longer valid.
"Since 1859, paleontologists have turned up Darwin's missing evidence: fossils in profusion, with many sequences showing evolutionary change," Coyne explained in a 2005 article.
And University of Minnesota, Morris associate professor PZ Myers says the claim that the Second Law of Thermodynamics makes evolution false is "one of the oldest canards in the creationists' book."
A student from Bancroft, Iowa, who identified himself as a Catholic, explained to Bachmann that there was big difference between a "theory" like intelligence design and a "scientific theory" like evolution.
"The idea of creationism by an intelligent designer is not scientific," he said. "It is pseudo-science. There is no hard evidence that says that God created Earth. There is nothing like that. Whereas, we have physicists, chemists, biologists, many other people in the science field that say this is how the Earth was created, this is how the universe was created. ... How can you say that creationism can be taught in a public school where this would actually increase the combining of church and state?"
"I think what you are advocating for is censorship on the part of government," Bachmann replied. "I want all facts on the table. ... Why would we forestall any particular theory? Because I don't think that evolutionists, by and large, say that evolution is a proven fact. They say that this is a theory as well as intelligent design."
"So I think intellectually, the best thing to do is to allow all scientific facts on the table and let students decide."