Chicago's Field Museum chief says teaching "intelligent design" in science classes threatens America's position as a technological leader.
"Everything in science is based now on evolution," said museum President John McCarter. "If these kids don't get that in middle school and high school, we're going to lose a whole generation of scientific inquiry and minds." He spoke during a preview of the museum's $17 million evolution exhibit "Evolving Planet," the Chicago Sun-Times reported Wednesday.
McCarter blamed the intelligent design movement on conservative Christian Bible literalists. He said the Bible's account of creation should be celebrated as "great stories, rather than demanding we impose those ideas on scientific research in the 21st century."
Intelligent design theorizes that since life is so complex, it must have been designed by a higher intelligence and not the result of natural selection.
McCarter praised the evangelical Christian movement as "a wonderful force for faith and behavior," the Sun-Times reported.
"But there is another dimension to it and it's this literal interpretation of the Bible," he added. "We have to say those are stories done at that time by people trying to understand the complexity of the world."
Copyright 2006 by United Press International
Explore further: Super Bowl athletes are scientists at work