McCain Speech Tied to Intelligent Design Group Draws Fire

"Darwin helped explain nature's laws," McCain and Salter wrote. "He did not speculate, in his published theories at least, on the origin of life. The only undeniable challenge the theory of evolution poses to Christian beliefs is its obvious contradiction of the idea that God created the world as it is in less than a week.

"But our faith is certainly not so weak that it can be shaken to learn that a biblical metaphor is not literal history," they added. "Nature does not threaten our faith. On the contrary, when we contemplate its beauty and mysteries we cannot quiet in our heart the insistent impulse of belief that for all its variations and inevitable change, before its creation, in a time before time, God let it be so, and, thus, its many splendors and purposes abide in His purpose."

A spokesperson for the Discovery Institute says that as co-presenters, the Institute is advertising the event, but it is not funding the luncheon.

"We are friendly with the World Affairs Council and the other co-presenters," says Discovery spokeswoman Annelise Davis, who adds that the organization's "president, Bruce Chapman, knows Sen. McCain."

The World Affairs Council's Hilbren Buys says "it's not a tough thing" for any organization to become a co-presenter.

"Any organization is free to disseminate information about our events." Allowing a group to co-present an event doesn't mean anything at all, he says.

And Jones, the McCain spokesman, says, "This is the political season, so people are trying to make hay about a linkage that doesn't really exist."

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