updated 12/16/2004 1:50:19 PM ET 2004-12-16T18:50:19

Guests: Philip Smucker, Bill Allen, Natalie Grant, Dave Silverman, Al Mohler, Joe Sandler, Jack Burkman

PAT BUCHANAN, GUEST HOST:  Tonight in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, did George Bush steal the election in Florida and Ohio?  Jesse Jackson and a growing number of Democrats appear to think so.  But Joe Scarborough says it‘s all baloney.  He‘s going to tell us why. 

Tonight‘s SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY showdown, a school in Pennsylvania wants to teach high school students the theory that the universe was created by a higher intellect.  The ACLU says that‘s a thin disguise for reinserting religion in our public schools. 

Then, since terrorists attacked the U.S. on 9/11, we‘ve overthrown the Taliban and hunted down and killed most of bin Laden‘s lieutenants.  But are we any closer to No. 1?  Where is Osama hiding and will we nail him? 

Those stories tonight on SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY. 

ANNOUNCER:  From the press room, to the courtroom, to the halls of Congress, Joe Scarborough has seen it all.  Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.

BUCHANAN:  “Washington Post” reports today that voters in minority neighborhoods in Florida and Ohio may have been cheated out of their ballots by official incompetence or, worse, fraud.  Was it enough to tip the election for President Bush again? 

With us now are, our own Joe Scarborough, calling in from Pensacola. 

Joe, what are your thoughts on that “Washington Post” story?  You think we ought to have a recount? 

JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST:  I simply cannot believe that a newspaper like “The Washington Post” would pay tribute to the conspiracy—the Internet conspiracy theorists out there who basically have the people typing in basically wearing tin foil helmets and looking for UFOs from the sky.  It‘s a conspiracy theory. 

You have George Bush in the year 2000 winning Florida by a couple of hundred votes.  In Florida, he won by 400,000 votes, in Ohio, over 100,000 votes.  And you actually have “The Post” chasing these conspiracy theories.  It‘s absolutely ridiculous. 

And they start out with the great tease in the article that there may have been 5,000 to 15,000 people‘s votes who weren‘t counted.  Well, they‘re talking about 5,000 to 15,000 people who turned away in and wouldn‘t vote in the state of Ohio. 

BUCHANAN:  Wasn‘t that just one place?  I think it was Toledo, was it not, Joe? 

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes. 

BUCHANAN:  And they‘re talking about 150,000-plus provisional ballots and they are talking about I guess folks who didn‘t vote because they got to the balloting, some of them in line for four hours, some in there for 10 hours.  You think that it‘s all nothing to it; it‘s sour grapes? 

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, Pat, you could write that same story—and this is a problem.  This “Post” story takes together, cobbles together these string of events and anecdotes that you could report from any state.

Like, for instance, in Florida, in my hometown, in a precinct where Pensacola Christian College is, you had people that had to stay in line for up to seven hours.  They had to stand in the rain after all the rest of the voting booths had been closed not only in Escambia County, Florida, but across the state of Florida.  But they stood there in the rain.  They sang “God Bless America.”  They waited seven hours.  But we don‘t hear that story, because it‘s Republicans in a conservative district. 

BUCHANAN:  Well, you‘re saying you think “The Washington Post” is basically massaging some of the paranoia out there among the Democrats and some of the anger and remorse and bitterness that they thought they were going to win this election?  They lost it.  They‘re complaining.  They‘re whining.  And “The Washington Post” is giving their complaints a little run in the yard? 

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, Pat, they‘re promoting the paranoia by running these stories, again, running stories, like, for instance—this is my favorite part of the story. 

They quoted a study by Berkeley students and professors, who obviously had been sitting around smoking something, saying that there were reports, after looking at the numbers, that George Bush got 130,000 extra votes in the three South Florida counties, heavily Democratic, that had touch-screen voting.  Well, they claim that because George Bush outperformed himself in 2000. 

What they didn‘t do—as I said in my blog today, if they‘d been reading Florida election results, instead of Marxist—books by Marxist professors, they would have realized very quickly that Jeb Bush actually outperformed his brother in all three counties, that the CFO of the state of Florida, when he ran in 2002, outperformed George Bush in all three of those Democratic counties, that other Republican candidates in 2004 easily outperformed George Bush in those three counties, in Broward County, in Palm Beach County, and in Broward County.  George Bush still underperformed...

BUCHANAN:  His own brother. 

SCARBOROUGH:  His own brother, another guy named Bush, who‘s even more conservative, I would say, than George W. Bush. 

So, how do these Berkeley professors and students come together and say, oh, George Bush got an unusually large number of votes for a Republican is absolutely ridiculous.  And then “The Post” quotes an MIT professor who at first claimed that he was skeptical about the study, but after he looked at the study, he said, I just can‘t break it.  I just can‘t break it.

And, well, it‘s very easy to break.  You just look at what other Republicans have done in those three counties.  And you see there‘s nothing unusual at all about what George W. Bush did. 

BUCHANAN:  OK, Joe, Joe Scarborough, thanks very much for joining us. 

We all hope you‘re feeling better.

By the way, you can read Joe‘s blog at Joe.MSNBC.com. 

Joining me, Republican strategist Jack Burkman and Joe Sandler, general counsel for the Democratic National Committee and a fellow traveler of those Berkeley students and professors.

Joe, from Baltimore, thanks for joining me, Joe. 

All right, give me your—really, it does sound—I remember Marion Barry.  I grew up in D.C.  And he‘d get about five voters across Rock Creek Part in Ward 3 or whatever it was.  And he said, Mr. Mayor, what have you got to say to Ward 3?  He‘d say, deal with it.  Isn‘t that the reality?  The president won by 3.5 votes, as Joe said, 400,000 in Florida.  He got 120,000 in Ohio.  It is over, isn‘t it? 

JOE SANDLER, GENERAL COUNSEL, DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE:  It is over.

And the Democratic Party has made it clear that we‘re not contesting the election.  But the efforts to recount Ohio and the investigations—investigative study that the Democratic National Committee has announced to address questions, serious questions and issues about the way the election was conducted in Ohio, are not about paranoia, nor remorse or anger.  It‘s about the fact that—it‘s about our principles as a Democratic Party that every vote should be counted and, beyond that, that there was serious problems with the way this election was run that need to be addressed for the future. 

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN:  In the African-American community, Joe, I know there‘s

anger about this and there‘s a feeling the Democratic Party went in the

tank.  Kerry went in the tank.  He should have fought this.  These guys

didn‘t fight.  It was our voters who were in those inner cities going into

·         weren‘t having enough machines, in a lot of those places, people having to go back to work after four hours of waiting and 10 hours of waiting. 

               

Isn‘t this—the Democratic National Committee say, look, these African-American folks, that‘s our base; they‘re angry; they‘re ticked off; we have got to do something to show them that we‘re at least doing battle on their behalf and it‘s all sort of a charade? 

SANDLER:  No, it‘s not a charade. 

We‘ve made it clear, much to the dismay of some of our more vocal supporters and activists, that there wasn‘t a basis for contesting the election, not the night of the election and not now. 

BUCHANAN:  There‘s no basis for contesting the election? 

(CROSSTALK)

SANDLER:  There‘s no basis for contesting the election. 

BUCHANAN:  Do you believe in your heart—one quick question, Joe—that if all the voters had gone to the polls and made it in there and voted and all the votes had been properly counted, who be the next president of the United States? 

SANDLER:  I think that‘s an impossible question to answer in this election and any other election. 

BUCHANAN:  We asked you to make...

(CROSSTALK)

JACK BURKMAN, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST:  You said, are you contesting the election?  Yet, he can‘t recognize George W. Bush.  You refuse to recognize him as a legitimate president of the United States. 

Look, let me ask Joe a question.  You‘re interested in what you call Republican fraud, maybe blacks being kept away from the polls, this, that and the other things that you allege.  What about Democratic fraud?  If you want to look into potential fraud on one side, I say fine.  Go ahead and do it.  But what about the Democratic buses, the things the DNC organized?  They pull up buses into housing projects and they give people $10 to get on the bus. 

What about the things the unions do where they have voting the graveyard?  You know that goes on.  You‘ve been in Democratic politics 30 years.  Are you going to sit here and tell me the unions don‘t vote the graveyard in Illinois, in Philadelphia?  What about all of that?  Do you have any interest?  Does your organization?  Does the counsel‘s office in the DNC have any interest in looking into those things? 

SANDLER:  Absolutely. 

First of all, there were lots of allegations of voter fraud made by the Republican Party in the months and weeks leading up to this election that did not pan out.  They alleged that there were all kinds of people illegitimately registered in New Mexico.  That turned out to be nonsense.  They alleged that people were registered who didn‘t live in the precinct they were registered in Ohio and in Nevada.  That was baloney.

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN:  Joe, let me ask you...

SANDLER:  Republicans are always trying to disenfranchise people. 

(CROSSTALK)

SANDLER:  We have to resist it.

BUCHANAN:  I went into—I was up there at Democracy Plaza and I went into the NBC studios upstairs where they do “The Today Show” with Dee Dee Myers.  And she turned to me and said, we‘ve won.  We‘ve won.  We‘ve got Florida.  We got Ohio.

And I said to myself, and hearing all that, well, they must have it. 

They must have it. 

Wasn‘t it a case of massive overconfidence on you folks‘ part?  You talked the game and you did have a good game.  You increased the vote to 57 million for John Kerry.  But the Republicans just did a whale of a job.  Rove did the job, 3.5 million votes plus.  It really does look like, when you‘re even saying to yourself, we don‘t contest this election, that you just got whipped. 

SANDLER:  No, we didn‘t get whipped.  The election was decided by 60,000 votes in Ohio out of 115 million cast.

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN:  That‘s the Electoral College.  The country out of 3.5 million...

SANDLER:  Out of 150 million cast.

(CROSSTALK)

SANDLER:  We didn‘t get whipped.  But there is no question we got beat.  And that‘s why the party‘s looking now...

BUCHANAN:  You think it was just a field goal, three points. 

BURKMAN:  Let me throw this question out.  Do you acknowledge, general counsel of the Democratic National Committee, do you recognize George W.  Bush as the legitimate president of the United States? 

SANDLER:  Absolutely. 

BURKMAN:  OK.  You do that.

SANDLER:  Of course he‘s the legitimate president of the United States. 

(CROSSTALK)

SANDLER:  That‘s not to say...

BURKMAN:  Let me ask you this.  Have you ever in your time as general counsel at the DNC, and you‘ve been in and out of this for a long time, have you ever investigated allegations of fraud in union voter abuse?  Have you ever looked into allegations that unions have committed wrongdoing at the polls in all the time you‘ve been at the DNC? 

SANDLER:  No, because there hasn‘t been credible evidence that‘s ever been brought to us.

BURKMAN:  No credible evidence.

SANDLER:  Of union instituting voting fraud.

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN:  Now, you‘re investigating now folks in the cities who stood in lines four hours, “The Post” said, some of them 10 hours.  Not enough machines were there.  They went out to the suburbs.  This one lady, no machines in her area in the inner city.  She went to the suburbs where her mom lives, machines all over the place, Republicans waiting 15 minutes. 

Would you investigate it if it were Republicans who had been turned away for a lack of machines?  Would you call up the Republican National Committee and say, look, we‘re investigating this, but you guys got a whale of a case here; you investigate that?  Or is it all about just making sure we get our extra votes counted and forget theirs? 

SANDLER:  Not at all. 

We‘re going to look at what the actual facts are.  That‘s why we‘re going to take the time and resources necessary to look at what actually happened.  We‘re not going into this with any assumptions.

BUCHANAN:  How long is this study going to take? 

SANDLER:  A couple of months.  We‘re not going to into this with any...

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN:  McAuliffe approved it, didn‘t he?

(CROSSTALK)    

SANDLER:  Yes, he did.

(CROSSTALK) 

BURKMAN:  As Pat said, following up on his question, have you ever looked into an allegation of fraud in a Republican area, like Joe Scarborough did? 

BUCHANAN:  Did you all investigate...

(CROSSTALK)

BURKMAN:  If you‘re really concerned—we‘ll take you at your word. 

If you‘re concerned about...

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN:  I worked for Richard Nixon.  Did you guys really take a double check of what went on in Cook County in 1960? 

SANDLER:  Well, we‘re not going back to 1960.  We‘re talking...

BUCHANAN:  The statute has run on that one. 

(CROSSTALK)

SANDLER:  We‘re talking about 2004. 

(CROSSTALK)

SANDLER:  Again, not that the election was—going to make a difference in the outcome of the election, but the fact that tens of thousands of voters were disenfranchised. 

(CROSSTALK)

BURKMAN:  You care about civil rights, individual liberties and the Constitution.  And I applaud you.

But some my question is, if you care about that, have you ever once looked into allegations of voter fraud, voter violations in a Republican district?  Do you have any record of your office doing that? 

SANDLER:  Of course not.  Looking into allegations in a Republican district...

(CROSSTALK)

BURKMAN:  He gives straightforward answers.  I will give him that. 

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN:  Joe, put up a great fight.  Good luck.  Thanks for joining us. 

SANDLER:  Thank you. 

BUCHANAN:  Jack Burkman, stick around. 

It‘s a debate that‘s brewing in schools all across the nation.  Should we teach only evolution in public schools or should we let kids know there are other theories about the origin of life on Earth?  We‘ll tell you about the latest uproar.  And guess who is behind it? 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BUCHANAN:  Does teaching intelligent design violate the First Amendment separation of church and state?  Don‘t miss that SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY showdown next. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BUCHANAN:  Welcome back. 

The debate over the origins of life and of the universe goes back to court.  And guess who‘s behind it?  Pennsylvania‘s Dover County School Board has voted in favor of teaching high school students intelligent design, along with the theory of evolution.  It‘s a theory that argues that the universe is so complex, it must have been created by a superior intellect. 

But the ACLU and Americans United For the Separation of Church and State think this is a violation of the separation of church and state.  They say intelligent design is nothing but a disguised form of creationism. 

They filed suit just yesterday. 

Joining me now, Dr. Al Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, David Silverman, a spokesman for American Atheist, Christian music artist Natalie Grant.  And Republican strategist Jack Burkman is still with us. 

Dr. Al Mohler, let me speak with you first. 

How do you answer folks who say, look, this is just a way—this intelligent design is a fancy phrase for getting the book of Genesis and the idea of God creating heaven and earth into the classroom?  It‘s a subterfuge. 

AL MOHLER, SOUTHERN BAPTIST THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY:  Well, Pat, it‘s not.  It‘s dishonesty to suggest that intelligent design is the same as creationism. 

Very clearly, intelligent design is a scientific theory that is a credible alternative to evolutionary theory, itself a theory.  And, quite frankly, the vast majority of Americans, including the vast majority of American parents, believe that this theory ought to be taught alongside evolution.  The vast majority of Americans don‘t accept that humanity came through the process of evolution. 

And, Pat, you know, when it comes right down to it, this school board, whether they did it the right way or not, did the right thing.  And they deserve the applause and support of America‘s public and parents. 

BUCHANAN:  All right, Dave Silverman, let me bring you in here.

You‘ve got a child in class.  Let‘s say it‘s in science class.  And he comes to his teacher in high school and says, you know, I understand from mathematics and science that the sun and the moon and the stars and the Earth and the moon around it, they all move in perfect synchronization.  How did they come about?  Who created them?  Is a science teacher only—can only say, well, that‘s evolution, son? 

DAVE SILVERMAN, AMERICAN ATHEIST:  Well, it‘s not evolution.  It‘s the laws of physics and mathematics that govern the universe. 

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN:  But how did the universe come about?  If he asks you that, what do you say?  Mathematics governs it?  I don‘t know where it came from?

SILVERMAN:  If you‘re going into the mathematics of the universe are so complex that they must have had a creator to create it, I mean, we have to talk a little bit of honesty here.  We have to step back and look at this, really, OK?

We‘re talking about saying, I don‘t know how it happened.  Therefore, an invisible magic man in the sky invented everything.  Now, wait a minute here.  This is just another guise of mythology.  What happens is—I must hand it to the right wing here.  This is pure genius.  They‘ve got a theory.  They‘ve got a mythology, Christianity, or creationism, as you call it, and they have got absolutely no basis in fact. 

And they‘ve got the 21st century, which is barreling on with its science and its knowledge, and say, oh, my they‘re saying how are we going to combat that?  So they repackage their old stuff.

(CROSSTALK)

BURKMAN:  He says it‘s barreling into the—your question was brilliant.  It‘s not barreling in with too much knowledge.  It can‘t explain—we‘re no closer to explaining the origins of the universe today than we were 200 years ago or 1,000 years ago. 

(CROSSTALK)

SILVERMAN:  Let me explain very, very simply on this, OK?  Ignorance of facts...

(CROSSTALK)

BURKMAN:  What this is, Pat, look, under the guise of defending the separation of church and state, this is nonsense.  What they want to do is attack Christianity.  This is a not-so-thinly-veiled attack on Christianity.  All of these...

(CROSSTALK)

SILVERMAN:  How is it an attack on Christianity, when you guys are attacking science?

BURKMAN:  They want to make sure that there‘s no spirituality in the schools.  They want a decentralized, they want a despiritualized, they want a...

(CROSSTALK)

SILVERMAN:  Secular, neutral, free school system. 

BURKMAN:  It is a Stalinist version.  They want to do what Joseph Stalin did. 

BUCHANAN:  All right, Dave Silverman, let me go back to you.

(CROSSTALK)

SILVERMAN:  I can‘t believe you just compared America to Joseph Stalin.  Come on. 

BURKMAN:  I compared to what you‘re doing to Joseph Stalin.

SILVERMAN:  Jack, come on.  You‘re an intelligent man. 

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN:  All right, Dave Silverman, you‘re an intelligent man. 

SILVERMAN:  Thank you. 

BUCHANAN:  Look, and, you know, look—you can say—we didn‘t even discover the laws of mathematics that govern how the Earth goes around the sun and the moon goes around the Earth and the other planets go around the sun and what‘s going on in these other universes.  We only recently in terms of human history discovered the secrets of—there. 

SILVERMAN:  That‘s right. 

BUCHANAN:  And we can fit them out mathematically perfectly.  And you‘re telling me this all happened because of some big bang way back when? 

SILVERMAN:  I‘m telling you because of...

BUCHANAN:  It‘s not an intelligent answer.  And if I can‘t ask you, you either have to say, I don‘t know how this came about.  It does seem to indicate intelligent design, just as the molecular structure does.  And I don‘t know how it came about, but it must have been some outside force. 

SILVERMAN:  Pat, I‘m going to go right back at you at that, OK?

If you‘re going to tell me that something very, very powerful and invisible and magical invented the universe, you must then tell me where this magical invisible person came from.  If you‘re going to say the universe is too complex to be...

(CROSSTALK)

SILVERMAN:  ... always existed. 

BUCHANAN:  All right. 

SILVERMAN:  Now, wait a second.

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN:  All right, hold it, Jack.

SILVERMAN:  You‘ve got to say, OK, well, then, let‘s look at the creation of the creator.  Where did he come from? 

BUCHANAN:  OK, that‘s exactly—a good point. 

Let me bring in Natalie Grant.

Natalie Grant, look, I think Dave‘s got a good point, then.  I think we can say, look, we have an effect here, this incredible universe which works in perfect mathematical synchronization, and that is the effect.  There has got to be a cause that is greater than the effect.  We may not know what it is, but there has got to be a cause out there.  And that is what the whole idea of intelligent design teaches, does it not? 

NATALIE GRANT, CHRISTIAN MUSIC ARTIST:  Well, the bottom line is, this is obviously—a lot of this is rooted in faith. 

And I don‘t think that anybody is expecting a teacher to say, well, I‘m a Christian or I believe this or I believe the other.  But I believe that, when the majority of Americans believe that there is a God, should their children not be allowed to go to a classroom that teaches them just an option?  They‘re not saying this is the way.  But if you‘re going to teach evolution, we should have balanced education and allow our children to be able to choose. 

(CROSSTALK)

SILVERMAN:  And, Natalie, let me jump in there on that. 

I want to talk about the neutrality in the schools.  I just want to just touch on that, because Natalie makes a very good point.  A majority of people believe one thing or another.  In fact, everybody believes something about God, whether it‘s true or false or any of the many, many gods that are practiced in this country. 

But the school is not a place for teaching other people‘s children your religion.  The school is a place where you can send your kids and they will come back without having been taught against your teaching.  That‘s the whole point.

(CROSSTALK) 

BUCHANAN:  Let me bring Al Mohler in. 

Al Mohler, it is your view, as I understand it, that—let‘s say the idea that God created heaven and Earth and he did it in seven days.  That is a matter of religious faith.  That should not be taught in a science class.  However, the idea that the universe manifests intelligent design and manifests the idea of a greater superior intelligence and a superior power, that is logic and that is—I mean, you can intuit that and deduct that.  And you think that should be taught? 

MOHLER:  Absolutely.  I believe in creation, in full biblical doctrine of creation.  I‘m a Christian theologian. 

But when I‘m speaking about intelligent design as a scientific theory, I do not expect the teacher in the public schools to come out and argue for or against creation.  But the theory of intelligent design comes down to this.  In the entire complexity of the universe as we know it, from something as complex as the human eye to glory of the sky and all the cosmos, all the planets and their proportion, there is more information necessary there than the theory of evolution can explain. 

And, according to even evolutionary theory, the information has to be there.  That theory can‘t account for how the information gets there ahead of the mutation or the change. 

(CROSSTALK)

MOHLER:  The evolutionists are scared to death.  They are circling the wagons.  They‘re defining science so that you have to believe in evolution to be a scientist.  If you don‘t believe in evolution, you‘re not a scientist.  That‘s paranoia.

BURKMAN:  The broader question is, why should the state—why should the state and the federal government have a monopoly on defining what constitutes science? 

This goes into a broader debate.  Who‘s to say?  I mean, I don‘t think this is creationism.  But so what if it is?  I think the Supreme Court largely has been wrong.  I see no reason with—no problem with presenting a creationist view in the schools, given that 70 percent of Americans want that.  The law should reflect democratic desires.  It should reflect public desires. 

(CROSSTALK)

BURKMAN:  So there‘s no reason—I see no problem with it. 

SILVERMAN:  You guys are all being inconsistent.

BUCHANAN:  Dave Silverman, go ahead.  Dave, go ahead.

SILVERMAN:  You guys are all being very inconsistent.  You have to take the laws of physics to the extreme.  That‘s what the laws of physics do.

If you‘re going to say that the laws of—that the universe is too complex to have evolved naturally, you‘ve got to say, OK, if something created it, that‘s got to be more complex.  Where did the creator come from?  But...

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN:  Dave, I want to ask you a question. 

SILVERMAN:  Go for it. 

BUCHANAN:  If you teach the idea of intelligent design, you‘re suggesting a creator, a superior power, and we can use the term God. 

SILVERMAN:  Yes. 

BUCHANAN:  And you say that violates church and state. 

SILVERMAN:  Absolutely. 

BUCHANAN:  But if you teach Darwin absolutely, you‘re suggesting there is no God.  Why doesn‘t that violate separation of church and state?  Whether you teach there‘s no God or there is a God, both of them are two arguments, it seems to me, by your standards violate the separation of church and state. 

SILVERMAN:  Pat, the Bible specifically says that the Earth is the center of the universe.  We know this not to be true.  We don‘t avoid teaching the fact that the Earth is not the center of the universe because the Christians don‘t like that. 

The fact is fact.  Evolution is scientific fact.  And make no mistake.  Creationism and intelligent design is mythology with no basis in fact and nothing more. 

BURKMAN:  But, Dave, let me ask you this.  Why...

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN:  Right now, we need to take a quick break. 

But we‘ll have more of this debate when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I‘m Staff Sergeant Michael Morenkivitz (ph), currently stationed here in Baghdad, Iraq.  I just want to say happy holidays to my family and friends back home in Edinboro, Pennsylvania.  Thanks for all your support. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BUCHANAN:  Up next, the ACLU, high school students and God.  There is a huge battle brewing in Pennsylvania.  We‘ll tell you about it in a minute.

But, first, let‘s get the latest headlines from the MSNBC News Desk.

(NEWS BREAK)

ANNOUNCER:  From the press room, to the courtroom, to the halls of Congress, Joe Scarborough has seen it all.  Welcome back to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.

BUCHANAN:  Welcome back to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY. 

The ACLU is at it again, taking a Pennsylvania school board to court over their decision to teach the theory of intelligent design.  The ACLU claims it‘s a Trojan horse for biblical creationism. 

I‘m here with Al Mohler, Dave Silverman, Natalie Grant, and Jack Burkman. 

I want to go back to you, Al Mohler, and the point I was talking to Dave Silverman about.  It seems to me if, in the public schools you teach Darwinism, the theory of evolution, and no other alternative, and since Darwinism points to no God, what you are doing then is indoctrinating children in the belief that there is no God and no creator.  And it seems to me that crosses the line of separation of church and state or a violation of the First Amendment every bit as much as the charges in the Scopes trial. 

MOHLER:  Well, that‘s absolutely right. 

And, Mr. Buchanan, you know the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that secular humanism is itself a religion.  And Darwinism, in terms of its theory, in terms of the way it‘s taught, in terms of the its structure, it‘s undeniably a religious truth claim.  It‘s just the religion in which there is no God or, as others would say, there‘s nothing left for God to do.  It is an inherently anti-Christian religion.  But it is a religion. 

And that‘s why they‘re holding to their dogma so tenaciously and that‘s why their so scared to death and paranoid, insecure about the rise of intelligent design.  It scares them to death. 

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS:  Let me go to Natalie.

Natalie Grant, I‘m going to go back later to Jack and Dave, but it does seem to me that what Dave wants in the schools is basically indoctrination in a fundamental tenant of his faith, which is atheism. 

GRANT:  Yes.

And if my child has to sit in the classroom and be taught that as an option that‘s held in the world, why is it that my child cannot also sit in the classroom and be taught about intelligent design as a theory, as an option, so that a child can have a balanced education?  If Dave says that it‘s mythology, whatever it is that he holds to, the bottom line is, it is a theory that is held by a majority of Americans, believe that there is a God. 

SILVERMAN:  The fact that the majority of Americans believe it doesn‘t make it truth.  What is truth is scientific process brings us...

(CROSSTALK)

GRANT:  Should my child not have the right to be educated? 

BUCHANAN:  Dave, Dave, Dave, look.

SILVERMAN:  Yes. 

(CROSSTALK)            

BUCHANAN:  The fact that a number of people believe in Darwin‘s theory doesn‘t make Darwin‘s theory true either. 

(CROSSTALK)

SILVERMAN:  No, it doesn‘t.  But scientific fact and all of the evidence presented, and all of the evidence presented, does point to scientific evolution. 

(CROSSTALK)

BURKMAN:  Here‘s the issue.  And here‘s why the Supreme Court has been wrong.  Pat should argue—when we finally gets the votes on the court, he should—that was brilliant.  He should argue the case. 

I will tell you this.  Why should the state have a monopoly on defining what is science?  If a—why should the federal government?  If a local school district...

(CROSSTALK)

SILVERMAN:  The scientific population has a monopoly on defining what is science.

BURKMAN:  But why can‘t a local school district—why do you oppose a local school district determining what is science for itself?  Isn‘t that what America is about?

(CROSSTALK)

SILVERMAN:  Jack, local schools don‘t get to determine what is science.  What is science is determined by they scientific community.

(CROSSTALK)

SILVERMAN:  Now, wait a second, Jack.  You asked me, why shouldn‘t the local schools be allowed to determine what is science?  Science is determined by scientific process.  It‘s a worldwide thing.  You don‘t get to decide that on the school.  Otherwise, you could have one school saying, oh, well, the universe...

(CROSSTALK)

SILVERMAN:  Wait a second.  The universe was invented by an invisible, magical unicorn.  That‘s a theory.  Let‘s teach that to our kids.  No.  It‘s got to be secular and neutral, not pro-atheism. 

BUCHANAN:  All right, Al Mohler, do you think it is a theory or established fact that brother Silverman and all atheists were descended from monkeys, which I guess is what they believe they were?  To me, that is a theory.  I don‘t think it is necessarily true.  There are arguments for it, I agree.

SILVERMAN:  Some of us haven‘t descended.

BUCHANAN:  That‘s a theory.  That‘s a theory, isn‘t it, Al? 

MOHLER:  I‘ve got a different theory to explain his confusion.  And it has everything to do with sin and willful blindness and paranoia and nothing to do with the theory of evolution, other than that has become an intellectual pacifier for the secular left. 

And that‘s why they just can‘t—they can‘t let go of it.  But America‘s parents have more common sense.  The American public has seen through the theories.  That‘s right.  There are multiple theories.  There‘s not just one theory of evolution.  And I think America‘s parents are waking up and they‘re not going to rest until the schools do the right thing. 

BURKMAN:  And, Pat, following up on this, the campaign we need is a campaign once this court is changed and we have the votes to bring back the teaching—or at least to give states and local districts the option of teaching creationism.  I don‘t think this here tonight is creationism.

But schools should have that option of teaching creationism if they want to. 

SILVERMAN:  Have we gone through a time warp?  Are we in the 1950s again? 

(CROSSTALK)

BURKMAN:  We should be. 

(CROSSTALK)

SILVERMAN:  We should be.  Good.  I like that quote. 

BUCHANAN:  All right, Dave, look, I agree with you that, when you‘re talking about Genesis and Exodus, you‘re talking faith.  You‘re talking belief.  You‘re not talking science. 

But in terms of a theory, if you‘re in a science class, there‘s got to be a number of different theories explaining something that you and I obviously disagree on.  The majority may agree with me on some parts of it, the majority with you.  Why not let the children know all the various theories that intelligent, thoughtful people believe, so they can make up their own minds? 

(CROSSTALK)

SILVERMAN:  Excellent question.  I‘m so glad you answered that.  I‘m so glad you asked me that question, Pat.

It all determines on what is a valid theory, supported by scientific method.  Remember, we‘re talking about science class here.  We need to talk about the scientific method.  And nobody has any problems and nobody‘s talking about...

(CROSSTALK)

SILVERMAN:  Wait.  Let me get this in.

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN:  Is the big bang a theory or a fact? 

SILVERMAN:  The big bang is—well, it‘s a theory.

BUCHANAN:  All right. 

SILVERMAN:  But it‘s supported by scientific fact.  You can hear the echoes.  Now, wait a second here.  We‘re not talking about teaching alternative theories in a comparative religion class or a philosophy class.  But we are talking about infusing into our children...

BURKMAN:  But you are.  You see, you are.  And that‘s the point.  You are talking about a philosophy class, because Pat‘s point is this.  There is a fine line between science and philosophy.  That is the debate you‘re into.

(CROSSTALK)

SILVERMAN:  No, there is not a fine line.  There is a very thick line, Jack.  That‘s the point I‘m trying to get across.  It‘s a very thick line.

BURKMAN:  Science is value-laden.

(CROSSTALK)

SILVERMAN:  What? 

BURKMAN:  Science is value-laden.  That‘s the argument.  That‘s what Pat is driving at.  You‘re presenting your theories as fact.  There is philosophy in science.  And that‘s the problem with the way the Supreme Court has defined the law. 

SILVERMAN:  The idea that Darwinistic evolution has happened is fact.  The idea that the universe was created by an invisible magic man in the sky is fiction.  It is mythology and it should not be taught. 

BUCHANAN:  Wait a minute. 

(CROSSTALK)

SILVERMAN:  No.  There‘s no way around it, OK?  This is creationism. 

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN:  Wait a minute, Dave.  Tell me, who created matter? 

SILVERMAN:  Matter and the universe and energy are...

(CROSSTALK)

SILVERMAN: ... constant in the universe.

BUCHANAN:  Matter, exactly. 

SILVERMAN:  Matter and energy are essentially the same thing.  It‘s a constant in the universe.  It always existed. 

BUCHANAN:  Who created them?

(CROSSTALK)

SILVERMAN:  You say who created it?  I say it always existed.  You say that‘s not good enough.  OK.

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN:  If I showed you something—if I showed you a watch and you said, who made the watch and I said it‘s always existed, you‘d say you‘re nuts. 

SILVERMAN:  Let‘s talk about the watch maker.  Let‘s talk about that. 

I want to get that right out.

(CROSSTALK)

SILVERMAN:  If you say that matter—if I say that matter—let me get it out.

BUCHANAN:  No, no.  You‘re not going to be able to get it out because we have got what you call a hard break, my friend.

Al Mohler...

SILVERMAN:  Happy solstice, everybody.

(LAUGHTER)

BUCHANAN:  Happy solstice. 

BUCHANAN:  Al Mohler, Dave Silverman, Natalie Grant, Jack Burkman, thank you for joining me. 

And up next, what happened to those famous words? 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  I want justice.  And there‘s an old poster out West, as I recall, that said wanted dead or alive. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BUCHANAN:  Are we any closer to finding Osama bin Laden dead or alive? 

That debate coming up next.

ANNOUNCER:  Tonight‘s SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY challenge:  How many siblings does Osama bin Laden have?  Is it, A, eight, B, 21, or, C, 50?  The answer coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANNOUNCER:  In tonight‘s SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY challenge, we asked:  How many siblings does Osama bin Laden have?  The answer is C.  Osama bin Laden is the 17th of more than 50 children of Mohammed bin Laden.

Now back to Pat.

BUCHANAN:  Welcome back. 

Where is Osama bin Laden?  It‘s been over three years now since the massacres of September 11, for which bin Laden was mastermind.  And despite our invasion of Afghanistan and overthrow of the Taliban, we have still not found bin Laden.  He even managed to release a videotape four days before the presidential election.  Are we getting closer or is bin Laden getting further away? 

Here to talk about it with me are Bill Allen, editor in chief of “National Geographic” and co-author of a feature story on bin Laden in the current issue, and Philip Smucker, author of “Al Qaeda‘s Great Escape.” 

Bill Allen, let me start with you.

Why haven‘t we gotten bin Laden? 

BILL ALLEN, EDITOR IN CHIEF, “NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC”:  It‘s a tough area to work in.  First, the terrain is very tough.  It‘s a tribal area, which is also very tough.  And then there‘s also the code of honor of the Pashtun, which can offer sanctuary to anyone, whether it‘s Osama bin Laden or anyone else. 

BUCHANAN:  All right, we‘ve got tens of thousands, Phil Smucker, of troops, Afghan, Pakistani, American running this guy down, $25 million reward on his head and we can‘t find him.  Why? 

PHILIP SMUCKER, AUTHOR, “AL QAEDA‘S GREAT ESCAPE”:  Well, we may be looking in the wrong places.  We think he might be in South Waziristan, but we don‘t really know.  There are a lot of theories that he has one foot in iron and one foot in Afghanistan.  Now, the Revolutionary Guard in Iran is not the same as the government in Tehran and that may be our problem. 

BUCHANAN:  Where do you think he is, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran?

ALLEN:  He could in almost any of those places, as long as he‘s being sheltered.  I think he‘s on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. 

(CROSSTALK)

BUCHANAN:  When you say he‘s being sheltered, as I said, we‘ve got tens of thousands of troops.  You got a $25 million reward.  And still they won‘t—they got Jesse James with a $10,000 reward.  He got shot in the back.  And this guy has got $25 million on his head? 

ALLEN:  If someone accepts a $25 million reward and he has been supposed to be sheltering him, then his life wouldn‘t be worth an onion. 

BUCHANAN:  Is it fear or is it love of bin Laden? 

SMUCKER:  I think there‘s a lot of love of bin Laden.  And his following is underestimated. 

Here‘s a guy who escaped from beneath the wings of the world‘s most eminent military.  He escaped and he‘s a revolutionary hero, in the same way that George Washington escaped from the British military in 1776 in Brooklyn.  And this goes way back to the myth of a guerrilla leader, and that‘s what he is exactly. 

BUCHANAN:  Yes.  Well, a lot of Americans supported the American revolution, no doubt about it.  They gave him support and assistance and everything.

Are the Pakistanis doing everything they could and should be doing?  We‘ve heard about their campaign out in the northwest, which they called off because apparently they antagonized the locals.  Are they doing everything they can or have they decided, look, it‘s not cost effective for us to wage war in that area, the enemies we are making, the potential blowback?  If he‘s there, forget him.

ALLEN:  I think that it is going to be very tough for the Pakistanis to do too much more than they‘re doing now.  They can always do more.  But I think they‘re taking a lot of casualties.  But they‘re also inflicting a lot of casualties as well, but on civilians as well.  And that may be recruiting more people to bin Laden. 

BUCHANAN:  Does it make any difference that we get—is it vitally important we get him?  I say that when the president‘s been saying something like two-thirds to three-fourths of bin Laden‘s al Qaeda have been captured or killed.  We‘ve eliminated his sanctuary in Afghanistan.  He is on the run.  He is in hiding.  Is it essential that we kill him or get him?  We didn‘t get Pancho Villa? 

SMUCKER:  Well, Pat, but, listen, it‘s not a zero-sum gain here.

And those two-thirds and three-quarters figures that you‘re quoting, that was a year ago.  That was two years ago.  And we know that the al Qaeda organization is able to replenish itself with new recruits all the time.  And one of the things that bin Laden has done by escaping and staying on the lam for so long is gain more recruits. 

BUCHANAN:  In other words, al Qaeda‘s regenerating itself. 

ALLEN:  They are, indeed.  The things that have really helped a good bit are, first of all, the fact that he‘s still staying on the loose.

BUCHANAN:  If you had to both bet now, do you think we are ever going to get him or is he going to die in bed or in a cave?  What do you think?

(CROSSTALK)

SMUCKER:  I wouldn‘t put my money on getting him this year.  I think that, eventually, intelligence will lead us to him, but I wouldn‘t count on it this year or even next. 

ALLEN:  I think it‘s going to be even longer than that, if ever.  I think it‘s going to be a very tough time getting him.  I think the odds are that we won‘t. 

BUCHANAN:  Well, do you think the president could ever justify—the president launched this war on terror.  This is the enemy.  It‘s like not getting Hitler.

SMUCKER:  It would be a great thing if the country could unify behind the capture Osama bin Laden.  Ironically, it wouldn‘t mean the much.

BUCHANAN:  You don‘t think the country is unified?  We may not be unified on Iraq, but on bin Laden...

SMUCKER:  Exactly.  And that would be the feather in the cap of this administration.  This is what they need to bring the country back together, the red states and the blue states. 

Ironically, it means less to the overall strength of the al Qaeda organization than it does to the unity of the United States of America. 

BUCHANAN:  Well, Phil is saying this is a vital national interest that we get this guy. 

ALLEN:  I think there‘s more national interest.  I agree with Phil, that there‘s more national interest than there is in talking about whether al Qaeda is going to be an effective organization.  He is still a titular head, a nice symbol.  But I think the individual cells are far more able to operate on their own than they need a central guidance. 

BUCHANAN:  Listen, thanks, both of you, for coming over.  Appreciate it very much. 

SMUCKER:  Pleasure. 

BUCHANAN:  OK, Bill Allen, Phil Smucker, thanks for being here. 

Coming up next, if you thought Fox TV‘s road trip reality show with Paris Hilton was the bottom of the barrel, you won‘t want to miss their latest offering.  That‘s coming up next. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BUCHANAN:  Tomorrow night in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, we will bring you a member of the United States military who shot a documentary while serving in Iraq.  Don‘t miss his incredible story and extraordinary footage.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BUCHANAN:  There are plenty of headlines every day that make us scratch our heads here in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY and ask, what were they thinking of? 

Louisiana Judge Timothy Ellender has been suspended for six months.  He went to a Halloween party in black face, handcuffs, and wearing a jail jumpsuit.  His wife was dressed as his arresting officer.  The judge has been ordered to take a course for racial sensitivity.  It may be a little late, Your Honor. 

Next up, Scott Peterson was convicted of killing his wife and unborn son.  This week, you know, a jury recommended the death penalty.  But what was juror No. 7 thinking about?  If you have seen any coverage of the jury‘s death sentence recommendation, you have probably seen her.  She‘s Richelle Nice, known to other jurors as “Strawberry Shortcake.”  And she has been giving interviews to anybody with a camera and microphone.  Peterson defense attorneys will scour every word she says, looking for a way to get their client off death row and maybe out of jail altogether. 

Advice to jurors who don‘t want to negate six months of sequestration: 

Mum‘s the word. 

And, finally, from the network that brought us Paris Hilton‘s cross-country tour, Fox network will offer next a show with a woman adopted as a child who will try to pick her real father out of eight contestants.  Fox says the woman will win if she guesses who her real dad is or one of the phonies will win if they can fool the girl. 

Whoever wins doesn‘t really matter here, because whoever tunes in will be a real loser. 

Thanks for visiting SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY tonight.  Chris Matthews is up next. 

We‘ll see you tomorrow.

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

END   

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