Dover school board is violating their trust.

I get really upset every time these kinds of trials come up. I mean the ID vs. Evolution trial in Pennsylvania. I am appalled that the school board of Dover would violate their duty and harm children in that way. They were charged with educating the children of their school district, and they deliberately took steps to ensure that those children would have an inferior science education.

If it were any other agenda that they were trying to push, there would be an uproar. History, for instance, is always being refined. New evidence comes to light and new theories are made and the history books are rewritten, both figuratively and literally. Every once in a while a teacher or school board decides do a little rewriting on their own. Name any historical instance of genocide, and there is somebody out there that says that it never happened. When that teacher or board tries to alter the curriculum to match their idea of truth, all hell breaks loose.

But because the agenda pushed by the Dover board happens to be more politically correct, there is tremendous support, despite the fact that their curriculum is just as much at odds with accepted mainstream teachings. And what is worse, there are know-nothings that think “Hey, this is America, be fair and present both sides and let the kids decide.” That would be fine for adults, but we don’t do that in schools for other subjects do we? And it would be impossible to fairly present both sides in a school, because just presenting ID in a science class gives it a scientific credibility that it does not deserve.

Evolution is not the first or only victim of an anti-science religious doctrine. High school science books have been rewritten to avoid the dicsussion of how white light can be broken up into a rainbow with a prism, because this contradicts the biblical story of Noah. Would you want your child to study optics from one of those books?

Evolution is a fact, get over it. The fact that you are here reading this, and are not a clone of your mother or father is proof that evolution happens. Despite what creationists would like you to believe, new species have been observed coming into existence. As has been said before, “we have better proof of the existence of evolution than we have for the existence of Julius Caesar”.

And this is not really a religious vs. science issue. Numerous religious leaders have come out against the actions of the Dover board. Pope John Paul II said that there is no incompatibility between science and religion. Cardinals have spoken out. My own Rabbi, for his sermon on Rosh Hashanna, one of two services each year that the whole congregation attends, came out against the teaching of ID in science class.

No, this is a reality issue. The Dover school board is not comfortable with facing the facts, and so rather than dealing with them, decided that they should handicap their children in a like manner, and make sure that they had just as hard a time coping with reality.
There is a continuum here. The majority of people that object to evolution do so not because of any conflicts in doctrine, but because they are not comfortable with the implications. These same people could learn to cope, if we didn’t keep giving them the loophole of
a supposed “controversy” over evolution.

It is the fundamentalists that cleave to the literal word of the Bible that have the doctrine problem. Can anybody really expect that the Bible, no matter how divinely created and/or inspired, after thousands of years and many translations, that it will have exactly the same meaning to people whose culture and realities are so different? If it had literal truth in all cases, would it have had meaning to the people of thousands of years ago? And if it was written be meaningful to those people, can we expect it to be literally true today? I do not think it would be possible have a book that was literally true, that said the same lessons to a diverse set of people separated by time and space and language, without being obviously miraculous. Isn’t it more likely that the stories in the Bible are exactly the right stories to convey the same lessons in their meaning rather than in their words?

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2 responses to this post.

  1. It is only recently that evolutionists have become fearful of debate. 25 years ago it was hard to find a creationist willing to debate an evolutionist. I attended one such debate and the evolutionist clearly had the upper hand. Having read several intelligent design books over the last 5 years, I could ask dozens of questions for which no evolutionist has answers. To be fair, there are dozens of questions in the reverse for which creationists have no answers either. But that gets us back the main point which is the free exchange of ideas.

    Excluding competing worldviews is by definition indoctrination. It is the evolutionists who look like the champions of dogma these days. Micro evolution within species is accepted by all thinking persons, but the theories of abiogenesis and macro evolution face severe challenges when confronted by the recent discoveries of the complexity of cellular mechanisms.

    Reply

  2. As a very clever man (and fantastic author) once said that any sufficiently advanced technology appears to the ignorant observer as magic.

    I believe the same holds true for complexity in biological systems. But at least we in the position to understand that we are the ignorant observer.
    Personally, I believe evolution is not the correct level to be having religious debates at – existance is.

    At the end of the day, it’s the quality of the argument, not the quality of the debater, which matters. From this side of the pond it appears that the zealotry of the religious right, not the quality of their argument, is the reason for the rise in popularity of creationism (not-so-subtlely rebranded “I.D”)


    An Index to Creationist Claims

    15 Answers to Creationist Nonsense (pdf),
    Rebuttal (pdf)

    Reply

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