Debate over teaching evolution in schools continues

What do you think about the controversy over the disclaimer Cobb County is putting in their textbooks about evolution?

This is the third and last column discussing this textbook “insert.”  In last week’s column I pointed out that some people are complaining about money being raised by the intelligent design researchers as an unfair advantage.  In this column I will address that and also deal with other important points with this question.

Anyone familiar with creation science research over the past forty years knows that this complaint is not just trivial, but it is disingenuous.  Despite great advances with extensive peer-reviewed research, creation scientists have been outspent tremendously over the years.  Many creationists have other jobs and rarely, if ever receive support from major universities.  I have never heard of a creation scientist using government given grant money.  In addition, many of these scientists have had to publish under a fictitious name because of the prejudice against their point of view in their university.

Also, this recent debate has focused a great deal on whether evolution is a theory or a fact.  Author of the Cobb County textbook Ken Miller argued that just like the heliocentric theory makes sense of the facts, evolution "makes sense of the millions of facts of natural history."  Sarah Pallas, writing in the Atlanta Journal/Constitution argues, "No one is asking that the atomic theory should be stricken from the physics and chemistry textbooks…"  This is not just a deceptive and desperate argument but it is specious!  The atomic theory and the heliocentric theory deal with the "here and now."  We can test them and observe them.  Evolution is a reconstruction of a past event and is beyond the scope of testability.  

This is a common tactic employed by evolutionists.  It is based on a fallacy of logic called equivocation.  Pallas insisted, "…little changes add up to big ones.  This is quite a simple idea, yet extremely powerful in its explanatory and predictive power."  Again, this is a specious argument because everyone would agree that change is a fact.  This does not mean that evolution, as a means of origin, is a fact.

Finally, I think many parents would be interested in knowing that Kenneth Miller, author of the biology book in question and biologist at the center of the debate has much to say about God.  He recently published a book, Finding Darwin’s God in which he wrote that he believed in “Darwin’s god.”  This is an especially fascinating fact since so much criticism has been leveled against Christians for supposedly trying to impose their beliefs.  Apparently, it is okay to believe in Darwin’s god, but not to believe in the God of the Bible.  Miller claims to be a Roman Catholic but his beliefs are directly against the teachings of the Catholic Church.

Miller’s book received rave reviews by many atheists.  Some atheists, however, criticized Miller, not for his belief in Christianity, but for hypocrisy in denying the doctrines of his own faith.  In his attempt to fit God into evolution he seems to compartmentalize God and separate him from the reality of science.  Miller exercises tremendous faith, however and he preaches it too.  The standard, repeated explanation given to students about the lack of chemical evolution in the origin of life is a tremendous faith statement: in time, science will eventually provide the answer.

In conclusion, evolution cannot stand against real science or rational thinking or even against a microscopic objection from a Cobb County piece of paper.  The only way it can survive is by censorship motivated by intolerance to any challenge.  Intelligent design explains the evidence more scientifically and logically than the evolution explanation.  However, good science is not the motivation for science education regarding origin in public school today.  Instead, the function has become upholding the ruling philosophy of the day.

Parading under the impartial banner of science, using prejudice as a weapon along with name-calling and degrading characterizations, public schools continue to be the seminary for evolution and good science is ignored.  Instead of teaching children how to think they are being taught what to think.  Perhaps evolutionist, Richard Dawkins is right about one thing.  Creative Loafing quoted him as joking that "science should start petitioning for time in Sunday school" since, in his view, any challenge to evolution means religion in the classroom.  Since teaching the truth about evolution is not the case in public schools, perhaps Sunday school is the only place where good science can be taught.

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Perhaps you could get my column published in your local paper, too! Have your newspaper editor contact me. Also, feel free to email me with any of your questions, comments or disagreements.

©Tom Carpenter
This article was not published in the Rockdale/Newton Citizen