Skip to comments.Darwin put to flight in Bible Belt [Evolution vs. Creationism]
Posted on 01/29/2005 6:54:41 PM PST by PatrickHenry
THE Republican red states that voted for President George W Bush in Americas Bible Belt are claiming their reward in an unexpected area: rolling back the teaching of evolution in schools.
Bold initiatives to introduce the concept of intelligent design, wrought by a god or higher being, into theories about Earths creation are being sponsored in towns and communities across America.
Religious fundamentalists or theocons opposed to Darwinism have adopted sophisticated tactics enabling them to pass under the political and legal radar that keeps church separate from state and forbids the promotion of religion in schools.
The champions of intelligent design, who are mindful not to specify a particular creator, are poised for victory in Kansas later this year after a new school board favouring the teaching of evolution as a theory rather than a fact was elected in November by a majority of six votes to four.
Jack Krebs of Kansas Citizens for Science said: The re-election of Bush has emboldened the intelligent design movement. They feel they have the wind at their backs.
The president, a born-again Christian, has proclaimed his own scepticism about Darwinism in the past. On the issue of evolution, the verdict is still out on how God created the Earth, he once said. A recent CBS poll found that 55% of Americans and 67% of those who voted for Bush do not believe in evolution.
This Tuesday marks the start of a series of public meetings in Kansas on the teaching of Darwinism and the battle lines are firmly drawn.
The prairie town of Salina, Kansas, in the centre of the United States is modern enough to have a two-mile airstrip. When it comes to religion, however, little has changed for some families since the pioneers rolled by on their wagons.
In a small diner on the outskirts of the town, Ruth Coleman, 58, the mother of a Baptist pastor, was treating her five-year-old granddaughter Kendra to lunch. I am creationist, she said stoutly. I believe God made the Earth 6,000 years ago and he deserves the credit. If there was evolution, why are there still monkeys?
A 14-year-old girl asked members of Colemans congregation last Sunday for guidance on how to answer exam questions about the origin of mankind. Shall I give the right answer and fail the test or give the wrong answer and pass? the puzzled teenager asked.
We teach kids not to lie and if we believe in creationism, evolution is a lie, so the grown-ups were kind of stumbling, Coleman said. A mom said, Just put the textbook says this, but I believe that. Everybody thought it was a really good idea.
Educationists across the state arrived in Salina last week for a meeting of a science standards committee on rewriting the curriculum. The leading protagonists on each side traded barbs as they discussed changes that would open the door to challenging evolution.
Darwinism is a non-theistic religion, protested one supporter of intelligent design, and youre trying to give it to our kids even though they dont want it. An opponent retorted: The alternative to natural causation is supernatural causation . . . and thats what you are trying to open the door to.
The well-funded, nationally based intelligent design movement is casting itself as the promoter of academic freedom. It is hard for opponents to write the group off as the American equivalent of Afghanistans fundamentalist Taliban when it appears to be challenging received wisdom rather than stifling debate.
For Bill Harris, a 56-year-old scientist and a Christian, the question is: Is it impossible that a god created the Earth? If it is impossible, then take it off the table, but if its possible dont ignore it.
He believes evolution should continue to be taught with important caveats. There are definitely elements of Darwins theory that are well founded, but the origins of the universe, the origins of life and the origins of the genetic code are currently unknown. We cant state frequently enough that science is still looking for the answers.
Harris believes the finely tuned relationship between the planet and its living creatures point to the existence of a higher designer. Its not a religious debate, he insisted. Its a scientific debate with religious implications.
Krebs, 56, a veteran of skirmishes with anti-evolutionists, said his opponents had learnt from past mistakes. It used to be easy to dismiss the views of young Earth creationists as an embarrassment, but the intelligent design movement is deliberately keeping them in the background. It is a cleverly designed strategy to say, You guys are being dogmatic, and we wind up looking like the ones who want to limit science.
There are signs that the tactic is paying off, even among staunch supporters of evolution. In the same diner as Coleman, Doug Guenther, 48, had just finished a plate of fried chicken. His job for the Kansas rural water authority has led him to develop a passionate amateur interest in fossils.
Ive dug up shark teeth that go back 67m years to the Cretaceous period when the sea spread from Texas all the way to Canada, he said proudly. Ive seen mammoth teeth, camel teeth and large arrowheads belonging to early man. It would be pretty hard to explain that in the Bible.
Yet Guenther has no problems with teaching children about intelligent design. Evolution is definitely not a theory it is a fact. But you can fit in it with the Bible as long as you dont believe everything it says literally.
Evangelical Christians, such as James Dobsons influential Focus on the Family movement, are delighted by the success of intelligent design as a wedge issue to challenge and undermine Darwinism.
Changes to the science curriculum are being sought by religious conservatives in Wisconsin, Missouri, Mississippi, South Carolina, Montana and Pennsylvania, where one educational district has already placed stickers in biology textbooks with the warning that evolution is a theory rather than a fact. It plans to appeal against a recent court decision ordering the schools to remove them.
It is not serious. It isn't going anywhere of any substance. And the Bush mandate had nothing to do with the evolution thingie. Chill out, and be happy.
That the majority of American citizens would actually have a say in what gets taught to their kids is indeed a very serious situation. One that I hope continues.
That evolutionists have been pushing plans to start as early as kindegarden in indoctrinating kids into evolution so that they won't question it when they are older is despicable.
Bound to happen sooner or later. However, the creationists, in their ill-concieved rush to exploit their illusionary "mandate", will have only themselves to blame for whatever happens next.
That's not an expense I should have to incur. The school should at least acknowedge that more than one theory exists.
www.e316.com has very reasonably priced creation science videos. They aren't nearly as slick as the stuff the other side has, but it should at least let the kids keep an open mind.
So it begins.
Of course, it's not just the religion of evolution that the schools teach in opposition to Christianity.
I had to tell my daughter when she was in kindergarden about Islamic suicide bombers, because the dang school taught her that Ramadan was good because Muslims gave to the poor.
I shouldn't have had to have that conversation with them either. But as long as the anti-Christians are pushing their agendas in the elementary schools, our choices are to either counter it with the truth or yank the kids out of the public schools.
When another exists, they will.
They are NOT required to teach as science any religion's creation mythology.
NINETY scotts for those videos? Wow, 'ol P.T. barnum was a seer.
Oh, YAY, another media cliche of mental shorthand! Hoo-freakin'-ray.
Actually, that is in Georgia that the "sticker" lost.
So much for the scientific accuracy of this article.
Sounds like Hovind is $90 richer. :) :) :)
He'll need it for the tax bill he's got coming ;)
Creation science? Could you give me a pointer or two to a valid scientific study that tested the ID hypothesis and found it had merit based on independent observations?
Yes they are. They are required to teach Evolution's creation from random chance mythology. They shouldn't be teaching any religion in the elementary schools, but there they are pushing the religion of evolution.
NINETY scotts for those videos?
They ranged $9-$13 a piece. I got one on where dinosaurs fit with creation, one on the origin of life, a couple on incredible animals that defy evolution, one on evidences in favor of the flood, one on time, and three others that may not be related.
For 3000+ quotes by atheist scientists on how bad the evidence is for evolution, big-bang cosmology, etc...
For 120 qutotes by atheist scientists on how bad the evidence is for evolution ...
I'm afraid you may be right. The risk is that from there, the GOP would be vulnerable to being portrayed as some kind of flat earth society.
I have no problem if ID is taught in Sunday school, comparative religion, or philosophy class. But calling ID a scientific theory and teaching it as such in biology class is too much. A long list of complaints about the modern synthesis of Darwinism is NOT a scientific theory.
When ID people propose some falsifiable hypotheses and test them with credible results, then we can talk about whether it is a legitimate scientific theory. At the moment, it is a bunch of scientific word salad wanting the rights and privileges of a theory without paying its dues.
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