Re: textbooks

Bill Payne (
Tue, 02 Dec 1997 22:37:22 -0600

Tue, 02 Dec 1997 13:11:20 -0600 (CST) Tom Pearson wrote:
> At 12:24 AM 12/2/97 -0600, Bill Payne wrote:
> >"It may be true, but it's not science."
> >In this way, true events are shifted into a category of non-science, or
> >fairy tales for the uninformed and uneducated. This defining away the
> >competition of atheism is very subtle and having a disastrous impact on
> >our culture.
> Bill,
> Is everything that counts as "non-science" to be identified with
> "fairy tales for the uninformed and uneducated"? You must have an
> extraordinarily broad definition of science, if whatever falls outside of
> science is thus relegated to the ashheap of "fairy tales." Are there no
> "non-scientific" truths?

I think within the public school biology books presented to Alabama for
review, many, if not all, would define evolution as science and creation
as religion. In my mind, both options are equally scientific or equally
religious. I object to the use of semantics to give one view an
advantage over the other.

> If the Biblical account of creation is true, it would be true even
> if it had a disastrous impact on our culture. If some current version of
> evolutionary theory is true, it would be true even if it, too, had some
> disastrous impact on our culture. The secondary effects of a theory are not
> the fundamental criteria on which the truth or falsity of the theory is
> assessed. Otherwise, those who long ago voiced alarm at the social
> consequences of the demise of the geocentric view of the universe may well
> have been right; non-geocentrism was a bad idea (true, nonetheless). Are
> you suggesting that we embrace our scientific theories on the basis of
> theological rectitude and social utility?

No, but I think you miss the point I am trying to make. There is no
perfect model of origins; each one has it's problems and as yet
unexplained questions. To give one imperfect model dominance by
definition and prohibit consideration of the primary alternative is
objectionable to me.

As a Christian, I believe God has established certain spiritual behavior
patterns, which will benefit us if followed and bedevil us if ignored.
As David Barton of Wall Builders has pointed out, the Supreme Court
decisions in '62 and '63 (prohibiting prayer and Bible reading in public
schools) coincide with breaks in the plots (for the previous 10 or 20
years) for crime, teen pregnacy, divorce, gross national product, and a
host of other indicators which indicate the health of our nation. You
can say what you will, but the fact remains that our nation is going
down the drain.

> And would the answer to that
> question be considered a "non-scientific" truth?

Naw, just my humble opinion.

> >> At 04:12 PM 12/1/97 -0400, David Campbell wrote:
> >
> >> I haven't seen any (high school or college) biology textbook in a long
> >> time, but do they really say things that amount to "people used to think
> >> some God created all these things, but now we know evolution did it and
> >> God is nowhere in the picture"? If so, then there is a big problem,
> >> though the Alabama inserts don't strike me as a good solution.


I think I noticed last night that someone other than David posted the
above. If so, my apologies, David.

Bill Payne