Re: Faith, Evolution, and Tax Dollars?

From: Robert Schneider <rjschn39@bellsouth.net>
Date: Fri Apr 02 2004 - 14:20:29 EST

This article in World Net Daily is a perfect example of the kind of
distorting rhetoric constantly used by anti-evolutionist organizations like
the Discovery Institute. The term "religious Darwinism" is a false
characterization of what I understand the site under attack is doing. While
I haven't yet perused "Understanding Evolution" in detail, its purpose is to
provide ready resources for high school science teachers for explaining the
scientific theory of evolution (not "Darwinism," for heaven's sake!), not
for breaching the separation of church and state.

There is a difference between what the ID proponents are doing in trying to
bring the thinly-disguised theologically motivated ID into the science
courses and what Understanding Evolution is doing. It is a fact that dozens
of denominations, diocese, districts, and local churches over the past
twenty-five years have issued statements declaring that there is no conflict
between faith in the God who created the universe and the scientific web of
theories we call "evolution." There is nothing in any decision of any court
that prohibits the teaching about religion in public schools, and this kind
of information on religion and evolution falls within both the decisions of
the courts and the regulations of the federal Dept. of Ed. and other
government organizations as to what is the proper way to instruct students
about religion. So, why shouldn't students be informed of these facts?
More than likely, many of them won't learn about them in their churches.
The anti-evolutionists and critics who want to bring (Protestant) prayer
back into the classroom seem to have a lot of difficulty understanding this
distinction. If the argument put forth by the Discovery Institute were
valid, then there should be no public funding of any part of public
education that includes education about religion. Who would want that?
Certainly not people who want the teaching about religion in the public
schools. This argument is flawed.

I also suspect that there is a lot of anger behind the Discovery Institute
statement over the fact that the NCSE has been one of the most rigorous
critics of ID and defenders of the integrety of science education in the
face of ID attempts to interject their unproven science into science
classrooms through assaults on local and state boards of education. I
suspect there may be a little bit of "payback time" in the DI article.

If you want to find out what these statements are that this article and DI
are bent out of shape about, go to the NCSE web site at
http://www.ncseweb.org/resources/articles/5025_statements_from_religious_org
a_12_19_2002.asp, and you will find a list of statements by religious
organizations under the title, "Voices for Evolution." Read them: they're
very informative. I particularly recommend the 1981 pastoral letter of the
now retired Episcopal Bishop of Atlanta, the Rt. Rev. Bennet Sims, on
creation and evolution; and the Resolution of PCUSA, passed at their General
Assembly in 2002, which follows in the text. You'll also find there the ASA
statement of 1992 on the teaching of evolution .

I have long advocated science teachers in both high schools and colleges
informing their students of the ways communities of faith have accepted
sound scientific theories (e.g., big bang and evolution), and related them
to their theologies of religion. Students who have been taught to fear
these theories need to know these facts. Science teachers need to be
informed about them and helped to instruct about them. And the churches
need to stop being afraid of science and collaborate in the need to help
their members understand the relationship between sound theology and sound
science.

Bob Schneider

----- Original Message -----
From: "Bill Yates" <billyates@billyates.com>
To: <asa@calvin.edu>
Sent: Friday, April 02, 2004 3:33 PM
Subject: Faith, Evolution, and Tax Dollars?

> Have you seen this article? Comments?
>
> Taxpayers fund site pushing religious Darwinism
> Website encourages teachers to use faith in defending theory
>
> http://worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=37854
>
>
> --
> --Bill Yates
> --mailto:billyates@billyates.com
> --http://www.billyates.com
> --CD Reviewer, Webmaster, Roots66.com
> --Editor, WorldVillage.com's Believer's Weekly
> --Theron Services: Web Design, Editing, Writing
>
>
Received on Fri Apr 2 16:55:47 2004

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