Re: Faith, Evolution, and Tax Dollars?

From: george murphy <gmurphy@raex.com>
Date: Fri Apr 02 2004 - 17:11:53 EST

Bill Yates wrote:

> Have you seen this article? Comments?
>
> Taxpayers fund site pushing religious Darwinism
> Website encourages teachers to use faith in defending theory

    It would have been nice if "Worldnetdaily" would have given the URL
for the "Understanding evolution" material so that readers could see
what it actually said. But perhaps they had a reason not to. I haven't
looked at everything there but from what I've seen, "pushing religious
Darwinism" seems quite inaccurate. E.g., in response to the question
whether science & religion are incompatible, "Understanding evolution"
says:

                      Religion and science (evolution) are very
different things. In
                     science (as in science class), only natural causes
are used to explain natural
                     phenomena, while religion deals with beliefs that
are beyond the natural
                     world.

                     The misconception that one has to choose between
science and religion is
                     divisive. Most Christian and Jewish religious
groups have no conflict with the
                     theory of evolution or other scientific findings.
In fact, many religious
                     people, including theologians, feel that a deeper
understanding of nature
                     actually enriches their faith. Moreover, in the
scientific community there are
                     thousands of scientists who are devoutly religious
and also accept evolution.

    It's quite clear that this is not "pushing religious Darwinism" but
simply pointing out the undeniable fact - though one perhaps unknown to
students brought up in fundamentalist homes & churches - that
religious beliefs (& Christian ones in particular) are not incompatible
with acceptance of evolution.

    Now of course anti-evolutionists, & the DI Institute, don't want
students to know that. They also don't want students to know a lot of
other things disturbing to their simplistic world view. But just
because you like darkness doesn't mean that turning on the light is
unconstitutional.

    There are of course church-state issues that one has to be concerned
with, but the 1st Amendment doesn't mean that religion can't be
discussed in public schools. I don't think that religious views ought
to be presented in science classes, but it would be both legal & helpful
for students in a comparative religion or social studies class to learn
about ways in which different religious traditions have dealt with
scientific developments, and especially evolution. The kind of thing
presented on the "Understanding evolution" site could be part of that,
though of course such a presentation should not be one sided.

    Anti-evolutionists like to imagine that they own the religious high
ground in discussions of creation & evolution, & it's understandable
that they get angry when it's pointed out that that's not the case.
Get used to it. & since the site to which you referred used the word
chutzpah, I might say that it's chutzpah squared for people who are
continually trying to get thinly veiled religious views into public
school science curricula to present themselves as defenders of the
separation of church & state when it suits their purposes.

Shalom,

George
Received on Fri Apr 2 17:14:14 2004

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