Let me first say that I am a practicing Catholic. I go to church every Sunday (ok, most Sundays) and I am a very “moral” person. Honestly I haven’t read the bible (yet) but I have attended years of “Sunday school” and participated in countless religious education classes. I’ve basically been born and raised with religion standing close behind me in the shadows. That said, I have to say that up until recently I have always been a strong believer in evolution. Thinking back I almost think of creationism as a sort of fairy tale that nobody believes anymore. Staunch religious believers seem to still promote the thinking but others who have had a real world education have seen the science behind the facts and move to conclude that it is just a little funny to think that one day god just said “let it be done” and everything just popped up as it is now.
I am not a scientist, biologist, archaeologist, geologist or anything close but I am guessing that they would have some pretty convincing arguments for the idea of evolution based on some pretty hard facts. The idea that anyone would stick with this idea that humans were always here from day one is just a little far fetched. The bottom line in my mind is that many would conclude that IF humans were not here from day one then why? What did god do with the vacancies in heaven with no humans on earth? Did he temporarily let the Ameobas in through the pearly gates if only for a short time?
Might it be that by supporting the theory of evolution that it brings up a whole list of other questions that might contradict the teachings of the church? Might it make people question everything from Adam and Eve to the idea that Jesus Christ was the son of God?
Anyway, the issue today is science education in our public schools. Should the schools teach science based on what scientists tell us is true or do we teach what the bible says is true. In my opinion we should teach what science has proven and leave the religion to Sunday school teachers. In the end kids will face the issues anyway in the real world and they should be armed with extensive knowledge from both sides so they are able to make their own decisions? Why would we try to shield them from either or both? Might it be that they will question their faith? Maybe, but I find it more damaging to go through life without all the facts. Currently in my state (Ohio) science standards say students should learn about evidence for and against evolution. That’s the way it should be in my opinion.
Over the last four years and continuing on with the next four, science educators will be facing a fight with the anti-evolution right wing Christians that are proposing that alternate theories of the origin of life confuse children. President Bush has not come out and said exactly what schools will teach because decisions are made at the state level but his re-election could affect the teaching of science in two ways.
First his conservative Christian base will be energized to continually push for changes. Simply put, they want the issue of evolution to be taught as a highly questionable “theory”, not fact. They have already succeeded by getting book publishers to place warning stickers on text books warning about the evil evolution teachings contained inside text books. Second, Bush will push for conservative federal judges that are sympathetic to creationist groups.
Eugenie Scott, executive director of the National Center for Science Education has said that Bush will feel obligated to push the creationist agenda to satisfy his supporters.
According to Wired Magazine:
The battle over evolution is not new. But the creationist strategy has shifted over the past few years from emphasizing religion to explain the origin of life to pushing to classify evolution as a “controversial” theory. One alternative they suggest is intelligent design, a theory that uses science-speak to argue that some objects are too complex to be explained by science alone; therefore, there has to be an intelligent designer behind them (read: God).
The theory may have a better chance of swaying school boards and courts, critics worry, because it does not blatantly use the Bible to make its point. The Supreme Court already tackled that issue in Edwards v. Aguillard in 1987, when the court struck down a Louisiana law mandating equal time for evolution and creation ism.
Basically it comes down to the fact that people who support the teachings of the bible without question cannot have their belief challenged. At the minimum says Jack Krebs from Kansas Citizens for Science, “All they’re doing is insinuating that evolution is too shaky to believe in”.
To me this sounds like creationists need others to leave the discussion open. If we ever close the discussion and rule in favor of evolution as the scientifically proven answer to why we are all here that will make people question religion. They want their base to stay buried in the darkness. We are not supposed to question, we just need to believe. The future of the church depends on it.