The debate over evolution really makes me laugh. I know, there is nothing funny about the fight, but they remind me of the story of the Zax.
For those who may not know it, it tells the story of a North-bound Zax and a South-bound Zax. By some freak of luck, they both happen to be walking on the same imaginary line and eventually meet up with each other.
The North-bound Zax, being a North-bound Zax, cannot go any other way and waits for the other Zax to move. The other Zax is a South-bound Zax and cannot move out of the way. He only moves south. Each Zax demands the other move, and the other refuses. They begin to brag about how stubborn they are and how they will never move.
The story ends with the two Zax still standing in the same place, with a highway built over them. The moral of the story to me was that the world will pass you by if you stubbornly stick to following only your way.
Sadly, the Zax are still alive and well in the world today. The North-bound Zax is named “Evolution” and the South-bound Zax is called “Intelligent Design.” Evolution denies any chance of something being behind life. They refuse to move in any other direction. The Intelligent Design is equally as stubborn in their beliefs. The chance they could have come from monkeys millions of years ago is an insult to them and thier beliefs.
Well, the two Zax have met recently and the path they were on, progress, has stalled. Instead of being together on teaching our kids, we are suing each other back and forth over what to teach them. The highways are being built around us.
I am not going to get into which is right or which I believe. I am neither a scientist nor a theologian. I am going to say that both rely heavily on theory and belief to justify themselves. The absolute inability of each side to admit there is the possibility that the other side could be right has stopped all progress. We are so busy fighting over it now that we have only succeeded in dividing ourselves into yet two more camps.
While not getting into my beliefs on the subject, I do have a solution that, if both Zax are willing to take a step aside, we can all move forward again. The solution is so simple, so easy, that it will be unpopular simply out of the shame those in power will feel over not thinking of it themselves.
Before I tell my solution, ask yourself this very important question: do you really think “they” will accept a solution that ends their ability to divide us?
Okay, the solution is to add a new class in school. Have this class taught every year starting in, say, sixth grade. This class will be something to the effect of “Applied Philosophy” (AP class). We have so many classes that teach the kids what to think, we don’t offer them any on how to apply what they have learned. This would be the class for that. Science class teaches that things evolve. When the question of what started it all comes up, the teacher answers with three very simple honest words: We don’t know. The AP class would be where the children get to discuss and debate the merits of evolution versus what they have learned elsewhere. The teacher in the class would act more as a moderator than an instructor.
The Zax stood there, face to face for all time. Each one had seen what the other wanted to see, but they never shared their information. They never learned from each other's experience. Instead, they just stood there and let time move on, not gaining, not growing. Society grew around them and passed them, but they were stuck.
If the North-bound Zax is Evolution and the South-bound Zax is Intelligent Design, then the path they are on is America and the highway built around them is the rest of the world passing us by. Time we reread our Dr. Seuss, I think.