Creationists are often told that intelligent design principles and creation science cannot be taught in public schools because it would amount to the government endorsing that particular religion, and that would supposedly violate the separation of church and state. Well first, does teaching about slavery mean the government is endorsing slavery? Does teaching about assassinations mean the government endorses assassinating people? The logic fails to start with. Beyond this glaring inconsistency, opponents will argue that there is nothing scientific about ID or creation, so it should not be allowed in a science classroom. Well first I believe science has been improperly redefined to only include naturalistically testable ideas when it originally was just a term for knowledge in general. Knowledge can come from many sources, only one of which is empiricism. But for argument’s sake let’s reluctantly give them these three principles: the separation forbids it, religion cannot be taught and only naturalistic/empirical ideas can be taught in science. Given their own restrictions, I posit that evolution must be removed immediately.
Outside of the worship of a specific deity, religion is also defined as “details of belief as taught or discussed”. Belief is defined as “an acceptance that a statement is true, a firmly held opinion”. Can the theory of evolution be defined as a “firmly held opinion”? Theory is defined as “a supposition or a system of ideas to explain something”. Supposition is defined as “an uncertain belief”. Now, we’re getting into a circle, aren’t we? Although I fully understand the scientific understanding of the word theory (that it is our best naturalistic explanation of the evidence), it could also be defined based on dictionary.com as “an uncertain firmly held opinion”. Is evolution a religion, “a belief taught”? Sounds like it. In fact Sir Karl Popper, a famous scientist/philosopher who helped develop the idea of falsification said this: “it is impossible for science to prove anything, because science is based on experiments and observations, both of which can be flawed. Often, those flaws don’t become apparent to the scientific community for quite some time … so even the most secure scientific statements have never been proven.” (http://blog.drwile.com/?p=5725). We are teaching unproven concepts as fact when they can also be defined as religion. Strike one.
Let’s move onto argument two: there is nothing scientific about creation / intelligent design. There is a series available on Netflix called “Incredible Creatures that Defy Evolution” that spends three hours interviewing a myriad of scientists on breaking down the complexity found in today’s observable animal kingdom that could not have added up over time. It had to either be all there, or nothing at all. That’s a lot of time to spend on a topic that there is “nothing scientific about”. DNA, RNA, and protein enzymes are in a never-ending loop. One without the other would mean life as we know it would cease to exist. See this image (http://evidencepress.com/evpr/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/DNA-Cycle31.jpg) for a graphic representation of it. We could write and have written books on irreducible complexity, but that’s not all we have.
How about extrapolations? They use extrapolations when they talk about old ages of the earth. Is that ‘scientific’? They measure rates today and assume consistency and extrapolate back through history to tell you how old things are. I realize this is an oversimplification, but for time’s sake that’s the basics. Well I can do that too. We measure the rate at which salt is being added to the oceans yearly, we measure the rate the moon is receding from the earth at a few centimeters per year, we measure the shrinking of the sun at five feet per hour, we measure the pressure of oil in the ground, we measure the decay of earth’s magnetic field, and on and on; and what we find is that when you extrapolate these measurements back through time the earth cannot be anywhere near the age they say. What’s less scientific about those measurements and more scientific about their measurements? Nothing. Both are based on modern observation extrapolated back through time. Now there are issues you could raise with each one of these, but there are issues I can raise with their extrapolations as well. The point is extrapolations are not a valid science, and are only presented one-sided. That is either ignorance or blatant deception. Strike two.
Now, what about that separation of church and state? Today it has been re-envisioned by the Supreme Court to mean that the government needs to police what is and what is not allowed in public arenas. That was not the original intent. The phrase is taken from a letter from President Thomas Jefferson to the Baptist Association of Connecticut. Jefferson used the phrase to ensure that the government will never infringe upon their freedom to worship freely. The 1st Amendment simply reads: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Congressional and military chaplains now must submit their written prayers for government approval before being read. In 1995, U.S. district judge Samuel Kent declared that any student using the name of Jesus during a prayer at a high school graduation in Texas would be arrested adding: “Anyone who violates these orders…is going to wish that he or she died as a child when this court get through.” Free exercise doesn’t exist anymore. The separation of church and state is not supposed to hinder religious expression; it’s supposed to protect it. So, why again can’t we discuss the possibility of intelligence behind our origins in schools? In fact we discuss intelligent design all the time. Do we teach that computers designed themselves? Do we teach that we landed on the moon by random chance… of course not. Those things were planned and designed. That’s logical, but when the designer becomes God the rules change apparently. The wall of separation has been abused and misinterpreted. Strike three, you’re out!
To recap: evolution is a belief system currently being taught as fact, intelligent design has scientific aspects that are being ignored because they don’t align with majority consensus, and the separation of church and state has been abused and misinterpreted. So, what do we make of this? Do I really want creationism taught in the public schools? This is difficult. Yes, I do… but I want it taught correctly which is unlikely since atheistic teachers are going to bring their bias, and theistic teachers are going to bring their biases. It’s likely that this issue can never be taught objectively because it’s more philosophy than science. The Supreme Court will tell us we can’t teach creationism because it would be indoctrination and public schools need to remain neutral. What they are not willing to admit is that the schools are already indoctrinated with a religious paradigm: the religion of secular humanism.
I don’t think there is anything wrong with teaching the concepts of evolution, but our country needs to be honest and admit that is no more science than creation or intelligent design is. The difference? Your tax dollars fuel evolution. And why? Think about it. What is one major scientific breakthrough that has bettered this world due to this concept of large-scale evolution? That’s not what it’s about. It’s about a society that wants to create an illusion of a world without God. Why would they want to do that? If there is no God, there is no judgment.
“For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” – 2nd Timothy 4:3