The December issue of Scientific American has an article by Eugenie C. Scott and Glenn Branch entitled ‘The Latest Face of Creationism in the Classroom’
Not being an American citizen it is perhaps not for me to comment on American education policy, but the article provides some humorous circular reasoning. At one point it says that evolution is not ‘scientifically controversial,’ and anyone who says it is, ‘miseducates students about evolution.’ Presumably if evolution wasn’t controversial the authors would not have felt the need to write the article. But in the article there is precious little evidence to justify their position, but lots of empty rhetoric.
“Vast areas of evolutionary science are for all intents and purposes scientifically settled; textbooks and curricula used in the public schools present precisely such basic, uncomplicated, uncontroversial material. “
But that sounds like; ‘evolution is true because we say it is true – and it’s in our text books – so there!’ Now am I supposed to be persuaded to believe evolution on that basis? And what about that NHM / OU text book entitled ‘99% Ape?’ a figure which is now known to be false, but taught as a ‘truth’ in popular level science?
But the statement goes on. “Telling students that evolution is a theory in crisis is—to be blunt—a lie.” Yeah right – but what of the evidence? Is it possible that some are instead ‘Telling lies for Darwin.’?
“Moreover, it is a dangerous lie,… Students who are not given the chance to acquire a proper understanding of evolution will not achieve a basic level of scientific literacy. And scientific literacy will be indispensable for workers, consumers and policymakers in a future dominated by medical, biotechnological and environmental concerns.”
Is that a veiled threat? Those of us who have bothered to look at evolution in depth and noted the scientific problems, paradoxes and oxymoron’s, are in a stronger position to be able to think freely, having resisted the “dumbing down” of education standards in the US and UK by those who wish to be philosopher kings. An interesting book by Peter Harrison, (The Bible Protestantism and Natural Science) has shown that science developed in the west because of a commitment to truth as a result of the Protestant Reformation. Christians are thus the guardians of truth in science, not enemies of science. Evolution needs challenging on logical grounds, for the sake of science, and should not be accepted on the basis of blind trust.