In “This Is the Trap the Courts Built: Dealing with the Entanglement of Religion and the Origin of Life in American Public Schools” (Southwestern University Law Review, 2008 37 SWULR 1), Jana McCreary, who doesn’t seem to be proceeding from a theistic perspective, offers some cautionary thoughts on lobbying for Darwin in the schools:
Excerpt: Over eighty years ago, debates began concerning what we should teach our schoolchildren regarding origins of life in their science classes. 1 The debate continues today, and even a new twist has been added: intelligent design. 2 But new twist or old, courts seem to fear offering any theory to schoolchildren that might have been part of the original creationism movement. Courts are concerned that the government not endorse or show any preference over a religions idea regarding the origin of life. 3
But each time we present a theory of life’s origin to our schoolchildren, we are showing preference. And by actually looking at the theories and what they represent, as well as looking at what religion provides for people, we can see that the government, even in limiting the teaching to only evolution, is endorsing a religious ideology. A message exists behind this endorsement – the same message people feared would exist if we allowed schools to teach biblical creationism theories or even intelligent design theory
You have to pay to read more, which may be well worth the price (US$15) if your local school board is fronting Haeckel’s embryo fraud because it is a “good explanation” of Darwin’s theory.
A couple of excerpts:
This Article argues that by endorsing the teaching of only evolution, the government is, in essence, endorsing a view on religion: that a higher power does not exist. In doing so, Part II first defines both religion and science and shows the overlap and crossover of the two. It next identifies and defines varying theories of life’s origin by using the fundamental understanding of each theory.
78% of evolutionary biologists do not believe that a higher power exists. Given how small a proportion of the public that is, in relation to their narrow discipline, It is short-sighted to believe that their view does not leak into the textbooks.
Of course, defining science too narrowly works for those who support teaching only evolution when considering the origin of life. [FN51] But this viewpoint actually will lead, eventually, to greater questions involving the constitutionality of teaching the origin of life. This narrow view of science discounts too much the other explanations for the origin of life and chooses one explanation – a nontheistic one – over others.
There is no good theory of the origin of life, and we are nowhere near one. It is unclear to some of us why origin of life is even on the curriculum in high schools – except as science projects or essay prizes – unless it is intended to inculcate the view that “science will find the answer someday” – in this particular case, that’s a dubious proposition, considering the issues.
“The newest theory among the many is intelligent design. [FN118] Contrary to the arguments promoted by many, intelligent design does not rely on a particular religious belief …
Nope. Any conclusion that order in the universe is real rather than an illusion of our evolved brains or the outcome of infinite failed multiverses is on the design side.
“In case after case, courts focus on the creationism theory and conclude that because of the historical debate that exists, reference to the theory, if nothing more, in the very least sets up a religious effect. [FN458] But what courts have missed is how evolution, at its fundamental core, likewise shows religious effect. By looking at the core concept of evolution and what the theory represents, a religious message – a theistic message – is being conveyed. Because repeatedly courts have allowed the teaching of evolution when they have not allowed the teaching of other theories, the government has shown a preference for one religious message over another, thereby endorsing a religious view. And that directly violates the First Amendment.
Like we said. Worth your US$15.