The cure for cults that want to deny others
their freedom of speech is more freedom of speech
-- Fredric Rice


Creationist Cults

OUR OPINIONS: No faith-based science in schools

Wednesday, August 21, 2002

Cobb County's high school biology textbooks contain a disclaimer: "This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully and critically considered."

Students ought to embrace that last sentence in all their subjects. So should the Cobb school board, which is giving every indication it intends to move beyond a mere disclaimer and into dangerous territory. By trying to allow the teaching of something called "scientific creationism" in the county's public schools, the board blurs the line that should safely separate church from state and science from religion.

Blurring that distinction would serve nobody's best interest.

Creationism is the doctrine that God created life out of nothing in six days, and rested on the seventh, as is described in Genesis in the Bible. Cobb school board member Lindsey Tippens defends "scientific creationism" as a more general philosophy that life hasn't evolved through happenstance, but in a purposeful way.

At its core, though, what Tippens describes is the belief that a higher being created life on Earth. It's a religious belief, not a science- backed theory. And faith-based science --- a contradiction in terms --- has no place in our public schools.

Evolution's critics stress that it is merely a theory, and on that point scientists agree. But it's a theory firmly grounded on substantial evidence dating back millions of years. It is certainly possible that a divine power set evolution in motion, but for that contention there is no evidence whatsoever. It is strictly a matter of faith, and instruction in matters of faith are best left to parents and clergy, not taxpayer-supported schools.

After all, most religions include some version of a Creator who is responsible for life on Earth. Some believers see those stories as metaphors; others see them as literal. That too is a matter for parents and clergy, because hard, broadly accepted truths in that field are difficult to come by.

"With the Lord, a day is as one thousand years, and a thousand years is but a day," it says in Psalms.

2002 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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"You can lie about ICR all you want." -- Jason Daniel Henderson

"Thank you for your permission however there's never any need to. Creationist propaganda is already self-debunking." -- Fredric L. Rice


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