August 30, 2005 | David F. Coppedge

Back to School, Front to Darwinism Debate

The national debate about how to teach origins in public schools continues to roil.  Here are some recent developments:

  • Poll:  A new Pew Research Poll reported on MSNBC News found that 64% of Americans want creationism taught alongside evolutionism, and 38% favor teaching creation only.  For details see the Pew Research press release which includes results on many other questions about religion, politics and education.
  • California:  An AP story published by ABC News says that Christian schools are suing the University of California system for not accepting their students.  The Association of Christian Schools International says that the UC is discriminating against high school students who used textbooks critical of Darwinism.  Colin Sharkey at Campus Magazine calls this a political, not scientific move by UC.  Meanwhile, UCLA is seeking to hire a professional evolutionist; does such a person publish or perish, or evolve or perish?
  • Pennsylvania:  The battle over evolution is still raging in Dover, according to USA Today.
  • South Carolina:  State senator Mike Fair wants South Carolina students to hear the full range of scientific theories of origins, including intelligent design, according to Insight Magazine and Agape Press.
  • Australia:  LifeSite reports that a federal minister of education down under told reporters that “ID would have a place with Darwinism should parents or schools be interested.”  According to the headline, opponents are furious.  The article refers to the testimony of former evolutionist Dean Kenyon, whose futile search for chemical origins of life was highlighted in the film Unlocking the Mystery of Life.
  • Iowa:  A big ID row has broken out on the Iowa State campus, Iowa State Daily.  120 faculty members have signed a statement rejecting intelligent design as science.  The Des Moines Register explained how Guillermo Gonzalez, co-author of The Privileged Planet, became a target of controversy when Hector Avalos, religion professor [an atheist] garnered the signatures because of Gonzalez’ research activities and beliefs about ID.  When columnist Rekha Basu claimed that, “ISU can’t afford to let its curriculum be polluted this way,” Mike Gene, editorializing on Telic Thoughts feared this may lead to a McCarthyesque loyalty oath for faculty members.  Guillermo responded the next day to the Des Moines Register and Reid Forgrave wrote an article about the controversy surrounding him in the same issueAgape Press also wrote about it.

This set of articles most surely represents the tip of a large iceberg stretching across the United States and the world.

If science were really so threatened by a few people using the D word design, the Darwinists wouldn’t have to defend their pet story with loyalty oaths, signed statements, and discrimination.  They could solve their little conflict with a little evidence.  That’s where the wise advise aiming our eyes.

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