Thursday, February 12

You Say You Want an Evolution?

Happy Anniversary all you Survival-of-the-Fittest-lovers--Darwin would have been 200 today if he hadn't been done in by his evolutionary limitations or been smoted (depending on who you ask). In Iowa, proponents of Darwinism and Creationism continue to go after each other hammer and tong, and why not? What good is scientific fact about man's rise from the primordial ooze when God doing it in a day is so much more believable?

But because nothing is "certain" where the origins of man are concerned, states are passing "academic freedom" laws. Arguments over evolution are not took place at the local school board level, but Such laws elect to legislate support for teachers who discuss the scientific strengths and weaknesses of issues such as evolution ostensibly to protect freedom of speech of instructors and students, rather than get into the "he said/Thee said" that evolution and Intelligent Design proponents wrangle over. Such a bill passed in Louisiana last year.

Currently Iowa is in the company of Oklahoma, Alabama,and New Mexico as states that have this type of legislation in the mill. Will these bills pass? In the wake of the Louisiana result last year, similar bills were debated in Florida, Michigan, Missouri, and South Carolina. All failed.

This change in focus is of concern to those in the science and teaching professions: As Robert Gropp, director of public policy for the American Institute of Biological Sciences in Washington is quoted in the Christian Science Monitor, "Quite honestly, there aren't any strengths and weaknesses to evolution in the way they say. It's the hook they use to introduce nonscientific explanations. You have to give [evolution opponents] credit: They've gotten crafty about arguments they make. 'Academic freedom' sounds very all-American, but the problem is it sets aside the way science is done, the way we teach science."

I don't think that school teachers should be put in a position to have to provide instruction on a subject that is not in their expertise. A science teacher has the expertise to teach science. Similarly, I would expect that evolution wouldn't be taught by theologians.

In any case, Happy Birthday Charles Darwin and God bless you.

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