Sunday, February 5, 2012

IC--Irreducibly Connected

The Indiana Senate passed a bill, SB 89, to allow the instruction of Creationism into the classroom. The Discovery Institute, which is the foremost think tank for Intelligent Design Theory (sometimes known as ID), condemns the bill as bad science and bad education. They think evolution should be taught, but also that persons should be allowed to bring up flaws in the theory. The Creation in question is probably that called Young Earth Creationism, in which some people believe God created the Earth around 6 to 14 thousand years ago.

I disagree with the Discovery Institute. I think we should have long ago come to the realization there are irreconcilable differences between Americans when it comes to our various religions (or lack thereof) and science.

Though the Discovery Institute has been the victim of abuse by the leaders of today's scientific community, they are willing to heap abuse on an even more vilified group, the Young Earth Creationists. They may not intend to be demeaning, and perhaps are even trying to help. But they are not very farsighted if this is the plan.

Our country is based on freedom of religion. We are getting far afield, acting as though we believe it was founded on scientific political correctness. Please remember, not all scientific theories are right. Albert Einstein at one time believed the universe had been eternal, without a beginning. He even fudged a calculation to make his math fit his theory. But he was proven wrong by astronomers, primarily Edwin Hubble, who confirmed that the Universe is expanding and therefore had a beginning, now called the Big Bang. Why is this a lesson that never seems to sink in?

If the Discovery Institute had been around when Einstein theorized the Universe was infinite, are they saying children had to be taught that's the way it is because Albert Einstein said so? This is when the children's believed the Universe had not been infinite, but they would be faced by authority figures who taught something against their own faith. And then later Einstein was proven wrong. Are we to say evolution is right, except it's OK to question it? The people at the Design Institute are themselves pandering to the politically correct scientific culture. If evolution is only one of various theories, it should be presented as such and the beliefs of others should be acknowledged from the start.

Though I talk here of whether a theory is correct, it is a separate but even more important matter that some Americans believe it is correct. As long as the religion of the person includes creationism, it is a matter of freedom of religion. Catholic bishops are recently incensed over an attempt by the government to impose insurance rulings on Church institutions. They say it goes against religious freedom. But where are they when the government has walked all over other denominations in demanding that evolution and only evolution be taught in the nation's public schools?

The Discovery Institute often presents the argument that the Supreme Court has already decided that Creationism is to be kept from the classroom. But there are hundreds of thousands of people marching every year in Washington DC to reverse the Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade in which abortion has been made legal. Writers from the Discovery Institute grouse regularly over the decision of US District Judge John Jones in the Dover, PA, trial but hold as unchangeable the Supreme Court decision. Maybe they have their reasons in their own agendas. They regularly talk about the Old Earth and fossils of millions of years old. Perhaps they are unwilling to stretch their abilities in order to consider others with different points of view, such as Young Earth Creationists.

"Irreducible complexity" is a phrase coined by one of Intelligent Design's proponents, Michael Behe. It is time to recognize that many people's belief systems are irreducibly connected to science. Faith forms our biology theories as it forms our laws and political systems. Some unabashedly start right from their Sacred Text and go from there. This is something the laws must reconcile, and not just collapse under the pressure of anti-religion groups who claim this teaching would be unconstitutional. The government enforces anti-religious views on students in the classroom--those whose mothers are unable to home-school them, that is. This is a large part of our population which is treated thus.

I know that to bring Creation Science into the classroom would be messy. People don't like it when they have to cope with other people's conceptions of truth. For example, those who believe in evolution don't want to think about design. But who are the intelligent ones? The persons who can understand only one point of view, or those who can see a variety of possibilities? Isn't that what scientific exploration is about?

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