Thursday, November 30, 2006

Freedom to Teach Evolution as "Just a Theory"

So, this is what I have to put up with...a local school board is implementing the latest attempt to weaken science instruction:

The News Star - www.thenewsstar.com - Monroe, LA

The newest tactic is to cloak the teaching of creationism under the guise of "academic freedom". In this case, academic freedom is apparently interpreted to mean the freedom to re-define terms like "science". "theory", or "explanation" to fit your particular religious worldview.

One other thing to notice is the use of the terms Darwinism and Darwin's Theory. This is not simply their way of ignoring over one hundred-fifty years of biological research. It is also a way of creating an easy strawman argument: Evolution = Darwinism => Darwin did not know about a lot of things, and made statements about holes in the fossil record => Ergo, you cannot believe evolution.

Just in case anyone is wondering, evolutionary theory does not equate in a one-to-one fashion with Darwinism. There has been a lot of biology since then (Darwin did not know about DNA for example). It's like attacking cosmology on the basis of statements in Newton's Principia (or the moral failings of Newton, of which there were many).

The one silver lining is that is not my parish's school board (it is the parish were I grew up, though). Maybe this nonsense won't spread, but I have lived in this state too long to get my hopes up.

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