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Archive for Tuesday, May 18, 1999

SCIENCE OR GOD?

May 18, 1999

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To the editor:

I am truly amazed that half of our elected State Board of Education is taking seriously the creationist "science" standards being pushed by board member Steve Abrams. Abrams' document would have a particular religious viewpoint taught as part of our science curriculum.

The creationists like to frame their argument as offering alternatives to the "theory" of evolution, but that is not really what this is all about. Grant me for a moment the assumption that evolution occurred as the scientific evidence unambiguously indicates. Now what does this say about God? Not very much. The atheist can argue that God is not needed and life came about by biochemistry and evolution alone. The believer in God can argue that evolution was the simple and elegant plan by which God created life on Earth. No scientific evidence can distinguish between these two religious and philosophical claims. Science shows us the fact that evolution occurred but it is silent on the religious interpretation of this fact.

The creationists like to present "evolution" and "intelligent design" as incompatible notions. Why can't evolution have been God's intelligent design? The creationists don't like this answer because they believe the Earth is young based on a very literal interpretation of the Bible. In order to believe that the Earth is thousands of years old, rather than the scientific consensus that it is billions of years old, they must deny not only evolution, but much of geology, physics and astronomy. Indeed if you look at Abrams' proposed science standards it is not just evolution that has been omitted. Read it for yourself and learn that gravity is a dubious theory. See how biology and geology have been gutted.

The creationist document states right up front that "no one can rationally claim that any scientific theory has been certified to be true" (page 3). Is this what we want taught in our science classes? Do we want all of science to be censored in our schools so as not to inconvenience a few Biblical literalists?

Philip S. Baringer,

1304 Jonathan Dr.

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