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Can subjects like biology and astronomy be taught accurately without covering evolution?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on April 17, 2005

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Photo of John Murphy

“No, because it is a fundamental part of those subjects. That would be like talking about politics without mentioning money.”

Photo of Clancy Martin

“No. Absolutely not. The theory of evolution is an overlying theme that biology is based on. They may be able to get away with teaching astronomy without it, but not biology.”

Photo of Danny Drungilas

“No, because they wouldn’t be teaching everything they know about the subject. They should teach children everything that is available without any exclusion.”

Photo of Marissa Stephenson

“No. I think it’s better to teach those subjects by sticking to scientific theory and fact. That way they don’t have to worry about religious beliefs weighing in.”


ms_canada 13 years, 2 months ago

It is late and maybe no one will read this but anyway...... Here are a few book titles that some of you might want to read. Reading might just help you make a more intelligent arguement which ever way you believe, evolution or creationism. Have you ever heard of creation science. There are a lot of scientists who belief that there is really no conflict between science and creation by a higher power which is usually referred to as God, Jehovah, El Shaddai or Jesus Christ. If you are really interested in gaining some knowledge look for these books. "Who Says God Created..." by Fritz Ridenour, Gospel Light Press 1967 "The God of Creation" Vol I & II by Theodore Epp "God, the Atom and the Universe" by James Reid ***Zondervan and by Reid "Does Science Confront the Bible" I am currently involved in studying and teaching the book of Genesis. We teach from a scientific point of view. We are learning that we can understand God's act of creation by studying science. There is no conflict between creationism and science in an explanation of how our world and universe came into being.
It is late and I am off to bed. Nitie nite.

Richard Heckler 13 years, 2 months ago

The answer: of course not.

As I read much about this fiasco sometimes it sounds like there are many many parents who did not study evolution. That's fine until you want to debate against evolution.

bugmenot 13 years, 2 months ago

I think all science books should have stickers stating that "evolution is just a theory".

But only if, in exchange, all bibles are stickered with something like "The characters and events in this book are entirely fictional. Literal interpretation of its contents is dangerous to yourself and others and is not recommended".

How's that for a compromise?

jonas 13 years, 2 months ago

The problem with the way that astronomy is being taught today is that there is no criticism towards it. Everyone just assumes that the bright dots in the sky are other suns and worlds, and not a grand display that was rationally created to provide us with a panorama to spark our imagination and stimulate discussions, horoscopes, and romantic evenings. Can astronomy really explain WHY those stars turned out the way they did? Of course not! Seriously, there are things in the cosmos that we don't currently understand, and that as much as anything, to my mind, proves that cellestial bodies were not created by mere chance.

What astronomy needs in the classroom now is more astrology. Write your senator!

Punkin 13 years, 2 months ago

Here are a few quotes that provide some context and history to the debate about "intelligent design":

"If creationism were to shed its Dogpatch image and take a subtler tack, it could multiply its influence many fold. Precisely such a makeover has been in the works since 1990 or so. The new catchword is "intelligent design" . . . They are very busy turning out popular books, holding press conferences and briefings, working the Internet, wooing legislators . . . and even, in one instance, securing an on-campus institute all to themselves." Frederick C. Crews


"There is nothing wrong with Intelligent Design as a strictly religious or philosophical concept. However, it simply fails as a scientific theory. : Because Intelligent Design cannot be disproved and because it is not predictive, it cannot be science. Because Intelligent Design is not science, it is inappropriate to teach it in the public school science classroom." Burt Humburg


"The intelligent design movement is nothing more than stealth creationism, yet another effort to insinuate the particular sectarian belief of a personal creator into science education. The argument for design to the universe is, of course, ancient; what is new here is the wrongful claim that this philosophical and theological argument is now supported by science." Victor J. Stenger


"What is really new about 'intelligent design theory'? And who are these 'academics and intellectuals'? The answer to the first question - nothing of significance - is best seen by answering the second question." Robert Wright


"The argument of some creationists that modern information theory refutes Darwinian evolution is based on a confusion between two distinct information concepts. At the heart of the Darwinian thesis is not information, but complexity.:Once we understand the difference between these two types of information-Shannon information and complexity-it is easy to see what's wrong with the information argument against evolution." David Roche


"A disturbing new dimension has emerged in the creation/evolution controversy. The crusade against Darwinism is no longer the sole preserve of fundamentalist Christians, for many influential religious conservatives have now joined in the fray. One hundred sixteen years after Darwin's death, efforts to crucify him continue unabated. The main complaint of religious conservatives is that the theory of evolution is allied with naturalism, and this is inconsistent with their theistic faith." Paul Kurtz


If we are allowed to attribute causation to an omnipotent force, there is no point in looking for a natural explanation. And guess what: if you don't look, you're guaranteed not to find one! We have found that we get much farther in science by not relying upon supernatural explanations: for practical reasons, we restrict ourselves to methodological materialism." Eugenie Scott

ms_canada 13 years, 2 months ago

No stickers at all. Leave each book to it's own merits.

lunacydetector 13 years, 2 months ago

faith and scientific knowledge must complement, not contradict, each other.

Dogmatic fundamentalists do not reflect Christian tradition, and dogmatic evolutionists do not fairly represent science.

too bad there isn't more room to write.

jonas 13 years, 2 months ago

Faith and science can only compliment each other as opposites, sort of a yin and yang type of thing. Science is based on proof, faith could almost be said to be based on absence of proof. The only way they can co-exist, in my opinion, is for them to keep their noses out of each other's business.

GreenEyedBlues 13 years, 2 months ago

The Christocentricism is killing me. In science classes, students need answers that derive from a scientific process. Philosophy/Theology, while they are nonetheless important, belong elsewhere in the realm of academia.

Grundoon Luna 13 years, 2 months ago

"Since when did a scientific theory need to be testable?" Are you kidding? Have you never heard of the scientific method? The scientific method requires that your results can be replicated. Were you asleep in class?

jonas 13 years, 2 months ago

We're you asleep when you read that post? You might want to read it again, because you're missing something of vital importance.

kansas 13 years, 2 months ago

Intelligent Design??

Hmmm...sounds like a topic for ultimate175! Where's he been lately? I haven't seen an ultimate175 post in quite a while. Anybody know where he is?

jayhawktownie 13 years, 2 months ago

i can't help but notice the absence of posts attempting to argue in favor of our great state's seemingly predominant beliefs.


Perhaps we have won and the educationally-challenged have given up the fight? Probably just wishful thinking on my part but just maybe...

Truthtold 13 years, 2 months ago

"Christian Extreme Shirts" and Christ's Message Even though the Associated Press news story as posted on AOL News screen, about Lori Devins' downtown shop and some of the so-called "Christian Extreme Shirts" messages may not be totally serious, I, as a Christian, found this idea of Chistian "extreme" anything, completely unChristian. "My God can kick your god's butt" is a case in point. If this were taken a certain way, it could be thought of as excusing the recent (last two years) attack against a nation that everyone with anything to do with weapons in Iraq, said they had no evidence of WMD stockpiles there.

In news reports from Kuwait, troops were told that the Administration said to use the phrase, "Remember 9/11" if they had difficulty understanding why they were risking their lives in the Iraq adventure. You know it as the old "The end justifies the means" scenario. But, Christ said, "My Kindgom is not of this world. were it of this world, My followers would fight." I say, let's stick with God's Message to us, rather than mix man's selfishness and evil bragging with it and say it's "Christian."

Fangorn 13 years, 2 months ago

First, Douglas County is an aberration in the state of Kansas. The nearly reversed ratios on the Marriage Amendment should have told you that. So it should be no surprise that we would find more believers in evolutionism on this forum.

Second, many who believe in intelligent design or acknowledge God's creation would be spending Sunday at church and with their families rather than posting. (Judging from the number of posts, most people on both sides of the debate had other priorities today.)

Finally, I noted with interest that someone in this forum (I won't say who) recently suggested Ann Coulter was "act[ing] like those who disagree with her are completely irrational" (see March 30 discussion). That also seems to be the implication of labeling those who disbelieve evolutionism as "educationally-challenged". Don't you find that interesting, jayhawktownie? Or is it just inconsistent?

jayhawktownie 13 years, 2 months ago

the difference between what i said about ann coulter and the above comment is that ann coulter has no factual basis for the majority of her opinions while i can confidently (and factually) state that evolution has infinitely more scientific credibility than intelligent design or creationism

jayhawktownie 13 years, 2 months ago

my disgust with ann coulter was directed at her unwillingness to make progress towards any sort of political compromise in matters where there is no clear right and wrong. In my opinion, an educational debate such as this one is more of a common sense, right vs. wrong situation and has no place in a supposedly secular nation such as ours.

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