Flying in the face of logic and reason, there continues to be consistent effort to “teach the controversy” of creationism in U.S. classrooms. Various strategies to achieve this are being used, but it all started back in the 1980′s with one inane suggestion that evolution be classified as a religion, putting it on par with creation, and thus validating creation as a science.
The issue today involves our progeny. If you do not have children, you might not be as aware as those of use who have high-schoolers. Too many of them have little or no idea how old the earth is, how long humans have been on the planet or where most of everything came from. Most of what they know has come from Sunday School. It literally brings tears to my eyes knowing that if there is going to be an Armageddon, it will be an academic one. Teaching children that creationism in any of its forms is based on facts is inadequate because it is not just anti-science, but blatant scientific fraud.
Graduating classes are being sent into the world without a proper education, and countless students are being lied to and the core of the problem is ignorance on a national level. A recent survey by Gallup revealed that acceptance of creationism is on the rise and a majority of Americans are against evolution being taught in school, or at least in favor of providing “specific evidence” that supports creationism, creation science, intelligent design, etc. Apparently, the development of critical thinking skills is not important. Who cares if we end up with eroded technological and medical leadership, right?
It has come to the point that school boards and teachers have been intimidated to the point that many of them do not even touch the subject of evolution beyond the bare minimum to satisfy laws passed by a congress, a political and legislative body wherein fully one-third believe that Adam and Eve were real. This ends up in alarming statistics such as the fact that 30 percent of American high school seniors don’t know that the sun appears to rise in the east and set in the west or how the Sun even appears to move that way.
The importance of understanding evolution is critical to our future. Evolution integrates biology with geology and astronomy, and to establishing the scientific foundations of modern medicine and agriculture. Imagine a future where even the best scientists lacked the tools necessary to understand how microbes develop and change. There would be almost no new developments in treatments against deadly diseases.
Instead of moving forward, the creationists would have us move backward. At it’s heart, creationism is nothing but a revival of an argument made by British philosopher William Paley in 1802. In Natural Theology, the Anglican archdeacon suggested that the complexity of biological structures defied any explanation but a designer: God. This is little more than the “Irreducible Complexity” argument that has long since been refuted.
Teaching creationism is the same as teaching astrology, numerology or alchemy in to our students. Creationism does not impart scientific knowledge. Evolution, however, is the product of scientific discipline. Creationism in any of its forms is not science but a religious doctrine. The impact of teaching it in our classes results in the dumbing down of our kids, and is a direct insult to our educational system which should advance according to cumulative knowledge.
Truly, a new age is dawning. A very old new age. We seem to have moved, in many areas, from the twentieth century and about to embark upon the eighth.