Spectator Editorial – Science suffers

The debate between those who strictly believe in creationism and those who believe solely in evolution should not be played out in public school classrooms, and especially not in science classes.

But, if the Kansas-based Intelligent Design Network has its way, public schools in its state will be encouraged by the Kansas Board of Education to integrate both theories into their science curriculum.

The board is holding six days of courtroom-style hearings beginning today, in which more than two dozen witnesses will testify either against or for teaching Darwin’s theory of evolution in Kansas classrooms. The majority of those testifying are expected to argue against teaching evolution, according to a Reuters article.

While science is naturally highly theoretical in nature, evolution is currently the accepted theory of how life on Earth began. And, in science courses in particular, science cannot be confused with religion, especially in publicly-funded schools.

Also, the fact that many in the scientific community have pledged not to attend these hearings because of their absurdity does not place good light on the argument against teaching intelligent design in science courses.

These scientists would be far better to attend the hearings, regardless of ridiculousness, to at least show how incongruous teaching creationism in science classes is.

In addition, the theory of creation the Intelligent Design Network is pushing to be taught is of a strictly Christian persuasion. If such an organization is to push for religion in the classroom, all religious explanations for the origin of humankind should be explored and studied.

This is not to say religious studies cannot play a role in public education at all. But, religious studies belong in a humanities setting and must not just teach a strictly Christian form of creationism. Rather, such courses should explain a variety of beliefs.