Sigh. I wish I had time to spare. My teacher internship is dominating my life and not allowing me to partake in some of my personal pleasures, such as diving deep into any evolution/creationism debate that pops up in the Sunshine State. There is a little war of words on the subject brewing in the Palm Beach Post lately. I commented on the first salvo in my post “Evolution targeted in newspaper commentary“. A response made it into print recently: “Evolution is a fact, no matter how the universe was created“. The author, Gary Hurd, picks up on a few of the same points I did and does a fine job.
Sadly, such research success is shifting away from the United States toward nations not infected with politically powerful opponents to science motivated by religious ideology. The anti-science book by Lee Strobel, which Paul James promoted as “interviews with top scientists,” is a case in point. Not one of Mr. Strobel’s interviews was with a significant scientist. A good example is Mr. Strobel’s interview with Jonathan Wells. Following his doctorate in theology, Mr. Wells was ordained by self-proclaimed messiah Sun Myung Moon, ordered to earn a doctoral degree in biology and dedicate his life to “destroying Darwinism.” With no significant scientific publications, he is still following orders.
Mr. James concludes that American teenagers should find contentment and meaning in religion, and not science. But, it is scientists who are healing the sick, feeding the hungry, and clothing the naked (see Matthew 25).
Perhaps we scientists are living meaningful lives after all.
The original writer, Paul James, wasted no time in punching back with “Creationism debate: Let curricula evolve“. He took issue with Hurd’s characterization of his first column, and he goes digging around on Hurd’s blog to find more fodder. And like any “good” creationist, James used what he found to add to the fog of war, mixing and matching unrelated bits of information while hoping no one would notice.
Interestingly, while the federal courts have mandated for the past 40 years that creationism be kept out of public school curricula, Dr. Hurd wrote on his blog that, “Militant, atheist evolutionary biologists are every bit as religious as a sweating, hollering young Earth creationist preacher from south Alabama.” Why, then, doesn’t he also see teaching evolution as a violation of the U.S. Constitution’s Establishment Clause?
Will there be another shot fired in this little battle? We’ll have to wait and see. Meanwhile, check out the reader comments on both columns.