Science education takes another hit
Science education takes another hitBy Rod Rose - THE LEBANON REPORTER (LEBANON, Ind.) - 12/17/2007 - originalLEBANON, Ind. — The Texas Education Board has taken a significant action to protect the American public from the horrors of scientific knowledge.
Christine Comer, who led the TEB for nine years, after a 27-year career as a science teacher, was forced out of her job the week of Nov. 20, according to DefendScience.org.
Because she forwarded an e-mail debunking intelligent design, thereby supporting the theory of evolution, the board forced its executive director to resign.
Yes, that’s right: An agency responsible for the advancement of knowledge fired its executive director because she was advancing knowledge.
Next year, the state of Texas will choose new science textbooks. With California and New York, Texas is the largest single buyer of public school textbooks. Because of their buying clout, those states can influence what is said in those texts.
If Texas tells a publisher it wants creationism in a biology textbook, it will probably get books that espouse creationism as a scientific alternative to the theory of evolution — because publishing is a for-profit business.
Parenthetically, why are some people so determined that theirs is the only version of the truth? Is their faith that fragile?
Persons may chose to believe in creationism; that’s their constitutional right — as it is a constitutional right to not believe.
Douglas J. Futuyma, president of the American Institute of Biological Sciences, told DefendScience.org that, “When it comes to science education, we absolutely cannot remain neutral on evolution.”
“Evolution,” Futuyma said, “is the unifying principle of modern biology.”
Futuyma, also a professor at Stony Brook University, said, “ ... Within biological science, the reality of evolution is not controversial.”
The issue is not whether a higher power created the universe, nor the methods that higher power employed. Creationism, or intelligent design, is Genesis in a white coat.
Persons who want to teach their children that God — in whatever form — created the universe are free to do so, in their homes. Demanding their religious views be taught in public schools violates the separation of church and state provision.
This is not a difficult issue. It’s simple, it’s succinct, it’s clear: Science classes in public schools are required to teach reality, not faith-based beliefs. Creationism belongs in theology classes, not in science labs.
According to the International Bible Society, the complete Bible had been translated into 392 languages as of December 2002. Adding translated portions of the Bible, and testaments, there were 2,287 versions of God’s Word.
For an invaluable comparison of Bibles— and there are at least 66 — visit www.bessel.org/bibles.htm.
Those versions are why some people think the Bible is not God’s literal words. Instead, they believe the message is the messenger, and the messenger is the message.
The United States faces critical scientific challenges in the next few years. The solutions to those challenges cannot be based solely on the philosophy that “it’s in God’s hands.”
If any religion ever scientifically proves the existence of God, then science classes should include that proof. Until then, the existence of God is a matter of faith.
Faith may move mountains, but it can’t be grown in a petri dish.
Unless, of course, it’s a strain of bacteria named faithus ...
— Rod Rose writes for The Lebanon (Ind.) Reporter. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.