Thursday, January 29, 2009

Which Creation story?

Now here is a sticking point most Creationists hate brought up. If you want so badly to teach a form of Creationism in science classes . . . which one? There are an incredible number to choose from -- and odds are you will find a group of people right here in the United States that believes in each one of them.

When I brought this up to a Creationist friend of mine, who still thinks there is some validity to Intelligent Design, his knee jerk reaction was the standard Christian Creation story. But it sort of caught him off-guard when I asked which one. If you look at the major Christian denominations, you will find a surprising number of differences between them. To illustrate look at the Roman Catholic and the Evangelical Christian stories to give yourself an idea how wide the gulf is between them. When pressed my friend retreated to his comfort zone and went pretty Evangelical on me. Compare Young-Earth Creationism vs Old Earth Creationism, contrast Hindu -- Buddhist -- Protestant Creationism. There is a pretty large pool of Creation stories to pick from. What makes one more 'right' than another?

But look at all he dodged away from. What makes his specific Creationism story more valid than any other one? I couldn't get him to admit that the only real difference is that he believes one and allows other people to believe in theirs. But when push comes to shove, his is the only one he considers valid and it's the one that he feels should be taught in public school science class!

Could I have found a better example of the difference between religion and science? I doubt it. He believes; therefore, it not only MUST be true, but he has a God-given mandate to force his belief system on everyone else! Anyone else see a problem with that?

I also recently tugged on the chain of another Creationist and asked that equal time be given for the Islamic Creationist story in his Church! You would have thought I was inviting Satan in for a talk! I told him I would support his efforts to teach Creationism in public schools if he allowed equal time for all Creationist stories, including Islamic. Oh you should have heard the verbal backpedaling!

OK, folks, I am not doing this to tear down any particular belief system -- but I just wish people pushing a belief system, no matter what dress they put on it, would just be honest enough to admit it! Creationism, regardless of religion, is a belief system. Intelligent Design is nothing but a form of Creationism. Neither of them belong in any science class! I know we can't legislate what gets taught in the science class of a private school, but we certainly can for a public school!

This is another reason I am against the 'strengths and weaknesses' argument. Not only are the so-called weaknesses not actual weaknesses, but the point of such legislation has not been the improvement of teaching science. Just look in Louisiana:

The Student/School Performance and Support Committee – which is part of the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, also known as BESE – voted to remove the following section of the new policy: “Materials that teach creationism or intelligent design or that advance the religious belief that a supernatural being created humankind shall be prohibited for use in science class.” (Creationism to be taught in La. public schools)

Even though the so-called Academic Freedom law specified that it would not be used to advance a religious agenda, the implementation policy opens the door for it and appear to encourage it! See why I call it 'so-called'. It's nothing more than a tactic, a reprehensible back-room tactic! Some poor school system in Louisiana is ripe for an expensive Dover-style Federal lawsuit!

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