Thursday, January 21, 2010

Real Science vs Creationism

I used to blog for my old company, but they took the blog down. I am
not actually allowed to own the writings I put up on that blog, but as
I reference them on occasion in my writing I am putting those articles
up in my archives here for reference sake. I'll put the tag GS on those
articles noting that they were originally published on the

Real Science vs Creationism

August 14, 2008 – 12:00 pm by Brendan

I’ve written about it before, but I’m sure there will always be a controversy about teaching the origins of man. Personally, I don’t understand the problem with being descendants of monkeys. When my wife calls me a slob I can just point to my ancestors and say, “Well at least I don’t fling poo.” Be that as it may a guy by the name of Charles Darwin noticed that many animals on the secluded isle of Canary were very much different than their mainland relatives. Thus the idea for evolution began.

Almost 200 years later this theory of evolution has been tested argued and revised by the best scientists around the world and nothing has ever been proposed as a better idea. Well I suppose many other theories have claimed to explain life better than evolution, but none has seriously challenged the soundness of the theory.

When I was a kid there was a joke that went like this:
Kid speaking to God:
Kid, “How much is a million dollars to you?”
God, “Not even a penny.”
Kid, “And how long is a million years to you?”
God, “ Not even a second.”
Kid, “Cool, can I have a million dollars.”
God, “Sure, just a second.”

It may be a joke, but for me it explains the difference between God creating the world in six days and the world evolving in 4.5 billion years. Occam’s Razor says that the simplest solution is usually the correct one.

In my usually long winded fashion I have lead us around to the problem with Louisiana passing SB 733. This law, signed by Governor Jindel, June 25, 2008, allows science teachers to use supplementary materials not supplied by the state.

It doesn’t sound very scary when you read the bill, but why does it specifically point out “evolution, the origins of life, global warming, and human cloning”? Further why does the bill also specifically mention, “This Section shall not be construed to promote any religious doctrine,…”? What critics of the law contend is that it is merely a backdoor attempt to teach intelligent design or creationism in public schools.

The teaching of science in general is all about the teaching of critical thinking skills, why is it necessary to state specifically, “to help students understand, analyze, critique, and review scientific theories in an objective manner,… “ The backbone of science is the scientific method. That is a specific, objective way to question, and test scientific theories.

Scientific Method graphic

In my research I have found that for the most part the attempt to replace evolution with creationism has met with stiff resistance. On the other hand there seems to be a disturbing trend for creationists to target children in, I suppose, another attempt to win the long term war against evolution.

Still, if a person must insist on teaching alternatives to evolution I would much prefer my children learning about the Flying Spaghetti Monster or a new one I found Hyphiod Logic. On second thought I don’t think I want my children to learn Hyphiod logic.

Really though, the point is that children, even most bright high school children, don’t know enough to truly debate the veracity of complicated theories such as evolution. It is enough to know that this is the accepted theory, just as the theory of gravity is the accepted theory, and if they wish to study more they can major in biology in college.

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