Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Should Evolution Continue to have a Monopoly over the Teaching of Science?

 Should Intelligent Design (ID) be taught in the public school science classes? A recent survey revealed that 40% of American would favor this, while 32% are opposed.

Meanwhile, several academies of school maintain that such questions shouldn’t be decided by the public but by the experts. Indeed, in many areas of our lives, we do allow the expert opinion to predominate. Isn’t this why we have experts!

However, others would respond that the evolution vs. ID debate isn’t simply a matter of expert testimony. It involves many other factors like our values and worldviews. At stake are questions that involve the meaning of life and whether natural processes are capable of explaining everything we encounter on planet earth and beyond. (Also, there are many questions about whether or not evolutionary science is capable of touching the question of origins – something that might fall more into the domain of history than science.)

Evolution is part of a worldview called naturalism that maintains that everything can be explained in terms of natural laws. However, others will point out a conundrum – Is it possible that natural laws can explain the origin of the natural laws?

Evolutionists will respond, “We are biologists! We aren’t concerned about the origins of the cosmos, as interesting as these questions might be! Evolution is only concerned about the origin of species!”

However, when we examine the science classroom – not just evolution – it seems that any discussion of ID as an explanation of any scientific phenomena has become verboten! It is simply not permitted! This means that “science” has now become defined as methodologies that attempt to identify naturalistic causation. This virtually has given naturalism a monopoly over all public education. Consequently, vast sums of money and resources are committed to finding natural explanation while none is committed to questioning this underlying worldview.

For those who represent ID, this constitutes a suffocating bias – perhaps even the establishment of the state religion of naturalism.

Although there might exist various understandings of evolution, naturalistic evolution remains the controlling orthodoxy. To deviate could mean expulsion from the university, as many instances of this have proven. ID seeks to infuse a bit of fresh air into the sciences, some healthy competition, and some needed insights, as even some atheists have conceded.

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