Critics of the teaching of evolution in the nation’s classrooms are gaining ground in some states by linking the issue to global warming, arguing that dissenting views on both scientific subjects should be taught in public schools.
“Our kids are being presented theories as though they are facts,” said State Representative Tim Moore of Kentucky.
In Kentucky, a bill recently introduced in the Legislature would encourage teachers to discuss “the advantages and disadvantages of scientific theories,” including “evolution, the origins of life, global warming and human cloning.”
The bill, which has yet to be voted on, is patterned on even more aggressive efforts in other states to fuse such issues. In Louisiana, a law passed in 2008 says the state board of education may assist teachers in promoting “critical thinking” on all of those subjects.
It’s an interesting idea, but the creationists, as is the case with their secularistic opponents, are looking at this the wrong way.
If there’s a lesson from the global warming fiasco that is now unfolding, it’s that science is an “open” discipline in that new things are always being discovered which either build on what we already know or refute it. The problem with both evolution and climate change is that both are being presented as settled dogmas, in effect giving both a religious aspect. (Climate change’s situation is complicated by duplicity amongst the scientists; evolutionary biology has experienced this in the past.) Making either or both a religion defeat the whole purpose of scientific inquiry.
On the creationist side, their idea of promoting critical thinking is a good one. But there’s the possibility for adjustments here also. Intelligent Design advocates are for the most part open to this, but Young Earth Creationists may be in for some rude awakenings.