Friday, September 24, 2004

Evolution in Georgia

The evolutionist denizens of The Panda's Thumb are rallying the troops for contributions to the ACLU as part of an effort to have the following statement removed from Cobb County (GA) biology texts:
This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully and critically considered.
Nitpicking aside (evolution is actually not about the origin of living things, evolutionists conveniently assign that nasty little problem to another subfield) the statement is (a) of little content and (b) manifestly true. In fact, it's true, in my opinion, for any scientific field, e.g.:
This textbook contains material on quantum mechanics. Quantum mechanics is a theory, not a fact, regarding the small scale behavior of matter and energy. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully and critically considered.

The Panda's Thumb crowd, understandably, objects that the disclaimer has been applied only to biology texts and therefore cannot be dismissed as "generic" truth but targeted propaganda.

The author of the Panda’s Thumb post writes:
After two years and three classes of students that have had their science education undermined [by the disclaimer]
Now as for removing the disclaimer, I am in agreement with the PT crowd. As for their claim that it has "undermined science education", I say: hogwash.

The disclaimer will sway nobody. It will have neither the benefit its supporters hope for nor the deleterious (from the PT perspective) effect its detractors fear. It will be ignored.

I support removing the disclaimer because it is ineffectual, a waste of Christian political capital that does nothing to promote the gospel, and just because the government is intruding on "my side" in this one instance doesn't mean I should be happy about it.

I really have no fear about teaching evolution in school. My public-schooled boys study it—in fact my older son is having a science exam with some coverage of evolution as I write this.

(Read this post if you are inclined to jump on me for sending my kids to public school.)

The Calvinist in me knows that the elect are secure in spite of what they are taught, not because of it. I can and do have discussions with my sons about evolution, creation, and intelligent design (although not as much as we discuss NASCAR). The bottom line, however, is the simple truth that what they regard as truth and what they regard as foolishness is not in my hands, or the school's, but where it belongs: in the hands of God.

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