Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Modern Scholarship

Good ol' WingNutDaily! They always bring the crazy nice and frosty cold!

They have a little blurb about the upcoming oral arguments before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in Larry Caldwell's quixotic lawsuit against the University of California-Berkeley because of the University's involvement in creating the non-commercial, educational website, Understanding Evolution. The specific complaint is that the site, in stating that religion and evolution are not incompatible and pointing to a number of religious sects and organizations that accept the science, amounts to "a government funded website tell[ing] school teachers what theology is and isn't to be preferred."

I've recently discussed the decision in Sklar v. Clough and why the lower court decision there doesn't support the kind of claim that Caldwell is making. In short, informing students of differences in theological reactions to science, particularly evolution, is merely providing factual information, not making value judgments as to which is the "right" theology.

WND actually provides a superb example of the difference and why schools have the right and the need to make such distinctions. According to WND:

The site also derides religious faiths that "explicitly contradict science" by teaching six-day creation ...

If pointing out that, according to science, the Earth and the universe are billions of years old amounts to an impermissible "deriding" of religion, what science can be taught at all? Physics, astronomy, geology and all their sub-disciplines demonstrate that young-Earth creationism is wrong. And what will we do with all the other religious beliefs that may contradict science? Do we stop teaching the germ theory of disease because Christian Scientists think that sin causes illness? Do we keep mum about psychotropic drugs because Scientologists think you just need your inner Thetan audited?

Some people won't be satisfied until every child has the best education the Twelfth Century can provide.

Nice back-door way of trying to kill the competition, there. I think the Young Earthers know that if too many people find out that there are Christians who are sane about science, their pool of potential recruits is gonna get pretty darned shallow.
After a couple of decades of following creationists, one thing is clear: the people they really hate aren't atheists and secularists, it's "theistic evolutionists." Fighting atheists just reinforces their confidence in their righteousness. Christians and other theists who have made peace with science call the creationists' very worldview into question.
True, that!
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