Friday, May 13, 2005

The Evolution Half-Debate

In this week's World Magazine, Timothy Lamer takes a look at the situation in Kansas, where the state board of education recently conducted three days of testimony about whether the schools there should teach both the scientific evidence for and against evolution. Except there was one problem: . . . One side didn't show up, as Lamer reports:

The Darwinist side refused to debate but it did station a lawyer, Pedro Irigonegaray, to question [Intelligent Design] witnesses, and during their answers he occasionally sighed and shook his head, a lá Al Gore in the 2000 presidential debates.

Lost in the propaganda and facial expressions is just how modest the proposed revisions are. For all the comparisons to the Scopes trial, the roles in that trial have been reversed 80 years later. Today, it's the critics of Darwinism who want to introduce what they see as important scientific evidence into science classrooms and it's the Darwinists who are fighting to keep out what they see as heresy.

And yet, the revisions would not require the teaching of ID, which is fine with ID advocates who admit that their theory is too new to be the focus of classroom instruction. The revisions would merely have teachers teach Darwinism and the scientific evidence that supports it, but not treat Darwinism as revealed religion that must not be questioned.

A reading of the revisions turns up no mention of God, no mention of a young Earth, no mention of the Bible. What they do call for is more information in classrooms—a requirement that science teachers present both the scientific evidence for Darwinism and the scientific evidence against it.

If this proposal is merely asking for a fair debate and discussion of the evidence for and against evolution, and the Darwinists are so confident in their "theory," what are they afraid of?


At Friday, May 13, 2005 6:27:00 AM, Anonymous Alexander Samuels said...

They are afraid that if the issues are debated in an open forum that the truth will prevail. No matter how hard they try to keep the information out of university and public school science texts, the word is getting out that more and more scientist see Intelligent Design as a much more reasonable alternative to Darwin's fantasies. The real battle is now one of competing philosophies. If Darwinism loses the debate, then the relativistic philosophies which have declared there are no moral absolutes will be shattered on the altar of Absolute Truth. This would be a terrible setback for liberals and their march forward to a socialist past.

At Friday, May 13, 2005 1:37:00 PM, Blogger Mark Nutter said...

I think what the scientists who boycotted the hearings were most afraid of was that a fair debate was not really the goal. The board has given numerous indications that its mind is already made up and the hearings are just to lend an appearance of propriety to the proceedings. For example, if you go to and follow the link to Minority Report Draft 2, you can read on page 15 that the minority wants to change the official definition of evolution so that it explicitly excludes the possibility that any Divine Creator could have been guiding the origin and development of life.

Outside the anti-evolution movement, the theory of evolution is widely recognized as being neutral on the metaphysical question of whether or not any divine power is behind the processes by which life arises and species evolve, and many evolutionists are theists and even Christians who are quite comfortable with the idea that God was guiding evolution. That's why evolutionists in general (and the original Kansas science curriculum) do not try and make evolution the opposite of believing that God could have had anything to do with the origin of species. The fact that the board-sponsored Minority Report does try to define evolution in such prejudicial terms is one of many things that make mainstream scientists suspect these hearings are not intended to give evolution a fair debate.


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