Sunday, January 13, 2008

God Doesn't Need Creationism

However, certain types of Christians seem to need it. They think that you and by extension every school age child needs it too.

What got me starting thinking about this was Catherine Morgan's post about a proposal to teach evolution in Florida schools. I didn't know that it wasn't as national standard to include the teaching of evolution in K-12 schools.

I didn't know adults still had major issues with distinguishing between faith and science. It was far easier for me to dismiss believers and proponent of creationism as a device to introduce religion into American schools. My new fear that it is something more.

Vocabulary Gauntlet
  • From Creationism is the belief that the earth and universe and the various kinds of animals and plants was created by God or some other supreme being. Those that hold the views of Creationism are referred to as Creationists.
  • Oxford English Dictionary The belief that the universe and living creatures were created by God in accordance with the account given in the Old Testament.
  • True creationism n. 1) general-the view that a creator brought the universe, its contents, and its inhabitants into being and into order from literally nothing (as opposed to the view that matter is either eternal or the result of a spontaneous self-creating process) 2) biblical-the view that the Creator is none other than the Creator-God whose nature and purpose in creation and history is revealed in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures (the Bible), including His initial acts of creation as indicated in a straightforward reading of the Creation Week account in Genesis and corroborated in the balance of the Bible; 3) scientific-the view that empirical science is fully capable of corroborating either or both general and biblical creationism viewpoints (described above), and which serves as the basis for scientific endeavors with that end in mind.
In each one of these definitions is a religious connotation of the beginning of life on Earth. It is a belief expressed as a proven fact derived from the Christian Bible. Therefore it seems to me to be a tenant of a specific religions belief in the origins on life on this planet.

How is this science? How does this invalidate the teaching of evolution? Why is it incompatible with evolution?

Science, in my understanding, is the ability to question, gather evidence, come to a conclusion and reproduce the results. I certainly can ask the questions but contacting God for a definitive answer independent of the Bible hasn't worked out. If you can't produce "God" or his/her authorized representative (and things didn't work out so well the last time there was a visit) then where is my proof? Where is your proof?

My understanding is that this isn't about God, Evolution or even quantifying an alternative teaching of the beginning of planetary existence. It is about Christian recruitment and retention. It is about making the U.S. a "Christian Nation." And that has me extremely concerned.

Wrapping Creationism as a true tested series of verifiable facts is dishonest. It takes away from the actual tenants of the faith to wrap them in a wolf's clothing of science.

Rebecca at The Upside Down World in her blog post Teaching Creation Science or ID? A Formula for Putting Your Child's Christian Faith At Risk makes many excellent points but this is a good one to start with:

Their work is limited to analyzing the work of others to look for potential holes which might be able to be seen as supporting a creationist perspective. This is not science.). When creationist materials do refer to the work of mainstream scientists, conducting actual research, they almost uniformly misquote and misrepresent them. If you do not believe me, then take a weekend or two and do the research yourself. The internet is a wonderful tool.

Now, if you take the time to actually look at the methods used to source creationist materials, you should already be disturbed by the idea that these purportedly Christian groups who produce such materials indulge in such blatant dishonesty to sustain their ideas. An idea which is true should not depend on deception.

Monado from Science Notes points out not only is there a tendency to misrepresent what evolution science says but to attribute the teaching of evolution to a decline in moral values and behavior is a bit much:
Creationists are up to their old tricks, lying about Charles Darwin and distorting history to make it seem like slavery, genocide, and religious intolerance bloomed after (and because of) the theory of evolution. It’s not true. Clear evidence-from the god-sanctioned genocides in the bible to Martin Luther’s verbal vitriol against Jews and women to Hitler’s pious Christianity “doing God’s work”-gives creationists the lie.
I'm not writing this to undermine your belief system. I'm not against teaching Creationism by the way; there is a place for it in a religion class. Provided there is instruction on not just Christian beliefs but some Rastafarian and Judaism with a bunch of Atheism, Hindu, Dao and Wicca on the side.

I just don't like being mislead or lied to. Most people of faith and/or reason don't care for it either. Once again, is it a matter of faith or of science?

Additional Resources:

Supporting Creationism

Answers In Genesis
Chatting With Charlie - Argument Against Evolution on GodTube
The Creation Museum
Conservapedia - Wikipedia with a Conservative view

Supporting Evolution

Allison Hoffman - History of Evolution vs. Creationism via YouTube
Scientific Thinking and The Scientific Method by Steven D. Schafersman at
The Darwin Report
Pharyngula - Is This Going To Be The Major Creationist Strategy?

CE Gena Haskett is a second class heathen who is also a Contributing Editor at Blogher

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