State superintendent Kathy Cox is now proposing that the word "evolution" be stricken from science textbooks and curricula, and replaced with the phrase "biological changes over time". Her justification for this is that evolution is "too controversial", and so - along with the disclaimer stickers already present on most high school textbooks - she feels it would be better for students to learn happy, inoffensive euphemisms instead of actual scientific nomenclature.
She'd rather have it not taught at all, or have "alternative theories" taught alongside it, but since that won't happen, she offers this as a "compromise".
Most of you are probably aware of my stance, but what really gets me is the criteria and input that the state is using to support this idea, which seems to come along in one form or another every single year. They'll poll high school students, who come back with such gems as "I did my term paper on Darwin, and even I could see there were a lot of problems with it... I don't think my little brother should be taught this stuff as if it were a fact."
Oh, a high school term paper! Who among us can argue with such a magnum opus of educated dissertation? Not to mention the fact that Darwin's ideas came along 150 years ago, and was merely the groundwork for today's thinking. Still, the state accepts this sort of inane criticism, from self-styled experts in high school who wrote crappy term papers, as valid arguments, while ignoring the advice of people such as actual scientists, educators, even Jimmy Carter.
The bottom line is, of course, that Creationism deserves zero consideration whatsoever in schools. Period. It is not, nor has it ever been, a valid academic pursuit. It does not, nor has it ever, provided evidence or even arguments for its own position - it relies entirely on knocking down evolution and assuming that the only alternative is divine Creation.
Creations start with a conclusion and then look for observations to support it, and their hypothesis will never change. Darwin didn't say "Hey, I bet organisms change over time. I wonder if I can find any evidence of that." No, he went out to look at the organisms and came to that conclusion based on the observations - which is how science works, and is the exact opposite of how Creationism works. It's interesting to note that the ICR, founded by Duane Gish, makes it's professors take an oath that no matter what they find, they will not revoke their belief in Genesis. Does that sound like a productive inquiry into truth? It sounds to me like an agenda push.
The two approaches are wildly different. One is valid, and the other is not:
Evolutionist: We think $stuff. We think it because of this, this, that, and that over there. Also this and this. Our best guess as to how it all fits together is this theory here, which we call 'evolution'.
Creationist: Well, we think $other_stuff. See, you're wrong about this, and that other thing might be wrong also, but nobody knows. And we're pretty sure you're on the wrong track with that over there, too. Anyway, what we're saying here is, your theory isn't perfect, because of the flaws we just mentioned. Since it isn't perfect, it isn't true. And since it isn't true, the only other option is Genesis. Therefore Genesis is true.
Evolutionist: Hey, we never said our theory was perfect. We know there's problems with it. That's why we've got evolutionary scientists who continue to study it. We've only been doing this for 150 years, and since then we've gained knowledge of extinction, genetics, the human genome, fossil records, understanding of climatic and environmental pressures, mutations, ecology, etc etc etc. What have you come up with?
Creationist: Well, like we said, your fossil stuff might be wrong, if we assume there's a God who could have--
Evolutionist: "could have"? "might be"? "if we assume"?
Creationist: Don't be rude, just listen. Yeah, it could be wrong, and so could your nonsense about environmental pressures and adaptation. Some of your other stuff could be wrong too.
Creationist: And, that's it. We think you're wrong.
Evolutionist: That doesn't answer the question. I've told you what information we've gathered. I asked what you've come up with.
Creationist: We've looked at your data and we think you're wrong about it.
Evolutionist: Yes yes, you said that already - but haven't you come up with anything to support your idea?
Creationist: I don't understand your question. I'm trying to show that evolution has problems.
Evolutionist: "A is wrong" doesn't automatically mean "B is right". Do you have any evidence to support your own theory, or is everything you've got just attacking our side?
Creationist: I think you're looking at this the wrong way...
Evolutionist: Then I'll make it simple. If we're wrong, how does that make your side right?
Creationist: Well, we've got this book, you see? It was written a long time ago.
Evolutionist: Who wrote it?
Creationist: Lots of different people. Some of it, we're not sure.
Evolutionist: And who are these people? Did they know what they're talking about?
Creationist: Quiet, I'm getting to that. So this book, we're not really sure who wrote it, and a lot of it was translated numerous times, or edited, or censored politically, and some of it wasn't written down at all for a while, just passed along verbally down the generations.
Creationist: Well, the book says it's the word of God, so it must be. And this book tells us that we're right.
Evolutionist: Forget it. Just nevermind. You've as much as stated that you're not interested in examining data, making observations, or using logic or science. You're just arguing that your book is right, and you can't come up with anything to prove it.
Creationist: That isn't true. We have no problem with science. Evolution isn't a science, though. It's a theory. That's all. In fact, we love science. We use it as much as you do, to show how we're right. For example, you know relativity? Well, it might help solve the issue of why we can see light from stars that are 12 billion light years away.
Evolutionist: How is that an "issue"?
Creationist: Because how can we see things 12 billion light years away if the universe is only 6000 years old?
Evolutionist: Where did you get the idea that the universe is 6000 years old?
Creationist: Honestly, don't you listen? It says so in our book. So the starlight thing is an issue, because it doesn't agree with our book. And we just used science to maybe explain why.
Evolutionist: Relativity is just a theory.
Creationist: Yeah, well. It's a good theory, and it supports what we already know, so it works.
Evolutionist: What do you mean "what we already know"?
Creationist: Like I said before. This book.
Evolutionist: So you started with the book's "answer", assumed it must be true, and then you're looking for the evidence?
Creationist: What's wrong with that? You start with your evolution theory.
Evolutionist: Evolution isn't the "theory". Evolution is the observation. Things like natural selection, mutation, ecological pressures, and so on, are the theories that explain the observation. We didn't pull evolution out of thin air or from a book. It's what we saw happening. Like gravity is what we observed, and we came up with a theory to explain how it happens - space bending around matter. You're confusing "observation" with "theory", and "theory" with "hypothesis". The three aren't at all the same.
Creationist: It's all just theory. You're twisting words.
Evolutionist: Go away. You still haven't said what's right about your own position. All you've done is criticize another position, and you haven't even done a good job at that.
Creationist: You'll burn in Hell!
Evolutionist: I'll save you a seat.
And now I leave you with the words of MC Hawking:
They call their bullshit 'science' like the word could give them cred
If them bitches be scientists, then cap me in the head