Beliefnet
Lynn v. Sekulow

It is unfortunate that Barry implies that Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin, and the millions of other Americans who believe that a creator designed human life, are anti-science while those who believe that human life randomly evolved from non-living chemicals through unguided, blind chance are “pro-science.”

 

Science is supposed to be a search for truth about nature but, on the issue of evolution, has become more of a politicized establishment where the favored viewpoint is protected from scrutiny. Virtually any criticism of Darwinian evolution, no matter how well-researched and supported, is labeled as an impermissible religious viewpoint unfit for discussion, let alone acceptance.

 

The history of science is riddled with examples of theories that were supported by a majority of scientists only to be discarded later as new evidence emerged. Many who questioned those theories were criticized by the scientific establishment of their day just as intelligent design theorists are ridiculed and blacklisted today.

 

Governor Palin simply stated that debate is important on the issue of evolution and we should not be afraid to discuss information that challenges the orthodox view. Students should be free to question theories that are presented in class; Palin simply stated, “I don’t think there should be a prohibition against debate if it comes up in class.” Discussing intelligent design in the classroom in response to student questions is certainly consistent with the Supreme Court’s statement in Edwards v. Aguillard, 482 U.S. 578 (1987), that “[w]e do not imply that a legislature could never require that scientific critiques of prevailing scientific theories be taught. . . . [T]eaching a variety of scientific theories about the origins of humankind to schoolchildren might be validly done with the clear secular intent of enhancing the effectiveness of science instruction.”

 

It is clear that our nation’s founders disagreed with Barry’s view. The Declaration of Independence states: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Barry, should public schools be forced to remove this language from history or government textbooks too?

 

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