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New American Export or Truth vs. Lies: Evolution and Creationism October 25, 2009

Posted by Bill in atheism, Church and State, Current Events, Evolution, Religion, Science, Uncategorized.
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Apparently America has found something new to export to Europe – creationism.  While not the problem there that it is in the US – yet – it is growing and making inroads.  In Germany a state education minister briefly allowed creationism to be taught as science and in Italy Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi ordered the teaching of evolution halted.  In England creationists are making more and more inroads into the public schools.  Serbia’s education minister ordered the teaching of evolution stopped and has said that in the future creationism should be taught alongside evolution. 

 Fortunately scientists and others are pushing back and the European Union has endorsed a statement of support for Evolution and against Creationism.   Those who value rationality and truth, – whether Christian, atheist, Muslim Hindu, whatever – all need to push back on this whether here or in Europe.   While everyone is entitled to believe as they will they are not entitled to change what science is and what it has discovered  to suit their beliefs.  We do not allow those who dispute the Holocaust to change our history books.  We do not allow astrologers to change our astronomy texts.  We do not allow flat earth theory to be taught in our geology and geography classes. 

 The same holds true for biology.   

 The problem is that evolution hits at who we are as a species and people more directly than the flat earth or astrology – it hits at people’s religious view of the world in a way that other issues do not.  And it has, unfortunately been framed as a religious issue, a Christian versus Atheist issue when it is not. 

Partly this is due to history – moving away from the religious and church inspired view that dominated academia until the 19th century of how the biological and physical world worked to a more secular understanding of the world.   Partly it was due to the enthusiasm that many atheists and agnostics took up evolution because it helped explain so much that had once seemed inexplicable.  An enthusiasm that sometimes led to evolution becoming a cornerstone of a religion instead of a science.  Partly it was due to the strong reaction of many Christians to something that seemed to make their beliefs a lie.  

 However the truth is that evolution is as well supported by the evidence as any theory in science – bar none.  It is supported by findings in genetics, field studies of species, embryology, paleontology, archeology, geology and other areas.  The process of natural selection has been taken up by engineers and other scientists as a way to solve problems and come up with new and novel solutions.  Evolution has impacted medicine and agriculture. 

 Creationism has failed on all of these fronts.  But because it is tied so closely to people’s religious beliefs, beliefs that are of supreme importance to many, it is nonetheless still going strong.

 What many Christians who support creationism do not fully realize is that people of all religious beliefs support evolution.   There are scientists who are also evangelical Christians such as Francis Collins, Mary Schweitzer, Stephen Godfrey, and literally thousands of others.

 Major religious organizations support evolution over creationism.  Millions of Christians support evolution and still believe in an omnipotent personal God, in Jesus his son who died for their sins and was resurrected.  Christianity and religion can be reconciled with the findings of science without damaging reason, ignoring evidence, and debasing truth. 

 This debate is not a religious vs. non-religious issue.  Instead it is an issue of truth vs. lie. The evidence is there for evolution.  It is well supported by facts and by reason and supported by all areas of biology, paleontology, geology, and anthropology.  It is why almost 99% of scientists support evolution. To counter that creationists – whether the Young Earth version or the more sophisticated Intelligent Design version – ignore evidence and propagate inaccuracies and sometimes promote outright lies to make up for their lack of evidence.     

 It is unfortunate that most people do not know enough about science and evolution to realize that they are being misled on what evolution is.  I hear it on the Christian talk shows that I listen to on the radio and the amount of inaccurate information given out as true is astounding.   It would be funny if it weren’t  for the fact that they are trying to get this misinformation taught in the schools as science, as biology.   As true.

 If they do, then we all lose – science, atheist, Christian, all.  No one wins when lies triumph.

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