21 December 2005

Creationism vs Evolution: Give Them A Choice

There is much harrumphing going on in The States about the teaching of Creationism, now in its Noughties guise of "Intelligent Design", rather than Evolution. Up until recently, the teaching of Creationism, for 'twas its name, was illegal in US schools. Religious groups have recently managed to overturn this and get "ID" taught. And now the boot is on the other foot, as pro-evolution campaigners have managed to reverse this trend in Delaware.

However, in this battle of Good vs Evil, Evolution vs Creationism, no-one is paying any attention to the people this affects: the kids. I'm wary at this point of getting too Whitney Houston: I couldn't say "I believe the children are out future. Teach them well and let them lead the way." without feeling ill, new daddy or no. But the fact remains that adults with their closed minds are enforcing their opinions on people whose only real freedom is figuring things out for themselves.

I should say that both Evolution and Creationism are both theories: they are both mechanisms by which the world we have around us can have been arrived at. There is no way that anyone can say with absolute certainty that "this is the way the world came to be". No-one was there at the time. Creationism, at least, has the luxury of not requiring this: Faith obviates the need for proof or certainty.

There are probably many more possibilities as to the genesis1 of the world, but people are so closed to any other options, and are so determined to crush other theories in favour of their champion, that they are destroying the ability of the kids to choose for themselves.

I'm sadly with Dubya on this, in that children should be presented with both approaches and let them make a decision about which works for them. Force them down any particular road, and any new advances that may lie in wait for enlightened individuals with the gift of choice and free will can never be made.

This is unfortunately the nature of the Real World. Human society is a funnel, churning out clones. Children start their lives with a plethora of opportunity, but gradually these possibilities are removed as the constraints of history impose themselves. Kids are not taught to be free thinkers, they are taught that things are done a certain way. Free thinkers are shunned and derided. At no point are they encouraged to think that there is room for improvement in the world. How many kids today have thought "I can do this better!"?. Those that do make millions.

This is probably why the youth of today is so disgruntled. Classrooms of square pegs are taught that the world is a round hole. No wonder they're pissed. The only people that make it through the system unscathed are those for whom a round hole looks like a nice place to be. But if you knew that there are no square holes out there, would you try?

The greatest gift we can give kids is choice. If we impose our choices on children, they will make the same mistakes as us. And then the Human race really is in trouble.

1 I'm using a religious word here, but not with a capital "G"; "genesis" as in "beginning".

2 comments:

  1. The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has stated

    ' individual scientists and philosophers of science have provided substantive critiques of "intelligent design," demonstrating significant conceptual flaws in its formulation, a lack of credible scientific evidence, and misrepresentations of scientific facts'

    Surely this theory should be covered in religious studies? What would a teacher say if a pupil questioned the inaccuracies in ID that 'God did it' or 'well that's what the bible says so it has to be right.' I feel that it is unfair to non religious teachers that they should have to spout things in a science class that have been deemed as fiction. If someone wishes to teach their child god's way of making the earth, send them to Sunday school.

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  2. I was just about to post a comment that pretty much echoed gologotha's - ID has nothing to do with science. Yes, I suppose it's a theory, but as a scientific theory it's as valid as any other theory I could think up.
    ID should be taught in religious studies.

    At my own school we learnt philosophy after religious studies, and that introduction to different views and arguments about God, creationism, etc., was enough to broaden my mind.

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