Reflections on Teaching Creationism versus Evolution versus Intelligent Design–An Argumentment for teaching the contraversy
I think Mills Baker has some interesting insights on this issue. Its also important that you empathize and understand the true nature of the conceptual divide you are dealing with.
You have a view of “science” as that which excludes the spiritual and non-physical. His view of “science” is different from yours. Yours is based on de-marcation…..in which someone decided both the definition and scope of science.
You see bones in the ground in an evolving pattern and you see “science” or “automatic forces in the universe or a foundational part of the universe” as an inference or sign of evolution. He sees those same changing patterns possibly as evolution, but also something more. He seems them as evidence of an intelligent creator who designed them. You are looking at the same bones….you’re coming away with different conclusions with respect to those bones.
Do you have evidence which says that evolution is the only force which caused those bones to take their shape? Probably not. That would be a large burden of proof. Does he have evidence that it was God? Probably not. He probably has an inference which is also grounded in science based on matter coming from matter. You ultimately have two competing interpretations of the same scientific facts. I think that kind of requires both people to step back and think about how the evidence integrates…..or look at the issue from a larger perspective.
He also has a number of constants which suggest the universe is fine-tuned. The idea that “science” is only one thing…..outside the context of it being defined by people who decided what science is or is not is key. Also, there is science to support both sides. While one perhaps can’t in science textbooks have……scientists have certainly dealt with things in this realm (string theory & the multi-verse) and been fine with calling it science when it supports their ideological vision and worldview.
You are coming to different conclusions based on different worldviews and conceptual prisms. To be fair, you have a particularly interpretation of what the secular is and he has a particularly understanding of what the sacred is and vice versa.
So, I suggest looking at the issue from his side. I also suggest coming to the discussion with an informed…..which takes into account all sides of the issue.
I happen to be a Christian. And while I don’t think they should teach Creation in school….unless they are teaching religion in a truly multi-cultural way (obviously that would be in history or religion class, not science). However, I do think they should teach the controversy….that the articles which are critical of a materialist or naturalist perspective on evolution…..and others which have been peer reviewed should be seen in full context…..it would after all encourage open and honest classroom discussion on these topics.
And moreover, it is the case that teachers teaching something doesn’t have to condone that philosophy. This happens in the context of history, literature, and other subjects all the time. I still think this should happen in a discussion….in a market place of ideas format which free speech and democracy should encourage.