Friday, September 02, 2005

The separation ends

This is a big concern of mine, and indicative of the way America is heading - The re-introduction of religious propoganda into schools. What ever happened to the separation of church and state?

It sickens me that 'intelligent design' (read: creationism) is being taught in schools. Now, I'm all for debate, and it is necessary to have considered a different viewpoint before reaching a conclusion. But I'm astounded that this is even an issue: The amount of scientific evidence to support evolution over creationism is vast, and it is rational, logical and repeatable. This is the nature of scientific research! To throw out all the evidence and completely discount evolution on the basis of one's faith is just crazy.

The way I see it goes like this: After Sir Isaac Newton proposed his laws of mechanics, which were derived from observation and mathematical analysis, suddenly people everywhere realised that this was indeed logical, and explained their experience in the real world. Application of the laws of mechanics produced accurate and repeatable results. These laws, however were based on the knowledge to hand at the time. It wasn't until Einstein proposed his theories on relativity that people realised that Newton's laws weren't accurate in all situations. Einstein took Newton's fundamental principles and formulated a new theory, which took into account knowledge acquired since Newton's time. It was then found that Einstein's relativity was more accurate in more situations.

The point is this - Eistein improved upon Newton's laws; he didn't throw out all the accepted evidence and come up with his own version of the truth. That wouldn't be scientific, and it wouldn't agree with real world experience. No, in science, a theory must be supported with verifying experience to be valid. And in science, the results of an experiment must be able to be repeated given the same parameters. This is so that independent research can confirm the result. Falsifying experimental results is fraud. In religion, however, all you have to do is believe. Which, in this context, really means 'accept without thought'.

Think about the buildings you work in every day. Suppose that the construction company had said "We don't believe we need to add reinforcements to the walls." You'd certainly want them to justify their statement with reason and logic before moving in your staff. Wouldn't you? Or how about the home you live in. The electrician says "It's okay to leave those wires hanging out. They're not dangerous." Maybe if he doesn't believe you'll get electrocuted if you touch the wires, you won't... Yeah? Prove it.

In the same way, creationism relies on you believing what you are told, unquestioningly. Does it make sense? Not to me, it doesn't. Where is the hard evidence? Ok, so maybe Darwin was a little out - but at least he followed scientific proceedure in his work. Maybe, like with Newton, the answer is not so far away.
The separation of church and state is for a good reason: Reason!


Blogger Douglas Cress said...

I couldn't agree more, the sooner religion ceases to be "tought" in schools the better. Blind faith, to the exclusion of reason, hard facts and science can only lead to problems.

Keep in mind, most of America does not share the views of these religous fundamentalists. On the whole they are confined to the southern part of the U.S. I was never tought creationism (grew up around Boston).

I believe they gave a 5 minute disclaimer before we were first introduced to the ideas of evolution. By this point most of us were familiar with the idea and were completely accepting.

2:11 am  

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