Pick either word: theory or evolution – creationists don’t have a clue what they mean. A theory in science is not a guess or speculation, despite how the word has been bastardised in sloppy general usage – a theory in science is a rigorous testable model of an observed phenomenon. And the creationist misconceptions of evolution!
This story in today’s LATimes shows what science teachers in parts of the USA where religiosity is valued over rationality are up against:
About half of all Americans dismiss as preposterous the scientific consensus that life on Earth evolved from a common ancestor over millions of years. Some hold to a literal reading of Genesis: God created the universe about 6,000 years ago. Others accept an ancient cosmos but take the variety, complexity and beauty of Earth’s creatures as proof that life was crafted by an intelligent designer.
Religious accounts of life’s origins have generally been kept out of the science classroom, sometimes by court order. But polls show a majority of Americans are unhappy with the evolution-only approach.
Daniel Read, for instance, considers it his Christian duty to expose his classmates to the truths he finds in the Bible, starting with the six days of creation. It’s his way, he said, of counterbalancing the textbook, which devotes three chapters to evolution but just one paragraph to creationism. A soft-spoken teen with shaggy hair and baggy pants, Daniel prepares carefully for his mission in this well-educated, affluent and conservative suburb of 28,000, just outside Kansas City, Mo. He studies DVDs distributed by Answers in Genesis, a “creation evangelism” ministry devoted to training children to question evolution.
Pity the science teachers. Who is going to want to become one? What will the dwindling supply of qualified science teachers mean for native-born Americans and the sciences? Is America going to have to import all its scientists in future decades?
And for a slightly different view of the handbasket heading rapidly hellwards, here’s 12 warning signs of fascism.