Because of my religious convictions, I am a committed creationist, but unlike many creationists, I have grown quite weary of the creation-evolution propaganda war. I believe this bill is an ideal example of what's wrong with the creation-evolution war. For example, since the bill clearly states that religious discussions are not protected, it could not be used to permit "some Sunday school teachers to hijack biology class by proxy," as the editorial in the March 21 edition of the Tennesseean suggested. On the other hand, my own reading of the bill indicates that it provides no protection that teachers don't already have. Teachers are already well within their rights to discuss any scientific evidence that pertains to the prescribed curriculum and to encourage critical thinking about it. Many already do.Interestingly, he hits on a particular problem in his opening statement involving creationism: it doesn't stand on its own merits. It is specifically tied to a “religious commitment.” This is counter to the position by the mainstream organizations such as AiG and the ICR, which have argued for decades that their science is as good as mainstream science and shows that the earth was created in six days six thousand years ago.
I have often wondered if a challenge should be issued: that someone would come forward who is convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that the earth and the universe were created in six twenty-four hour days six thousand years ago and that the geological column represents the effects of a world-wide flood but who is either an atheist or a hard-line agnostic. I doubt such a person exists.
The second problem that I have is that I don't think that the law is superfluous. Right now, if someone teaches recent earth creationism in the classroom in public school, they run the risk of being fired, like John Freshwater was. Now that the law has been passed, there is no oversight and such teachers are beyond the veil of accountability. The only way such a person would be stopped is if a lawsuit such as the one at Dover, PA were brought forth. Does the state really want that, with the media circus it would entail? Then it really would be Scopes II.
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