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Saturday, February 14, 2004

Removing "Evolution" From Georgia's Curriculum

Let me say this right from the start: removing the word “evolution” from Georgia’s science curriculum was not going to accomplish much for those on the creation side of the evolution debate. Simply to remove the word without real change in the curriculum is no accomplishment. In other words, if Darwinian evolution is taught under the phrase “biological changes over time,” nothing has really changed. I’m a bit (a very little bit) surprised at all of the outrage expressed by those on the evolution side of the debate. It doesn’t seem like they would have lost any real ground. I have a BS in physics and graduate degrees in mathematics education. I teach secondary mathematics. If Secretary Cox wanted me to teach the Pythagorean theorem under some other name, I would chuckle and go about my business pretty much as usual. The value of the theorem is not in its name or title.

Secretary Cox is somewhat correct in insinuating that there are problems with the word “evolution.” One problem is that it is not a mere “buzzword,” but, as Michael Matthews recently pointed out, it has taken on two meanings: (1) “biological changes over time,” (the phrase Cox prefers) a process which scientists on all sides of the debate have always accepted, and (2) the process of creatures changing into completely new creatures over millions of years. It’s the second meaning that people like me reject, whatever name or phrase is attached to it.

Molecules-to-man evolution should not be taught as fact in any academic setting. I say this not only out of my Christian convictions, but also as someone who has read, studied, and listened to lectures, and concluded that the scientific evidence simply does not support it. I’m by no means the only educated person who has come to such a conclusion. In fact, there are thousands of more highly educated scientists in this country alone who reject molecules-to-man evolution. It is their books I’ve read and their lectures to which I’ve listened. I know of scientists in almost every conceivable field who reject this type of evolution: biologists, chemists, geneticists, physicists, engineers (of all types), mathematicians, geologists, astronomers, computer scientists, archaeologists, paleontologists, dentists, medical doctors, and so on. I know engineers, chemists, medical doctors, dentists, and mathematicians personally who reject Darwinian evolution.

All that most creationists want is a fair presentation of the facts. The evidence for what has happened in the past is the same for all of us. What is different is the framework through which the evidence is interpreted. For example, the billions of dead things lying in the earth, better known as the fossil record, can be seen as evidence supporting evolution or evidence supporting the biblical account of history. Evolutionists believe in hundreds of millions of years of death and destruction. They have several theories explaining the many mass extinctions that have supposedly occurred in our planet’s history (such as a giant asteroid striking the earth). Most biblical creationists would explain much of the fossil record by the global Flood (recorded in the book of Genesis).

Dr. Jonathan Sarfati similarly explains that, “Creationists and evolutionists interpret the geological layers differently…Evolutionists interpret the sequence of layers as a sequence of ages with different types of creatures; creationists interpret them as a sequence of burial by a global Flood and its after-effects.” In fact, the creationists’ model better explains the lack of “transitional” creatures (creatures that are in the transition of changing from one kind to another) in the fossil record, and why there are many creatures found in the fossil record (supposedly hundreds of millions of years old) that are still present today. Discussions of these things will rarely, if ever, take place in a public school classroom.

If nothing else, I wish that those on the other side of this debate, especially those in the media, would stop portraying creationists as uneducated, backward thinking, ignorant hillbillies. One of the more ironic things in this debate is that most of the articles and editorials written about it are by journalists who know little or nothing about the facts. I believe they have taken a stance with the evolutionists because it seems that the majority of scientists believe in molecules-to-man evolution. Little real research is done, and those who can present a sound argument against this type of evolution are largely ignored.

Please, let those on all sides of this issue stop with the shrill and mean-spirited rhetoric and let us get on with meaningful, fair, and productive debate. We all, especially our children, deserve better than what we are getting.

Copyright 2015, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World