|AN EVOLVING DEBATE
Can Evolution and Creationism Coexist
in the Science Classroom?
May 8, 1998
in this forum:
Why is the faith of one group given prominence over the other? Can science and religion coexist in people's minds? How does teaching creation or evolution help people? Why should a high school science class be burdened with teaching creationism? Which version of creation should be taught, if any? What academic credentials would qualify one to teach an unbiased Evolution vs. Creationism class in public school? Additional Comments... A question from Steven Lachnicht of Port St. Lucie, FL: If religion (creationism) is to be taught in science class, then which religion's theory of creationism is to be taught. Is it possible to distinguish between the many different creation myths with a scientific investigation?
Dr. Carl Herbster, president of the American Association of Christian Schools, responds:
(See reply for Question #4 -- A Christian high school class should teach creationism as the foundation of science because of the Christian commitment to the Bible (II Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 11:3; Psalm 19:1-2). A public high school class should be exposed to the scientific evidence that contradicts evolution and that points to intelligent design, to fairly treat all of the scientific evidence. This can be done without directly dealing with religion. Several former evolutionary scientists have written scientific critiques of evolution, such as Michael Denton, Evolution: Theory in Crisis, and Scott Huse, The Collapse of Evolution. Just pointing out scientific evidence and problems should pass court scrutiny.)
Dr. Donald Kennedy, chair of the panel that authored the new guidelines, responds:
That's an excellent point: there are numbers of creation myths, and if one of them is to be taught then the "equal time" argument would hold that all of them should be. Since that is plainly impossible, it would be better to present these in a separate class on comparative religion, or belief systems.