|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 Glenn Tolle of Linden, NC: What academic credentials would qualify one to teach an unbiased Evolution vs. Creationism class in public school?
The two "disciplines" reside in their respective secular/theological camps, and it seems that an instructor would be hard pressed to qualify himself to present both in a credible manner.
Dr. Donald Kennedy, chair of the panel that authored the new guidelines, responds:
I'm not sure what you mean by "unbiased." There is little argument among scientists about Darwinian evolution -- though scientists do differ with fundamentalist Christians about whether that explanation or a literal interpretation of the Bible best accounts for the diversity of life. To be "unbiased" as between scientific and theological explanations would require one to carry around two fundamentally contradictory convictions -- and most people just can't do that!!
Dr. Carl Herbster, president of the American Association of Christian Schools, responds:
A person who has studied Biblical Creationism, evolutionary theory, and science should be best qualified to speak on the subject. No one can truly claim to have no bias. Everyone must interpret what they see in light of certain other suppositions. The real question is "What is the actual evidence for creation by intelligent design or for chance evolution?"