Virtual Voices

Year 150 after Darwin

Education

Seven score and 10 years ago Charles Darwin published a controversial book. His hypothesis brought an advance in science. It inspired Marx and Hitler. It reshaped American society through the public school system.

While modern evolutionary theory has its merits, what often hides behind objective research is a very specific belief. A belief that species have evolved on their own, without a designer, has come to dominate biology. America's secular religion is partly a natural reaction to past efforts to suppress Darwin's story. It was unwise to ban one hypothesis from 19th century classrooms. It is just as unwise to force it uncritically on children and suppress discussion in the 21st century.

Teachers who present biological counter evidence against macroevolution in public schools get in serious trouble with Big Brother, just as past scholars were in trouble with the Inquisition for daring to suggest that the world might be revolving around the sun. Biologists who speak of intelligent design feel like Soviet dissidents bringing historical and economic evidence against Marxism to the Kremlin.

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But what about the constitutional constraints, the separation of church and state? Surely we cannot allow a "religious" explanation in public schools? Intelligent design in science courses is not to be mixed with any particular theology. It should have no religious element whatsoever. It has to be a critical evaluation of evidence from the physical world and biology.

It is time for American public educators to prove that they believe in intellectual freedom, scientific methods, and the power of reason. America has gone too far in the wrong direction when democratically elected officials and legally appointed judges abuse their powers to banish evidence against one idea from the public classrooms. That is disgrace on a par with burning books and crosses.

Perhaps you are smart and firmly believe in the non-existence of God. Look at a single cell. What do you see? It has such an amazing design that dismissing the possibility of a designer is not scientific. Let school teachers not be afraid to teach any hypothesis supported by facts and all facts that contradict the currently dominant hypothesis. Let freedom ring!

Alex Tokarev
Alex Tokarev

Alex is the chair of the Department of Business at Morthland College in West Frankfort, Ill., and teaches at Northwood University in Midland, Mich. The native of communist Bulgaria fanatically supports the Bulgarian soccer team, Levski.

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