Creating a Debate
Creationism is not science
Published: Saturday, January 28, 2012
Updated: Monday, November 5, 2012 20:11
Do you think Creationism should be taught in public schools alongside evolution?
In 1633, famed mathematician and physicist Galileo Galilei stood accused. The Roman Inquisition had been investigating him for heretical views on the solar system.
See, Galileo had been using new advances in telescope technology to observe the skies and started to believe in Copernicus' view that the earth revolves around the sun. He published some of his findings in the book Starry Messenger, and the Vatican wasn't happy at all.
The Vatican had subscribed to the Aristotelian view of the solar system, which says that the Earth is the center of the universe. Aristotle's flawed hypothesis meshed perfectly with biblical descriptions of the sun.
The Inquisition found Galileo guilty of heresy, forced him to recant his views, put him under house arrest, and prevented his books from being published.
Although it's been quite a while since the Holy See had ironclad control of the western world, religion is still at odds with science. The heliocentric model of the solar system has been completely proven but the debate over biology, mainly outside of science, is still raging.
Indiana's state senate recently accelerated the debate by voting 8-2 to bring a bill to the floor that will allow Creationism to be taught in school. Also known as Intelligent Design, Creationism is the view that an intelligent creator, i.e. God, created the universe and is taught as an alternative to Evolution.
There are two different issues with this, first of which is the matter of separation of church and state. The Supreme Court already ruled on the subject in 1987, when they struck down a Louisiana law requiring the teaching of "creation science," saying that it had no secular purpose.
Creationists argue, however, that there is a secular purpose because there is a debate going on within the scientific community about the validity of the theory of evolution. However, there really is very little debate. In fact, a hyper majority of scientists, along the lines of 99.85 percent, support evolution.
In stark contrast, the general American public sits around 48 percent according to the Pew Research Center.
What the debate really boils down to is not whether or not Creationism should be taught in schools, but what "teaching" Creationism would be. Among our editorial board, we had some creationists and some evolution supporters.
We all agree that it should be mentioned. Although scientists do not support it, many people do and the issue should be addressed.
Problem is, Creationism is fundamentally not science because it is not testable or observable. When Galileo became convinced that the Earth revolved around the sun, he did so because he was able to see evidence, and repeat his observations.
Nothing about Creationism can do that.
Evolution, however, has come to being after a long series of testable and repeatable observations. It may be a "theory," but that doesn't mean it's a simple guess. It's heavily supported by evidence and tests.
Therefore, Creationism should not be taught as a parallel argument to evolution.
Religious people might view this as an attack on their beliefs, but it is most certainly not. We aren't trying to get into a metaphysical debate about whether or not God exists, or if evolution is completely true.
Science isn't about asserting that something is true, it's about testing and figuring out what is right.