By Darrell D. White, retired judge, Founder and President of American Judicial Alliance
The recent Ken Ham v. Bill Nye debate over origins science drew a large audience, showing how vitally important is this issue of God vs. random natural selection causing macro-evolution (amoeba to man evolution).
How very sad it is that today’s public school students are denied access to information about the many scientific problems with Darwinian macro-evolution.
Scholarly observations published over twenty years ago in ‘The American Biology Teacher’ analyzed 1991 biology textbooks and found the same problems impeding the acquisition of critical thinking skills that are evident in the current editions:
“…(I)t should be apparent that the errors, overstatements and omissions … noted in these biology texts, all tend to enhance the plausibility of hypotheses that are presented. More importantly, the inclusion of outdated material and erroneous discussions is not trivial. The items noted mislead students and impede their acquisition of critical thinking skills. If we fail to teach students to examine data critically, looking for points both favoring and opposing hypotheses, we are selling our youth short and mortgaging the future of scientific inquiry itself.”
About ten years later The American Spectator Magazine published a short essay, Survival of the Fakest, featuring chronic biology textbook problems, and it began by asking this question: “Science now knows that many of the pillars of Darwinian theory are either false or misleading. Yet biology texts continue to present them as factual evidence of evolution. What does this imply about their scientific standards?”
Can anything be done to address this problem?
Two Louisiana school districts have adopted science curriculum academic freedom policies to assure teachers that they are expected (and protected) to teach the weaknesses about evolutionary claims that are presented dogmatically in the “approved” biology textbooks.
Here is an extract from those popular policies that now exist in Ouachita Parish and Central Community School Districts:
“The … School District understands that the purpose of science education is to inform students about the scientific evidence and to help them develop critical thinking skills they need in order to become scientifically minded citizens.
“The District also understands that the teaching of some scientific subjects, such as biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming, and human cloning, can cause controversy, and that some teachers may be unsure of the District’s expectations concerning how they should present information on such subjects.
“The District shall endeavor to create an environment within the schools that encourages students to explore scientific questions, learn about scientific evidence, develop critical thinking skills, and respond appropriately to differences of opinion about controversial issues.
“The District shall also endeavor to assist teachers to find more effective ways to present the science curriculum where it addresses scientific controversies. Toward this end, teachers shall be permitted to help students understand, analyze, critique, and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and weaknesses of existing scientific theories pertinent to the course being taught.”
Certainly academic freedom should be about increasing scientific objectivity. In fact Central Community’s Jim Lloyd observed at one of his school board meetings that even the ACLU and Americans United for the Separation of Church and State have both agreed that “Any genuinely scientific evidence for or against any explanation of life may be taught.”
The policies in Ouachita and Central cover scientific topics generally and even mention global warming and human cloning as other controversial theories which might be protected under the policy.
Despite criticism from some Darwin-only circles, so far there have been no lawsuits or legal challenges to these popular policies which—combined – have been on the books for eight years now.
If we fail to present all sides of controversial science to our students, they are being indoctrinated, not educated. And we should not be surprised at the troubling consequences, which were well-stated over a half-century ago by Cleon Skousen in ‘The Naked Communist:’
“Every time we produce a boy or girl who has been trained to believe that the universe is the product of accumulated accidents, that human beings are only graduate beasts, that there is no such thing as innate right or wrong, and that deep spiritual convictions are old-fashioned and unnecessary, then we have caused a casualty among our own ranks in the field of ideological warfare. Without his ever knowing it, a young American has been trained to be a potential Red ally. This is indeed the great secret weapon of Communism.”
A recent national Zogby poll shows over 75 percent of Americans prefer balanced science education that discusses both the strengths and weaknesses of Darwinian evolution. And Darwin himself devoted three of the fifteen chapters of Origin of Species to discussing problems with his own theory.
Following that example might just reverse the “mortgage on the future of scientific inquiry” warned of twenty years ago and that was reinforced by Barack Obama in his 2011 State of the Union Address when he noted, “The quality of our … science education lags behind many other nations.”
The church’s unwillingness to confront popular origins science lies shortchanges our students and is akin to what Charles Spurgeon called “depraved indifference.” Spurgeon illustrated, using as his example a group of adults sitting by idly as they watch a child drown in a pool into which he has fallen.
Leading little children astray is serious business, calling to mind millstone necklaces and deep water! Could it be that God is not nearly as pleased with our apathy as we are apt to think?
Shouldn’t we be encouraging school board decision makers to adopt the Ouachita/Central science academic freedom policies to start correcting this problem? After all, the heavy lifting has already been done!