A theory off-limits
In Tennessee today, folks are recalling the 1925 Scopes “monkey trial” that put their little town of Dayton on the map. But whereas then Mr. Scopes was accused of teaching evolution in his biology class, today Tennessee schoolteachers are being accused of allowing the theory to be critically evaluated. And for the contemporary evolutionist, that’s a no-no.
A bill protecting Tennessee teachers who allow their students to criticize scientific theories like evolution and global warming will go into effect April 20, but not without some kicking and screaming. Opponents like the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Center for Science Education and the ACLU charge that the bill is just a cover for teachers to introduce creationism or intelligent design to their students. Supporters say it is needed to ensure that teachers won’t be punished for allowing debate in their classrooms on existing scientific theories.
I imagine many evolutionists think this would be like allowing precious classroom time to be used for a meeting of the Flat Earth Society. But the theory of evolution as an explanation for the existence of all life is still just that: an unproven theory. And good science ensures that theories are always open to challenge and debate.
Darwinism is not accepted by all scientists. There are over 800 scientists to date who have added their names to A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism (dissentfromdarwin.org) which simply states that “We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.” One of them, Dr. Russell Carlson, Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Georgia, says this, “To limit teaching to only one idea is a disservice to students because it is unnecessarily restrictive, dishonest, and intellectually myopic.”
This fact alone, that hundreds of reputable scientists have been willing to publicly state that they are “skeptical” of many of Darwinism’s claims and that the evidence should be carefully examined, should ensure that students and teachers be allowed and encouraged to debate its strengths and weaknesses in the classroom. The fact that the only challenges to the theory involve the supernatural should not preclude them from the discussion. Religion and science deal in the same commodities, i.e. the nature of reality and the search for causes. But religion is not restricted by what can be observed with the five senses. Consequently, its conclusions are subjective and cannot be part of a science curriculum.
Nevertheless, though the supernatural is outside the realm of science, nature exhibits enough evidence unsatisfactorily explained by science, that allowance for the possibility of the supernatural must be made.
And if the theory of evolution is as solid and indisputable as its proponents would have us believe, they shouldn’t be afraid of the microscope.