After recently submitting a guest column supporting my view that all theories concerning the beginning of the universe should be given academic credit in the classroom, I received many negative replies in the form of online comments and printed editorials.
Some of these rebuttals brought up legitimate points, but I feel that my main thesis was widely misinterpreted. Contrary to what seems to be popular belief, I was not trying to prove a point that creationism is truth. Because it technically is not; the idea has not been scientifically proved, and thus is only a theory. However, the same is true of evolution.
Now, please, hear me out. I am aware that there are, indeed, parts of the evolution theory that have enough evidential backing to be classified as fact. It's been legitimately proved that some organisms do change over time, for example, but only to a certain extent. That extent reaches only to the point at which evolutionary ideas depend more on faith than proof and observation, but no further. So I do not completely disavow evolution.
However, because no human was in existence to witness the origin of the universe, there is no present way, excluding time travel, that scientists can ever be sure about how the Earth began.
That is the bit of evolution that is not fact, because nobody can identify by what means the universe was formed or created.
As THEO stated in an online comment, “Darwinian/Macro evolution (where the conflict is) asserts that: (a.) All living things had a common ancestor. This implies that your great, great grandfather was a self-replicating molecule; (b.) The observable world has come into existence by totally natural, unguided processes and specifically WITHOUT the involvement of an intelligent designer.”
This is the part of evolution that I was referring to in my previous column that depends more upon faith than fact.
Dr. GS Hurd, who commented on my article via The News-Sentinel website, claimed that creationism should not be taught because “it is false.” However, that is a statement of complete opinion. My point was that, since no one idea has been proved, all theories should be acknowledged. I'm not trying to say that evolution is false; I'm simply stating that, in regard to “the beginning,” scientifically nothing is truth.
Iance said, “The main reason that 'creation' should not be taught in science classes is that it is a 'belief,' as such not provable or disprovable.”
Who's to say that creationism will never be proved true or false? And even if Iance's statement were correct, the same would be true of evolution. Both creationism and the kind of spontaneous existence I'm talking about are “beliefs.” All ideas that hold the title of “theories” go hand in hand. Even if one were to say that creationism is not science, it would only be fair for that person to state that most areas of evolution aren't either.
I do admit that B.J. Paschal was correct in pointing out that I neglected to mention that Britain has a state religion, as I was formerly unaware of this fact and hadn't thoroughly researched the topic.
Bonzo said, “You say 'Teaching only one set of beliefs is dangerous to science, because the truth could be potentially excluded all together.' If that is the case then I assume that means you accept as true all the other creation myths that abound: the Scandinavian creation myths in which Odin appears, for example? Or is it just ONE creation myth that counts? What makes the Judeo-Christian myth so special? Please don't say 'the Bible says so.' That is special pleading.”
I never specified that the type of creationism I was referring to was solely that of Christianity. I may not personally accept other creation ideas as true, but I would have no problem with them being included as well; note, I stated that “all theories should be given credit,” not merely “both” theories.
“Giving all (creation) theories credit in the classroom promotes critical thought, allowing students to carry out the process of developing their own opinion and finding the support to back it up,” wrote Galen A. Yordy in a letter to the editor; he was quoting my article, but by inserting the word “creation” in parentheses, he changed what I said, altering my argument. If it came to be, I would support the idea of any and all beliefs being included, not solely creationism, as long as the curriculum does not continue to be selective to one unproved idea.
Yordy did note, however, that Wikipedia lists 91 creation theories. This brings me to the acceptance that maybe covering all theories would indeed occupy way too much class time. Very true. But it's all or nothing. A possible solution is that the origin of the universe should not be included in the realms of science at all, whatsoever.
Currently, scientists have no means of discovering how the universe began. There are many theories, from creationism to evolution and beyond, which all depend on some amount of belief, and therefore are not fact. Because of this, select theories should not be taught as true while other possibilities are excluded entirely.
Either the topic is opened up for discussion during class, as a matter of personal faiths (since all theories require faith), or any ideas about “the beginning” are left out of the science curriculum all together until mankind acquires sufficient enough technology to determine the absolute truth.