Eugenie Scott says “yes.”
Posts Tagged ‘Creationism’
Eugenie Scott says “yes.”
I recently stumbled across a sermon about evolution that was so factually inaccurate that I thought it had to be a joke.
Sadly, it was not. Listen at your own risk:
Apparently, this pastor was preaching to a group of students at a church down the road from where I have taught high school Biology for the last decade. I cannot help but wonder whether any of my former students were there that evening, quietly listening while their pastor told them “the truth” about what they were learning in my classroom.
My fellow Biology teachers: pay attention! This is what we’re up against.
Here’s a man who began his sermon by openly admitting his own ignorance concerning the topic of Biology. Unfortunately, the rest of his sermon merely served as a demonstration of this fact. Those young people were woefully misinformed that evening, and it saddens me to think that their minds may have been permanently closed to the very idea of evolution by the horrendously misleading historical and scientific misinformation they were being fed.
My fellow Christians: pay attention! This is what we’re up against.
Here’s a brother in Christ who started out his sermon by freely admitting that he knew very little about a well-established scientific theory. He then proceeded to spread several blatant falsehoods about the theory, all in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Those young people were woefully misinformed that evening, and it should sadden all of us that such streams of misinformation originate from uninformed Christian pastors across the country.
In the past, I have encountered people from other countries who ask me why the United States has such a low percentage of people who accept evolution. In response, I point them to sermons like this one. There are some in this country who will do whatever it takes to close young minds to evolution before they even have a chance to learn about the unifying theory of Biology. I have, on occasion, seen the effect of such mistreatment in the questions asked by my students. I must tell you that it is truly sad to see young people struggle as they come to realize that their pastors have not been telling them the truth.
It does not have to be this way.
I read somewhere that maintaining a blog requires regular posting. I’m gonna have to work on that.
At a recent Board meeting, the topic of teaching creationism came up and…well…here’s how the reporter for The Advocate described the fallout:
The discussion came up during a report on the pupil progression plan for the 2010-11 school year, delivered by Jan Benton, director of curriculum.
Benton said that under provisions of the Science Education Act enacted last year by the Louisiana Legislature, schools can present what she termed “critical thinking and creationism” in science classes.
This reminds me of something that I wrote over two years ago concerning the Louisiana Science Education Act:
I sure hope I’m wrong.
If you follow the creation/evolution debate, you’ve probably heard of Ray Comfort. In case you haven’t, Ray is a Christian apologist who is probably best known for his hilarious comedy routine in which he argues that the characteristics of a banana provide evidence for the existence of God.
Well, here’s the part where Ray slips on the banana peel.
You see, Ray Comfort’s “special introduction” to Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species includes a short biography of Darwin that was apparently cut-n-pasted from University of Tennessee professor Stan Guffey’s essay “A Brief History of Charles Darwin” (pdf).
Here’s how Guffey described his unacknowledged contribution to Comfort’s ministry:
See? There’s no Comfort in the truth.
Even worse, according to the Metro Pulse article linked above, Comfort and his publisher were confronted about the apparent plagiarism months ago and apparently chose to do nothing about it.
As I said before, I wish people like Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron would stop harming Christianity by making such fools of themselves in public. They’re bumbling attempts at evangelism are self-defeating.
Our family fulfilled a long-held dream last week of traveling to the Grand Canyon. Camping in the area was made tolerable by the fact that the 17oF nighttime low ensured that the daytime gloppy mud was nicely frozen over in the mornings.
Although the older kids & husband hiked down into the Canyon, I stayed up top along the Rim Trail with the little ones who were (thankfully) cautious about getting close to the edge. Tourists were speaking at least 7 different languages, that I could tell. Parents were kept busy answering their kids’ questions: “How deep is it?” (about a mile) “Why is it so hazy?” (smog from LA) “Where’s the potty?”
And of course, “How did it get here?” I overheard several different responses on this one:
“The river ate away at the rock for millions of years.”
“This whole area used to be at the bottom of a great big sea. The sea dried up, the land rose and the river eroded its way through the layers.”
“I don’t know.”
Notably absent were any creationist explanations. Now sure, this is hardly a scientific sampling, and my “methodology” relied on blatant eavesdropping . . . but it’s still reassuring.
We stopped in four of the five South Rim bookstores run by the Grand Canyon Association. In 2003,the National Park Service made the controversial decision to stock a creationist book in their “Science” section featuring creationist versions of the Canyon’s formation.
The good news? I searched through the “Science” and “Spiritual” sections of each of those stores, and the book wasn’t on the shelves of either section. Sure, this might mean that it’s so popular that it’s out of stock . . . and it is still available online.
The official National Park Service visitor centers featured some nicely-designed displays which weren’t coy at all about the millions of years of Canyon history.
All in all, some reasons for hope.