Copyright © 2005 Henrietta W. Hay
School and Sunday School
August 19, 2005
President Bush said recently that public schools should teach "Intelligent Design" (ID) as well as the theory of evolution when discussing the origin of life. ID is defined as the assertion that the complexity of living things is best explained as the work of a designer rather than the random process of natural selection.
Five years ago it was called Creationism, clearly a religious word. It became a political liability as the Administration tried to get religion into the school system. I think that is a major mistake. Government should not be telling the public school system what to teach. .The United States leads the world in scientific development, which indicates that our kids are getting good education in the sciences. Most of all, the thousands of churches and the parents in America teach their children their own beliefs. To mix a scientific theory and personal faith is dangerous to both.
I wondered how I would have reacted if this had happened when I was a 7th grader back in 1925. I can imagine sitting in front of Mr. Davidson as he discussed the theory of evolution. "But I went to Sunday School, and that is not the story I learned there," I said. " "I know," he said. "There are many theories on the origin of life" He held his arms out. "The scientist reaches out into the universe and finds evidence." "Well, I said, what does the other side do? "It looks inward and makes its personal beliefs part of its faith." "Hmmmmmm," I said. "That's pretty confusing." "Well, he said, there is a new theory called Intelligent Design. It is based on the faith that humans were created as humans by some Intelligent Design." "You mean there is another force out there along with God?" I asked. "Well," said Mr. D., "It is kind of confusing. The theory of evolution is based on scientific study and knowledge, while ID is based on faith, just like Creationism." "Wait a minute," I said "What is Creationism?" "It is a lot like ID." said Mr. D. You kids had better go home and ask your parents or your minister or priest." At that point, the teacher and the class were so thoroughly confused that he dismissed us.
Our president wants to combine Sunday School and Pubic School
Fortunately, in my school days life was simpler. We knew the difference between government and religion, that both were very important and that they should be kept separate. After all, we had read the constitution.
Harvard Professor, Steven Pinker, says, "The theory of natural selection explains life as we find it. We can prove thematically that it is capable of life forms and can track it in computer simulations." But fifty years from now we have no idea what theories will exist.
ID says that human life is so compact, so intricate, that it must be the result of Intelligent Design. It does not explain who or what the designer was or how changes take place. It is based on faith. Intelligent Design is a politically acceptable tool for those wanting to break down the church-state barrier. But in any case, it belongs in church, not in the public schools
As Americans we have our individual beliefs. But let's allow our kids learn faith from their parents and their churches, and learn science in school.