The Scopes III trial ends.
From the New York Times:
HARRISBURG, PA., Dec. 20 – A federal judge ruled today that it is unconstitutional for a Pennsylvania school district to present intelligent design as an alternative to evolution in high school biology courses because intelligent design is a religious viewpoint that advances “a particular version of Christianity.”
Thank heaven! (Pun intended.) I was beginning to think the country was regressing back to a 21st century version of the Dark Ages.
I have all kinds of respect for people’s religious beliefs. Religion is important to many people. It forms the bedrock of their personal belief systems and guides their everyday actions. But when religious beliefs contradict science, I’m on the side of science.
It doesn’t bother me to imagine that I’m the product of millions of years of evolution. It doesn’t bother me to know that one of my ancestors was a squiggly thing in the ocean and another was an ape-like creature that couldn’t stand quite upright. Science has produced all kinds of theories that make evolution feasible and there is enough evidence to satisfy me. Evidently, there’s enough evidence to satisfy a judge, too.
We should be teaching science in public schools, not religion. Religion should be taught at home and at church and at church-sponsored education, like Sunday School. Parents and religious leaders are better suited to answering questions about religion. Science teachers are better suited for answering questions about science. It makes sense.
Of course, I do have a good friend who believes that the earth is only 7,000 years old. (I think that’s his number.) It doesn’t matter that there’s all kinds of scientific evidence to prove that it’s billions of years old. My friend says 7,000 years and he truly believes it. That’s part of his religion. And who am I to tell him he’s wrong?
Not a science teacher.
Anyway, I’m not surprised that the trial ended the way it did. It makes sense to me. But Mike said tonight at dinner that he was relieved. Relieved? How could it not end on the side of reason? How could a government built upon separation of church and state settle for anything less?