Eden Hill Journal

Comments, dreams, stories, and rantings from a middle-aged native of Maine living on a shoestring and a prayer in the woods of Maine. My portion of the family farm is to be known as Eden Hill Farm just because I want to call it that and because that's the closest thing to the truth that I could come up with. If you enjoy what I write, email me or make a comment. If you enjoy Eden Hill, come visit.

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Location: Maine, United States

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Religion in Schools

"Personally, I believe in Intelligent Design. I don't think that surprises any of the regulars here. I think there is an intelligent being, who I call God, that created this earth." I am taking this quote from Mike in his August 9 posting in this blog:
I can always count on good old Mike to give me the real conservative viewpoint and he certainly didn't fail me here. In this simple quote, Mike equates the debate about "Intelligent Design," which is being taught in some Texas public schools, not only with God but with the belief that God is a "being."
The notion that there is intelligence in the universe is something that has been taught in public schools for a long time, even after the evolution thing appeared on the scene. Science accepts the laws of mathematics, the laws of physics, the laws of chemistry. Science accepts that life is governed by these laws of nature. Yet nature isn't a "being." Religion enters the scene when we make the assumption that in order for there to be intelligence, there has to be a "being," someone doing the intelligent thinking.
That's where this quote from Mike shines. The debate about "Intelligent Design" isn't about the laws of nature which guide life, it is about this "being" which creationists call "God." It is about religion and it is using science as its "foot in the door."
If the debate about "Intelligent Design" didn't involve the need for an intelligent being, a creator, or if the debate considered the possibility that there was a creator from another planet - a super race, if you will - then it might be worth including in a science curriculum. But the creationist perspective, the Christian perspective, is what is most likely to be taught, the religious notion that God is a being who created the universe out of nothing but space about 6,000 years ago and that we all should believe the Bible. That is not science. That is religion.
So Mike unintentionally made the debate clear. It isn't whether science should recognize intelligence. It is whether schools should teach religion. Mike even infers that in his comment in response to his wife's comment about whether religions other than Christianity should also be taught in public schools. You two guys are great. Thanks for the insight!


Blogger Gina said...

when I was a kid growing up in canada , I do remember before class started we would sing our national anthom and then also sing a religious song .. it was usually "jesus loves me " years later it stopped and I was too young to even notice that it had , I dont know about teaching religion in school , then we would have everyone screaming about their own religions , or if they they basically bring it in as a science like your saying , we all basically believe in a god dont we ..? there will be much fuss over this issue ..oh gee !

12:21 AM, August 11, 2005  
Blogger Bill said...

When I was in elementary school, we would say the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag and say the Lord's prayer. The funny thing was, I don't think any of us really had a clue what we were actually saying. "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth..."
Or "One nation under God, indivisible..."
But do we all have a God? I suppose we do whether we wish to admit it or not, but a lot of us don't wish to admit it. Bob Dylan sang "You're gonna have to serve somebody. It may be the devil or it may be the Lord, but you're gonna have to serve somebody."
I have a problem with shoving religion down people's throats, though, especially when that religion is not only flawed, but exclusive. Christians claim that's what secular education is, but as I recall, secular education taught me that science, like mathematics, is based on assumptions and theories, not just on absolutes. Religion speaks of known absolutes even though much of religion is based on theories and assumptions, many of which contain fallacies that are the root cause of religious strife.
I can see studying religion in that light in school, but I can't see teaching something like literal Biblical interpretation as absolute "truth." Unfortunately, that is what would eventually be taught in American public schools if the barriers were ever to really come down.
I say leave that to the preachers and the Sunday school teachers and the evangelists. Set public schools free from religious theory cloaked as absolute truth.
Few if any of us really know the truth. Let that be the basis of education. We are here to discover, to search, to explore, not to preach as truth something we really can't even understand ourselves.
Thanks for the input, Gina :)

9:32 PM, August 11, 2005  

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