Monday, June 15, 2009

Some Summertime Reading

I have a busy day ahead of me, but I want to post some links to articles to help you reflect on issues of our time.

First, George Neumayr shares some thoughts on the societal implications of the murder of late-term abortionist George Tiller:

Second, here's an article that parodies the difficulty of hiding from mainstream media and ties to it an unusual theme from Orwell's 1984:

Finally, here's Ken Connor's article, "Religious Liberty Stops at the Schoolhouse Door" from

1 comment:

whabbear said...

Dr Jones: Thanks for the links! In particular, Ken Connor's article did the trick, and set me to thinking. One passage in particular caught my eye:

"This state-sponsored religion teaches the theory of evolution as an indisputable fact, singling out and eliminating from its ranks proponents of intelligent design theory?or, heaven forbid, actual Creationists?"

Surely the most important function of an educational system is to impart knowledge. The theory of evolution does not exist in a vacuum; it occupies a niche within a vastly larger and internally consistent body of knowledge about the origin, evolution, and nature of this incredible universe. This knowledge, as captured in the physical sciences of physics, chemistry, geology, and astronomy, is incomplete in some very important respects. Nevertheless, over 500 years of careful, painstaking theorizing, experimentation, and discovery, by hundreds of devoted individuals, has resulted in an extraordinarily coherent "big picture".

What puzzles me is Mr Connor's narrow focus on the theory of evolution, and the mystifying claim that teaching that small piece of the big picture amounts to a religion. The 19th and 20th centuries saw a explosion of fundamental unifying theoretical principles in other fields, similar in importance to evolutionary theory, such as Maxwell's electromagnetic theory of light, Wegener's theory of plate tectonics, the Big Bang theory of the universe's beginning, and Einstein's discoveries that time, space, and gravity sculpt and shape each other.

The theory of evolution is fundamentally intertwined and interconnected with these other advances. In fact, the level of interconnectedness between them is so profound that if you wish to question any one of them, you are really questioning all of them.

From that perspective, creationists have a much bigger explanatory challenge than first meets the eye. It is a challenge I have yet to see them take on. In the meantime, I believe our educators have a fundamental obligation do the best they can to impart as much of the big picture (not just evolution) as possible.