So, I watched this show on one of the PBS channels. It was an episode of their Independent Lens series. This episode was about the Texas state board of education and their deliberations on the science and then history curriculum. They were trying to decide what should get taught in their schools, how it should get taught, and what should not get taught.
Most of the discussions seemed to focus on the (almost moot) debate between people who believe in evolution and those crazy Christians (me being one of them) who believe in the creation story from the Bible. Oh ya, then there’s the people who can’t make up their mind: those who believe in intelligent design (a god-person set things into motion and that’s how we got here). You wouldn’t believe the nonsense that these people are debating.
I believe God made humanity and everything else in the universe. Does that mean He literally pulled us out of the dust? Or does that mean at some time He liked where his creation was headed, from an evolutionary viewpoint, and decided to bless us with souls and possibly better intelligence? Does that mean we were and are a completely separate species from everything else on the planet? Or does that mean we did in fact evolve from the -sapien line of mammals into the human form we think of today?
Why does it matter?
If my great-, great-, a million times great-grandparents were monkeys, how does that affect who I am at this moment in time?
Here’s another set of equally pointless questions: Is the Earth billions of years old? Or is it merely 10,000 years old?
Why does it matter?
Is the Earth the creation of an omnipotent being who has always existed? Or is the Earth the result of galactic physics, much of which we are just beginning to understand well, which shaped our universe into this planet we assume (because of our limited life spans) is set in stone?
Why does it matter?
I’m all for studying history. I think we need to study history as it really happened, with all of the good and bad done by the good and bad people, governments, and regimes. If you don’t study history, you will repeat it. Learning about how the Cold War went down (America saying, “you can’t have nukes, only we can.”) could help us determine how to better solve such disputes (*cough* Korea *cough*) in future conflicts. However, learning that I indeed have a common ancestry with the oak tree in my back yard (not that I even believe that) doesn’t affect my life much at all. It doesn’t affect my decisions nor does it affect how I live my life. That was so long ago, anyway, that there is no connection anymore. It simply doesn’t matter.
What should we do then?
Tell kids about the creation story, because some cultures and many people in America still believe it. But also tell kids about evolution. And, also tell them about this middle ground called intelligent design. What’s the harm? If a child grows up believing in evolution, they die and get to heaven only for God to ask, “really?” They believe in the creation story or even intelligent design, they die and absolutely nothing happens. Big friggin’ deal!
Last thing I have to say: statistics and computer models continue to show the probability of a life sustaining planet existing (besides Earth) more than ever. The probability of life existing on that planet is going up as well. But this still doesn’t mean life has to exist outside of Earth. These similar computer models don’t prove evolution or the big bang either. Just because something is considered to be fact by the majority doesn’t mean it is. Congress makes “majority” decisions all the time and lots of people find their decisions to be crap.
And I know congress is not made up of scientists.
2 thoughts on “We need to ask the bigger question: Why does it matter?”
Interesting. I have written a piece on politicoid which addresses the issue of whether it is reasonable to hold the positions of belief in science and religion at the same time, which you may or may not agree with. I am open to all comments as I think we all need to look at this issue carefully. Have a read if you like…
Kids deserve to know what mankind has discovered through the Scientific method. How can we walk in good Works on this earth if we dont care about the World and how it works? Kids also deserve to know that these creationists make a willful choice against the Scientific method over what they believe the Bible says.