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Summary: A consideration of the intellectual difficulties with the theory of evolution.

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It was voted by the Associated Press to be the top story of 1999: the Kansas Board of Education’s

decision to de-emphasize some aspects of the teaching of evolution in Kansas’ schools set off a firestorm of controversy.

>>>”Events began in 1995, when the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) issued national standards calling for "dramatic changes" in the way public schools teach science. The Kansas Commissioner of Education and the Board of Education appointed a committee to bring state

guidelines into conformity with the standards, as many other states had already done. The new guidelines greatly increased classroom coverage of evolution, even elevating it from a theory to a “Unifying Concept" of science (along with such things as “measurement" and "evidence").

“That was too much for some members of the state board of education. They were willing to increase the teaching of microevolution -testable, observable variations caused by adaptation, natural selection, and genetic drift. But macroevolution - the "particles-to-people" variety - they regarded as speculative. The board voted to remove macroevolution from state tests, giving local school districts the freedom to set their own standards for teaching the subject.

“In short, the board did not forbid the teaching of anything. On the contrary, it actually increased

coverage of topics related to evolution, though it did not go as far as the scientific establishment wished. For that minor act of intellectual independence, board members were castigated mercilessly. A Washington Post article called them "pinheads," certain to be "eliminated through natural selection." In the London Evening Standard, A. N. Wilson fumed about the "stupidity and insularity" of America’s heartland. Science published a letter proposing that universities refuse to accept credits from Kansas high school biology courses.” (Nancy Pearcey, “We’re Not in Kansas

Anymore,” Christianity Today, May 20, 2000)

Evolution has been a deeply controversial subject ever since the 1859 publishing of Charles Darwin’s The Origin of Species. It remains a deeply controversial issue over 140 years later, still provoking strong reactions from all sides.

As you listen to reports in the media about the evolution controversy, it’s not too difficult to see

the way the two sides are usually characterized. Scientists supporting evolution are scholarly,

Christians opposing evolution are backwoods Neanderthals. Scientists supporting evolution are

being fair and intellectual, Christians opposing evolution are so stupid that they refuse to listen

to reason or consider the evidence.

Now, I don’t get aggravated very often, but it irks be to treated as a complete idiot simply because I refuse to believe in evolution. Anyone watching the reports in the media or reading the articles in the paper and going exclusively on what they read there would be inclined to think,

“You’d have to be stupid to believe what the Bible says.”

“Any thinking person would obviously believe the evidence of evolution.”


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