> There is an education issues message board at the Montana Forum web site -->
> http://www.montanaforum.com/indices/forum.php?nnn=5 where people can write
> replies to the Op-Ed pieces on the web site, in case anybody wants to write
> a reply. *hint* *wink* :-)
I need a proof reader...
Curtis Brinkley proposes [Guest Opinion: Study of ID means fair debate in schools] that the teaching of "Intelligent design theory" (ID) needs to be introduced into the public schools in the spirit of fairness to make everyone aware of the "serious scientific debate" boiling around Darwin's theory of evolution. The only problem is that this is completely dishonest as there is no serious scientific doubt regarding Darwin's magnificent theory. The only doubters and mud-slingers are those whose fundamentalist religious views conflict with the theory that life on earth developed slowly over the millennia by the simple biological mechanism proposed by Darwin, rather than by the rapid divine creation described in Genesis.
Mr. Brinkley is one of a number of individuals whose religious fundamentalism has propelled them into a propaganda exercise with the apparent goal of subjugating science and science education to meet the demands and desires of those with fundamentalist religious beliefs.
We have all been a witness to the ongoing conflicts in the world which highlight the religious disagreements and religious antagonism which exists. In history anything which dared to disagree with the predominant religious viewpoint was labeled a heresy and attacked vigorously by the established church. Darwin's 'heresy' has been under attack by the fundamentalists for over one hundred years, yet it has survived and grown strong and shown the scientific community its extraordinary power, and indeed has become a cornerstone of science.
At the time Darwin proposed his theory in 1859 we had no idea how stunningly important it was. We had no idea it would be validated by geology, genetics, cosmology, radiology, tectonics, relativity, and paleontology to mention a few, and most of these branches of science were utterly unknown at the time of Darwin!
Like his fellow Creationists, those who wish to promote a literal interpretation of Genesis, Mr. Brinkley claims that various flaws are evident in the currently accepted theory of evolution, and in its presentation. He mentions several of the standard fundamentalist complaints, and you may hear these same complaints from other creationists; that the fossil record is "incomplete", that the Cambrian fossils are "unnatural", that certain textbook drawings were inaccurate, that mathematical statistics can establish the truth.
Mr. Brinkley wishes to imply that there is an alternative scientific theory, known as "ID," or "intelligent design" theory, which should be debated. This is untrue. Such a theory does not actually exist except as a collection of half-baked objections. In 1996 Michael Behe wrote a book called "Darwin's Black Box" in which he tried to demonstrate ID, proposing that many current biological structures could not have been created by Evolution because they are "irreducible." The book was laughed out of scientific circles because biology actually more often demonstrates the opposite of what Behe was proposing; with one example being the Panda's thumb, a perfect example of evolution.
The fossil record is indeed incomplete, and will always be incomplete, but it clearly shows the truth of Darwin's theory. The Cambrian did indeed produce some very interesting fossils, but then so did every geological era before and after. The Haeckel textbook drawings were indeed rescaled, but to demonstrate a general truth, not to promote a falsehood. Finally mathematical statistics cannot be applied to a problem when we as yet lack the needed factors to use in the calculation.
Day after day the religious fundamentalists hammer away with their mistruths and distortions. They are often preachers, excellent speakers with great experience. They are funded by the enormous tax-free wealth of the collection plate. They know only one thing; like the knights of the Holy Crusades, they must destroy the heresy, and the heresy is science and rational secular thought.