In fact, the whole machinery of our intelligence, our general ideas and laws, fixed and external objects, principles, persons, and gods, are so many symbolic, algebraic expressions. They stand for experience; experience which we are incapable of retaining and surveying in its multitudinous immediacy. We should flounder hopelessly, like the animals, did we not keep ourselves afloat and direct our course by these intellectual devices. Theory helps us to bear our ignorance of fact. – George Santayana
As many of you know, Bill Nye the Science Guy debated Ken Ham, the president of Answers in Genesis and the Creation Museum. I applaud Bill Nye for agreeing to a live stream debate with a man who will never believe a single bit of evidence presented to him that conflicts with his world view. I applaud Ken Ham for agreeing to debate a man whose evidence would shatter his world view if Ken actually had the ability to evolve his world view based on new evidence.
Before I go any further, I should admit to you that I am completely bias.
I am an atheist.
I do not believe in God. I have never practiced a particular religion. I was not raised with a specific deity. My parents aren’t atheists, but both having had negative experiences with church and religion, they raised me to make my own choices. I chose none. Religion didn’t make sense to me. If a God existed in the heavens and watched over the earth, I assumed that the astronauts would have found him. After all, I grew up watching the shuttle launches from my front yard.
Now, just because I’m an atheist, doesn’t mean I am that atheist. I won’t mock your beliefs. I won’t deliberately point out the flaws in religious logic, and I won’t judge you as a whole person by your theological choices. About the only time I partake in debates about religion is when religion attempts to flex itself in politics. Namely issues like LGBTQ equality, abortion, or in this case, teaching biblical creationism alongside evolution in science classes.
Genesis, the first chapter in the bible, is not science. It is religion. According to our founding fathers and one of the primary foundations of our country, there should be a solid wall between religion and state. Since our public schools are funded by the state, religion has no place alongside the curriculum of language, math, and science.
In my personal opinion, if the concept of Biblical Creation is to be taught in public school, it should be taught in a history or religious studies class alongside the hundred or so other creation ideas. Our science classes should be teaching only what we know based on historical and observable science and highlighting the fact that we do not know everything. I feel that if kids know that there is so much more to explore scientifically, they will be more inclined to follow that curiosity. That is the best thing we can do for the children of not just the United States, but the entire world. When children are fascinated and encouraged to explore, they discover things that our old adult minds could have never dreamed of. This curiosity, the insatiable need to discover and find greater and deeper truths and proof to validate that truth, is what will keep the human race progressing.
Sadly, if we teach only the Christian view of creation alongside evolution as science, we negate the history and culture of hundreds of civilizations that came before us. Civilizations that can possibly teach us great things about who we are now and how we came to be.
If we negate observable and historical science on solely the basis of belief, I feel as though we will find ourselves on a crash course back into the dark ages. And we all know what happens when we don’t learn from history.
Camicia Bennett: Founder of The Well Written Woman, Florida Native and cerebral creature, she loves her husband, yoga, red wine, potty humor, swearing superfluously and putting hats on her dog. If given her druthers she’d be surfing the web and writing randomness from someplace sunny and tropical whilst sipping her favorite vino. Oh wait, that’s exactly what she does.You can find her randomly sharing her own brand of slightly pretentious propaganda at her personal blog.