Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Daily Herald - IN OUR VIEW: Confusing religion with science

Daily Herald - IN OUR VIEW: Confusing religion with science:
"To listen to some senators in the Utah Legislature, schoolchildren are being indoctrinated in a strange religion. It is called science, and some senators believe they have the antidote.

Senate Bill 96, sponsored by Sen. D. Chris Buttars, passed on Monday and now moves to the House, where it is being sponsored by Rep. Jim Ferrin of Orem. The bill would require science teachers to tell students that there are several theories on the origin of life.

While the bill does not mention "intelligent design," "divine design" or any other euphemism for creationism by name, the implications are clear: A number of legislators want to push religion into the public schools by force of law...."

...The dictionary reports that the word "religion" is associated with "belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe" or "a personal or institutionalized system grounded in such belief and worship." We think the government would be wise to stay out of this. Unfortunately, S.B. 96 nudges God into science class, using code words like "theory" as though one's belief in God were as externally valid as any scientific pursuit. The proposition that God exists, that he created the universe and gave life to man is not a theory -- it is faith. It may turn out to be true, but it is not science. Misapplying scientific words to what amounts to a faith-based argument is ultimately not constructive. It is dishonest...."

I'm not sure I would use "dishonest" in this context; "misguided" is probably closer to reality. But the editorialist of the Daily Herald in central Utah makes a good point here.

Science and Faith are two belief systems with different methods and sources of authority and trying to force them into the same teaching framework is just not useful. People shouldn't be afraid to discuss the issues, and there are issues to discuss, but a science classroom is not the proper place.