Aardvark Alley

Lutheran Aardvark

Confessional Lutheran theology, hagiography, philosophy, music, culture, sports, education, and whatever else is on the fevered mind of Orycteropus Afer

08 November 2005
  Intelligent Schoolboard, Intelligent Design

Kansas FlagWay back in June, I discussed the on-going debate in the Kansas State Board of Education and the attitudes regarding the teaching of evolution in the state's public schools.

Today, to the delight of some and the dismay of others, the Board of Ed made its new standards known. It will now be allowed (not mandated, mind you) to challenge, or at least make unflattering comparisons to pro-evolutionary dogma in the classroom. This doesn't mean that God has suddenly invaded Kansas classrooms: The AP story I read at Fox News notes, "The new standards contain an explicit disclaimer saying they're not designed to promote intelligent design...." Classroom teachers can, at least for now, pretty much still teach nothing but pure evolutionary theory.

CreationStill, those who make science their god will, at least in Kansas, face a bit more resistance as they attempt to bulldoze others' understandings and beliefs. "The board," says the AP, "rewrote the standards' definition of science, so that it is no longer limited to the search for natural explanations of phenomena." In other words, it looks like you can make a detailed, lab-tested examination of something and say, "There's no discernable natural reason why this happened." That's a long way from imposing religion, but at least it removes one form of institutionalized hostility toward people of faith who examine the evidence and see a universe too broad, too vast, too complicated, and too ordered to be explained in purely random, naturalistic terms.

So, what's changed? Probably not a whole lot. Governor Sebelius will continue to decry the Board of Education, claiming that the economic sky will fall. Voters will flip-flop on pro- and anti-evolutionary members for the Board of Ed in coming elections. Meanwhile, the evolution supporters will consider their opponents to be under-evolved pseudo-humans while the fundamentalist branch of the creationists will continually shoot themselves in the foot by trying to "prove" Jesus, the Bible, or Christianity by "proving" Creation rather than focusing on Christ so that His followers continually be led to "search the Scriptures (John 5:39 ESV)" and learn to believe that they "bear witness about [Him]" — a true and certain witness from Genesis through Revelation.
 
Comments:
Thanks for this informative post. I like your last paragraph, because it gets at the truly important, rather than the ephemeral. I find myself rooting for the Intelligent Design folks more for the sake of good science, rather than for any apologetical value.

Plus, I have never been able to see how ID is supposed to lead to theocracy. If I understand it, ID is looking at the world, and life, as an artifact, not speculating as to the identity of the artisan. To good science, this world looks terraformed and bioformed--but as far as ID is concerned, it could have been by aliens, right? Lots of good sci-fi stories have been crafted on that premise.
 
I have to agree with Pr. Fremer. ID will not necessarily lead people to Christianity, because the instructors are not allowed to identify a spiritual being as responsible for what they cannot explain. It could just as easily end up promoting some other religion that Christians completely disagree with, and then those trying to promote Christianity are going to complain again.

My husband and I have been talking extensively about this and other issues affecting Kansas schools, since we live in Kansas and are wanting to start a family soon. We don't want our children to be spoon-fed craptacular stories and be told that they are fact.

I know too many Christians who would get caught up in the "science" of proving Christianity because science requires it and true faith does not. Trying to prove a belief in something/someone intangible (our Heavenly Father) is impossible.
 
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