Politics and intelligent design in education

If you’re interested in the issue of evolution vs. creation (aka intelligent design) and its place in our schools, check out Amy Greene’s op-ed piece from yesterday’s New York Times: God and Man in Tennessee. It explains eloquently why a Christian in Tennessee is opposed to the teaching of creation in her schools. I hope she speaks for many Christians in the South and across the country.



Categories: Education, Politics, Religion

2 replies

  1. Amy Greene’s beautiful little essay neatly frames the problem but it doesn’t suggest the solution. That might be because there isn’t one. I too have struggled unsuccessfully with this conundrum. Any organized education system involves, well, organization. That means someone has to decide on the curriculum, and that in turn means deciding where to draw the line between truth and lore. The Pythagorean Theorem isn’t a problem, but biology is another matter and economics, oh my. In a perfect world I suppose a community would somehow arrive at a consensus on wise teachers who then would carry out their duties with a minimum of oversight. Alas, that vision seems hopelessly idealistic. The closest thing to it I can recall is reading about St. John’s College, ironically located in the same place as one of the world’s most disciplined technical schools, Annapolis, Maryland. Their web page describes their “program” this way:

    St. John’s students read and explore a common body of timeless works—including many of the most important books in history—in close partnership with their classmates and teachers. The college’s coeducational community, free of religious affiliation, takes an open-minded approach to ideas of all kinds. Rather than being told how and what to think about what they’re reading, St. John’s students are asked to reach their own conclusions through deep thinking, critical analysis, and intense discussion.

    Too bad elementary schooling can’t approach the problem in the same way, but young minds aren’t ready to explore on their own and a community’s leaders simply can’t keep their fingers out of the pie. Religion, as Greene so well expresses, is the problem, but when it and all the controversy surrounding it is removed from the mix the sanitized remainder is drab and boring stuff. I agree with PT – let’s hope that Amy Greene is symbolic of a body politic that is more liberal (small el) about education.

    • I’ve always contended that schools are for teaching science and churches are for teaching religion. A wall of separation should be maintained between them. I’ve become hypersensitive to the intrusion/injection of religion into secular public institutions. Ms. Greene makes a good case for this being more the work of pandering politicians than of private Christian citizens. I hope she’s right. Of course, if she is, then I must ask why she and others like her don’t oppose such politicians …

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." ~ Edmund Burke

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