Henry Morris III is CEO of the Institute for Creation Research in Dallas and the son of ICR's founder.
During this last campaign, the topic of science—specifically, creationism and evolution—was pushed out onto the stage of the presidential debates. So much so that USA Today/Gallup released the results of a poll in which 66 percent of Americans stated that they believe in creationism. Not some hybrid theory mixing creationism and evolution. Not intelligent design. But specifically that "God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years." Which is pretty much how the book of Genesis explains creation.
Last year, the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times conducted its own poll on teaching creationism in the public schools. Not surprisingly, nearly two thirds of registered voters were not convinced of evolution's merits.
However, despite public opinion on the issue, creationism, in any form, is not allowed in our classrooms.
Should it be? Americans seem to prefer it, or at a minimum favor a critical discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of evolution. Even the National Science Teachers Association—hardly a right-wing fundamentalist group—insists that "teachers must be free to examine controversial issues openly in the classroom . . . to maintain a spirit of free inquiry, open-mindedness and impartiality in the classroom."
So, what kind of science is being taught to our children today? A philosophy of science, actually, rooted in a worldview that deliberately disbelieves in anything supernatural. No God. No angels. No Intelligent Designer. Everything happened quite by accident.
The idea of origins by accident (evolution), which Charles Darwin popularized 150 years ago, is now characterized as a bona fide scientific theory. Embarrassingly, this "theory" cannot be scientifically observed in action today, nor can it be forensically observed in nature's record of the past. But it is, nonetheless, believed. And so ardent are its followers that many scientists refuse to admit the weaknesses of this doctrine, let alone "allow a divine foot in the door," as Harvard's Richard Lewontin warns.
In Texas, state school board officials are debating the language of science education standards for our public schools and whether teachers should even be allowed to discuss evolution's weaknesses. The idea of teaching creation science in the classroom isn't even under consideration.
And yet, the opponents of creationism would have the public believe that Bible-believing teachers constitute some sort of threat to education.
For instance, when scientists from the Seattle-based Discovery Institute arrived on the campus of Southern Methodist University in 2007 to present evidence for intelligent design, the SMU science faculty refused to sit down, even behind closed doors, and discuss, peer-to-peer, the scientific data. Perhaps they were afraid a "divine foot" would somehow gain a toehold in this bastion of Methodist education.
Oxford evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins spends more time lecturing about God (and Dawkins's disbelief in him) than he does actually doing science. Dawkins's strange admission in the Expelled documentary that highly intelligent aliens may have seeded life on Earth only compounds the problem that evolutionists continue to have in demonstrating reasonable scientific data for their monkey-to-man theory.
The question of whether creationism should be part of the educational experience in American schools can best be answered by the father of the modern creation science movement, the late Henry Morris.
Morris detailed three basic forms of creationism: scientific creationism—the study of scientific evidence alone; biblical creationism—the study of the Bible alone; and scientific-biblical creationism—the study of both science and the Bible.
Which should be taught in public schools? Quite clearly, Morris stated that "creationists should not advocate that biblical creationism be taught in public schools, both because of judicial restrictions against religion in such schools and also (more importantly) because teachers who do not believe the Bible should not be asked to teach the Bible."
Teach science in the public schools, but don't conveniently leave out valid scientific evidence or theories that might contradict evolution. But are students genuinely allowed a "spirit of free inquiry" in the classroom? Like in higher education? Think again.
Ben Stein's Expelled documentary revealed that highly qualified scientists in academia have become victims of viewpoint discrimination for openly acknowledging evidence for design that contradicts evolution.
The more alarming problem that has arisen in this controversy, however, is the persecution of private schools that choose to teach any form of origins science other than evolution. One case in point is the University of California's refusal to nondiscriminatorily admit students from private Christian schools that included openly creationist viewpoints in their courses.
Another case is our own Institute for Creation Research Graduate School, which has offered master's degrees in the sciences for 27 years. State officials refused to approve the move of the school's program to Texas because of its institutional viewpoint (see www.icr.org/academicfreedom). Ironically, this is the same Texas agency the Texas Supreme Court ruled against for unconstitutionally violating the First Amendment rights of three other private schools in 2007. Remember, these are private schools that merely wanted to teach curricula reflecting their institutional beliefs. Where's the ACLU when you need it?
While state legislatures haggle over the words science, theory, and weaknesses, American schoolchildren continue to rank poorly in science education among the nations of the world. Pouring more money into the status quo of evolution-based science education isn't the answer. Teaching the truth is.
- Tell us what you think: Should Creationism Be Taught in Schools?