If you're a homeschooler or a serious science person, you were probably aware of the big evolution debate last night between Bill Nye the Science Guy and Ken Ham from Answers in Genesis. I had BSF, so I couldn't watch the debate live -- I'll be watching it today with my youngest while she's home from school.
I'm anxious to see the debate, but I'm not anxious to deal with the fall-out on both sides, because I'm confident nobody came out a clear "winner" here, as in the other person left the stage saying, "Good points, Jack -- I'm convinced." I fear that such events only rile up each side of the argument with more ammunition to attack the other side.
I'm willing to concede that there are those on the creationist side who don't approach this scientifically -- they believe what they believe because it's what the Bible says and no scientific findings will convince them otherwise. But I would hope my "opponents" would concede something similar on their side: many of their people refuse to listen to anything that a creation scientist or intelligent design theorist might say simply because it smacks of a supernatural god which they refuse to believe in up front. These scientists bring up some genuine problems with the evolutionary theory, and evolutionists only weaken their stance be refusing to address those points and simply ridiculing the messenger.
The ridicule is the real problem here. There is something wrong when, the moment a scientist brings up actual scientific evidence that calls into question the validity of the theory of evolution, scientific inquiry ceases. Evolutionist scientists do not take that evidence, examine it, test it themselves, and come up with a calm rebuttal of the facts (if one can be made). They ridicule the scientist daring to go against the mainstream. They deny him tenure -- even cause him to lose his position. I've heard before that, in anonymous surveys, the vast majority of people who work professionally in a scientific field find the theory of evolution an unsatisfactory answer to the question of the origin of life . . . but if you asked your average university physics professor about it, he wouldn't say that because he knows he would immediately lose all of his professional standing, if not his job.
That's not religion gone bad. That's science gone bad.
And there is most DEFINITELY a problem when my eldest's physics teacher feels emboldened enough by the arrogant stance of his professional community to publicly shame the Christian students in his class for being stupid and ignorant and small-minded -- before they've even said a word.
That's not science. That's prejudice and boorishness, and it has no place in a classroom at any level.
Can we all at least start with the agreement that NOBODY knows for sure how life began? No evolutionist or creationist, Christian or atheist, scientist or layman. None of us were there. We all are making intelligent guesses based on what was left behind. That kind of humility really must be at the basis of any scientific inquiry if it is to have any validity at all.
Because science is about finding the truth, and truth does not need to be defended by shaming its detractors. Truth is strong enough to fight its own battles -- just let it fight.