I finally got around to reading the Time article on "intelligent design." My first reaction was, "I thought we'd settled all of this." Nevertheless, I lied awake for awhile last night thinking about it.
The fear of an idea, when widespread, usually leads to some form of persecution or oppression. On one hand, I can't find fault in George's statement, and on the other, if we mandate a disclaimer on one theory, then we should mandate disclaimers on all theories. But let's go back to hand number one:
Why does anyone have an opinion on this? How is it that we know about the Stokes Monkey Trial, Darwin, Creationism and evolution? Have we, as adults, been privy to some arcane, black market knowledge which is hidden from persons under eighteen who attend public school systems? Is it only a recent discovery that there was, indeed, controversy about The Origin of Species?
Personally, I learned about it in history class in high school, because the controversy has become a part of our nation's history. In the process, I heard both sides of the argument. Afterward, I drew my own conclusion, and siding with Darwin had no relevance to or affect on my faith. Maybe we could trust that if our children were to hear two sides of an argument that they would think for themselves and draw their own conclusions. Maybe there would then be something of mutual interest to discuss at the dinner table.
Webster's New World Dictionary defines faith as "unquestioning belief that does not require proof." Why, then, should learning how things work threaten religion? Christianity didn't diminish when the masses accepted that the sun did not rotate around the Earth. This is no different. I tell you, I like Webster. He always clears things up for me.
At the same time, my initial reaction was the opposite; I believed we were going backwards, retrodding muddied ground. It is inconceivable to me how, in spite of all of the evidence that has accumulated in support of the theory over the years, anyone can raise a doubt. But, perhaps this is an argument that each generation needs to realize in order to appreciate the conclusions.
Let go of the fear, kids. There is a very real and dire reason that we need the first amendment. We have to trust that the American people can hear opposing views and still draw an intelligent conclusion.
(I recommend the original Planet of the Apes, with Charlton Heston, and a bowl of popcorn.)