Creationism Does Not Belong In Our Public Schools
The repeated attempts to bring creationism into the science classroom need to come to an end. There is only one subject that should be taught in the science classroom and that subject is science. Only then can students study science free from unwarranted distractions. So what exactly is science? Science can be defined as: "the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment." Science as it is currently defined concerns only the natural. Anything that is outside of nature is not considered science. This means that in the science classroom there can be no supernatural, no God or gods and no creationism. Science has not always been defined this way. In the days of Issac Newton, Galileo, Kepler, Copernicus and others science included the supernatural. But today the basic definition of science has changed. It is time for all of us to accept this new definition and move on.
Science is based on making observations and then explaining those observations through experimentation using the scientific method. This results in scientific evidence that is both testable and repeatable. For example, consider observing an apple fall from a tree. This observation can be made by different individuals, in different places and at different times. The results in all cases will be similar. Based on those observations one is able to predict what will happen if another apple were to fall tomorrow. We can also reasonably assume what would have happened had an apple fallen yesterday. The observations of a falling apple contributed to humankind being able to land a man on the moon. This is the essence of science: making observations and then using those observations to predict future events and to explain past events as well.
We do not need to add creationism to the science classroom. What we need to do is eliminate the non-science that is falsely claimed to be science. For much of what is emphasized in science class turns out not to be science at all. Many scientists gather evidence only to draw conclusions that contradict that evidence. It is as if some scientists expect the next apple that falls to go up instead of down. There are numerous examples available but for this paper I will discuss only two: the origin of the universe and the origin of life.
Scientists have identified four fundamental forces that are involved in the operation of our universe: the strong force, the weak force, electro-magnetism and gravity. These four fundamental forces have never been known to change. Using scientific evidence we can reasonably assume that they never have changed. And yet scientists claim that these four forces were somehow different during the creation of our universe. They make this claim in direct opposition to all of the observable evidence. Why? It is only because scientists know that if these forces were the same then as they are now then this universe could never have come into existence. This claim is not science and should not be taught in the science classroom. The scientific evidence actually indicates that there was another force present during the creation of the universe. This force has not been, and may never be, identified using modern science.
Scientists have known for a long time that life comes only from living things. This fact is articulated in a scientific law known as the Law of Bio-genesis. Spontaneous generation, the idea that life can come from non-life, was proven false by Louis Pasteur and others many years ago. And yet scientists claim that somehow, somewhere, and at some time back in the past, life did indeed come from non-life. This claim is made in direct opposition to all of the available evidence. This claim is not science and should not be taught in the science classroom. The scientific evidence actually indicates that there was an outside force present during the origin of living things. This force has not been, and may never be, identified using modern science.
It is often assumed that modern science has expanded our horizons. This assumption turns out to be false. Instead of expanding our horizons modern science actually restricts them. Imagine going into a room and being able to look only to your left. There might be something to your right but you will never know because you are not permitted to look. It is the same with science. Nature may be all there is. But there may be a supernatural after all. Science will never know because it is not, by its own definition, permitted to look. Science cannot prove, or disprove, the existence of God, or gods or any other supernatural force.
We do not need creationism in the science classroom. What we need is honest science. Our students need to know that based on the scientific evidence scientists have no idea how this universe came into existence. Students need to know that based on the scientific evidence scientists haven't got a clue where life came from. Some day science may have those answers. But as of today it does not. Only when students have access to accurate information can they be expected to reason logically. Some of these students will continue to look to science for their answers. Others may consider the supernatural. And some of them might just read the Bible.