The creationists frequently say, while insisting that their nonsense should be taught in public school science classes, that we shouldn’t be afraid to expose the children to alternative “theories,” because it’s good for their “critical thinking.” Besides, they ask: “What are you afraid of?” If evolution is really such great science, we should teach the children about its [non-existent] weaknesses, and then … Let the children decide!
You’ve seen that stuff before. Well, what we have today is a letter-to-the-editor from one of those children who has apparently decided for himself, and his letter purports to be an open letter to his teacher. It appears in the Alexandria Echo Press, a twice-weekly newspaper in Alexandria, Minnesota. The letter is titled: There’s something wrong with this theory.
We’ll give you a few excerpts, enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary, and some bold font for emphasis. As we usually do — especially here because the letter-writer is presumably a child — we’ll omit the writer’s name and city. It’s addressed “Dear Teacher.” Okay, here we go:
I know you must believe the theory of evolution is true or you would not teach it. But some things don’t add up. For instance, why do evolutionists attempt to suppress opposing views through legal action and academic boycott? What are they afraid of? Assertion, defensiveness and bullying suggest insecurity. If evolution is a fact, open up the classroom to academic debate. Invite all challengers, then overcome them with compelling, conclusive, unambiguous facts.
This letter may have been sent by a child, but we suspect he had help from a creationist adult. Anyway, the response to that paragraph would be that we don’t follow that course with other failed ideas — e.g., the miasma theory of disease, vitalism, phlogiston theory, the luminiferous aether, the geocentric universe, the flat Earth, the four bodily humours, alchemy, astrology, etc., and not even the creationists demand that we should. What’s so special about creationism? The answer, although creationists rarely admit it, is obvious — evolution contradicts scripture, and that’s the sole reason why it’s under assault. The letter continues:
Here’s something else: Darwin proposed that the diversity of life in our world evolved from a single source over long periods of time by numerous, gradual changes. He confessed that the fossil record in his day did not reveal those numerous, gradual changes between species, but he was confident that more digging would provide them. Now 150 years have gone by and we have so many fossils they are almost unmanageable, yet those all-important transitional links are still missing.
No transitional fossils? This is a really smart kid. Let’s read on:
Darwin said, “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.” But this is precisely what Behe demonstrated. He showed that even the most “simple” machinery within the living cell requires a complete set of parts all simultaneously present and fully functioning or the machine will not work.
Michael Behe? Did we say this boy was smart? We were wrong. He’s a genius! We continue:
“Irreducible complexity” totally refutes the idea that life could have evolved by numerous, successive, slight modifications. How are evolutionists handling this? Many have abandoned Darwinian evolution. And those who remain have resorted to (forgive me for saying it) a real “Hail Mary” – life on Earth came from outer space!
We were wrong again. This kid is beyond genius. His intellect is literally cosmic! We’ll skip a bunch of other stuff you’ve seen before from various creationist websites. Then we get to this from near the end:
I look for a twinkle in the eye, the crack of a smile or an honest confession, but all I get is a bad grade for suggesting the emperor has no clothes. In my opinion, evolutionist Michael Denton sums it up: “Ultimately, the Darwinian theory of evolution is no more nor less than the great cosmogenic myth of the 20th century.”
He gives us a source. It’s that old creationist classic, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis.
The letter ends with this: “From, your attentive student.” But he adds a PS. We’ll give it to you in full:
You might enjoy reading “Darwin’s Black Box” by Behe; “The Devil’s Delusion” by David Berlinski; and “Evolution: A Theory in Crisis” by Denton. A couple good DVDs to watch include “Unlocking the Mystery of Life” by Illustra Media and “Expelled” by Ben Stein. If my memory is right, none of these materials has any religious content, so they would be safe for students.
So there you are, dear reader. Now you know what happens when you “teach the controversy,” allow “supplementary materials” in science class and teach the “strengths and weaknesses” of evolution in order to enhance “critical thinking.” You get a kid like the letter-writer. So go ahead, let the children decide. What are you afraid of?
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