We learned about this from a website called Christian Post, which describes itself as “the nation’s most comprehensive Christian news website.” Their headline is White House Petition Calls for Ban of Creation Science, Intelligent Design From Schools.
What? A White House petition? We’ve heard of executive orders, but the White House doesn’t file petitions. What’s going on? Perhaps the article will explain it. Here we go, with bold font added by us for emphasis:
A petition posted on a White House website has called for the ban of intelligent design and creation science from schools.
A petition posted on the White House website? We didn’t know there were such things, and for some inexplicable reason, the Christian Post doesn’t provide a link to what they’re talking about. We searched the White House website, but it’s clumsily designed and we couldn’t find anything, nor did it turn up in a Google search. Ah well, if we can’t trust the Christian Post then all is lost, so let’s proceed with their article:
Begun by a poster identified as “A.J.” of Vienna, Va., the petition demands that the Obama administration “ban the teachings of these conjectures that contradict Evolution.”
That’s crazy! US Presidents don’t have the authority to do such things — at least no one has ever attempted anything like that. Let’s read on:
Posted on Saturday and filed under the Education category, the petition has already received the support of over 7,000 signatories. To be guaranteed an official response from the Obama administration, it must garner at least 100,000 signatures by July 15.
Does anyone know anything about this procedure? Wait — using “Education” as a clue, we found it! Here’s a description of the petition process: We the People. It looks like a way to let people harmlessly blow off steam, sort of like Red China’s Democracy Wall.
Hey, we found a Wikipedia article on it: We the People (petitioning system). When they first started accepting petitions, in September of 2011, only 5,000 signatures were required, but that’s been raised a couple of times and now it’s 100,000 — see Why We’re Raising the Signature Threshold for We the People.
And here’s the petition they’re talking about: Ban Creationism and Intelligent Design in the science classroom as federal law. The petition is only two paragraphs long, after which it ends with this:
Therefore, we petition the Obama Adminstration [sic] to ban the teachings of these conjectures that contradict Evolution.
Okay, now we can continue with the Christian Post article. They quote the reactions of two prominent experts — and their choices are interesting:
Ken Ham, founder and president of the recent Creationist organization Answers in Genesis, told The Christian Post that the petition will not have “any impact on how the teaching of origins is presented in public schools.”
“Presidents don’t issue executive orders to ban certain kinds of teachings in schools. The development of science curriculum is largely the domain of local school districts and state educators,” said Ham.
That’s true. And then he says this:
Ham also told CP that he considered the petition “frivolous” and “silly,” as well as showcasing an intolerance against Christians who want to teach biblical creation in a private setting.
“This anti-creationist petition is yet another example of the intolerance of evolutionist activists who do want to see any challenge to their deeply held secularist worldview,” said Ham.
It’s always good to know what ol’ Hambo is thinking. Here’s the second expert they consulted:
Dr. John G. West, vice president of the Seattle-based Discovery Institute, told The Christian Post that he did not believe the petition would have any impact given that the Supreme Court already ruled in the 1980s that creation science could not be taught alongside the theory of evolution in public schools.
“The real debate over evolution in public schools today is whether teachers should only present scientific evidence favoring the theory or should they also present the scientific evidence that raises problems for the theory,” said West.
But that’s not all Westie had to say. The Christian Post gives us more of his Discoveroid wisdom:
“Peer-reviewed science journals are filled with a growing number of significant problems for standard Darwinian theory. Students should be allowed to hear about these problems.” West also told CP that he took issue with the petition’s assumptions, calling the online effort “ill-informed, confused, and beside the point.”
“Contrary to the petition, growing numbers of scientists are expressing skepticism of the central claim of modern Darwinian theory that natural selection acting on random mutations is sufficient to account for biological complexity,” said West.
Having given us that Ark-load of expert opinion, the Christian Post doesn’t bother to present any other viewpoints. Presumably, their readers don’t need to know anything else.
So there you are. We haven’t learned anything new about The Controversy between evolution and creationism, but we have learned that the White House seems to let anyone post petitions about virtually anything. Go ahead, dear reader — put up a petition. Let them know who you are and what you’re thinking.
Copyright © 2013. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.