A Pious Proposal

According to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, American citizens are dissatisfied, even outraged, at the current teaching of evolution in public school education. Answering the question, “Have liberals gone too far in trying to keep religion out of school?” sixty-seven percent of the nation said “yes.” The Pew Research Center’s polling data highlights the public’s inclination to “treat” science with a heavy dose of religion. The polls consistently demonstrate the public’s desire to add religion to the science curriculum. The public is obviously desperate to have religion advanced in school. They desire teaching creationism, a teaching of explicit references to the Bible, or intelligent design (ID), a milder religious belief that the natural world is composed of enormous complexity and thus shows signs of having been created by a “master architect,” namely God. As Charles Krauthammer recently wrote in an op-ed, ID is “today’s tarted-up version of creationism.” In a recent school board vote, the state of Kansas implied, despite an obvious conflict with the separation of Church and State, that science should be redefined to include creationistic ideas. So, keeping with the spirit of A Modest Proposal, let us propose to redefine modern-day science as the teachings of the Holy Bible and the quest to reconstruct the faithful Christian state. The federal government should establish a unified National Education Policy. Public schools will convey the story of the Bible, including the Book of Genesis, to promote a dialogue on the creation of the Earth. The Bible provides a clear chronology of the creation of the planet and all organisms because, by definition, the Bible is the word of Almighty God. God created us and any notion to the contrary is blasphemous. In the remodeled science course, the lengthy textbook will guide students through Genesis. Instead of Darwinian theories, the writing will consist of verses of the Old Testament, biblical analyses, and the Ten Commandments. In addition to the textbook, there will be a series of experiments whose goal is to better clarify the undeniable existence of God and his powerful mark on the universe. Many of the introductory scientific concepts will be taught through performances (role-playing games) and models of God’s creation of light, darkness, the animals, Adam and Eve, and the great flood. The lab will not utilize any modern technology or apparatus, which would contaminate the word of God. In high school, older and more mature students will begin reading scientific supplements and conducting lab work. In the first experiment Adam will appear from the dust on the classroom table. Subsequently, Eve will appear from Adam’s rib. In the wine and bread experiment, students will recollect their sins. Then, each student will take a sample of wine and it will become the blood of Christ in his or her mouth. Observations on taste are paramount. Finally, the leavened bread will be ingested and transformed into the body of Christ. Students will observe another scientific experiment when two fish and five loaves of bread spontaneously regenerate to feed the entire school. And the class will include field trips as well: students will travel to Mt. Sinai and other scientifically pertinent locations. The class will be required to view Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” and recreate Moses’ “parting of the sea.” The culminating point is the classes’ reading of the Ten Commandments and students’ scientific awakenings, graduating as “born-again-scientists.” But all that has been mentioned is entirely absurd! How can one try to redefine science on the basis of a literal reading of Genesis? The creationists are asking us to accept uncertainties about evolution and to correct them with God; not with scientific development, but with theology. Science does not answer WHY a certain bodily process occurs, but HOW it does. Such a drastic modification of the meaning of science requires intensive research, experimentation through observation, and peer review – none of which has occurred to establish ID or creationism as legitimate theories. The framework of Darwinian theory has developed through biologists’ observations of the fossil record, the development of species, and the physiology of organisms over hundreds of years. In the year 2006, we continue to observe the consequences of evolution in the extinction of endangered species, the development of drug resistant bacteria, and the constant mutation of viruses such as Avian Influenza. All of these developments represent Darwin’s most relevant theories of natural selection and “survival of the fittest.” Nevertheless polls indicate Americans feel otherwise, believing that religion should be accepted as science. So imagine the scientific method turned upside-down to historical half-truths and legends; imagine 700 Club’s Pat Robertson and televangelist Jerry Falwell ruling the science classroom. Imagine a new generation, and where religion is the definition and guiding force of science. These are the momentous and frightening tides of an American religious extremism.