Tuesday, August 09, 2005

How vs. Who

I don't often agree with local political cartoonist David "Fitz" Fitzsimmons, but I thought today's comic makes a really good point. Teach science in school. Teach theology in Sunday School. What could be simpler than that?

The line between theology and science should be crystal clear. Science looks at "how." Theology looks at "Who." Creationism and its step-brother "Intelligent Design" cross the line from science to theology because they address the Who, which science cannot and should not address. To be fair, evolutionary theory crosses the line when Darwinians like Richard Dawkins try to say that the hows of evolution prove there is no "Who" at all. Such a thing can't be proven; it simply is outside of the realm of science. (Incidentally, there are some interesting books out there about how Darwinism and Christianity dovetail nicely, notably Can a Darwinian be a Christian? by Michael Ruse. But such a study belongs in a philosophy class, not a science class. Same with Dawkins.)

Can we please just leave science classes to teach how and Sunday School to teach Who and not try and confuse the two? Both our education and our faith will suffer if we don't distinguish between them.


At 11:24 AM, Anonymous Sharon said...

I agree that in public school there's no need to address theology and in Sunday school there's no need to address science. The questions of "who" designed the "how" are excellent for parent/child discussions.

However, I did really love that in a geology class at my *private* Christian university, my professor led a discussion about God-guided evolution.

At 1:54 PM, Anonymous adam said...

I was just home to Iowa for a friend's wedding, and I was reminded of how I like that the Daily Star keeps their letters to the editor concise and intelligent. The Omaha World Herald, which I think must have one of the worst op/ed pages for a major newspaper in the country, offers us gems like this from readers:

Darwinism has flaws

The Aug. 3 editorial, "Bush vs. Darwin," was hardly balanced. Darwin's theory of evolution is riddled with holes and is so unconvincing that many, if not most, people look for more sensible explanations for the world's beginnings.

Scientists and teachers don't even agree. Logic dictates that some other ideas might make more sense.

Also, the label "religious zealots" used in the editorial is hardly respectful of an alternative point of view.
Louis A. Finocchiaro, Omaha

At 6:54 PM, Blogger Andy B. said...

Sharon, Why shouldn't we address science in Sunday School? What better way to come to know the Creator of the world than by studying the world?
- Andy B.

At 5:51 PM, Anonymous the_methotaku said...

I aggree- we ought to address at least how science and faith interact in our Sunday School lessons.


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