Every fiber of my intuition tells me that I shouldn’t touch the below subject with a 10-foot pole, but here it is anyway.
Recently, several online blogs have been lamenting the fact that the Texas State Board of Education has the publishers of public school textbooks in a virtual headlock because of the sheer number of books they buy. Now, since the board has been populated with a large number of Fundamentalist Christians, there has been a significant leverage exerted by the Texas Board to include “Creationism” in science books.
Both theology and science are indispensable to the human condition. Theology provides, in varying ways, a needed rationale for the unexplainable and unprovable, and whose “truths,” be they Hindu reincarnation, the Christian resurrection, Creationism, or that God spoke directly to mankind through his Prophet Mohammad, are eternal and must be accepted as a matter of faith by believers of that particular group of followers. Faith is a good thing.
Science, on the other hand, provides explanations for the explainable and demonstrable as best then possible based on what is presently known. The “truth” of science is a movable feast, and evolves as more is discovered or older “facts” and conclusions are shown to be partial, flawed or even wrong. Science also is a good thing.
In Will and Ariel Durant’s 11 volume work “The History of Civilization,” there is an entire volume titled “The Age of Faith” and another titled “The Age of Reason.” They document nicely how the two sets of thought have each contributed greatly to mankind’s advances. In spite of occasional clashes, both have coexisted for centuries, but to teach theology as science would demean both, and would be as bad as presenting science as theology.
James H. Patton Jr.