Anger. So much anger at deception.
This morning I wandered upstairs to make a decaf maple latte, and I saw some new curriculum sitting on the table for our friends who homeschool their children. Schooling paraphernalia commonly litters the upstairs during school hours, but it rarely catches my attention like this new, thick, scholarly-looking book:
Evolution: The Grand Experiment Vol. 1, “The Quest for an Answer” by Dr. Carl Werner.
An atheist profoundly attracted to research and science living in a house with dogmatic, fundamentalist pentecostal Christians, I quickly did a double take. Replaying our friend/landlord’s comments to her children while we watched Cosmos weeks ago, “This is just an opinion, kids,” she assured them of their Creator-God’s hand in the universe. Extremely curious about this new book, but entirely skeptical of its intellectual honesty, I picked it up and began to skim through it.
The forward states the following: “The general public has remained skeptical that evolution is the answer to the origin of life…In this book the reader will be introduced to the theory of evolution and then afforded the opportunity to view the evidence both for and against it.” Hm. Let’s see what it had to say.
Pages of old methods used as evidence for the theory of evolution paint such conclusions to be absurd. (For example, spontaneous regeneration). We all know that mold growing on water has nothing to do for or against evolution. But the authors paint such conclusions to be ridiculously used by pro-evolutionists. Aggravating.
Then the “Do You Believe in Evolution?” pages in which they interviewed the general public and scientists peaked my interest. Here are some gems from their supposedly representative interviews:
The Con (anti-evoltuion) side:
“No, I don’t believe in evolution at all. I think if you just look at the facts, it’s pretty clear; it just can’t be.”
“From what I’ve seen and heard, we have not evolved from apes for the simple fact that apes are still around. I mean, if we evolved from them, why are they still here?”
“Life could not have created itself. Theories on the origin of life, that is the evolutionary origin of life, are modern-day fantasies; they are fairy tales.” -a scientist.
The Pro side:
“Yes I do believe in the theory of evolution because I think that we had to come from some place and you know from ape to man to what we are today. I definitely believe in evolution.”
“You really have to be blind or three days dead not to see the transitions among these. You have to not want to see it.” -a scientist
Totally objective, right? Wow. This was after a two-minute glimpse. I can’t imagine actually taking a class involving using this book except for the purposes of teaching critical thinking when reading biased material.
This book’s subtitle: “The Quest for An Answer.” How completely misleading. This book contained a quest alright, but not for an answer — a quest to prove previously held beliefs and biases.
“Dedicated to those who have the courage to question,” the inside dedication page read with pictures of peoples doing various kinds of research and studying. While I love, love that phrase, I couldn’t contain my anger at its implication in context of its readership. The courage to question what?!? The courage to question one’s religious upbringing, dogmatic brainwashing of an unquestionable “truth?” No, of course not. The courage to question mainstream scientific discoveries in order to protect one’s closed-mindedness. This makes me so angry because these people and the students learning from this material actually think they are questioning truth.
I hate the use of fear to manipulate. Hate it. In this case, it was the fear of conspiracy among scientists. This is yet another example of religion under the guise of “truth” instilling fear in its congregatants to keep them faithful. And I hate that the government is somehow required to give this curriculum the same degree of scholarship to its students as those who are taught less-biased material.