What is faith? Some describe faith as their belief in a given religion or belief system. Recently, some people’s religious faith is intruding on other people’s rights. Religious groups are trying to get teachers to teach creationism alongside of evolution in our public school science classes. The Christian creation story is now being disguised as science by its supporters by calling it intelligent design. Debates and referendums have popped up all over the country trying to figure out this important issue. Intelligent design has no place being taught alongside of evolution in public schools because; the Constitution declares a separation of church and state, it focuses on a single religions creation story, and there is absolutely no scientific evidence of intelligent design.
Evolution is not a theory based on religion at all. It is a theory attempting to explain the origin of life. It says that the earth is millions of years old and this is mirrored in evidence found by geologists when they do radio carbon dating or any of the other dating methods used to find the age of fossils or ice cores in Antarctica. Intelligent design says that the earth was created in six days around six thousand years ago by a supernatural power or “god” of the Christian religions.
The United States Constitution says that no religious organization will be supported or endorsed by the government in our country. It also declares that the people have freedom of religion and a freedom from religion. This means that everyone is free to practice whatever religion they want as long as they are not pressing it upon others, therefore violating their freedom from religion. Our public schools are paid for by taxes, therefore they are a part of the American government. Allowing creation to be taught in science classes would violate both of these key freedoms. Since evolution is not a religious idea or belief, it does not violate anyone’s freedoms. Every belief system and religion has its own creation system.
Every different religion has a different story of how and why we are here, though a few of their stories, (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) are very similar. Let’s assume that the argument is that it is a possibility that every living thing here on earth is a result of intelligent design, so it should at least get a chance. Don’t we then need to concede that there is a possibility that the Buddhist or Muslim creation stories are also feasible? If that is in fact the argument, then we should also teach every religion’s creation story that exists. What would the supporters of teaching intelligent design think of that? Think about that for a bit. It could take a lifetime to teach that much material to a group of students. Science teachers are paid to teach facts, not mythology.
Science is based on facts that can be tested, and reviewed by peers. Through this process it can be changed. At one time, every scientist on earth believed the surface of the earth was flat, and that it was the center of the galaxy. Intelligent design has been dismissed by many scientists saying that it cannot be considered science. If we are here as a result of an intelligent designer, then why would we have an appendix? It is a completely useless organ whose only possible purpose is to burst and kill. Truth is, that it has been proven that evolution occurs. It is merely tiny mutations that may or may not increase the survival rate of the given species. It has been proven that humans and apes evolved from a common ancestor. There is no proof that we were created by an all knowing, infinitely powerful being. The Bible is a great book that teaches some strong lessons but it is comprised of stories written by men.
The definition of faith is the belief in something without proof. Do we really want to teach our children to believe in something that we can’t prove in a class that demands proof? This would be falsifying great portions of our children’s education and also removing our work to teach them critical thinking skills. Science is debatable and changeable. Evolution has been proven to be true. Intelligent design contains contradictions which is evidence that the theory may be dismissed. We must not teach intelligent design in public school science classes; it violates freedoms (and the constitution), it isn’t fair to other religious views, and it is simply false. If you want your child to learn intelligent design, send them to private school, or take them to church, but don’t force it on my child. I refuse to believe in anything without a shred of proof. I should say that I am not trying to degrade or discount anyone’s religious views, just stating a case that public schools are not a place to preach religion.