Several weeks ago, I read an article in the Washington Post, entitled Darwin goes to Church, written by Henry G. Brinton, pastor of Fairfax Presbyterian Church. In the adult Sunday school classes, David Bush, a member of the church, and a retired government worker is offering a course, “Evolution for Christians.” Being a Christian myself, as well as a science educator, I was especially interested in Pastor Brinton’s article. It turns our that Bush has been interested in evolution for several decades, and teaches classes on theories and origins of life from time to time. Bush’s view is that science and religion answers two different sets of questions; science answers the how questions, religion answers the why questions. According to Bush, a little bit of wisdom and tolerance on both sides can result in complimentarity, rather than contradiction. Today, a group of parents in Dover, PA is seeking to overturn a decision by the local school board insisting that intelligent design – the claim that complex organisms have been designed rather than evolved in response to natural selection – must be included in the curriculum.
In the article by Brinton, he points out that many Christians, including Bush and himself, believe that the biblical account of creation is an ancient piece of poetry that was never meant to be literal, scientific desciption of origins. It answers the question of why, not how. Science on the otherhand, has not answered the question of why, but has provided a powerful explantation of how in the Darwin’s evolutionary ideas. Pastor Brinton worries out loud in the article about the “doors of science classrooms” being opened to intelligent design. Intelligent design is a religious belief and should not be included in the science curriculum. Brinton makes a strong point when he says his faith believes there is divine intelligence at work, and that evolution is a part of God’s creative plan. I think it is important not to impose religion on science, as Brinton points out, but to keep the two separate. I hope the court in Dover, PA sees the light on this, as well.Tags: Charles Darwin, Christians, classrooms, evolution, Fairfax Presbyterian Church, intelligent design, natural selection, parents, Science, teaching, Washington Post