Creationists: Please Have More Faith

I'd like to respond to Craig K. Svensson's article "A Creationist Responds" (The Scientist, January 26, 1987, p. 12). First, speaking as a scientist, it seems to me that the science curriculum taught in the public schools should be determined primarily on the basis of the science that practicing scientists are doing. A look at the scientific literature shows that this means evolution, not creationism. It's not even that mainstream scientists are, as is often suggested, closed to alternative idea

By | March 23, 1987

I'd like to respond to Craig K. Svensson's article "A Creationist Responds" (The Scientist, January 26, 1987, p. 12). First, speaking as a scientist, it seems to me that the science curriculum taught in the public schools should be determined primarily on the basis of the science that practicing scientists are doing. A look at the scientific literature shows that this means evolution, not creationism. It's not even that mainstream scientists are, as is often suggested, closed to alternative ideas; it's that creationists' ideas are by and large not presented to the scientific community for critique and evaluation.

A study quoted in Science (vol. 228, p. 837, May 17, 1985) showed that only 18 of 135,000 manuscripts submitted to 1,000 science and technical journals over a three-year period dealt with creationism. All (save three that were still under review at the time of the study) were rejected for failure to present a coherent, systematic treatment of their material.

If creationism is a science, why isn't it being presented as such to the scientific community? Further, if it's not being presented to the scientific community, why should it be presented as science to children in public schools? The public school curriculum should include only evolution because that is a wholly accurate reflection of the current activities of the scientific community at large.

If creationists wish to have their children excused from evolution units in their schools, I would not try to stop them on legal grounds. I would, however, issue the following strong plea to them on Christian grounds: Please, have a stronger faith in your God. Is the reality of your God so weak that it could not bear the challenge of an interpretation of this one point of theology that is different from your own? Give your children the joy of exposure to different ideas; let them challenge their faith and thus come to a deeper sense of their own beliefs.

—Philip J. Sakimoto
Basic Science and Mathematics
Whitman College
Walla Walla, WA 99362

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