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What Creationists Really Seek

Craig K. Svensson, in his article "A Creationist Responds" (The Scientist, January 26, p. 12) mocks his religion as surely as he conceals his objective. Creationists regularly do both. The creationists' nominal objection to the teaching of evolutionary biology is a red herring. What they really seek is the abolition of all education in natural science. They cannot settle for less, because information that impeaches biblical literalism is conspicuous in a score of disciplines, from physics and as

By | March 23, 1987

Craig K. Svensson, in his article "A Creationist Responds" (The Scientist, January 26, p. 12) mocks his religion as surely as he conceals his objective. Creationists regularly do both.

The creationists' nominal objection to the teaching of evolutionary biology is a red herring. What they really seek is the abolition of all education in natural science. They cannot settle for less, because information that impeaches biblical literalism is conspicuous in a score of disciplines, from physics and astronomy and chemistry to anthropology and archeology and linguistics.

If we are to evict evolutionary biology from science curricula because fundamentalists don't like it, what are we to do about anatomy? Surely we cannot let children know that men don't differ from women in their number of ribs! That would contradict the belief (which teachers sometimes encounter in the children of fundamentalist parents) that the number of ribs in a human male is odd and is one less than the number in a female because God took one of Adam's ribs to make Eve. And what are we to do about genetics? Can we let children know about genes and the mechanisms of heredity? That would contradict the Bible's teaching (in Genesis 30:31 if) that coat color in ruminants is determined by what the animals happen to see while they are mating.

Things will become especially tough if we are to force the science curriculum to sustain the story of Noah and the Flood. To do that, we shall have to evict not only geology, geophysics and paleontology, but most of chemistry and physics.

—William J. Bennetta
P.O. Box 26603
San Francisco, CA 94126

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