Religion Has Been on the Research Paper

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Glynn concludes that fundamentalists exist not only in the Creationism Camp, but in the Evolutionism camp as well, regretting the unfortunate irony that Evolutionism Fundamentalists are attempting to suffocate constructive dialogue in much the same way Catholic Priests did in the past.

e. Thomas Demere and Steve Walsh -- Creationism Should Not Be Taught In Public Schools

Demere and Walsh argue that teaching a non-disprovable theory like Creationism would further weaken the already lagging Scientific literacy of American students. Demere and Walsh state that for something to be considered Science, it must depend on rational evidence and observation of natural events. Demere and Walsh conclude that the theory of Creationism does not meet this standard because it is supported only by religious texts and cannot be disproved on its own terms.


Most Personally Appealing Position

Regarding the broader relationship between Science and Religion, I agree most with Ruse, who suggests that a more abstract conception of Creationism such as St. Augustine's would not be completely incompatible with evolution theory. Ruse emphasizes the openness and expansiveness of Creationism. By citing St. Augustine's conception of God as planting seeds instead of creating man and woman, he distances Creationism from the old, discredited notions of God as an old bearded man in the sky literally created the first man and woman.

Ruse, however, fails to mention the simplest proof that the two theories are not incompatible: they do not attempt to explain the same things. Creationism is concerned with the ultimate origin of life whereas evolutionary theory only attempts to describe the process of development among species through time. They deal with different chapters of the human story. Accordingly, they are not incompatible; they are merely incongruent.

Strongest Position

Although I agree most with the spirit of Ruse's essay, I believe that Demere and Walsh have the strongest position because their arguments are well-organized, logical, and direct. Demere and Walsh make two distinct but mutually supportive arguments: that Creationism is not valid science and that teaching invalid science in science class will hinder the scientific literacy of students.
Though the arguments support each other, they are not entirely dependent on each other. Thus, the failure of one argument does not jeopardize the integrity of the other. In my case, I was skeptical of their second argument because I believe that America's lagging scientific literacy has much less to do with curriculum content than with infrastructure and motivation. However, I am still persuaded by their first argument that Creationism does not meet the methodological standards of science for the very reasons they stated: it lacks a means of verification and its claims, by their very nature, could never be disproven.

Thus, I agree that Creationism is not science but I do not think that Demere and Walsh's vague fear about scientific literacy is a sufficient reason to ban Creationism from school curriculum. Actually, if there was any reason to ban Creationism from textbooks, it would be the theory's inability to be disproven. This is because if Creationism was inserted into textbooks, it would be inserted conditionally, as all uproven scientific theories are. This means that if it is proven, it will become a permanent entry, and if it is disproven, it would be removed from the textbook. However, the theory's inherent unprovability means that it would remain in the textbooks forever as a conditional inclusion.

Demere and Walsh's essay also benefits from being coldly logical, which is advantageous considering the sacrosanct nature of the subject matter and the strong feelings it is likely to provoke. Demere and Walsh establishes standard by stating the methodological requirements of science, offers an irrefutable characterization of creationism's claims and supporting evidence, and simply applies the standard to the facts. He achieves a compelling contrast by holding the inherently elastic theory of creationism up to the rigid methodology of science. By staying logical and leaving out peripheral points, he reduces opportunities for the opposition to bring in value judgments (e.g. human identity, the meaning of life, etc.) and other issues which could distract the audience......

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