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Comment on this story.

This is not a debate between science, religion

By PATRICK H. YOUNG

he controversy surrounding the new science standards appears to have resurrected an old tactic in the fine art of debate. This distasteful strategy is called the “straw man argument.”

The scheme is designed to distort the opponent’s view, resulting in an easier assault on his adversary. Examples would be to say, “This is a debate between science and religion,” “Creationists want to teach the Bible in science class,” and “Creationism is today’s flat-Earth theory.” Those who utilize this strategy attempt to misdirect the discussion and pervert the truth to disguise critical weaknesses in their own de- bate position.

Realistically, there are no creationists advocating teaching the Bible in science class, and this is not a debate between science and religion. The concept of intelligent design has several hundred advocates who are highly educated, well-respected researchers, and it is a thriving theory due to the failure of Darwinian evolution to explain numerous observations in the biochemical sciences.

The Darwinian followers tend to define evolution as “a change in gene frequency in a population over time.” Besides being a woefully inadequate definition, it is an attempt to conceal the fundamental flaw of molecules-to-man evolution. Pragmatically, this is not a definition of evolution at all, but a description of simple adaptation and variation. An example of this is bacterial resistance to antibiotics.

Armed with a flawed definition, evolutionists present observations of adaptation/variation and proceed with an unsubstantiated extrapolation to conclude molecules-to-man evolution is fact. However, these observed adaptations do not provide a mechanism to explain this colossal leap of faith.

Evolution from simplicity to complexity requires the addition of new genetic information not existing in the previous generation. All observations of adaptation and mutation to date result in a neutral or effective loss of genetic information, not a gain. Without any effectual gain in genetic information, there is no viable mutational pathway for molecules-to-man evolution.

The foundational element of intelligent design is the concept of irreducible complexity. Irreducible complexity is an expression to characterize an individual biological system comprised of several critical interdependent components. In this biological system, the elimination of any one of these components results in its being completely nonfunctional. The success of these molecular machines depends on a series of elaborate parts of staggering complexity that are highly resistant to any gradualistic evolutionary explanation.

Evolutionists have portrayed intelligent design as nonscience because they say it can’t be falsified. However, the guidelines placed around irreducible complexity and interdependence may be falsified under the correct conditions. Darwinian evolution just needs to supply an undirected, experimentally valid, reproducible route to the formation of these complicated biological systems. To date, scientists have been silent on any pathway to these biomolecular machines via Darwinian evolution.

One of the proposed Ohio science standards states, “Know that living cells can only come from other living cells.” This statement exists due to the failure of Darwinian evolution to elucidate any workable mechanism for life to originate from nonlife. Parents should consider it dubious for their children to hear “Evolution is foundational to all life sciences” and then discover it does not explain the origin of life.

A missing component of this debate is the original purpose for educating our children. The public school system is presumed to educate and create citizens capable of rational, critical thinking and should graduate young people who can reason logically and determine answers to questions independently.

If the evidence for evolution is so overwhelming, then allowing teachers to expose students to the ample body of contrary evidence should serve only to strengthen the argument.

Educational excellence is best achieved when foundational truths are presented with corresponding dissenting opinions, and an understanding of the knowledge that formed the ideas.

Patrick H. Young, Ph.D., is a research chemist and materials scientist. He lives in Canal Winchester. He is featured on the Young Earth Creation Club’s Web site at:

http://www.creationists.org/

patrickyoung.html


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