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|The University of Closed-Mindedness||
Case in point: The vicious debate at the University of Kansas on whether or not students should be allowed to discuss such ideas as creationism and intelligent design in the scientific classroom.
Atheists cannot allow that any type of God may exist. This would destroy their most fundamental belief. So when any other member of the scientific community suggests that perhaps a God-related idea might have some scientific validity, that member must be systematically ridiculed, discredited and purged from the scientific ranks.
Intelligent design suggests that life is too complex to have evolved without a "designer." This greatly upsets those zealous members of the Church of Darwin. A crusade, therefore, has been mounted to kill any variance in thought or debate.
Brian Sandefur, a mechanical engineer in Lawrence, Kansas, claims that intelligent design is rooted in chemistry and molecular biology, not religion. Sandefur urged the Kansas State Board of Education to embrace "a mode of inquiry that welcomes logical, empirical explanations."
Paul Mirecki, chairman of the University of Kansas' religious studies department, found a way to undermine Sandefur's effort to pursue all logical theories by burying intelligent design in a course called "Special Topics in Religion: Intelligent Design, Creationism and Other Religious Mythologies." (On a side note, doesn't it seem a little crazy to put an athiest in charge of religious studies? It's like asking Fidel Castro to teach a course on Free Market Economics!)
He went even further to the members of the Society of Open-Minded Atheists and Agnostics -- those he addresses as "my fellow damned" -- by writing, "The fundies want it all taught in a science class, but this will be a nice slap in their big fat face by teaching it as a religious studies class under the category ‘mythology'."
Mirecki then signed off with, "Doing my part to **** off the religious right, Evil Dr. P." (The asterisks are mine, not his.)
Not too open-minded, that Mr. Mirecki.
When I was in college, my science professor discussed creationism without compromising his integrity as a scientist or an educator. American universities are supposed to be great bastions of ideas and debate, but apparently that extends only to those thinkers who think certain thoughts. The problem is that arrogance often leads to ignorance and the scientists who reflexively dismiss the concept of God are guilty of arrogance in the highest order.
In The Origin of Species, Charles Darwin wrote, "I am well aware that there is scarcely a single point discussed in this volume on which facts cannot be adduced, often apparently leading to conclusions directly opposite to those at which I have arrived. A fair result could be obtained only by fully stating and balancing the facts on both sides of each question."
On the question of the origin of the universe, new facts are constantly being added. All ideas regarding creation or evolution are, in the scientific sense, strictly theories. They are educated guesses. Years ago, I appeared across from Carl Sagan on ABC's Nightline and presented enough simple challenges to his theories that his logic broke down and he completely lost his composure -- and he's considered one of the most brilliant scientists of our times!
In a true atmosphere of learning, any idea should be introduced, debated and tested. The ideas most "fit" will survive; the others need not be feared. The University of Kansas, and every other institute of higher learning, should allow facts on both sides of the "creation" question to be stated and balanced in their classrooms. This fair and open-minded approach is one that even Darwin could appreciate.
About the author: James Robison is the founder and president of LIFE Outreach International, an international humanitarian aid ministry; host of the television program, Life Today; and author of The Absolutes.
Media Contact: Randy Robison, editor at jamesrobison.net
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