A "businessman and civic leader who also teaches Sunday school" named Bill White has penned an editorial about science and religion in today's Chron. I give him high marks for his attempt to distinguish between the two domains. I'm always happy to see a person of faith recognize the value of science, but I've still got a nit to pick:
Last week the Houston Chronicle reported remarks by U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Sugar Land, critical of Texas A&M and Baylor universities, as part of a debate concerning the teaching of evolution. Let's not allow a false conflict between science and scripture to divide us. Many people of both science and faith have flourished at great Texas universities. And let's respect the rights of DeLay and other public figures to express their own beliefs in a house of worship.
Furthermore, the anti-science forces very surely see this as a real battle that must be fought fiercely. Creationists figure prominently in this group, but they're far from the only ones. Leftist academics who think all truth is subjective and that science is just another worldview (one which is racist and sexist, naturally), pyschics and supernaturalists, Luddites of all stripes - they all reject science. I wish Bill White were correct and this were just a disagreement among friends, but it's not. Those of us who do value science and want to keep it separate from matters of faith and belief need to take this battle seriously as well. Take a look at the Talk.Origins Archive, especially the Feedback section to see how vehement and uncompromising the opposition can be. Take a look at the James Randi Educational Foundation for even more depressing examples of ingrained ignorance and willful disbelief. Every time you turn your back, the other side is gaining ground.
For that reason, I disagree with White when he says we should accept DeLay's apology and move on. Tom DeLay isn't going to move on, he's going to keep pushing the idea that religious dogma belongs alongside, or even in place of, science in the classroom. That's one place where we can't cut him any slack.Posted by Charles Kuffner on April 26, 2002 to Skepticism