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The Pacer Indipendant voice of the University of Tennessee at Martin
|Academic freedom for creation explanation|
Issue date: 3/17/09 Section: Viewpoints
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As a freshman, I haven't been at UT-Martin for very long. But some problems are so obvious that they don't take very long to notice.
In my studies I quickly realized that when it comes to the theory of evolution, Darwin is the only one who gets to answer questions-or ask them.
I want to question this theory-to test it; check its credentials. And I want honest, thoughtful answers to my questions, not pre-formulated quips and deflections.
But I have learned that if I'm not an evolutionist, my questions don't get credited, or even heard.
When I ask why theories such as intelligent design are discredited so off-handedly, I typically hear, "Because intelligent design involves metaphysics, but evolution is based only on facts." Well, I am not so sure.
Obviously, Darwin observed mutation and selection processes within the finch species of the Galapagos. But was he really seeing the extreme mutation and selection that would be required to make a bird out of a dinosaur?
It seems to me Darwin's idea of increasingly specialized life descending from simple, single-celled creatures, was entirely conjectural.
The theory might have had its roots in meticulous observation, but considering what we now know, the theory no longer seems to adequately explain such things as biodiversity and the origins of life.
Never mind that paleontologists have yet to uncover the majority of "common ancestors."
Never mind that textbooks must be rewritten every time a greater understanding of genetics tells us that birds are actually reptilians; that humans are closer kin to sand dollars than ants or bees.
Never mind the leap of faith required to explain how incredibly complex single-celled life could have possibly developed from a floating mass of random proteins and minerals.
The scientific community assures me that evolution will undoubtedly produce answers to all these problems. But in the meantime, nobody else is allowed to say anything. If you ask me, this isn't academic freedom.
True academic freedom would look like a variety of scientists, with differing opinions, having open and respectful debates about their ideas.
It would look like evolutionists actually being willing to learn what intelligent design advocates think, instead of dismissing them off-hand as religious fanatics or Creationists.
On April 6, a non-religious, non-political student organization will be hosting Ben Stein's documentary "Expelled" on campus.
If you are an evolutionist, I encourage you to come and see it and prove that reason, respect, and open minds still factor into today's science.
it's also being pushed on the uncommon decent website: