Collin Brendemuehl thinks my post about Guillermo Gonzales losing his tenure case" shows my wholesale intolerance for creationism.
I'd like to respond specifically to a couple of Collin's points.
I don't know that situtation but would comment on Hanley's attitude -- that those who accept special creation might best be limited to teaching at Chrisitian undergrad colleges. So much for liberty.I teach at a Christian undergrad--well, we're not really Christian, but we are church affiliated. It's a good gig, and the prayers before every big college function don't bother me at all. And it's not that I would ban creationists from the public universities--I don't care if someone who believes in special creation teaches political philosophy, French literature, theater, art, exercise science, history, economics, etc. But not biology, because creationism isn't scientific. Remember Michael Behe at the Dover trial? He admitted that to fit his views into the realm of science, science would have to be redefined broadly enough to call astrology scientific. Michael Behe said it! Should we allow astrologers to get tenure in astronomy departments, even though they can't get published in scientific journals?
If these secularists got their way, the evangelical who accepts special creation would not be allowed into the public arena to teach astronomy, practice medicine, or even be certified to teach in high school, let alone college.I can't speak for others, only myself. I find it hard to understand how a doctor could not believe in evolution, but I don't think it would necessarily affect their performance. As long as my kids' doctor is good to them and resolves their problems, I don't care what his beliefs are. He could practice voodoo in his spare time, believe the earth rests on the back of a giant turtle, and that God will be returning to earth next year in the form of a giraffe, and I wouldn't care. And as for teaching, it all depends on what they want to teach. Creationism has not proven itself as a science. If it does, then I'll shut up and allow it to be taught as science, but since creationists refuse to follow the scientific method that every other scientist follows, I'm not going to hold my breath.
And I certainly wouldn't ban creationists from the public arena. Although I would go to school board meetings and vigorously argue against them, I would stand beside them to protect their right to speak. Because freedom of speech is more important than teaching biology properly. And I have no problem with Collin having a blog to speak for creationism. That is the uncommon liberty of which I speak--the liberty to speak openly about things that are demonstrably wrong. But that doesn't include the right to get whatever job you want, despite being unqualified for it.
A final comment: I don't get why creationists are afraid of evolution. Evolution says nothing about the origins of the earth, or of life itself. Evolution only explains how life changes and develops across generations. I know Christian biologists who accept evolutionary theory, and Christian ministers who do as well. Evolution does not disprove God! It says nothing about God at all. Accepting as the basis for argument that God created the world, because mutations happen evolution would occur unless God perpetually intervened to prevent it. Yet I've never heard anyone argue that God would find it important to do that.
For the record, I'm not an atheist. I won't put the red "A" on my blog. I'm skeptical, dubious (skipping church this morning, I'll admit, although I take my kids most weeks), even agnostic, but not an atheist. Having grown up in a conservative church, I understand Christian beliefs from the inside, and I try to take them seriously. Mocking people for their beliefs is no way to debate an issue--in fact, as ironic as it is, the atheists who mock Christianity are only preaching to the choir.