Re: *** DARWIN WAS WRONG!!! ***

Scott9609 (
4 Apr 1995 02:18:43 -0400

Dear John:

As a former creationist and now a champion of Darwin, I politely differ
with you on the notion that the Bible and other religious works have no
place in secular education.

The sacred and philosophic works of the past should not be judged
according to whether or not every proposition in them is confirmed or
falsified by contemporary scholarship. The true test is to what degree
these works grapple with the great questions, to engage in what Robert
Hutchins called 'The Great Conversation."

I would assert that a secular education that attempts to teach American
history without teaching sacred and philosophic concepts is bankrupt; for
an example, consider the way school children are typically encouraged to
laud the Pilgrims then, a little bit later in the curricula, to condemn
Cotton Mather and the rest of the Puritans as intolerant, hysterical, etc.
Yet the Puritans and the Pilgrims were the same group of people! We are
told that the Pilgrims came to America for "religious freedom" yet how
many people know what, religiously, they wanted freedom "for" or freedom
"from"? If secondary school students were given a broader exposure to the
entire history of religious and philosophical ideas *without sectarian
pressure* then they would be better able to evaluate the Puritans in their
proper historical context.

Admittedly, the above caveat is an important distinction worth fighting
for. But I have to insist that a biologist devoid of religious and
philosophical education is incomplete, the dark mirror of those American
intellectuals that E.O. Wilson has so correctly characterized as "numinous
spectators of physical reality."

Sincerely....Scott Hatfield (