David E. Steiner

Retired USAF, Teacher, Dad, Grandfather, Curmudgeon

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Creation Science [1995]

 

The Estes Park schools are under attack because they teach physical sciences and the history of life on Earth and refuse to teach that God created Adam and Eve and put them in the Garden of Eden.

It’s an important issue, not only because it so clearly defines the constant battle between knowledge and ignorance, but also because our children are taught in the Estes Park schools and our taxes help pay for their education. A small number of people in Estes Park believe they can prove that our scientific knowledge about the history of life on this planet isn’t true and they want what they call “creation science” taught in our public schools. This is the doctrine that the universe was created by supernatural power and is of relatively recent origin, much as it is now, and has not developed or evolved.

What we believe to be true can come from many sources: parents, peers, teachers and very often from revealed literature: the Egyptian Book of the Dead, the Torah, the Bhagavad Gita, the Bible,  the Koran, the Book of Mormon. For thousands of years almost everyone based their beliefs on revealed literature. It explained phenomena we didn’t understand: the sun, the stars, fire, lightning, the phases of the moon, eclipses, and what causes the seasons. But because we alone, among the creatures of the earth, are able to pass on what we know to subsequent generations in written form, we began to understand more about the physical world and that knowledge improved our lives, as we learned to harness some of the forces of the physical world. We know that Zeus doesn’t throw lightning bolts. We know why the earth is round and why it revolves around the sun. We know much more about our planet’s past and its place in the universe. We can even guess about its probable future, based on our accumulated knowledge.

But there are those who know very little about science and who don’t want to know any more. Instead, they continue to base their beliefs on revealed literature, and continue to believe that although we observably live on a small planet near a small star among billions of other stars, in a universe several billion years old, an all powerful being saw fit to create us just a few thousand years ago and handles all the details, including answering our prayers. They don’t want to believe that we evolved according to fairly strict physical laws. And they don’t want their children to believe it, even though it’s clearly the truth.

We didn’t get where we are by ignoring the truth. We got here by looking for the truth and finding ways to improve our lives and those of our children by learning about how our planet, solar system, galaxy and universe works. The key to improvement lies in passing that knowledge on to our children.

Ignorance is not bliss. Ignorance is famine, plague and war.  This group wants to have “creation science” taught, but there is nothing scientific about a belief founded on revealed literature.

Our Constitution guarantees freedom of religion, and if we want to worship a rock, a tree, one God, three or a thousand, we have that right. We may pass our beliefs on to our children, at least until they study physical science. We may try to do so at home, in church, or on a city street. What we don’t have is the right to force our religious beliefs, posing as science or anything else, on anyone else in public schools.

Those who ignore the facts of genetics and DNA nevertheless enjoy the benefits of science. The creationists ride to school board meetings in cars and register their complaints with faxes. Some will probably use the telephone or a computer to express their outrage about me. None of these things are mentioned in revealed literature. It is science itself which has given them the ability  to complain; if it were not for science, they would still be digging for roots, and killing anything that moved in order to survive. They would die young, too, perhaps of polio, smallpox, plague, diphtheria, tetanus or typhoid. But they’ve no doubt had their vaccinations.

Most of us look for knowledge and we value it, but, like all else in life, it has a price. The price of keeping ignorance from our classrooms is the same as that of freedom: eternal vigilance. It is as important in Allenspark as it is anywhere else.

 

 

Columns

© 1985 – 2003, David E. Steiner

Allenspark Wind Columns:

Introduction

Why Allenspark?

Going Riding [August, 1985]

Electricity

Used Cars

Peace and Quiet [1986]

Liberals & Conservatives

Going to the Movies

The Screened Porch

The Beginning of The Season

The Weather

The Hilltop Guild Bazaar

The End of The Season

The Gift of Time

The Beavers

Addresses [1987]

Hiking

Watching the Trees Grow

Postal Rates

Changes in Estes Park

Square Dancing at the Pow Wow

Back to the Hilltop Guild Bazaar

The Solstices

Bird Feeders

Elevators

The Estes Park Hardware Store [1988]

Visitors

Limousine Service

A Memorial Service

A Hummingbird

Garbage

A Hiking Trip

The Estes Park Public Library

Wild Life

Riparian Rights [1989]

Weather

Fences

Commuting

Mountain Friendliness

A Motorcycle Trip

Satellite Television

“Weaving Mountain Memories”

Hotel Rates in the Old Days

The Price of Propane [1990]

The Front Range Almanac

June

Modes of Transportation

Miller Moths

My 50th Column

Modern Conveniences

Rock Climbing

On the Death of Otto Walter, Postmaster

Otto’s Memorial Service

A Big Owl Pot-Luck Dinner

A Whine About Telephone Service [1991]

After the Persian Gulf War

Some Changes in the WIND

The Trip to the Mountains

The Mountains in the Summer

Visitors

Of Dogs, Music, and Children

Muhlenburg County

To My Grandson

The Sale of Longs Peak Inn

World War II  [1992]

Murphy’s Law and the Computer

The South St. Vrain Canyon

“Whiteout”

The Hazards of Volunteering

Crime in Our Valley

Infestations

On the Death of Charles Eagle Plume

Can We All Get Along?

A Partridge in a Pear Tree

Lost Horizon [1993]

Walking

Rumors About a Visit by the Pope

Progress?

More About Fences

Woodpeckers

The Visit of Pope John Paul II

Forest Fires

The New Sewage System

The Snow Pool

The Good Old Days [1994]

The WIND’s 20th Anniversary

The Bunce School

The Shooting Gallery

The Estes Park Museum

Our Government

U.S. West Takes a Hit

The Year of the Hummingbirds

A New “Yield” Sign

Growth in Allenspark

Private Telephones?

The Salvation Army

Creation Science [1995]

Devolutionizing Big Government

Risks

Airports

Fort D.A. Russell

Domestic Terrorism

Old and New

Barney Graves

Life in the Wilderness

What’s In a Name?

Arthur C. Clarke

 

The Estes Park Trail-Gazette Columns:

July 1983

Carpentry

Estes Cone

Johnny Grant

Observations in Estes Park

The Bath House

Waving

The Sutherland’s Ice House

How Old is Charles Eagle Plume?

Dogs

Christmas Trees

Tree Murder

Mountain Driving

Garbage

Mail Boxes

More About Mail Boxes

“Are you related to ....?”

Spring

An Accident

The Wild Cat

A July Reunion

A Visit to Baldpate Inn

Opening Cabins

Summer

The Times, They Have Changed

Death and Transfiguration

The Population Explosion

The March of Time

Faith-Based Social Services

Looking for Pitch

Recent Writings I

Recent Writings II

Recent Writings III

Recent Writings IV

Recent Writings V

Recent Writings VI

 

 

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