During the first week of the Ontario election campaign ... Conservative leader John Tory said he didn't see why creationism couldn't be taught in public religious schools on top of evolution and other theories. Within hours, Tory quickly downplayed this suggestion, explaining that he actually meant that the subject could be taught in religious classes only. However the damage was done, and this really became the defining election issue that lead Tory and his party to a resounding defeat.
Almost immediately, this news story spawned a significant number of comments, columns and letters to editors in newspapers across the province. By September 15, dozens of evolution letters were posted on the Free Press Opinions webpage, ranging from logical to downright insulting. I started the ball off with a short letter that irked a number of people ... The negative, misinformed responses and personal attacks were predictable and typical of those of the Religious Right.
Part of my role as a University faculty member is to provide perspective on relevant scientific issues. On this page you will find information and links to clear up some misconceptions of what evolution is really all about. I also wish to stress the importance of providing our children with a science education based on fact and evidence and not on untestable, faith-based creationism myths. Furthermore, it appears that part of the Creationist / Intelligent Design / Fundamentalist agenda on this issue is to infiltrate the public education system by replacing the evidence-based science system with a faith-based theistic model, disguised in the cloak of pseudo-science ‘intelligent design’.
There may be a place for such faith-based topics in philosophy or theology courses, but NOT in the science classroom. In fact, the argument has been made that in most religions ‘there is no necessary conflict between religion and acceptance of evolution as a scientific idea ... although there is of necessity a conflict between Biblical literalist views of creation and modern science ...’
This webpage, like so other many things around us, will evolve as the issues surrounding it continue to be raised.
The Evolution issue and the Ontario election
webpage edited November 14, 2007
Darwin info here natural selection
update on November 14, 2007 ... the PBS show NOVA ‘captures the turmoil that tore apart the community of Dover, Pennsylvania in one of the latest battles over teaching evolution in public schools. Featuring trial reenactments based on court transcripts and interviews with key participants, including expert scientists and Dover parents, teachers, and town officials, "Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial" follows the celebrated federal case of Kitzmiller v. Dover School District.’ ... click here ... you can watch it OnLine...