Evolve, or Jump Off a Table

Andrew F. Adams is a regular contributor. Respond at [email protected]





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Over Thanksgiving break, I was sitting on my couch when my 2-year-old nephew climbed atop the coffee table and announced he was going to jump.

"Whoa, whoa, whoa Hank," said my uncle. "Haven't you ever heard of the law of gravity? You will fall to the ground and get hurt!"

"Dad, gravity is only a theory. No one can find a graviton or explain how it works. The evidence may be there, but there is no definitive proof," he replied.

"A theory it may be, but it has traction. We may not be sure how, but we know about gravity," my uncle retorted.

"It's just a theory," Hank said, then proceeded to fall off the table.

But Hank was right. Gravity is just a theory, no matter how much credence it has. There are observable past experiences proving that something, whether it is gravitons, magnetism or God, pulls objects together. Yet it remains the Theory of Gravity.

Another theory that has gained some measure of acceptance is the Theory of Evolution. We don't know the precise mechanisms for it, why mutations happen or how a cell grew from nutrients to life, but we do get a general perception of the process itself. The strongest, most well-adapted organisms survive, while the poorly adapted perish in the long process that has given us every living organism.

But evolution conflicts with the Bible, the world's bestseller, which proclaims all life was created in its present form by God. And when you argue with the Bible, most Americans will tune you out before you can say "heresy." Recently, with the re-emergence of the powerful evangelicals, creationism is gathering support and going national.

In Dover, Pennsylvania last week, a school board agreed to teach creationism in their biology classes. In Georgia, a local school board mandates that biology textbooks prominently display disclaimers stating evolution is "not a fact." In Maryland, Missouri, Mississippi and Oklahoma, school boards are considering a proposal to eliminate textbooks "biased toward evolution" from classrooms.

In 1987, the Supreme Court outlawed teaching creationism in public schools because the Constitution protects a separation between church and state. But these renewed conflicts aren't isolated incidents. Creationism is on the march to alter the nature of our public schools.

So was the world created in six days 6,000 years ago? Or has it been evolving since life appeared as a cell 2.8 billion years ago? This would inspire fist fights had God not gone on the record against violence. And it is further complicated by the Christians who accept anything written in the Bible as truth.

Evidence favoring evolution is strong enough to accept it as fact. Fossils, cave paintings and tombs over 6,000 years old, along with noticeable changes in entire species, prove evolution occurs.

Evolution is taught in public schools because it is a theory accepted as fact, much like gravity. Creationism should be taught in Sunday school, whether in conjunction or at odds with evolution, and left for students to decide.

Facts are facts, whether you believe evolution took place of its own volition or through the hand of God. Natural law will happen with or without you, and if you don't believe me, go jump off a coffee table.

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