Posted by Bignuncio at 11:56pm Feb 13 '11
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I have been wondering how many bad eggs it takes in a particular religion to agree that it is generally a bad influence on society. This seems to be the biggest defense of islam - that there are only a few crazy ones.

Ours is an overwhelmingly christian nation and lately an increasingly ignorant nation. I'd say the two go hand in hand evidenced primarily by the ongoing fight over creationism being taught in schools. I suspect people here are much more familiar with christianity so will have a slightly more realistic concept about how ignorant the religion encourages the people to be.

Basically we teach evolution in schools in the United States though there are many examples around the nation that show the struggle that is taking place over the issue. Not a month has gone by that I haven't heard of some school district or another has gone to court trying to either get evolution banned or get creationism taught in science classes in public schools.

So knowing (hoping) that christians in our country are overwhelmingly of the non crazy type who know evolution is a science and creationism is not how large is this minority that is pushing the issue? More to the point how large is the group of people who don't care to push the issue but would be happy to accept having creationism in the classroom because it promotes christianity?

Many people, perhaps most, do not understand science except in the vaguest way. They can't appreciate the large bodies of evidence and the constant fighting over what is the correct way to understand the cosmos. So when creationism comes along and pretends to be science, or when creationists talk about how science is only guesses and is full of unprovable dogma, many people are willing to go along with it because they can't tell the difference. The result is many school districts don't teach evolution, they employ teachers that don't believe in evolution or who don't understand it or simply don't do a good job of teaching it.

I often watch news from overseas networks and I've been surprised to hear about our creationism controversy on the BBC. I know what I huge issue this is for our country but to hear the fear of creationism in the U.S. in the voices of foreign reporters only underlines what a huge issue this is to the world in general. They fear the consequences of a non-secular United States and rightly so.

Now in a country as diverse as ours we must expect that there will be constant issues cropping up between religions or various other belief systems or cultural barriers to education methods or whatever else could happen. The problem is the number of people fighting against things like creationism. If it is true that the majority of christians know that evolution is a real science then why are there no christian groups fighting against this problem? It seems that even though many christians might know the truth of the matter they seem more than willing to let complete nonsense be taught to their children. There is only one national group in the U.S. that is fighting against the spread of creationism and to promote the sciences. It seems to me that this is an extremely frail line of defense to have protecting our schools from simply teaching backwards nonsense.

Can a tiny minority of misguided religious people have such a large impact on our educational system or is the problem actually quite a bit larger than we suspect? Before claiming that this is a minor issue realize that there are five states right now with pending legislation that will allow creationism to be taught in science classes and several that already have it even after court cases have ruled against it. If it is actually only a tiny minority causing this much damage to our educational system shouldn't we still be working to prevent it from happening? Shouldn't there be more christians working to keep evolution in schools than there are working against it?
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