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What I believe and what I believe should be taught

By D. G. Martin
Posted Monday, August 8, 2005

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What do I believe?

If there is one thing that I believe with certainty and cannot ever remember seriously doubting, it is what has recently come to be called “Intelligent Design.”

I believe that this world, this universe, and everything in it was created by and is watched over by an “Intelligent Designer,” known to me as God.

I believe that this world, this universe, and everything in it was created by and is watched over by an “Intelligent Designer,” known to me as God.

I could never believe that the world, the people in it, and the universe that surrounds it all came about by accident.

Can I prove this to you? Absolutely not. I would not even try. My belief in a divine origin of the universe is a fundamental matter of faith with me—not something I could prove to you.

If I were I to doubt “intelligent design,” I don’t think anyone could prove it to me by using some kind of “scientific proof.”

Should science teachers try to show students that scientific research and study somehow proves the existence of God or the creation of the universe by intelligent design?

Scientists and science teachers ought to be about the business of learning and teaching how the world and universe work—in a scientific framework. The imposition of my faith or anybody else’s religious concepts would distort scientific teaching in the classroom and restrain scientific research in the laboratory.

Free and inquiring minds cannot be bound by directives to come up with results that fit in to a particular religious mold.

The most that should be said about Intelligent Design in the classroom or research lab is this: “What we have learned and what we expect to learn is consistent with the idea that there is an ‘intelligent designer,’ and it is also consistent with the idea that there is not one. Science will not prove it either way.”

I don’t want religious beliefs—mine or yours—grafted on to science any more than I want them taught in other courses.

Take the study of history, for instance. I believe that God’s hand is somehow guiding our history—that of our country and the rest of the world. (I confess to having doubts about this one from time to time, but it is nevertheless something I believe.) Still, I don’t want my idea—or someone else’s—of exactly how God’s hand is guiding history to be a part of the history courses taught in school or college. Speculating about God’s purposes, or which side He favored, in the American Civil War or World War II or trying to find God’s hand in the events of September 11, 2001, may be good for discussion in a religious context. But, in a history classroom, the focus should be on causal factors that can be documented and examined.

I believe that the hand of God is in the beauty and orderliness of math and music. It must be. But great musicians and great mathematicians hold a wide variety of views about God’s role in their work. Forcing them to conform their music or their math to my ideas about God would force them out of their fields.

I believe that a sick person’s religious faith can play an important role in healing. But I want the health professionals to concentrate on applying the healing techniques that medical scientific research has so far revealed to be best.

In medicine, history, science, and other such academic subjects, the search for “human truth” can be hampered by the imposition of particular religious beliefs, including the idea of Intelligent Design history.

I believe that God’s Truth is on a higher plane than “human truths.” God’s truth is not scientific truth and not human truth. We search for it in different ways and find it differently and to different degrees. We see that truth now “only through a glass darkly” if at all, and we have come to different ideas even then about what part of His truth God has revealed to us.

What we see only “darkly” should not prevent us from seeing and learning more about what God has allowed us to see clearly. END

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D.G. Martin is the author of “Interstate Eateries” a handbook of home cooking places near North Carolina’s interstate highways—available through Our State Magazine (800-948-1409 or www.ourstate.com). He is the host of UNC-TV’s North Carolina Bookwatch, which airs on Sundays at 5:00 p.m. This week’s (August 14) guest is Timothy Tyson, author of “Blood Done Sign My Name,” which is the books new UNC-Chapel Hill students are reading this summer.

Upcoming NC Bookwatch programs, all at 5pm, Sundays on UNC-TV:

August 14 Timothy Tyson Blood Done Sign My Name

August 21 Moreton Neal Remembering Bill Neal

August 28 Quinn Dalton Bulletproof Girl

Sept 4 Henry Petroski Pushing the Limits

 
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