Jerry Moore: A topic to avoid at the holiday table

Jerry Moore

My recent column on the debate over creationism versus evolution drew many responses, and I appreciate everyone’s input.

I do wish, though, that some of my opponents had limited their criticism to points I actually made in my column. I never claimed that God doesn’t exist, that morals and rules have no place in society, that Christianity is primitive, and that atheism trumps religion.

Many readers also questioned why I put such stock in evolution when it’s simply a theory. Doesn’t it take just as much faith — if not more — to believe in an unproven theory like evolution than in creationism?

Yes, evolution remains a theory. But the word “theory” is used differently in a scientific context than in common usage.

Scientific theories make assertions about phenomena based on empirical observations. After careful investigation, a hypothesis may become a theory if the evidence holds up.

Albert Einstein’s works on relativity are still considered theories, in scientific parlance. But who would argue that these theories shouldn’t be accepted as truth?

When it comes to treating evolution as a theory, there are plenty of scientific Web sites that address the questions people have posed in their comments to my column. This doesn’t mean researchers don’t have differences over some features of evolution or that scientists know everything about it. But there are reasonable answers to objections posed by creationists.

Some of my critics also asked why creationism shouldn’t be taught alongside evolution. Why stop at the Judeo/Christian notion of the origin of the universe?

If we’re going to teach competing ideas, why not teach how pagans believe the universe began? And what about Hindus? They must have some thoughts on how it all started.

It’s because a science classroom is no place for metaphysical discussions about how various religions claim the universe was formed. A science classroom should be used for science, and that’s what evolution is.

Jerry Moore is the opinions editor for Suburban Life Publications. Contact him at (630) 368-8930 His blog, Suburban Shoutout, can be found