Last Sept. 26 two dozen members from Town Creek Baptist Church, led by the Rev. Danny Hedgepeth and Glenn Wilson, descended on the Aiken County School Board to request that creationism be taught in the schools science curriculum.
For two years, Mr. Wilson has appeared before the board 16 times with the same objective - to reflect his church's religious philosophy on the origin of the universe and the beginnings of life.
The school board wisely rejected his arguments for two reasons:
Creationism is a religious myth based upon the literal interpretation of the Bible - Genesis 1. That creationism is religious was confirmed by lower courts in at least six decisions and by the Supreme Court in 1968 and 1987.
Also, belief in literal biblical interpretation is not shared by mainline Protestant, Catholic or reformed Jewish faiths.
Creationism has no scientific credibility. A 1999 National Center for Science Education survey shows that for 200,000 scientific papers published recently in peer-reviewed scientific journals, not a single article gave any scientific basis for creationism. Why? Because there is none.
Evolution, on the other had, has extensive national and international scientific support. Persons educated in cosmology, biology, anthropology and geology understand that the universe is about 15 billion years old; the earth about 4.5 billion years; the start of life about 3.6 billion years and the first human ancestors about 5 million years ago.
Evolution is an accepted fact by virtually all of mainline Christianity, which simply states that "God is responsible for it all."
Extensive discussions took place in Kansas where the school board removed student test requirements on evolution and the "Big Bang" theory in the state standards ... As a result, outraged teachers and parents voted out creationist trustees and replaced them with evolutionists. Aiken does not need a Kansas fiasco. Current Aiken County school trustees have done a good job and deserve public support and re-election in November.
Richard Baxter, Aiken
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