Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Stickers for all - a proposed compromise

In the latest set of battles between the religiously zealous and the scientifically zealous, we find the new sticker war. Creationists want a sticker on school textbooks claiming that evolution is not a fact but merely a theory. The scientists (and ACLU, et al) claim that 1) it is a fact, and 2) the stickers would violate the separation between church and state.

Now, everyone knows that evolution is not a fact, though it is about as close as scientists get to one. There is a LOT of evidence for it, though there are a lot of internal disputes about many details. And 2, it is clear that the only real challenge to the scientific story comes from religion, or religiously motivated thinkers.

(In some sense this is reminiscient of our last election.)

In the spirit of ecumenical harmony, I would like to propose a compromise that I suspect would make both sides upset. We allow the stickers to be put on every science book in Georgia. In exchange, the scientists get to put a corresponding sticker on each bible in Georgia that says “This Bible contains material on many topics, both scientific, historical and ethical. All of this is mythology, not a fact, regarding the origin of the cosmos, humanity, civilization, and ethics. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully and critically considered.”

Thus we have some Church in the State and some State in the Church. Good idea, no?

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