Sean King

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Knoxville, Tennessee, United States

Saturday, July 26, 2008

"Evolving Toward a Compromise"

washingtonpost.com: Discussing the fact that many opponents of evolution seem to be far more concerned about the values it implies than denying the historical veracity of its claims, Amy Binder and John H. Evans propose a compromise:

We propose a compromise that would neither violate the establishment clause of the First Amendment nor limit the teaching of evolution in the public schools. Most defenders of evolution do not consider valid the critics' fears that evolution teaches values. Even so, teachers could take these concerns seriously by clarifying what evolutionary theory does not imply about values. To assuage the type of concern articulated by William Jennings Bryan, teachers could tell students that even though evolutionary science talks about the survival of the fittest organism, it is not a model for how humans should treat each other. They could explain that students should not make an "ought" about human behavior from an "is" of nature and that competition in contemporary society will not lead to increased survival rates. Moreover, they could explicitly note that just because mutations in organisms are random, it does not follow that human morality is random.

Seems reasonable to me.

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