Intelligent design stumbles by revealing itself as religious theory
Peter McKnight, Vancouver Sun columnist
Published: Wednesday, October 29, 2008
The religion that is afraid of science dishonors God and commits suicide.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Given the often amicable relationship between science and religion throughout the history of Islam and Christianity, the current hostilities, centred around creationism and evolution, seem something of a historical anomaly. And many commentators suggest that they are also a geographical anomaly, in that the promotion of creationism and intelligent design is restricted to Islamic countries and the United States.
But the latter suggestion is not quite true. While creationism and ID enjoy more "official" support in Islamic countries than anywhere else, and while the U.S. has been the epicentre of the creationism-evolution wars, battles have also been fought in many European countries, Australia and Canada.
Witness the 2007 Ontario provincial election, when Progressive Conservative candidate John Tory, in an effort to bring parochial schools within the purview of public education, echoed the American sentiment that evolution is just a theory, and hence advised that schools should teach "that there are other theories that people have out there that are part of some Christian beliefs."
Or witness the 2006 controversy in Quebec, after the Ministry of Education, knowing some independent schools were teaching creationism, ordered the schools to teach the theory of evolution or close their doors.
Suffice it to say, then, that the creationist movement has been highly successful in its efforts to influence education in Canada. And this is all the more astonishing given that the creationist movement was itself created only about a century ago.