The trial continues in Pennsylvania where the ACLU and Americans United for Separation of Church and State are seeking a halt to the teaching of the theory of intelligent design alongside the theory of evolution. They claim the Dover School District is trying to bring religion into the classroom.
But the president of Answers in Genesis feels it is necessary to point out that intelligent design is not a Christian movement - and Christians need to be aware of that, he says.
A leading advocate of intelligent design has testified in the Dover case that some biological systems, like blood clotting, are too complex to have evolved step-by-step. Lehigh University microbiologist Michael Behe says blood would not clot - and evolving creatures would have died off - without all of the interconnected parts in place.
Behe, the author of Darwin's Black Box, returns to the witness stand today on behalf of Pennsylvania's Dover Area School District. The district is being sued for telling students that evolution is unproven and that intelligent design offers another explanation for the origins of life.
Behe - a Roman Catholic - said intelligent design, like the Big Bang, implies a possible Creator of the universe, but is still a scientific rather than a religious theory.
Ken Ham is president of Answers in Genesis, a Kentucky-based ministry that equips Christians to defend the biblical account of creation. Ham says Christians must realize that intelligent design is not the same as creationism.
"The intelligent design movement is not a Christian movement," he says. "They're not all about the Bible; they don't tell you who this is 'intelligence' is." And because of that, he is concerned that students who start to believe in an unidentified "intelligence" could easily be "directed to a Muslim god or a Hindu god or a New Age god or whatever."
Ham also urges Christians to understand that the intelligent design movement is not against evolution. "They're not against evolutionary geology, they're not against evolutionary biology or evolutionary astronomy or evolutionary anthropology," he says.
Still, the Answers in Genesis leader says he is encouraged that many school districts are considering teaching intelligent design or creationism alongside the theory of evolution when students are taught about the origin of life. As a result, he says, "more and more people are becoming informed."
The Value of Information Ham points out that, according to a recent article in the New York Times, knowledge about alternatives to evolution are having an impact - in secular museums, for example. "They're getting together to try to work out how to combat the creationists," he says.
According to Ham, secular museums are finding more and more visitors are asking questions from a point of knowledge about intelligent design. "They're actually challenging the people who are giving lectures at those museums," he says.
And that is whole point of education, according to the executive director of the Christian Educators Association International. "A well-rounded education should include more than one theory," says Finn Laursen. "A theory is by its very nature conjecture and should not be enshrined as orthodoxy."
And Laursen contends that individuals who are "married" to the theory of evolution are "simply closed to genuine scientific inquiry and disingenuous about their agenda."
"Teaching the controversy [regarding evolution versus intelligent design] is good education," Laursen says, adding that he is "not shocked" to see such groups as the American Civil Liberties Union "opposing academic freedom and promoting censorship."
That is why he and his organization are applauding the Dover Area School District for encouraging "critical thinking rather than insist[ing] on reflexive allegiance to a theory."
© 2005, Agape Press. Used with permission.