Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Darwin under fire in Poland

Transcript of today's show:

In a public outburst last fall, Poland's deputy education minister criticized evolution theory as a lie that science has cleverly sought to legitimize. Miroslaw Orzechowski has called for a debate on removing Darwin's theory from schools. To date, there has been no debate, but Polish teachers have grown fearful of repercussions from teaching evolution. Meanwhile, the deputy minister continues to criticize Darwin, whose theory, he says, was merely the ramblings of an old, feeble-minded vegetarian. [source: International Herald Tribune]

Listen to the 1-minute broadcast of this story [mp3]

Sound Off: Science & Faith. Our point/counterpoint regulars Shelley (the voice of science) and Peter (the voice of faith), comment on the story.

The Voice of Science: Shelley Greene, Ph.D., comments:
What an irony that the former communist regime of Poland has chosen to attack science. It appears to be the irreversible swing of the pendulum — from an atheistic country that used the Catholic Church and the then Polish papacy as the primary vehicle of social change, to now throwing out the baby with bathwater. I applaud the Polish pope and the Catholic Church for helping Poland separate from the domination of the old Soviet Union. But what does that have to do with abandoning science?

The Voice of Faith: Peter Williamson, M.Div., comments:
Having thrown off the chains of faithless communist dogma, the people of Poland are finally given a choice and an opportunity to discuss the Darwin controversy. Despite decades of atheist communist domination, the Catholic Church of Poland remained strong and vital in Polish society. I find it so encouraging to see the Deputy Minister of Education speaking up for the religious beliefs of his overwhelmingly majority constituency.