- (Photo: Answers in Genesis)
A petition posted on a White House website has called for the ban of intelligent design and creation science from schools.
Begun by a poster identified as "A.J." of Vienna, Va., the petition demands that the Obama administration "ban the teachings of these conjectures that contradict Evolution."
"Since Darwin's groundbreaking theory of Evolution by Natural Selection, scientists all around the world have found monumental amounts of evidence in favor of the theory, now treated as scientific fact by 99.9% of all scientists," reads the petition in part.
"However, even after 150 years after the establishment of evolution, some schools across the US are 'teaching the controversy,' including Creationism and Intelligent Design …These types of loopholes in our education are partially to blame for our dangerously low student performances in math and science."
Posted on Saturday and filed under the Education category, the petition has already received the support of over 7,000 signatories. To be guaranteed an official response from the Obama administration, it must garner at least 100,000 signatures by July 15.
According to a survey released in 2011 and conducted by Michael Berkman and Eric Plutzer of Penn State University, 13 percent of high school biology teachers "explicitly advocate creationism or intelligent design by spending at least one hour of class time presenting it in a positive light."
Ken Ham, founder and president of the recent Creationist organization Answers in Genesis, told The Christian Post that the petition will not have "any impact on how the teaching of origins is presented in public schools."
"Presidents don't issue executive orders to ban certain kinds of teachings in schools. The development of science curriculum is largely the domain of local school districts and state educators," said Ham.
"Occasionally, we come across public school teachers who tell us that they present creation or intelligent design in their science classes. But we don't have any percentages, just anecdotal accounts."
Ham also told CP that he considered the petition "frivolous" and "silly," as well as showcasing an intolerance against Christians who want to teach biblical creation in a private setting.
"This anti-creationist petition is yet another example of the intolerance of evolutionist activists who do want to see any challenge to their deeply held secularist worldview," said Ham.
"The petition does not specifically mention public schools so it can also be viewed as opposing the teaching of creation/ID in Christian schools and homeschools. Once again we see the intolerance of secularists against Christians and their freedom to teach creation/ID even in private settings."
Dr. John G. West, vice president of the Seattle-based Discovery Institute, told The Christian Post that he did not believe the petition would have any impact given that the Supreme Court already ruled in the 1980s that creation science could not be taught alongside the theory of evolution in public schools.
"The real debate over evolution in public schools today is whether teachers should only present scientific evidence favoring the theory or should they also present the scientific evidence that raises problems for the theory," said West.
"Peer-reviewed science journals are filled with a growing number of significant problems for standard Darwinian theory. Students should be allowed to hear about these problems."
West also told CP that he took issue with the petition's assumptions, calling the online effort "ill-informed, confused, and beside the point."
"Contrary to the petition, growing numbers of scientists are expressing skepticism of the central claim of modern Darwinian theory that natural selection acting on random mutations is sufficient to account for biological complexity," said West.
Neither Answers in Genesis nor the Discovery Institute advocate for the compulsory teaching of alternatives to the theory of evolution in public schools.