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Creationism And Evolution In School: Steven Jay Gould's Essay "Genesis Vs. Geology"

1289 words - 5 pages

Steven Jay Gould is the author of the essay, "Genesis vs. Geology". There is a great debate over the idea of the Genesis flood. It is being argued that the geological facts may be proof that no such event could have been possible. Not only are there scientists trying to discover whether the flood happened but there are fundamentalists searching for the same answers. Along with the debate over Genesis, there's also the debate about evolution and creationism. How does anyone really know which idea is the correct one? Many people gather information and then decide what their personal opinion is. A person should be able to decide for themselves where they stand in any debate, including the one about evolution vs. creationism.Gould's argument is that evolution, not creationism, should be taught in public schools. He feels that evolution is science and creationism is religion, therefore evolution belongs in the public schools' curriculum. As well as giving his own opinion and understanding about evolution vs. creationism, Gould gives examples of other important people's beliefs about this debate. Among those included in his essay are John Whitcomb and Henry Morris, who wrote the document, The Genesis Flood. Their thought is that a giant cover of water vapor surrounded the earth, but they couldn't come up with an explanation as to how this cover got there. Whitcomb and Morris believe that the water, rising from underground, combined with the raining of the cover of water vapor in the sky, would have produced enough water to explain Noah's worldwide flood. After coming to that conclusion Whitcomb and Morris again found that they could not explain what triggered the water to start falling once it was in the giant cover over the earth. They decide that because God put the water up there in the first place, he would release it as well. Gould also gives examples of how a Louisiana law about the Genesis flood being brought into school curriculums was addressed. He explains that when this law was passed, it was brought to the federal court to rule on its constitutionality. By the end of the trial the judge determined that the law was in fact unconstitutional because "creation science" is a religious view and would interfere with the First Amendment. Another point that Gould states in his writing is that creationistic ideas do not fit together properly; the aspects that can be scientifically tested have been tested but prove to be wrong. Such as the idea of "flood geology" which explains the sorting of creatures' fossils in the stratums. There are three different suggestions given by Whitcomb and Morris, but all three of them were tested and proven false. At the end of Gould's essay he includes an encounter with a plumber who was repairing his toilet. The plumber believes in the miracle of creationism and the inexplicable flooding of the earth yet he knows that in his line of work there is always a cause and effect for what goes wrong with what he needs to fix....

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