Reason. It’s a fundamental American value that the Founding Fathers held highly above all others. Thomas Jefferson once wrote that,
“Man once surrendering his reason, has no remaining guard against absurdities the most monstrous, and like a ship without rudder, is the sport of every wind. With such persons, gullibility, which they call faith, takes the helm from the hand of reason, and the mind becomes a wreck.”
The Founders expected reason and logic to be the guiding principles of the Republic. That is why they made separation of church and state a cornerstone of our nation. Americans are free to practice whatever religion they so choose, but they cannot deny reason and logic. From the moment the Constitution went into effect, the people were to govern based upon these two values rather than on blind faith of any particular religious doctrine. Since then, science has come a long way, but there are religious fundamentalists who still want religion to dictate our lives, our thoughts, our knowledge, and our consciences by government decree if necessary.
Take those who support creationism for example. Republican Christian extremists have introduced bill after bill in states like Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Indiana, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arizona, and elsewhere in an effort to force schools to teach the Biblical story of creation in science class, even though there is absolutely no scientific evidence to support creationism whatsoever.
They are doing this because they oppose the scientifically supported process known as evolution. Creationism advocates usually contend that evolution is full of holes. Of course, the great majority of scientists, nearly all of them in fact, support evolution. Supporters of creationism believe that every word in the Bible is the only factual description of reality, therefore blatantly ignoring reason and logic.
But a radio ad for the Creationism Museum in Kentucky operated by Answers in Genesis President Ken Ham blew a major hole in the creationism effort on Thursday. Ham admitted that there is ZERO scientific evidence to support creationism, although he still contends that the Bible is evidence enough to force people to learn about it.
“We have solid proof in our hands that evolution is a lie: the Bible. You see, we can’t depend solely on our reasoning ability to convince skeptics. We present the evidence and do the best we can to convince people the truth of God by always pointing them to the Bible.”
Here’s the video via Raw Story:
In other words, reason, logic, and science debunk creationism, not evolution. The only evidence creationists can muster for their theory is a book written 2,000 years ago by people supposedly transcribing the words of an invisible deity only they can hear. People would call that faith, not fact. And facts are the only things that school children should be taught in science class.
Creationism is an unprovable theory. There is no scientific evidence supporting such a theory. But evolution has an abundance of scientific evidence backing it up. Despite what creationists say, the Earth is not 6,000 years old and people did not co-exist with dinosaurs. The scientific evidence is irrefutable. This is why the Founders wanted Americans to value reason and logic. They had no problem with people having faith in their religious beliefs, but they did not want religious groups to force their beliefs on others and they certainly did not want us to reject the reality of evidence, even if such evidence contradicts Biblical teaching. Nothing is more important in this country than being reasonable enough to understand and accept scientific evidence when it is presented to us, especially when a majority of scientists and academics come to the same conclusion. Reason and logic should reign supreme in our government, just like it has from the beginning.
“The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at present little known or regarded either in Europe or in America, it may hereafter become an object of curiosity. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of Heaven, more than those at work upon ships or houses, or laboring in merchandise or agriculture; it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses.” ~John Adams