Through Blog of The Airtightnoodle I came across this excellent post on the threat of creationism and intelligent design, not to science, but to faith. The author clearly understands the threat that the creationist/intelligent design fairytale poses to a child’s faith in the long run:
Those who are teaching their children using creationist curriculum are in particular danger of setting their children up for this fall. To see why, I’d like to offer a challenge. Take your child’s creationist materials and look at whatever footnotes and references are provided. Now take an evening and look up the names of the authors cited. Odds are excellent that virtually all of the authors are creationist scientists. Now, take the names of any mainstream scientists who are quoted or whose work is referenced and attempt to track down their work. Specifically, see if you can find the particular quotes used in your child’s materials. Google books can be a great way of doing this. Now, read through whatever you can find with an eye towards evaluating the accuracy of the quotes provided (ie are words changed, relevant sections replaced by “. . .”). Also try and honestly evaluate if the author of your child’s materials has accurately conveyed the substance of what the author is saying.
If you drink, you may want to keep some strong drink nearby to sustain yourself during this process, because I promise you, you will not be happy with what you find. Unfortunately, the only way creationist materials are able to create the appearance of validity is by only referring to the work of “creation scientists” (who don’t do research, BTW. Their work is limited to analyzing the work of others to look for potential holes which might be able to be seen as supporting a creationist perspective. This is not science.). When creationist materials do refer to the work of mainstream scientists, conducting actual research, they almost uniformly misquote and misrepresent them. If you do not believe me, then take a weekend or two and do the research yourself. The internet is a wonderful tool.
The author goes on to point out that an “…idea which is true should not depend on deception”. Yet “deception” is the only substantial argument against evolution that creationists and ID proponents can muster. Kids will ultimately see through the deception once they encounter the evidence of science as explained by real scientists and not creationist pseudoscience or intelligent design propaganda movies. If you, as a Christian creationist, really think you are protecting your child’s faith, then you are sadly delusional. As an instructor and teacher I encounter more and more students every year who have walked away from their faith precisely because their parents, pastors, whoever insisted that in terms of proper theology it was their way or the highway. Most students find the highway much more enlightening and fulfilling.
I should know: Darwin did not force me to leave the church; fundamentalist Christianity forced me away. There came a time when I was no longer being allowed to follow my faith on my own accord – the church was insisting that I accept faith on its terms, including requiring that I accept intelligent design. It was demanding that I ignore intellectual pursuits when they conflicted with traditional teaching. If people really want to know why I left then I have to lay most of the blame at the feet of the church herself.