Flying under the legislative radar this past week was potential McCain vice presidential running mate and governor of Louisiana Bobby Jindal's signing into law of Senate Bill 733, which allows "local school systems to approve the use of supplemental instructional materials for teaching science classes." What opponents are up in arms about is that, with SB 733, teachers could supplement evolutionary teachings with materials on creationism or "intelligent design."
Having just celebrated America's independence a few days ago, neither Gov. Jindal nor any politician should hesitate to legislate pro-Creator educational platforms or fear anti-theistic swells that try to shut God out of America's classrooms. Our Founders didn't. And neither should we.
What many might not realize is that our Founders were familiar with naturalistic and evolutionary views of the sciences. Evolution has been around a lot longer than Darwin. And criticism for it also has been around a lot longer than Ben Stein's movie "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed." The Founding Fathers were familiar with the arguments for and against theism and naturalism from well before the time of Christ. I'm not citing them here as an irrefutable argument for "intelligent design" in the classroom, but as a congruent historical voice with SB 733 that demonstrates science and theism are not mutually exclusive.
Though Thomas Paine was probably the most outspoken against religion among the Founders, he stood for creationism in schools: "It has been the error of schools to teach astronomy, and all the other sciences and subjects of natural philosophy, as accomplishments only; whereas they should be taught theologically, or with reference to the Being who is the Author of them: for all the principles of science are of divine origin. Man cannot make, or invent, or contrive principles; he can only discover them, and he ought to look through the discovery to the Author."
James Wilson -- a signer of the Declaration of Independence, twice elected to the Continental Congress, and notable power behind the creation of the U.S. Constitution -- asked, "When we view the inanimate and irrational creation around and above us, and contemplate the beautiful order observed in all its motions and appearances, is not the supposition unnatural and improbable that the rational and moral world should be abandoned to the frolics of chance or to the ravage of disorder?"