Milford clergy judge intelligent design for themselves

| 28 Sep 2011 | 03:06

    MILFORD - Before a federal judge in Harrisburg made national news out of the issue earlier this week, three borough clergymen who deal in a different court spoke about beliefs and intelligent design in the public schools. Episcopal Fr. Bill McGinty of the Church of the Good Shepherd and John the Evangelist is a hard man to pin down. While he said it’s “amazing that it’s still controversial in the twenty-first century, almost 100 years after the Scopes monkey trial,” he also believes it’s a good thing to talk about. “Is it a healthy debate? Absolutely...I like to teach from all angles.” “Most Christians don’t want to bother about the science...We don’t question the gift of faith. We believe there is magic in everything. We don’t care if angels don’t have wings. But if you take them away, the world is a poorer place. We like the magic.” McGinty gave no position on the teaching of religious theory in the public schools. On Tuesday Judge John E. Jones ruled that the Dover Area, PA, School Board had gone too far in directing a statement to ninth grade students that evolution was a “flawed theory,” while they encouraged the reading of a text endorsing intelligent design. Jones found their action to be a violation of the First Amendment, the separation of church and state, that intelligent design is not science, but religion and that the teaching of evolution does not conflict with belief in a divine creator. Intelligent design cases are still in the courts in Georgia and Kansas. Pastor Rodney Kyle of the Milford Bible Church did not agree and wrote by e-mail, “I do believe that intelligent design should be taught in the public schools. It is certainly a step in the right direction...Personally, I believe that creationism should be taught in the public schools. We have come to the point where God cannot be mentioned, prayers at graduation and baccalaureate services can not be said (which I used to be asked to do almost every year). Even some schools are having a problem with Christmas carols.” Kyle believed a challenge to Darwin is necessary. “Intelligent design challenges Darwinism and the theory of evolution. I do believe that the Designer was and is God...Evolution can not explain the intricacies of the cell and the blueprint of the body and many other details of the world in which we live. “Intelligent design, while I don’t agree with some of the conclusions, is a step in the right direction to ultimately arriving at the fact that God created the world. He alone is the Intelligent Designer!!” Fr. Gerald Mullally of St. Patrick’s R.C. Church said that there is an Intelligent Designer, “which we perceive.” But he said that what would be taught as intelligent design implies a different meaning “If we’re going to teach that God created, that is not science. It’s my understanding that science is verifiable...There is adequate evidence, to suggest evolution, if it’s not proven. For myself, I don’t have a problem being descended from an ape,” he said. “I don’t think it should be in physics or biology. someplace else, perhaps in social studies there should be comparative religious study. It’s so much a part of who we are,”Mullally said. He said science can lead us to recognize the design, “but we can’t verify it one way or the other. As a Catholic Church, we allow the freedom for worshipers to take the scriptures literally if they want...We regard it as teaching of religious truth, not scientific truth.” “But if it’s not science, why not make it a part of what students read and discuss intelligently.” “For science can only ascertain what is, but not what should be, and outside of its domain value judgments of all kinds remain necessary. Religion, on the other hand, deals only with evaluations of human thought and action: it cannot justifiably speak of facts and relationships between facts.” Albert Einstein, from “My Later Years”, Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1970, p. 25.