Warning — the following editorial is opinion

DKS Editorial Board

Our world is full of opposites — light and dark, life and death, yin and yang — which seem to balance each other out. On the same token, this black versus white spectrum can apply to the arguments of religion and science. Where one group’s ideology is based upon tangible evidence and research, the other side’s arguments are based upon their faith and personal beliefs. Each side’s claim is just as valid as the other, but there are certain venues at which each set of beliefs would be inappropriate.

In a suburban school district just north of Atlanta, over 2,000 parents complained to the school board that the science textbooks used in class presented information about evolution without offering alternate views on the origins of life. The school board ordered that the following stickers be placed on the books:

“This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully and critically considered.”

While it is true that evolution is a theory, is it not also true that everything in science is a theory? Can we not cast doubt on any scientific finding? At one time or another, the world was flat; the table of elements consisted of fire, air, earth and water, and the Earth was the center of the universe.

We think it is beneficial for students studying science to realize that there are an infinite number of theories surrounding any given earthly phenomenon. We would applaud the school board had its actions been centered around making the students look outside the box and realize that nothing in science is definite, that science is always changing. But we do not feel this was the motivation for this particular sticker.

But why would any Southern school district in the Bible belt want to single out the theory of evolution rather than make a broad statement about science in general? The answer is clear. It’s well known that the origins of life are one of the most heated topics of debate between scientists and Christians.

Fortunately, a federal judge ruled that this decision of the school board was unconstitutional, siting it was an endorsement of religion. The board is appealing, but hopefully those appeals will be rejected as well. We’re on a very slippery slope when one’s religious beliefs can dictate how our students learn.

The front of a student’s textbook is not the proper forum for religious debates. It is not up to the teachers of any district to instill religion into the students — that’s the parents’ job.

If we continue down this path, who’s to say that the next time you see a Bible at the local library the cover won’t be emblazoned with the following disclaimer:

“Warning: This text has not been through the peer editing process and the sources cannot be verified. We must therefore warn you that this material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully and critically considered.”

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.