To effectively combat creationism and improve science education at all levels requires an alliance of scientists, science teachers, clergy, politicians, business people, parents, students, textbook writers, and concerned taxpayers. Business people are especially important because it is their companies that will have to hire the scientific illiterates that a pressured school system graduates.
And so it goes. Even with an astonishing array of victories chalked up by the evolution side, creationism still flourishes and grows. Whether the newspapers daily report it or not, the creation-evolution controversy rages on. Creationism is not dead. It is not even dying. What is dying is American science education. We are graduating a generation of scientific illiterates who will be the voters of tomorrow. It is they who will determine how we fare in international technological competition. And, given that the high stakes issue of the future could be biotechnology, we may be moving toward a particularly ominous tomorrow.
"In our culture," Edwords explains, "people are so accustomed to the idea of every law having a lawmaker, every rule having an enforcer, every institution having someone in authority, and so forth, that the thought of something being otherwise has the ring of chaos to it. As a result, when one lives one's life without reference to some ultimate authority in regard to morals, one's values and aspirations are thought to be arbitrary.... But all of this is based on certain unchallenged assumptions of the theistic moralist--assumptions that are frequently the product of faulty analogies."
There's nothing wrong with offering a zesty promise if we have one. And have one we do. So let us Humanists stress it, publicize it, and present it as our entry in the religious/ philosophical sweepstakes. I submit to you that this one shift in our focus will do more to counter the harmful effects of otherworldly belief than all the rationalistic arguments of history's greatest freethinkers. So let's give it a shot. We have nothing to lose but our minority status.
The United States is indeed a religious nation, but its unifying religion is not Christianity or any other world faith -- not even "the religion of secular humanism," as has been claimed of late. It is instead a unique national belief system best called Americanism.