THEORY OF THE ORIGIN OF MAN
(House of Representatives - July 11, 2002)

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[Page H4527]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                      THEORY OF THE ORIGIN OF MAN

  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Jeff Miller of Florida). Under a 
previous order of the House, the gentleman from Indiana (Mr. Pence) is 
recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. PENCE. Mr. Speaker, I have always been interested in origins. 
Even though my training is in the law and in history, it has ever been 
an avocation of mine to contemplate and to study the origins of man and 
of life here on Earth.
  Many theories of origins have been propounded throughout our Nation's 
history. In 1859, a sincere biologist returned from the Galapagos 
Islands and wrote a book entitled ``The Origins of Species,'' in which 
Charles Darwin offered a theory of the origin of species which we have 
come to know as evolution. Charles Darwin never thought of evolution as 
anything other than a theory. He hoped that some day it would be proven 
by the fossil record but did not live to see that, nor have we.
  In 1925 in the famous Scopes Monkey Trial, this theory made its way 
through litigation into the classrooms of America, and we have all seen 
the consequences over the last 77 years: evolution not taught as a 
sincere theory of a biologist, but rather, Mr. Speaker, taught as fact. 
Unless anyone listening in would doubt that, we can all see in our 
mind's eye that grade school classroom that we all grew up in with the 
linear depiction of evolution just above the chalkboard. There is the 
monkey crawling on the grass. There is the Neanderthal dragging his 
knuckles and then there is Mel Gibson standing in all of his glory.
  It is what we have been taught, that man proceeded and evolved along 
linear lines. But now comes a new find by paleontologists. In the 
newspapers all across America, a new study in ``Nature'' magazine, 6- 
to 7-million-year-old skull has been unearthed, the Toumai skull and it 
suggests that human evolution was actually, according to a new theory, 
human evolution was taking place, and I am quoting now, ``all across 
Africa and the Earth,'' and the Earth was once truly, and I quote, ``a 
planet of the apes on which nature was experimenting with many human-
like creatures.''
  Paleontologists are excited about this, Mr. Speaker. But no one is 
pointing out that the textbooks will need to be changed because the old 
theory of evolution taught for 77 years in the classrooms of America as 
fact is suddenly replaced by a new theory, or I hasten to add, I am 
sure we will be told a new fact.
  The truth is it always was a theory, Mr. Speaker. And now that we 
have recognized evolution as a theory, I would simply and humbly ask, 
can we teach it as such and can we also consider teaching other 
theories of the origin of species? Like the theory that was believed in 
by every signer of the Declaration of Independence. Every signer of the 
Declaration of Independence believed that men and women were created 
and were endowed by that same Creator with certain unalienable rights. 
The Bible tells us that God created man in his own imagine, male and 
female. He created them. And I believe that, Mr. Speaker.
  I believe that God created the known universe, the Earth and 
everything in it, including man. And I also believe that someday 
scientists will come to see that only the theory of intelligent design 
provides even a remotely rationale explanation for the known universe. 
But until that day comes, and I have no fear of science, I believe that 
the more we study the science, the more the truth of faith will become 
apparent. I would just humbly ask as new theories of evolution find 
their ways into the newspapers and into the textbooks, let us demand 
that educators around America teach evolution not as fact, but as 
theory, and an interesting theory to boot. But let us also bring into 
the minds of all of our children all of the theories about the 
unknowable that some bright day in the future through science and 
perhaps through faith we will find the truth from whence we come.

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