July 11, 2002 - Issue: Vol. 148, No. 93 — Daily Edition107th Congress (2001 - 2002) - 2nd Session
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. ____________________