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The Great Debate -

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(generated from captions) Where did we come from? What's the relationship between religion and science?

And what should our children be taught about these issues in their schools? These are some of the fundamental questions at the centre of a bitter battle in the United States. Increasingly well-organised and well-funded Christian groups are fighting to get "intelligent design" theory into American classrooms. Kansas has become the latest state to allow that to happen. Under new teaching guidelines Darwinian evolution will have to share the blackboard with the concept that life is just too complex to have evolved on its own. The battle lines are clear.

God, the intelligent designer versus natural selection. It's a contest which may soon come to a school near you.

DINOSAURS ROAR Forget what you're taught in school. According to this museum, the Earth is just 6,000 years old.

There were dinosaurs on Noah's Ark. Humans used the giant lizards for transport. This one even has a saddle. Everything here is based on a literal reading of the Bible. God created the Earth and its creatures in just six days. It's taken a group of committed Christians a little longer to create their museum - more like a decade. They're confident that when it opens, it'll save souls.

We believe that Christians, those that believe the Bible, are going to be more equipped to be able to defend their faith and uphold the authority of God's word. And we believe that non-Christians are going to be challenged and many of them are going to start asking questions. Ken Ham is one of the United States' leading creationists. The former Queensland schoolteacher has raised tens of millions of dollars

to turn a vision into a reality. I mean, we're going to have a number of animatronic animals, but I believe it's going to have a great impact on even bringing the whole creation/evolution issue,

or battle, if you want to call it that, to a whole other level in this nation and nations around the world.

In a workroom, the creator is still putting finishing touches on Eve. Adam is already in place in the Garden of Eden, right next to a dinosaur. The giant lizard is vegetarian. How come the two T-rexes aren't making a sound? Critics believe museums like this aren't based on science, they're based on science fiction. There has never been a human bone, fossil or anything else found in the stomach of a dinosaur. And if you think about it, lived simultaneously, had dinosaurs and humans would have eaten one person. surely one dinosaur In addition to that, of course, the fossil record tells us that dinosaurs and humans millions of years apart. lived many, many, many creationism something of a joke, Most mainstreams museums consider at the bottom of the garden. akin to believing in fairies of scientists support evolution, An overwhelming number evolved from apes Darwin's idea that humans and natural selection that random mutations of the species. account for the diversity evolution is under attack. Across the country, are being built. More and more creation museums consequences of Adam and Eve's sin EXHIBIT RECORDING: The of the world. affected every inhabitant

This one is in Arkansas. theme park, It's a kind of Christian to miracles. with everything from Moses to be heading down to Bethlehem Alright, well we're going of our tour. for the rest of this section

of the Holy Land. Visitors can take a two-hour tour high-tech and high-stakes crusade - It's part of an increasingly and souls. a battle for hearts, minds and his disciples since Darwin Evolution, as taught by Darwin that would deny the reality advances ideas of the Genesis record of origins,

the authority of the Scripture, which would automatically undermine

remove the historical foundation which would in turn completely and resurrection of Jesus Christ. for the death, burial this is a very violent assumption. And to a Christian mindset, to the Christian museums. The faithful are flocking oh Lord, our God! Blessed are you, around 50% of Americans believe Opinion polls suggest in their present form. God created humans It's not a matter of ignorance, of faith it's a matter of their choice through the debate because they've been able to see there's a difference and recognise that airplanes fly and computers work between the science that makes that tells us and the so-called science the Earth is billions of years old of an ape-like ancestor. and that we came from some kind

NEWSREEL: The final death-struggle human philosophies - between two basic fundamentalism vs modernism. The fight's been raging for decades.

80 years ago, telling students about evolution. Tennessee put a teacher on trial for the Supreme Court ruled In the 1980s, in public schools. that creationism cannot be taught Not long after, challenge to evolution emerged - the latest and most sophisticated intelligent design. CREATIONIST VIDEO: In the process,

a masterpiece of engineering they have revealed on a miniaturised scale. Intelligent design is the belief evolved by genetic accident. that life is too complex to have to microorganisms, Its supporters point such as the bacterium flagellum, must have designed it. arguing some sort of intelligence

motorboats, And, just like outboard motors on It has a large number of parts for the motor to work which are necessary can't comprehend this. Many scientists simply I've had people say to me that, your head, take a screwdriver, "Well, I just wish I could open close it up and turn a couple of screws there, and then you'd see things right. Michael Behe is a biochemist of the intelligent design movement. and one of the leaders things in very tiny steps. Darwinian evolution has to arrange that's working It has to start with something very gradually improve it. and gradually, like a flagellum or outboard motor, But when you have a complex machine it could be put together gradually. it's very difficult to see how Intelligent design is on the march. in more and more classrooms. It's being discussed don't believe in evolution. I personally I believe in intelligent design. From an evolutionary perspective, that's easily explained this kind of a anatomy is something acting upon variation as the result of natural selection in the ancestors of turtles. and the fusion of the bones

That being said, by other means. I'm sure you could explain it In the last few years, have considered around 20 American States is taught. changing the way evolution

Pennsylvania is one of them. The Dover Area school board ruled would be read a statement that all students before studying evolution:

it's creationism in a cheap tuxedo. Critics of intelligent design say classroom to the courtroom. The fight has moved from the there was an intelligent designer For science, the question of whether is an unanswerable question. that can be tested scientifically It's not a question it's outside our domain. and, therefore, not an issue of scientific fact. It becomes an issue of belief,

is moving to Australia. Now the Darwin debate slick intelligent design DVDs Christian groups are sending to thousands of schools,

in class. hoping it will be discussed "you can't talk about this", To tell people, educators, at those kind of responses. I'm flabbergasted at those kind of responses. I'm flabbergasted They seem to be anti-educational.

I would love to see, personally, these kinds of questions I'd love to see that and the big questions of life, in classrooms, can be discussed openly

to old-fashioned trench warfare. without people retreating back

to be from a bygone era, You know it just seems if you ask me. in the so-called 'culture wars'. Classrooms are now a front line the long-distant past, The battle is about for the future - but it has powerful implications and believe. what people learn, think Mark Simkin, Lateline.