Comment faites-vous quand vous êtes censé enseigner l'évolution biologique à des élèves convaincus que la Terre a 6 000 ans ?
Vous invoquez les mânes de Karl Popper et vous vous lancez :
The morning after (...), he bounced a pink rubber Spalding ball on the classroom’s hard linoleum floor.
“Gravity,” he said. “I can do this until the end of the semester, and I can only assume that it will work the same way each time.”
He looked around the room. “Bryce, what is it called when natural laws are suspended — what do you call it when water changes into wine?”
“Miracle?” Bryce supplied.
Mr. Campbell nodded. The ball hit the floor again.
“Science explores nature by testing and gathering data,” he said. “It can’t tell you what’s right and wrong. It doesn’t address ethics. But it is not anti-religion. Science and religion just ask different questions.”
He grabbed the ball and held it still.
“Can anybody think of a question science can’t answer?”
“Is there a God?” shot back a boy near the window.
“Good,” said Mr. Campbell, an Anglican who attends church most Sundays. “Can’t test it. Can’t prove it, can’t disprove it. It’s not a question for science.”
Bryce raised his hand.
“But there is scientific proof that there is a God,” he said. “Over in Turkey there’s a piece of wood from Noah’s ark that came out of a glacier.”
Mr. Campbell chose his words carefully.
“If I could prove, tomorrow, that that chunk of wood is not from the ark, is not even 500 years old and not even from the right kind of tree — would that damage your religious faith at all?”
Bryce thought for a moment.
“No,” he said.
The room was unusually quiet.
“Faith is not based on science,” Mr. Campbell said. “And science is not based on faith. I don’t expect you to ‘believe’ the scientific explanation of evolution that we’re going to talk about over the next few weeks.”
“But I do,” he added, “expect you to understand it.”
Tiré de l'article A Teacher on the Front Line as Faith and Science Clash, New York Times, 23 août 2008.
Monsieur Campbell, je vous tire mon chapeau.