Here's a quick link to a Washington Post article on a two-day conference on evolution for High School students at the Howard Hughes Center in Chevy Chase. Post reporter Valerie Strauss does an excellent job separating opinion from fact, while showing respect for both.
As a skeptic in matters religious, one thing stood out to me as problematic when it comes to human integrity.
(Advanced Placement biology teacher, Kurt) Richter said that he makes a strong effort to present evidence and not opinions -- and that the approach works in educating students, more than half of whom enter his science classes disbelieving evolution. Most change their minds.
Not (17 year old senior, Emily) Howell, however, who said she took Advanced Placement Biology with Richter last year and kept telling him that she had a "different worldview" from her teacher, one based on a literal reading of the Bible. Nothing would shake it.
Richter said that she was an excellent student and deserved a chance to attend the evolution conference.
Nothing, not even a cold, hard smack of empirical reality will shake her faith.
As long as Miss Howell doesn't take her right to self-delusion and try forcing it upon others, I really have no personal problem with it. I just don't share it and won't deny that I don't respect such potentially self-defeating silliness.
I mean it. Where is the honor or integrity in professing belief in something you have seen proven wrong?