Does Creationism Have a Place in Public School Science Curriculum?

What do YOU think?

Creationism belongs in schools:

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Who are we? Where did we come from? Why are we here? These are the questions everybody gets around to asking eventually. And they are questions your child will ask you, or himself, sooner or later. For many, their religious beliefs answer these questions. The stronger a person’s faith, the more likely they are to accept the teachings of their particular religion. To have faith is to believe in that which we cannot see. Science, on the other hand, is a rational system of explaining our world based on what we can perceive with our human senses. Science relies not on faith, but evidence. We don’t have to believe in science; we simply observe.

Creation vs. Darwin From a scientific perspective, we have a pretty good understanding of how human life came to be on Earth – not perfect, but pretty good. Darwin’s evolution is a dirty word in some circles, but scientists accept his concepts as sound. Proponents of Creationism believe we have an even clearer documentation of the origin of human life in the book of Genesis in the Bible.

Creation Stories We began with one man and one woman in an idyllic garden, a man, and a woman. But that’s only the beginning. Even the Bible presents two different creation stories side by side – one in which Adam and Eve are created simultaneously and that other one where she’s subordinate. And wish how we would that our story is best, if we go down the road of teaching creationism, it’s impossible to discount all the other colorful and wondrous stories that have evolved over time.

Ancient Finns, for example, believed that the world created when a giant egg was broken. They thought a bird flew over the sea, seeking a place to make a nest, but finding nothing but water. When she stopped at the first dry place a big wave came and broke her eggs. The fractured parts became the sky, the sun, and the mother earth. The first man was born from Ilmatar, the maiden of air, who was impregnated by the sea. This man then cultivated the Earth. It’s a lovely story.

Farfetched? Mythical? It’s not really that different from the Judeo Christian tradition of Adam and Eve in the Garden.

Where Does Creation Fit in School? So if we’re to teach creationism in school, what do we teach? Do we teach the Christian Creationism with the big C, or do we present all the stories of the world, in small c fashion? The biggest question may be – does any of this belong in a science curriculum? You tell me. Please vote in the poll above!

Further Reading:

 The National Center For Science Education provides a nice history of Creationist ideas.

The age of the dinosaurs is one of the most fascinating issues Creationists must reconcile with their beliefs.

There is a very thoughtful and thorough explanation of the Creationist position here.

 

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Comments 70 comments

ppduss 5 years ago

Creationism is junk science. Period. Only in the bible belt of America, would this even be considered an option. The reast of the world laughs


Kebennett1 profile image

Kebennett1 7 years ago from San Bernardino County, California

Tyhill27, I could not say it better myself! And I too love the discussion taking place!


Rhonda 8 years ago

On the science side of things:

Evolution is often presented to students as fact, not theory. Scientific theory/method suggests that an experiment can be replicated. We've not witnessed evolution take place, we can't replicate it, and we can't apply many scientific principals to it.

In my high school biology textbook, the first chapter was about the Big Bang Theory; basically a belief/theory that earth, other planets, and galaxies came from nothing. Fifteen chapters later, the text discussed a key component of the theory of evolution: the idea that spontaneous generation is impossible (i.e. something can't come from nothing).

My point is that for all the scientific basis that people claim evolution holds, it breaks a number of its own "rules."

On the philosophical or "religious" side of things:

Mathematicians long ago determined that the possiblity of life accidentally coming to order the way it has-as suggested by evolution-is statistically something like one in a trillion. The way we pro-create, the emtional attachments between human beings, the way we can plant and grow food, the way our bodies work, the way animals survive, the complexity of our brains...how does one explain this happening as a result of chance?


Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 8 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

aka-dj - I think you might be in danger of confusing evolution with eugenics. Evolution has nothing to say about societal behaviour. You are discussing a projection of evolution which Darwin never made. Eugenics is the deliberate 'improvement' of the human gene pool by selective breeding and sterilisation. Genocide takes the process of Eugenics to its foul conclusion. The fact that most of us find that repulsive may be adduced as evidence of the evolutionary refinement of our bestial nature.


aka-dj profile image

aka-dj 8 years ago from Australia

Agreed, religion has spilt innocent blood throughout history. Terrorism today, is doing just that! Christians being murdered in India, (in the news last week), still going on.

However, the ultimate end of evolution advocates killing, as part of the "survival of the fittest" logic. What makes that morally wrong, when its all about dominating through your strength over another (who is weaker)? Nazi's murdered Jews, simply because they were perceived as "less than human".

The major "problem" with you & I,(all of us), is we don't push the implications to their fullest potential conclusions. Mostly, because we can never have all the knowledge of what there is to know. ( know what I know, don't know what I don't know kind of thing)In that case, we would see that evolution condones whatever is neccessary for the survival and betterment of the species. If that means killing all the old people because they are no longer useful to society, or same thing with the handicapped/disabled, etc. then so be it.

However there is something of higher value in all of us, that cannot be attributed to evolution, because that would be diametrically opposed to the first principles of "survival of the species". Things like, mercy, charity, benevolence, justice, honor, and the like.


Constant Walker profile image

Constant Walker 8 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

Desert, Ya, there *are* theology professors, are there not?  I don't think there's anyone who loaths religion as much as I do, but one would have to be blind not to see the impact it has had all through history (most of it very bloody and sadistic, I might add) and the sheer size (and wealth!) of it, and the hundreds of variations there are.  It CAN be a fascinating subject, when studied and taught unbiased.  I would prefer a professor teaching students the facts and history of religion, rather than they getting a twisted sugar-coated version from a bible-thumper... or worse, a child-molesting Catholic priest!

Aka, I can see your point, but Evolution has not caused the blood baths that religion has - throughout history right up to present day. I think it must be handled very carefully and IF given time in a public school, the teacher must be chosen VERY carefully.


aka-dj profile image

aka-dj 8 years ago from Australia

Interesting topic. Very strong views on both sides. Perhaps the theories of origins would be more accurate. Both sides (evolution and creation) are "theories". Neither can be PROVEN. There is mountenous volumes of "evidence", but the interpretation of this evidence is what is in dispute.

Like the proverbial glass of water, is it half empty or half full. It's all a matter of perspective. Depending on what mindset the person brings, will heavily influnce their conclusion. I used to have an open mind, untill I researched deep and long to satisfy my curiosity to know which one I "believed".

So I would say they should have EQUAL time, and attention, so the students can decide for themselves which they will choose. If one is heavily preffered, whilst the other is denigrated, it will obviously influence the outcome.

The evidence for evolution/creation, is not scientiffic as chemistry, physics, etc. but rather "legalistic", for want of a better term. Would the evidence prove, beyond reasonable doubt, (as in a courtroom) the guilt or innocenceof the accused. Prosecution presents it's case against, defence it's case, and the jury decides.

For the Evolutionist, God can be in or out of the equation. Doesn't really matter.

For the Creationist, God is central, evolution is OUT! The two are mutually exclusive.


desert blondie profile image

desert blondie 8 years ago from Palm trees, swimming pools, lots of sand, lots of sunscreen

But, Constant Walker, does such a perfect teacher exist that the course would truly remain 'unbiased'? ...and still...NOT having a class of this sort in our schools is NOT censorship, as Spryte seems to believe. Censorship is NOT allowing something to be taught AT ALL, anywhere. Like in China where it is ILLEGAL to discuss Christianity AT ALL, even among friends in the privacy of one's home. That's censorship. No agency here in USA trying to censor anyone from discussing their beliefs. Whether you believe in Creationism, Evolution, or that we're all spawned from master creatures of another universe... we are not being stopped from teaching what we want to anyone we can get to come and listen...just NOT in schools supported by TAX dollars.

 The wonder of the USA is that the government is not stopping people from teaching creationism or buddhism or the Koran or Hustler magazine for goodness sakes....but it just doesn't want to use TAX dollars for people to follow the freedom to study whatever they wish in a manner that isn't conducive to the use of TAX dollars!!!   San Mateo County in California is predominantly Chinese...should children be taught Chinese history, writing, language, cooking, culture....NO! It's a public school of the USA and it's curriculum is set by national standards. Dade County Florida is heavily Jewish and Cuban...do the children deserve to have their time needed to learn the general curriculum spent on learning about the High Holy Days or Cuban's Communist Government?

The entire state of New Jersey is heavily Catholic...should the school children pray for the Pope's good health each day and make their confessions to an 'unbiased' teacher confessor?

Seperation of church and state, it's one of the foundational concepts about which makes the USA the USA. Ideologies that are based on religious texts...regardless of the religion...don't belong in tax supported schools.  If this is NOT the kind of country you want to live in...complete with its freedoms to have discussions like this one...I guess we need a country where Creationism is central to the constitution, the government.


Constant Walker profile image

Constant Walker 8 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

Desert, I think a course like this would be best presented at a public school because no "religion center" is going to be unbiased, you know?


ajcor profile image

ajcor 8 years ago from NSW. Australia

Thank you both for your positive remarks Spryte and Constant Walker. I really believe that all students should have the opportunity and the choice to learn as much as they can while they can.


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA

Ajcor - I really, really...did I forget to say REALLY...loved your response. An informed person is a more tolerant person (in my opinion). And of course CW...I do see your point about being very careful about the type of person that would teach a class on the many religious cultures of the world.

I still think though that high school aged students would have the maturity level to choose such a course as a social elective if given the option. How many would...who knows. But offering something like that would really round out an education...which is after all what everyone is after correct? Surely not censoring what should and should not be learned?


Tyhill27 profile image

Tyhill27 8 years ago from Red Deer, Alberta

The Bible talkes about the world going to Hell anyway... What does it matter, other than we do our best to spread the truth. Jesus is Lord, Acts 4:12 "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under haven given to men by which we must be saved."  


desert blondie profile image

desert blondie 8 years ago from Palm trees, swimming pools, lots of sand, lots of sunscreen

I agree with your desire to believe in an 'unbiased course,' just still not at all sure that schools the place for such a course. People learn about scrapbooking at the hobby store, car racing at the race track, bowling at the bowling alley, religion studies are for religion centers.

I also agree with your last statement...those who say they want religious studies most fervently would probably be outraged by how an 'unbiased' course evaluates much of the factual history of western religion.


Constant Walker profile image

Constant Walker 8 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

I agree, Desert Blonde, and have always strongly advocated seperation of church and state.  I can also see that religion is an undeniably huge issue, worldwide both bad and good, and see nothing wrong with an unbiased course being straightforwardly taught on worldwide relions, their history, and impact on world events.  I believe this will give students a non-sugarcoated look at exactly what religion is and allow them to make informed choices as whether to join a religion or not, and if they do, to pick their religion of choice.

I also believe that western religion (i.e.; christian/catholic) will fight very hard against such an unbiased course being taught, as it would be very hard on their image - both past and present.


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago

Great Hub. The results of the poll are disappointing, however: It revealed the vacuity of 38% of the Hubbers who respoonded!


desert blondie profile image

desert blondie 8 years ago from Palm trees, swimming pools, lots of sand, lots of sunscreen

Constant Walker, it seems our schools have enough trouble just teaching children to read "See Spot, see Spot run" without the quagmire creating a "World Religions" course! Our founding fathers had it right! Keep state (schools) and church seperate! This gives all an opportunity for education and ALL the opportunity to freely study the religion of their choice. Those who are so committed to EVERYONE learning creationism should stop by the homes of 'poorly parented' children (as allshookup mentioned) and take a child to their church to assist their 'true education.'


Constant Walker profile image

Constant Walker 8 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

ajcor, I hadn't read your previous comments, so was not answering anything you'd said.  I was answering the title of this hub.

But, I like your above comments.  I studied various religions independently and would have no issues with a "World Religions" class being taught in school, but not masqueraded as science, and so long as there was not a hidden agenda (the teacher would need to be chosen carefully) of conversion.  Forgive my paranoia, but one would have to be blind and deaf not to see this conversion agenda going on all around us.


ajcor profile image

ajcor 8 years ago from NSW. Australia

re. Constant Walker's comment (and CW your comments may not even be answering my comment) about Creationism being a BELIEF not a FACT. Yep this is indeed a fact. Therefore without me falling off my trolley re the fact versus belief question the facts I refer to  are that a)when saying my young ten year old friend was not given all the facts I was actually referring to the fact that as a Religious Studies course is unavailable at her school  she is unable to make an informed decision as to whether she chooses to study creationism or indeed learn how to build  a space rocket because these classes are unavailable to her.  2. World Religions exist - many manner of people follow many manner of religions. The religions run the gamut from being militant to being gentle. ergo why would you not want the next generation to have this knowledge? 3.Children can learn about the theory of evolution in school- under the the science umbrella. . So why can they not be given the same option or choice to learn about world religions - creationism in particular if they so desire - maybe under the social science umbrella if the study of world religions as an R.E. course is unacceptable. 5.This ommission is a form of censorship, plus could also seen as being somewhat unequal in the higher learning stakes. (Last night on Compass I saw a program about lots of young home-schooled evangelists graduating from an almost (?) Ivy League college - located somewhere outside Washington - who are landing great jobs at the White House!)These young graduates were referred to in the program as being the future leaders of the US. is there a bias here? Why shouldn't all children be given the same opportunity to work at e.g.The White House!  6. My belief is that in order to make an informed decision one must given the opportunity to learn about the subject - be given relevant facts/information, be fully apprised in order to make an informed choice.  food for thought.

 


Tyhill27 profile image

Tyhill27 8 years ago from Red Deer, Alberta

WOW A TOPIC THAT i AM REALLY PASSIONATE ABOUT!!!!!

Eddie: You are a roll model for me thanks for your encouraging words, and wisdom. I agree with you on this matter and everything you said.

Lesson one, every real scientist on this planet knows what the difference between what facts and theory’s are. The said part about this is that our culture has been lead to believe that theories are facts.

The truth is, that there are no solid facts to prove evolution or creation. Evolution is a theory just as Creation is a theory. Humanism stress's that evolution is fact because there are no alternatives to be found, besides Creationism. The Bible for example, what I believe to be the truth through faith dose not even clam to be fact. The spirit can not even be seen by the necked eye, and the spiritual realm is not even of this world. This book simply says that it's by faith you come to believe! There are many theories though that suggests the stories in the bible to be true. Just as there are many theory’s that suggests evolution to be true. I am typing on my computer right now, and that's fact. Everyone reading this can agree even though you can not see my computer. Now for a scientist to say that we came from monkeys because.... That's theory! Some of the best evidence known to evolutionists, or humanists to even suggest that evolution is true is Carbon dating and I will go into more detail in a new hub!

Mankind has suggested that we know all the answers. I disagree, and suggest only the Creator of mankind and the Universe knows all the answers!

(THE SCHOOL SYSTEM NEEDS CHANGE!)


Constant Walker profile image

Constant Walker 8 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

Creationism is a BELIEF, and as such should not be anywhere near any school except a religious school. Evolution is taught, rightfully in science class, as THE CURRENT AND MOST LIKELY THEORY but not as fact. Creationism teaches that man, and the Earth, is just a couple thousand years old. So, what are we supposed to do with all of the historical facts and findings we have dating back as far as a hundred million years, pretend they don't exist? What would this action be teaching our children?

Schools are not for teaching children to ignore what is right in front of them ("The sky is purple, damn-it, don't confuse me with the facts!") and to passively stick their heads in the sand. It is for inspiring them to investigate and ask about EVERYTHING (even religion) which interests them. Are not all the churches on every corner in the world enough? Why are the religious so relentless on shoving their belief down EVERYONE'S throat as fact. What happened to Freedom of Religion... which also entails freedom NOT to believe. Choice!

The problem with getting religion into schools is that the facts they keep turning up (and are so desperately trying to keep hidden) about it contradict everything they are trying to feed the masses. But, if any country can get this sort of thing taught in public school as fact, America can. So, go for it!


ajcor profile image

ajcor 8 years ago from NSW. Australia

Lela - you certainly opened a can of worms with this great hub! I think that while creationism does not fit under the umbrella of science it should be taught in school by a designated educator - right there inside the optional course being delivered for the pursuit of studies of mainstream religions & theories -(along the line of let's learn what is important to other people/nations & what makes us all tick)

Unless a child is educated and encouraged to learn - which would apply equally across the board to all subjects inclusive of religious studies and science - how can they make an informed decision e.g. of R.E. as to whether a) they wish to follow a faith based life; b) digest all the historical creationism stories they hear and then decide that it is not for them (but this study would not be wasted because it is always good to know where their own culture base, belief systems, and literature have come from) and/or c) even decide (based on their own/familial/peer group ideas) not to attend class and decide that they are indeed atheists or agnostics at a young age. Ergo not all children who study science are going to become scientists but they are all given the opportunity to study science to achieve a basic understanding of what makes the world go around.

I have just spoken with my young ten year old friend as to whether she would like to have Religious Studies at her new public school and she said No. Why not I asked - well because she didn't have it at her old school she doesn't feel she needs it her new school - in fact doesn't like the idea of learning R.E. So without being given the opportunity to study the many facets of world religions she has made an ill informed decision by making a choice without weighing up the facts. Facts she has not yet been given. Facts that have been censored.

Surely in a democracy; school children should have the same rights as the rest of the population to be able to make an informed personal choice and decision based on publicly available material - although in the case of school children, it would be based most likely on what is on offer at their place of education, their family home and of course the internet.


Marian Swift profile image

Marian Swift 8 years ago from San Francisco Bay Area

Hi, Lela!

This Hub is an excellent example of how to spark a discussion and attract comments. Thank you for doing this!


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 8 years ago from California

Aya,

I think I agree with your basic desire, but the problem I see is that what you suggest is impossible.  Only mathematics can be taught without ideology, and even that becomes complicated when word problems are introduced.

As for reading and writing: Language is fraught with ideology and the very idea that there is such a thing as grammar invokes the entire array of race relations, socio-economic dynamics, colonialism, post colonialism, slavery and post slavery, exploitation, religion and religious persecution... the language we teach is the language that exists due to a long, long string of ideology.  It cannot be taught, even it its most basic forms beyond the making of sounds without imposing an ideology of the conqueror over the conquered.  

And history?  Let's be real.  Unless you mean that history should be taught as merely EVENT A happened on Calendar Date B,  Event C happened on Date E, etc. (which would not only be useless, it would be impossible to learn with no story or context).  History is completely  ideological because what constitutes a relevant and noteworthy moment in time is completely subject to whose ideology won out.

What you seem to be suggesting is that we keep our kids in a box.  There is so little we could actually show them without invoking some ideological product.  The curriculum could be finished in a matter of months if that's the case. 

I just can't understand how it is difficult to separate anthropolgy from religion.  They aren't even remotely related as academic study.  If a change needs to be made to fix whatever happened to connect them, change whoever it is that's telling teachers (none of whom I've ever met, heard of in reality or seen) that they should be teaching anthropology as a relgious study.  CHange that.   Find out whose pedagogy includes anthropology as a faith thing.  Fix that and the problem goes away. 

Pretending the evolutionary process doesn't exist as part of scientific endeavor, and its subsequent impact on literature and art and philosophy, is just like putting on blinders. It seems insane to me, and it's insulting to the intelligence of families to assume they aren't capable of explaining the difference to their kids until they are 18, insulting to the parents and to the kids.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 8 years ago from The Ozarks

Lela, thanks for starting this discussion.

 

Allshookup, while science is taken for "truth" when taught by government authority, and on this we both agree, I disagree with you that "truth" on such issues should be taught in public schools. That is not the proper function of government, and it is an imposition on the child's parents, no matter what "truth" is being taught -- scientific theory, the Bible, the Vedas,  the myths of American Indians or any other creation story. Saying that elementary school children will be able to understand the difference between a falsifiable hypothesis and a divine decree is very unrealistic, because their teachers can't do it, either. We can't go around flogging all our teachers, Shadesbreath. The majority of them are like this. After all, they are products of the American educational system.

Allshookup, it is not the province of the government to decide what is truth. The first amendment is there to protect all citizens from each other's view of the truth. Can't children wait until they are 18 to voice their own opinion? Until that point, shouldn't the parents be the ones to introduce them to the arguments about this issue? (By the way, arguing that other parents don't care takes you down the slippery slope of the child welfare system -- Parents do care, even those who disagree with you.)

I may not have made it clear, but here is my answer:

Neither creationism nor evolution should be taught in public elementary schools. Why don't we stick to those things we all agree on, like basic arithmetic, reading, writing, grammar and history which is based on dates and battles, not ideology.


Lela Davidson profile image

Lela Davidson 8 years ago from Bentonville, Arkansas Author

Hi all,

I think this is great! I wanted to spark discussion. The think that's interesting to me is that it there aren't many comments here from the "b" answer - teach Creationism as an alternative, yet there are a lot of votes for that. I do have one question for the Pro-Creationism crowd - what exactly would be taught? The story (stories) in Genesis wouldn't take long to teach if you were looking for the 'scientific aspects' - certainly not enough to fill an entire high school elective.

And thanks for the clarification of the use of the word theory as specific to science vs. the way we use it outside of science.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 8 years ago from California

Unfalse is a much better word.


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA

Lela...thank you for putting up this hub. It's been a most pleasurable discussion this evening and I've thoroughly enjoyed your hospitality. :)


Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 8 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

Well, I didn't mention gravity because it is part of Newtonian Mechanics which has in fact been superceded by Einsteinian Relativity. But at 'normal' velocities, as experienced on this small planet, Newton holds true. (or unfalse!)


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 8 years ago from California

You know what's funny, Lela Davidson is going to come back tomorrow or whatever and check out her hub and be like, "WTF?" lol. (Lela, if you do, make sure you go check out the forums for the "removing chat posts" that Mighty Mom put up, and, well, follow all links and drama from there. Enjoy! lol.)


t.keeley profile image

t.keeley 8 years ago from Seattle, WA

There are laws that are considered unfalsifiable. Not that they aren't, but they're accepted as absolutes. Thermodynamics and gravity have quite a few, actually.

I wasn't doing a good job with the whole theory thing. The etymology for the word itself shows I was a total dumbass in that statement.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 8 years ago from California

And gravity.


Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 8 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

tkeeley (and all) - "But is evolution a verifiable theory?" Sorry, but this is almost the commonest misunderstanding of science. Theories are not verified because that is a logical impossibility. Scientific theories are put forward in a testable (i.e. falsifiable) form. When they are falsified they are thrown away and replaced with new theories. If they cannot be falsified they remain part of the body of Scientific Knowledge - i.e. that which has been proposed, tested and not yet disproved. Evolution belongs in this category, along with thermodynamics, relativity and quantum mechanics.


t.keeley profile image

t.keeley 8 years ago from Seattle, WA

And I agree with you, not that I ever disagreed. I think we sort of aligned when you said people will always come to philosophical conclusions, so I'm satisfied with your response. I got what I was asking for :)


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 8 years ago from California

T.Keeley, that is why we compartmentalize our "majors" and fields of learning.  Life is complicated, super far beyond anythign that word can even pronounce.  A theory, by definition is a hypothesis put forth by a scientist (or a group of them) that has been rigorously reviewed by the vast, global scientific community with the full intention of disproving it, but that manages to withstand that effort anyway.

Everyone and their dog want's to disprove Darwin because if they do, they get to be the new Darwin that everyone talks about.  But the vast evidence doesn't unhinge his hypothesis and so it remains a theory because it is so easily verified.  It's not so established that it becomes law, like Newton's gravity (which actually has detractors now too), but it's very, very well verified.

So, that's all it is.  Just a really, really deeply and rigorously investigated idea that can't be unraveled yet. 

I'm not saying we shouldn't look for patterns.  But you're looking for a BIG pattern, where Darwin was looking for a very small one.  His just had big implications for some.  Darwin's pattern was genetic, about the relationship between environment and mutation on reproduction.  Philosophical conclusions, while I grant that's what people do, still have nothing to do with the science.  That's all I'm tryign to say.


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA

heheh...Mighty Mom, can you imagine an elective science credit in Creationism?  It would actually be rather funny I think.  Nah...it belongs more in the literature, cultural, philosophical range of studies...that does make sense.


t.keeley profile image

t.keeley 8 years ago from Seattle, WA

But is evolution a verifiable theory? I guess this is where I've been confused throughout the years. While we can connect the dots in the present, aren't we pulling some strings to connect it to the past? The evolution I was taught was taught solely as a theory, something that has some areas provable and others admittably not.

Whether we like it or not, we're philosophical people, even in science. Most wouldn't want to just see a pattern, we want to see why that pattern exists. Am I wrong in saying that? What good does it do to merely establish a model if that model doesn't answer a deeper question? I think we call that 'mathematics'. ;)


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 8 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

Great compromise solution, Spryte! Make creationism an elective in high school, but not as a science class (because it's not science).

And AllShookUp, since you asked, I am Catholic and my husband is Lutheran. Somehow, tho, I suspect these religions are not "christian" enough for you.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 8 years ago from California

Dude, I get it totally. The point is, you're making a leap from the scientific evidence to God. Evolution doesn't do that. Nobody in the science community is saying you shouldn't make that leap. I'm not saying it either. I'm just saying, in science class, which is what this hub is about, that leap, that interpretation as to how or why evolution took place philosophically or theologically, has no place. Science isn't about that. Science recognizes a pattern. Take the implications elsewhere until you can use them to form another provable hypothesis.


t.keeley profile image

t.keeley 8 years ago from Seattle, WA

Maybe I phrased it incorrectly. Since evolution in theory alone is a philosophical to a point (while there are viable proven points to it as well), the difference between a wholly faith-based system versus one openly accepted by the scientific community is to be considered when deciding what is utilized in educational systems.

While many religious folk would love to see their views expressed in the public classroom, this is merely an issue to remain a private matter. Just because you're taught something does not mean you must believe it [even if it is true].

Maybe I came across oddly in the last comment. Regardless, religious or not there is a difference between mandating something continually being proven by science versus something that can never truly be proven. As a result it does not mean creationism is being squelched, it just means it won't be taught in a scientific classroom.

I studied biology in college, learned both theories [believe it or not] from the lecturn. I've seen scientists adhere to both but in the end, evolution is something that can be proven here and now on a definitive microscopic level. That's something you can't do with God, no matter how hard you try.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 8 years ago from California

T.Keeley, to me it just sounds like you actually believe in your faith and therefore don't seek threats to it where threats don't exist.


t.keeley profile image

t.keeley 8 years ago from Seattle, WA

Want my opinion? I ope people read this, it makes absolute sense too. Might be the first articulation I've made all week with any logic at all.

I'm a Christian. Keep Creationism in churches and private schools. Guess what, our public school system is humanistic. So what? Don't want your kids to have the option to believe something you didn't brainwash them to believe??

Don't send them to a public school. If your church hasn't motivated your children to live a life of faith, creationism will only make it worse for you in science class.

Shades, I hope you read this, it sounds like something you'd say. Maybe I'm being rubbed off on...


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA

I voted no to Creationism being taught in school...but I think it should have been worded as "public" school and probably going even one step further, elementary level education.

I see nothing wrong with putting your child into a Catholic school, for example, should you choose to have a more religious education made available. You are paying for it...why not? Otherwise I leave it up to the parents and the religious organization to educate their youth in that regard.

I think...and this is just my opinion...that once a child is old enough to question the values of those around them (usually when they're teenagers and think that they know everything)...that's a good time to probably present them with the opportunity to explore religion...all religions...including mythology with elective courses, if they are truly interested.

The reason I can't completely slam the door on Creationism being taught in schools is because of the curriculum that is available once you reach a certain level of education. Can you imagine reading Julius Caesar without understanding the idea of Roman gods and goddesses? What about reading the Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne without any previous knowledge of the religious beliefs of those times? Like it or not, religion has had a large influence on our culture...and to simply say, "We will not teach it because it's a personal belief and has no place in our schools" would be a form of censorship.

So...I say no to Creationism in a public elementary school. And I say no censoring it from high school curriculum.

Just my two cents.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 8 years ago from California

Yes, Mighty Mom, it would.  That's why NO religious belief systems should be taught, especially in science class.  Teach them verifiable science, leave religion out of it.  If parents want to perpetuate their faith, they should do it at home.  A kid whose parents are not interested enough in their child's upbringing to share the family belief system with their kids is hardly going to suffer for an understanding of scientific methodology.

(Warning to Mighty Mom... when they start bandying about the "truth" word with the singular determiner article "the", it's time to give up. Righteousness is impervious to reason.)


allshookup profile image

allshookup 8 years ago from The South, United States

They need to hear the truth too. All children do. They deserve to know the truth.

Do you have any type of belief system at all? I mean besides the ACLU.


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 8 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

What if they are Buddhist, Muslim or atheist children? Wouldn't that confuse them?


allshookup profile image

allshookup 8 years ago from The South, United States

If children are not in a home where their parents don't care and don't take a part in their education, then what they get at school will be all they get. And you know there are lots of parents like that out there. So, if evolution is all they get, then to them it will become truth. They need to hear creation.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 8 years ago from California

Aya,

Only horrific teachers who have no clue what they are doing are teaching science as if it is "truth."  Any teacher that teaches scientific method (or evolution, the product of it) as "true" has completly missed the entire point of their calling.  What the good ones teach are examples of scientific method being used to formulate reasonable theories based on hypothesis that turned out to be highly verifiable.  This has NOTHING to do with "truth" and certainly nothing to do with Truth. It's merely the observation of repeatable and verifiable things taking place in our universe.

Furthermore, no science teacher worth their salt is telling ANY kids that "their parents are 'wrong'" and if they are they should be taken out, beaten and cast naked on top of a fire ant mound.  The science class simply shows the evidence as supported by vast, meticulous archaeological, anthropological, genetic and other disciplines (emphasis on the term "discipline" here) and makes zero judgment or comparison to any religion at all.  It only becomes an issue when one religion or another decides to twist non-theological scienctific theory into an issue for reasons of its own.

Frankly, if a religion can be so easily unhinged by a simple excercise in careful observation, either that religion or its constituency might want to have a long look in the mirror.  But this last part is just my opinion.


allshookup profile image

allshookup 8 years ago from The South, United States

I don't like the fact that my tax dollars are going to schools that teach lies to children. Evolution is a lie. It's been taught so long that it is accepted as truth. A few scientists say they have proven something and everyone jumps on their bandwagon. I wouldn't have my child sit under this. I have friends who are teachers and they have books given to them that have those lies of evolution in them. They are petitioning not teaching it because it's against their religion. Other religions have special pervisions made for them, now it's time for them to give the same pervisions for Christians who don't want to lie to our students.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 8 years ago from The Ozarks

Shadesbreath,

You are right, there are more than two sides. Many more. But why should the government be involved in teaching children what the truth is? Isn't the government supposed to protect all citizens from having to accept the beliefs of their neighbors against their will? Why take money from your neighbor by force and then pay a teacher to tell your neighbor's child that his parents are wrong?


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 8 years ago from California

RavynSteel said:  "I think both SIDES should be taught" [emphasis mine].

This is a fundamental problem I believe that creates confusion.  People think that "Creationism" or "Intelligent Design" or whatever new term they come up with for it in an attempt to make it sound like science is some kind of "other half" of something.  Creationism has nothing to do with evolution or scientific inquiry at all.  There is no relationship between the two beyond the emotional issues that arise when people of faith feel challenged by perceived threats to their belief system. 

To me it's like arguing that math is the other side of history or art. (Not to mention the use of the term "other" impies there's only two answers... a limited approach that has trapped mankind in a million corners to date).


Hovalis profile image

Hovalis 8 years ago from Australia

Absolutely not. Creationism is a theology and not a scientific theory. The two should remain separate and not taught in public schools. If those so inclined feel this theology should be taught do it in the proper forum - either Religious studies or Sunday School.


LdsNana-AskMormon profile image

LdsNana-AskMormon 8 years ago from Southern California

At this point, I personally feel that it would be difficult to present both "theories" in a comparative and fair manner.

However, I do believe that if you are going to present one, knowing that a great opposition is present, then you must - at least, acknowledge respectfully, that another exists.

Personally, I am just as happy to teach my own beliefs inside the walls of my own home. A parent is the most trusted teacher, to their own children. Most Christians who believe in Creationism, also understand the principle of evolution as part of that process. It is in the "beginning", that most disagree, vehemently.

tDMg

LdsNana-AskMormon


Uninvited Writer profile image

Uninvited Writer 8 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

No. Creationism belongs in the church...not the public school...


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 8 years ago from The Ozarks

Lela, great hub. Thanks for starting this discussion.

Education cannot help but instill in a child certain beliefs. Let's face it, even when science is taught to elementary school children, many of them just end up memorizing the facts they need in order to pass a test. They might as well be memorizing a catechism.

The bottom line is that each parent should be allowed to choose which curriculum is best for each child. This is why public funding of elementary education in and of itself already violates the first amendment.


pgrundy 8 years ago

I think the only sensible way to teach Creationism is in a comparative religion or philosophy class. Religion and science are not two differing 'opinions' both of which have equal validity. Science is based on a specific method of finding out about the world. You can't study religion and learn to build a radio because you did, but science can get you there because the process leads to knowledge with practical applications, and the process can also be used practically.

I agree with Shadesbreath--we don't need to dumb down our kids anymore than we already have. We already are trailing other nations in science education and throwing in Creationism won't help. Plus, where do you stop with that? Say you teach the whole Creationism thing side by side with science. The next thing you know, other religions take offense and want their creation stories taught too. Then Wiccans want their ideas taught with science. Eskimos and Aborigines want their origin of everything views aired in schools. It's ridiculous.

But the most compelling reason not to teach Creationism in science classes is the separation of Church and State that is supposed to be an integral part of this nation. If you want to teach your child that religion and science are on equal footing you can put your child in a private religious school or home school the little darling. But public schools are for the public. Teach Creationism and pretty soon every single religion will want equal time.


Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 8 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

It is unfair to confuse children by presenting the creation stories as anything except old tales that people used to believe. To present the stories as viable alternatives to science is to do a great disservice. There's an argument for saying that the stories shouldn't be taught at all, however there is a difficulty with that too - with no knowledge of traditional religious beliefs, most of Western art, literature and history is incomprehensible. It's important to understand your culture if you're going to live within it.

But another part of our tradition is philosophy. We should be teaching children how to think, question and evaluate. Not merely how to remember and repeat.


Lela Davidson profile image

Lela Davidson 8 years ago from Bentonville, Arkansas Author

Great discussion!

Amanda, you'll be happy to know some elementary schools I know of are adding a vegetable garden to the grounds and curriculum. It's great!


RavynSteel profile image

RavynSteel 8 years ago from North Wales

I think both sides should be taught and children allowed to make up their minds. Evolutionism belongs in the Science labs, Creationism belongs in the RE class. Make the RE lessons optional as not all children (or their parents) want to learn religions, but give them the choice. Don't assume what children want, or need, to learn.


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK

How fantastic if schools were to adopt more practical curriculums as suggested by Jewels and Marion. I would love to see schools have their own school gardens, and possibly even some livestock such as hens. Cookery lessons could be based on the produce, and biology could also draw on this resource. The needlework classes could make practical items such as the aprons required for cookery, and the lab coats required for science. Kids could go outside to practice using trigonometry to measure the height of buildings and trees, and learn how maths can be useful when calculating how many bricks you need for a house, and how many tiles you need for a bathroom.

Kids need a return to practical education, and I don't believe Creationism should be integral to such changes. I n today's multi-cultural society we would do better to introduce a variety of ideas under the umbrella of religious education, but leave indoctrination to the kids families if they see fit to enforce it. Indoctrination of any kind has no place in public education in my view.


Marian Swift profile image

Marian Swift 8 years ago from San Francisco Bay Area

(Small Correction to an earlier post:  The Council of Nicaea happened in the 4th Century CE, not the 3rd.)

Glad to share the song, Shadesbreath.  The video was a real find, albeit a mite blurry.  I think McKennitt would be the better voice choice, but I love the passion in the original.  I'll have to check out "Blood Meridian."  Thanks for the tip!

I think Creationism can, in fact, be explored in a philosophy or literature class.  We studied various Creation stories in a Comparative Religions course I took in college.  The differences and the similarities (and the imagery!) provided wonderful insights into the cultures the stories came from.

My ideal curriculum would focus on life/social skills (hi, Jewels!).  World cultures and the arts fit right in there, because we need to develop cultural literacy.  Every course should be taught in a way that fosters questions and critical thinking.  Athletics would be in there too, but would not overshadow academics.


Jewels profile image

Jewels 8 years ago from Australia

I don't think creationism has a place in any school, other than in a mythical sense.  It has already been covered by Marion, the bible has been interpreted many ways and until there is a better sense of clarity (which I doubt will ever be agreed upon), then it stays myth.

There would be better subjects brought into the school system, like learning social and life skills for surviving what is a mine/mindfield of challenges that children are likely to face. (Well not only children, adults too).

Sunday School has it's place. It's on a Sunday for some and Saturday for others.  Keeping religion away from mainstream educational curriculum is a must in my opinion. Closed, tunneled minds are dangerous.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 8 years ago from California

Wow, Marian, nice pull.  "Humans wrote the Bible, God wrote the rocks."  Great lyrics.  Cormac McCarthy touched on that too in Blood Meridian with equal profundity (at least for a geeky lit guy like me LOL).  That song would sound better if someone like Enya or Lorenna McKennitt sang it, but, reallly awesome thank you for that.


Marian Swift profile image

Marian Swift 8 years ago from San Francisco Bay Area

Hi, Shadesbreath ...

The song is "The Word of God" by Catherine Faber.  I did not find the MP3, but here's the video (YouTube's doing maintenance as I type, so you might not be able to favorite it right away):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-vDhYTlCNw

And here are the lyrics:

http://www.echoschildren.org/CDlyrics/WORDGOD.HTML


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 8 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

Science and theology are not necessarily mutually exclusive. All scientists are not atheists (Albert Einstein, for example), and people of faith can still believe in and respect scientific discovery. I wholeheartedly agree with Shadesbreath. Our kids need to be taught to THINK and QUESTION, not recite from the catechism and blindly accept a worldview that is NOT universally accepted. I'm not quite so jaded to call religion the "opiate of the masses," but when the masses we're talking about are impressionable schoolchildren, we want to wake up their brains, not lull them into faith-based complacency!

Keep Creationism out of science curriculum. That's what Sunday School is for!


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 8 years ago from California

Marian, I'd love to hear that. If not linked here, shoot it to me in an email and I'll go check it out on Itunes.


Marian Swift profile image

Marian Swift 8 years ago from San Francisco Bay Area

Creationism comes from belief and from faith in that belief. Evolution Theory comes from science.

Faith and science are two entirely different ways of thinking. Faith says we know all we need to know, if only we read the right book. Science says we may never know all, but we can always expand our knowledge through systematic observation.

Two extremely different approaches. I'm sorry, but there is no way both can be taught in the same class.

One of my favorite songs (I'll try to find a link to the MP3) was written and performed by a scientist who is also deeply Christian. She finds her scripture written in fossils and bones, and her awe rings through the song. And she definitely upholds Evolution Theory. One of the lines I hope I remember correctly is, "Humans wrote the Bible. God wrote life."

(Perhaps the Bible began as an inspired document, but history teaches that it has been heavily edited over the centuries, most notably by the Council of Nicaea in the 3rd Century CE.)


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 8 years ago from California

No, Creationism should not be taught in schools. The kids already can hardly read and write. Creationism is theology and, frankly, kids need to learn basic science first before they start getting sucked into the polemic nature of theology. Creationism is NOT science.

Furthermore, to Eddie who said: "So called science is a religion – a religion that believes there is no God."

Absolutely incorrect. Science makes no statements about God at all. Science has no opinion on God as part of its discipline, and I have never heard of any legitimate experiment attempting to prove or disprove god through actual scientific method. Individuals do what they will with the findings of science, but science has nothing to do with God at all other than trying in tiny steps to discover how God's universe functions.

It is my opinion that many fundamentalists are so busy being defensive about their religion that they become arrogant, filled with self-righteous hubris (Like Pope Urban VIII) and rather than look through the telescope at the moon, they feel threatened that their belief system is going to be unravelled somehow.

Just as God and Christ survived the discovery of a round world and solar system wherein everything did not revolve around our planet, so will He and Christ endure the discovery that man has yet again misunderstood the nature of the scriptures just a bit.


Joy M profile image

Joy M 8 years ago from Sumner, Washington

Science is supposed to be about what we can prove.  As no one has ever created another life form, let alone another Earth, it seems rational to me to teach the idea that the Earth could have been created by a god.  I would even go so far as to say that the idea of an outside force creating the Earth seems much more logical than the Earth simply coming into being on its own.


RainbowRecognizer profile image

RainbowRecognizer 8 years ago from Midwest

It would be of value for children and people to understand all of their facets in a spiritual sense.  Without that most people are not able to lead fulfilling, peaceful, joyful lives.  I'm talking about an in every moment sense. 

Maybe happiness is here or there, but not consistent.  

Too much info for a reply, but there are threads of commonality among all religions and it's possible to educate children about all of them and allow the child to follow what they're drawn to (or nothing).  

One "issue" with schools is presenting educational material as it is fact - unchanging.  That's not true in most cases.

Certainly there are two constants... we are born and we die.  :o)

 


Eddie Perkins 8 years ago

It has always been my understanding that science is a system of putting something in a test tube and proving something to be true. Not “a rational system of explaining… on what we can perceive”.  In other words just the opinion of another person.

My personal opinion is that it takes more faith to believe any of the ever changing theories that so called science have insisted upon, only to change their mind at a later date, than it takes to believe what God states in the first verse of the first book of His Word which has never changed.  

So my answer is YES creation should be taught as a system of faith in God’s Word along side of evolution as a system of faith in man’s word.

So called science is a religion – a religion that believes there is no God. Therefore, they had to come up with some “rational” explanations and INSIST that it was science to justify their religious faith in no God.

If your reader is sincerely interested in getting good information the creation side of this discussion, I would recommend. http://www.answersingenesis.org/

I’m not here to argue any point, just to give my viewpoint based on faith in my God and in His Word. I will leave the argumentation up to others.

Thank you for your many good posts. ~ eddie

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