Re: Teaching (Was: Re: Final Textbook Insert)

Janet Rice (
Wed, 26 Nov 1997 10:11:17 -0600

George Murphy suggested the idea of a class dealing with the theory of
origins and had these two items as possible topics.

> 5) The fact that many members of these communities believe
>Genesis to be true & authoritative but _not_ chronicle-like accounts of
>origins. (This would provide some opportunity to teach about literary
>types, &c.) These people think that evolution can be consistent with
>their religious beliefs.
> 6) Perhaps some attention to other religious traditions,
>depending in part on the makeup of the school. (But you can't cover

I think the idea of a seperate "orgins" class is an interesting one -
although the thought of adding one more required class to the load that
either high school and college students already have seems sort of
difficult. However, my question is whether or not teaching such things
would be acceptable to those from Christian traditions that require a
literal interpretation of the Bible? If people are unhappy at their
children being taught evolution as a science, what are they going to say
about teaching their children about other religious traditions, even other
Christian traditions?

The question of teaching about non-Christian traditions is particularly
germane in my own school district. Our former school board, who were
collectively very conservative, fired a superintendent because he wouldn't
fight a court ruling on prayer before football games. But the district
also includes devout Zorastrians, Moslems, Hindus, Buddhists, and animists,
so teaching only Christian tradition (of any sort) could be a problem. But
I'm not sure how giving equal billing to other traditions would work with
people who are legitmately serious about their Christian faith. But it
sure would be interesting to watch.

Janet Rice