RE: Science Education and the Church

From: Terry M. Gray (
Date: Mon May 20 2002 - 18:29:13 EDT

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    There's nothing finer than a statement that's been around for over 25
    years in the ASA and on the web since1996 or so:

    entitled "We Believe in Creation". It was even distributed as a
    pamphlet for a while.

    As a 15 year veteran of homeschooling (5 kids with 2 of them still in
    elementary grades at home), I can't say that I personally know a
    single homeschooler outside of our family who teaches evolution to
    their kids. All of the Christian textbook publishers commonly used by
    homeschoolers are YEC (Abeka from Pensacola Christian College and Bob
    Jones). Their elementary school and biology books are pure YEC when
    it comes to all biology, historical geology and cosmology topics. We
    have used a late 80's early 90's Scott Foresman curriculum for
    elementary and junior high. We found the coverage of evolution,
    geology, and cosmology to be accurate (within the bounds expected for
    elementary and junior high textbooks) and in no way prejudicial
    against our evangelical Christian faith.

    In the Grand Rapids, Michigan area, homeschooling is an alternative
    to the rather established Christian Schools (with Christian Reformed
    informal ties). The expense is one reason homeschooling is
    flourishing as a Christian education alternative, but the teaching of
    evolution (even within a Christian worldview context) was often cited
    as another reason why people didn't send their kids to the local
    Christian schools.


    >Unfortunately, my experience is that most evangelical church
    >leaders are
    >either YECs or at least YEC sympathizers, so I foresee little likelihood of
    >such a curriculum being offered in evangelical churches. And I would bet
    >real money that most home schooling materials are anti evolutionary.
    >Pro-evolution advocacy by militant atheists is not helping either..
    >Perhaps a strong statement by the ASA that you can believe in evolution and
    >the gospel would be helpful. What do you think, guys?
    >-----Original Message-----
    >From: []On
    >Behalf Of Freeman, Louise Margaret
    >Sent: Monday, May 20, 2002 9:52 AM
    >To: asa
    >> An overall result of the NSF study is that science education &
    >>scientific literacy in the US is, in a word, bad. I think that the
    >>state of science education is an important social issue that churches
    >>should be addressing.
    >I having just read Miller's Finding Darwin's God and being half-way through
    >Pennock's "Tower of Babel." I couldn't agree more. (Your book is next on my
    >list, George!) What seems to be needed is some sort of cirriculum for a
    >School-type class that incorporates that type of explanation of evolutionary
    >theory with a polite but well-reasoned refutation of the typical YEC
    >misinformation AND a thoughtful study of the relevant scriptures. (Add a
    >video presentaion and a guarentee of weight loss and babies sleeping through
    >the night and you might have yourself a best seller! :)
    >> A related issue: Some may reply that the answer to bad science
    >>education is home schooling. But that prompts another question: What
    >>fraction of kids who are being home schooled are being taught some
    >>variant of creation science or ID?
    >Of ones that are being home-schooled primarily for religious reasons,
    >a lot. How many well-meaning home-schooling parents are finding nothing but
    >that in the Christian-based materials being marketed to them? Until
    >evolutionists get better at presented their science as complementary to
    >than in opposition to a Christian worldview, homeschooling parents will have
    >little incentive to seek out such materials for their children.

    Terry M. Gray, Ph.D., Computer Support Scientist
    Chemistry Department, Colorado State University
    Fort Collins, Colorado  80523
    phone: 970-491-7003 fax: 970-491-1801

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