Monday, May 4, 2009

Evolution vs Creation in Education-

I find this debate terribly sad. It is sad because most of the players have very good intentions. It is sad because there is no compromise. It is sad because someone must lose something of value in the end.

The parents promoting creation/intelligent design wish to protect their children from a godless science. Not necessarily from science, but from a science that excludes God from the issue of creation. This is a genuine desire to protect, and the drive to protect offspring is powerful.

On the other side are scientists, striving to protect science education from being polluted by bad science. Unfortunately, God does not readily submit to scientific inquiry, and so good science will most likely be Godless. Not that all scientists are godless. Those who believe, however, cannot derive their faith from science.

Sadly, from what I have seen the creation/intelligent design faction does indeed promote bad science. This does not mean that they promote something that is not true. It does mean that creation/intelligent design may well belong in another venue.

I do not know if believers in God can begin with the evidence available through years of scientific inquiry and present a set of arguments that will pass the rigours of established scientific review. I an not so sure that they should.

I am still not convinced that science is the final arbiter with regard to what is true. It has proven valuable in building human knowledge and building a better world. It is worthy of a place of great honor. I am not convinced that it is ultimate.

A large part of the issue in this debate is good stewardship. Strangely, I find both the creation side and the science side are striving for good use of public funds in education. The scientist don't want to see public funds spent on teaching bad science. The creationists don't want what they view to be truth excluded from the education process for which they must pay through taxes.

Nobody wants children confused by different views of what is held to be true. However, lacking a consensus on what is true with regard to how things came into being, the educators are caught between waring factions. The children are destined to seek their own answers on the matter.

Perhaps that is the real focus. A system of education that teaches thinking, not just indoctrination. This is dangerous, of course. It will produce children who will not always think as parents may wish. It may produce children who think outside the box called "science," as well.

A generation of rogue thinkers might prove very interesting.

Dangerous children. Worth the investment.

1 comment:

morsdei said...

If believers in some deity can present a valid argument based upon evidence of the existence of said deity which passes the rigors of scientific discourse, they should attempt. With the myriad of attempts which have been made (none of which contain valid arguments) for an ontological proof of said deity, one is left to wonder if it is possible; not if they haven't tried.

A primary problem of teaching religious views in school is that the myriad of religions make it nearly impossible to include everyone; and it is also relatively useless when compared to literature, science, mathematics, languages, and history.

Scientific understanding, on the other hand, only has various views when dealing with VERY specific circumstances which are not taught to students in grade school. The heritable material of a cell is DNA and so forth. As for confusing children, blatantly incorrect myths (based upon observation and evidence) ideas should be discredited. When they discover the evidence on their own, we do not want them to be confused, after all.