Monday, March 8, 2010

Darwin Has a Pity Party (and I about have an aneurysm)



It's all over the news today--there are just too many homeschool science textbooks that do not teach Darwinian evolution. You can read the full AP story here:

http://rawstory.com/2010/03/top-homeschool-texts-dismiss-evolution/

According to the article, homeschooling parents who don't embrace creationism, "often feel isolated and frustrated from trying to find a textbook that fits their beliefs."

Cry me a river.

By the time I finished reading the article, steam was coming out of my nostrils, so please be patient with me.

Here are my thoughts on the matter, raw as they may be:

1. Darwinism is a theory, not a fact, and you don't have to be a creationist to question it. Those who are afraid of textbooks like those from Apologia, that show scientific evidence against evolution, have an agenda. They want kids to accept Darwinian theory without question. While most of these creationist textbooks also teach the theory of evolution (and why they don't choose to believe it), you will almost never find a Darwinian textbook that takes an honest look at the evidence for creationism. Anyone who is a serious student of science will welcome truth wherever they find it.

2. Curriculum publishers that present science from a creationist perspective came into existence because there was a vacuum in the market. Virtually every science textbook in the country teaches evolution as fact. So please, don't whine about the few publishers who serve Bible-believing Christians. Go to the library, you'll find Darwin. He's everywhere.


3. For many Christians, the saturation of the government run school system with Darwinism is one of the primary reasons we choose home education. The creation account as told to us in the book of Genesis is not only a foundational point for our faith, but is also supported by scientific evidence.

4. Two HUGE thumbs down to Brian Scoles from Bob Jones University for caving under pressure when being interviewed for this story. Stand up and defend your statement. It's the truth. Backing down now only makes you look like an idiot (not to mention the rest of us).

5. I have a message for secular homeschoolers. We welcome you into our ranks. We're glad you're here. Nobody is happier than I am that you have decided that the government run school system is broken and you want your kids out of it. But please remember, your freedom to homeschool was earned on the back of fundamentalist Christians.

We were the ones who, back in the 80's (okay, not me, I was still a kid myself then), fought the battles against school boards, truancy officers, and social services agencies, standing up before judges and juries, defending our right to educate our children as we see fit. We were the ones who held the hands of our state legislators, often hiring attorneys and crafting the wording of bills ourselves, to make sure that you could homeschool your children in relative peace and ease. We are the ones who continue to write our congressmen anytime we see the potential for these rights to be infringed upon.

So please, remember your roots. Honor those who went before you. Don't bad-mouth us, our children, or our curriculum to news reporters. Show a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

Okay, I feel better now...

14 comments:

Melissa said...

"Christian-based materials dominate a growing home-school education market that encompasses more than 1.5 million students in the U.S. And for most home-school parents, a Bible-based version of the Earth's creation is exactly what they want."
The simple concept of Supply and Demand is at play here...the Christian based materials dominate because of the huge demand for them...it just makes sense. The more secular homeschoolers ask for what they are looking for, I'm sure it will be produced by someone.
So there's really no need for the poor girl to "have a coronary"!!!

I will second your "cry me a river" sentiment!

Anonymous said...

Hi Tiana,
I wrote to Apologia and thanked them for standing up in the article. They replied and linked this response: http://www.apologia.com/news.php?item=65&PHPSESSID=9c66eb633b110ff903ee78fe10bcfe65
THanks for this post, I was fuming over that article.
Teresa
PS I got here from the CM blog carnival.

MrsMamaHen said...

Oh honey, AMEN!!!!!!!!!! I had the same reaction when I read that article!

Greg & Keri said...

#4....that is exactly what I thought too!!! Great post! :)

Claudia Blanton said...

Hi- great blog! This anti-homeschooling sentiment that I have begun to witness scares me. As a non-Christian homeschooling parent, I believe that we as homeschoolers-of-whatever path, should be vigilant about this movement that can take away the freedom to homeschool for all of us. I believe that a parent should have the right to teach their children creationism or Darwinism, that right needs to be protected. Maybe instead of criticizing chosen homeschooling paths (I am talking to secular homeschoolers here as well), we should make sure that the freedom of educating our children the way we choose to, will not be taken away. And you are right, with a little creativity there are textbooks and books for homeschoolers available who want to teach Darwinism.
Blessed Be

Arby said...

Well done.

CaptiousNut said...

Great point about who pioneered homeschoolers' rights!

I'm co-opting that for use in my own altercations.

Anonymous said...

Evolution is a theory, yes. But the scientific definition of the word theory differs from the lay person's definition of that word...
Lay person's definition of theory = scientific word 'hypothesis'
A theory is a hypothesis that has been tested repeatedly and is proven to have no conflicting evidence.

For example, we have the theory of gravity... that does not mean that gravity is a guess... it is a fact. But science does not allow facts because evidence may come at some point and then the theory would have to be changed to meet the new evidence. So far, in the last 100 years, all new evidence has proved rather than disproved evolution.

If you want to teach your children that God created the Earth that is fine by me. It is your right to do so. Just please don't call it science.

Tiana said...

Evolution would be a hypothesis that has been tested over time and has been proven to have no conflicting evidence if you could give me one example of one species becoming another species that we have observed. You cannot, because it hasn't happened.

Most evolutionists assume creationists believe that natural selection doesn't happen and that species don't adapt to their environments. We know that this happens, but we disagree as to why. We believe that God himself programmed species genetically to be able to adapt to their environments--to become, many different "kinds" of dogs (the Bible uses the phrase "after their kinds" numerous times in the Genesis creation account)--dogs with long hair, dogs with short hair, dogs with different colored hair, small dogs, big dogs, etc...but this does not mean that two dogs get together and give birth to anything other than a dog. Same with people. There are people of different statures, shapes, and skin tones, but we are all one race--we are all human beings. Darwinism takes a great leap of *faith* in saying that because we can observe changes within individual species, that somehow means that one species becomes another.

All scientists come at their research with a set of "glasses" that shape their interpretation of the issues. If you read research that was written by people who already believe that there is no God and singled cell organisms became fish, became dogs, became apes, became people, then they are more likely to interpret what they see based on their own set of assumptions.

If you come at science believing that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, completely accurate and true from cover to cover, science paints a different picture for you.

The more I study science, the more evidence I see pointing toward a Creator.

Thanks for visiting my blog! Blessings to you!

:)Tiana

Anonymous said...

We haven't observed macro-evolution because it takes *TIME*. We have observed many examples of micro-evolution. For example, germs constantly evolve that are resistant to new antibiotics. We see new "kinds" of germs, viruses, and bacteria.

More intermediary examples:
If you are interested in delving a little further you can look at links such as:
http://darwiniana.org/transitionals.htm
And a recent discovery:
http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/11/speciation-in-action/

The reason we haven't observed macro-evolution of the kids that you mention is because:
1) higher species cannot intermix easily so they have to evolve
2) evolution is a VERY slow process
3) we have only been reliably observing and recording the natural world for several hundred years... WAY too short a time to see new species of larger animals develop.

Scientist have observed speciation in plants such as primroses, brassicas, ferns, birds.

We also have fossil evidence of links that show evidence of speciation such as the recent tiktaalik discovery (which links fish to amphibians).

Anonymous said...

I know we can never see eye to eye on this because you look at this through the lens of faith and religion... but please be aware that what you are reading are not articles published in peer-reviewed journals... you are reading articles written for a popular audience. If you are only reading creationist materials you are not studying science. Science is peer-reviewed.

If the creationists truly had scientific evidence that would undermine the current understanding of evolution they would be able to publish it in peer-reviewed journals and it, eventually and with much fuss, would become scientifically accepted. And they would eventually win a Nobel prize for their research. But they don't. Every argument they have is weak, unscientific, and is refuted in many places on the internet. Unfortunately most people do not have enough scientific background to see how weak their arguments are. So they persist.

You will probably argue that the dissenting information is being suppressed. That's not how science works. Everything in science is open for review. Even our understanding of gravity is changing as we discover that gravity works differently in very tiny and very huge systems than what Newtonian physics predicts.

Ben said...

Let’s start from foundations. What is science? It is that body of knowledge gathered by application of the scientific method. What is the scientific method? In brief, to make a prediction of how things work, then conduct experiments to see of the prediction is correct. The process is repeated until the prediction (the theory, the model, the hypothesis) is either found correct or disproved. What are requirements of the scientific process? We have to A) be able to repeat the experiment and B) be able to observe the experiment and measure its effects.

Starting from this foundation, let us consider the theory of origins. Obviously we weren’t present when the universe began (we lack direct observation). We can’t repeat the process. Whether creation or evolution, we can’t go into the lab, set up an experiment and see new species popping out. What then does this tell us? It tells us that neither theory fits the model of scientific inquiry – that neither are science. What then are they? Philosophy of science. They are theories which shape how we look at the world and the suppositions and assumptions we take into the way we evaluate the world (thus affecting the how we interpret things scientifically).

In science we argue about theories by looking for situations where one theory explains the natural phenomenon better than the other. This is how we learned that General Relativity explains the world better then Newton’s Laws. We can take the theory, make a prediction and then go carry out an experiment to see which theory has better predictive power. In philosophy we can’t do this. We can’t go sit in a lab and watch God create again or watch fish become lizards. In philosophy we argue based on evidence. We can use historical evidence (things like the fossil record), observational evidence (studying the cells in dinosaur bones), etc. But in philosophy there is no ability to scientifically prove the argument one way or the other (just like one can’t prove whether humans have free will or not).

The debate of creation versus evolution comes down to an argument over the various pieces of evidence. We both are looking at the same body of knowledge, the same fossils, the same natural phenomenon and are based on our philosophical presumptions viewing the evidence as either for creation of for evolution. The question comes down to this. Does one theory allow us a better theory for understanding what we see historically and observationally?

I will leave making some observations based on the evidence for others or for a later post.

Sisterlisa said...

Perhaps if respect was shown by both sides we could get somewhere in this world instead of being so divided all the time. Evolutionists see creationism as theory and vice versa. Why does it make such a difference? Let them believe what they want. I think that Christians spend far too much time trying to prove they are right that Agape gets lost in the shuffle. Been there done that. I'm a recovered legaqlist. It honestly does not bother me one bit that people want to believe in evolution. I grew up in a secular home in the public school system. Even though evolution was taught as theory only back then, creation was never taught in my schools. In my heart I never believed we came from monkeys or amoeba. It just didn't make sense to me. Now on the other hand some don't understand how God created the world in six days. Either way it takes faith. So whether someone believes in creation or evolution, they have to admit they live by faith. Creationists believe there is evidence through Science of God creating the world and evolutionsists believe there is scientific evidence to prove evolution. IS it something we really need to use as another tool to hurt people over?

I am confident when I teach my kids both sides of the debate that their faith will grow through freedom that God gave them to choose what they believe. I teach my kids about our Lord and they see very clearly how the world believes. We don't live in fear of the world. If we did then we wouldn't understand the full reality of the freedom in Christ that was given to us. In Christ there is no fear, because perfect love casts out all fear. Theories won't stand up against Agape.

Sarah said...

Tiana, I just found your blog through the LAF website and happened to stumble on this post! I have been speaking to my husband recently on this issue. We subscribe to the National Geographic magazine...for our own and our childrens educational benefit...but I too, have been hopping mad that the Darwinian theory of evolution is being thrown about as a fact in this publication and in many others!

We are home-educating in Ireland where homeschooling is still extremely rare and we have tremendous trouble finding Christian based textbooks...and any that we have found are published in America!

Thank you for submitting this post...it helps to knwo that we are not alone in finding this isssue infuriating.

God Bless

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I'm a Stay-at-Home, Christian, "crunchy" mama. I have been blessed with the calling to be a godly wife and mother. I am passionate about bringing up my children in the discipline and instruction of the LORD, through home education and discipleship. Helpmeet to my best friend and soulmate, Christopher since 1/29/2000, and mama to four little blessings, including a tiny, precious, newborn baby girl.

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