Forget “teach the controversy.” That’s so old-school. Apparently, a new strategy is out concerning getting anti-evolution/creationism into the public school classroom. The following was passed along to the FCS membership from a teacher organization as a heads-up. If I understand correctly, a teacher was considering “teaching the controversy” when presented with an approach couched by the writer as “best practice with an integrated curriculum.” (Errors in the below-quoted were in the original.)
1. Show students the difference in Philosophies between Evolution and Creation. BOTH start with a philosophical premise. Work with an integrated curriculum. Its best practice now anyway. Evolution (vs. evolutionists) says matter and energy are all that there is. Creation starts with a God or possibility of a God.
2. Both use the evidence and facts but come to different macro conclusions.
3. Distinguish between what is sometimes referred to as marco evolution and micro evolution.
4. Show the difference between operational science (observing, repeat,.etc)vs. historical or origin science (? can we recreate and measure, say , the Big Bang? ….) Show inferences vs objectively observed facts. Inference may/may not be bad….
5. Dive into theistic evolution as well as the differences btwn. old earth and young earth creationists.
6. Assuming Christianity/Bible is what may relate to creationism, bring in science to this: Examine the Bible in light of archeology, its bibliographical evidences of texts/manuscripts, mathematics/statistics of prophecies. GET KIDS to THINK within the sciences to the issues of RELIGION. Its ok. We, as teachers, can and should validate religion where is it valid (texts, ideas, morals, etc).
7. Break the misdefined word “faith” and phrase “science vs. religion”.
8. Read Books mentioned on both sides of the issue. Stereotyping of sides embarrasses me to no end. Unprofessional.
9. “all religions are the same”, “all evolutionists believe…” address these”
A number of points were brought up by some teachers and the FCS membership:
— Point number four in the above was pointed out as classic creation science apologetics. Yes, there are ways to measure evidence of the Big Bang. It seems that this list was made with the goal of getting students to distrust scientific knowledge. “The suggested actions are pure poison so far as actually teaching students science is concerned.” (Wesley Elsberry)
— “Of course it’s creationism. If the question is How to teach high school biology, and the answer is about “Philosophies” and the expanding universe aka big bang, it’s creationism. No, biology isn’t based on any special premise other than the scientific method. No, biology is not about whether matter and energy and space and time are all there is anywhere. No, biologists don’t have a philosophical presupposition about this.” (FCS Board member Pete Dunkelberg)
— “There is philosophy involved in both creationism and science. Creationism starts with the answer: “God did it”. Young earth creationism would say the answer is in the bible: earth 6000 years old, Flood geology, etc. and then uses some science and facts to support that view. It also ignores anything that dies not fit the conclusion they started with or it makes some facts up. Science on the other hand starts with the questions: How does this work? or How did this happen?. Then it uses all of the facts and reason to find the answer. Philosophy science tries to answer the questions of nature by using only nature.” (FCS President Joe Wolf)
— “This is very much the approach of presuppositional apologetics, with the vocabulary sanitized for the public school classroom. Fortunately, it doesn’t appear sanitized enough.” (Henry Neufeld, who also has a blog post related to this subject.)
— “We should be aware of the buzz words “best practices and an integrated curriculum” and calling teachers “unprofessional” and “evolutionists” for opposing these practices.” (Mary Bahr)