Teaching Evolution

A blog devoted to teaching evolution, both in our schools and in our communities.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Evolution and Private Schools

This Philadelphia Inquirer story begins,
While the teaching of intelligent design in science courses has triggered a new debate in public schools, area religious schools have quietly been teaching both evolution and creationism for decades.

But read the whole story and it sure doesn't seem like there's much teaching of evolution going on. Nine people are quoted, and none of them support evolution unequivocally. I think the attitude I have the most trouble with is summed up in this quote by a school official:
"We have tried to deal with the diversity of opinions among Christians, rather than taking an official school stance and saying: 'This is what we're going to teach,' "

Schools are supposed to say "This is what we're going to teach." Many parents and children might be of the opinion that romance novels are better than Hemingway, but an American literature teacher needs to have the courage to stand up to them.

Then there's this:
In one of his school's biology classrooms, the red construction-paper sign on the bulletin board sums up teacher Chris Maffet's approach to science: "Through Him All Things Were Made... John 1:3."

I suppose every answer to a science test could be, "Because that's how God made it." But a student who learned in that environment wouldn't develop the critical-thinking skills that science classes are supposed to hone.


At 1:50 PM, Blogger Nathan Kaufman said...

Have you read books by Phillip Johnson? He is a lawyer who argues against evolution. He wrote a book called "Darwin on Trial."

What are your thoughts on this?

If you already blogged on this, apologies for the question... and it would be appreciated if you pointed me to the blog.

At 2:06 PM, Blogger MDS said...

I haven't read Darwin on Trial but I have read some articles by Johnson as well as the transcript of a debate he had with a supporter of evolution. I don't find him persuasive.

At 8:25 PM, Blogger Justin said...

I suppose I am closed-minded, in a way, regarding this issue. I am simply not going to listen to someone who tries to tell me evolution isn't true. I admire you for making the effort to read some of the things in the atavist camp.

And Nathan and MDS -- does this Johnson guy have any other credentials besides being a lawyer? That seems a strange background for going after evolution.

At 12:51 PM, Blogger MDS said...

To the best I can gather, Johnson has no scientific credentials; he's just a lawyer who decided to make a case against Darwin.

At 6:17 AM, Blogger gary said...

Over my years of experience as a university professor engaged in teaching and research, I have come to the realization that the Evolutionists are right about one thing. Creation Science is religiously based, and teaching young-earth, six-day creationism in the public school system is bringing religious ideas into the classroom. Even the concept of Intelligent Design, which claims that the design in nature is scientific proof of a designer, is Creation Science in disguise.

On the other hand, Evolutionists are dead wrong when they claim that the natural world can only be understood from an evolutionary perspective. Creationists can stand firm on the reality of scripture, and rid science of religious presuppositions by attacking the scientific merit of evolution, rather than promoting creationism.


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