Monday, September 01, 2008

Facts, Interpretation and Truth

"Please tell the McCain/Palin Campaign (preferably politely) why teaching creationism in our public schools around America is superstitious and is not in our nation's best interests." Quantum Flux.

"...I would also add in closing that the comment about creationism being superstitious and not good for our country is ridiculous." The Maid

My last post sparked off two fascinating topics of discussion - abortion and creationism. I quickly wanted to touch upon the topic of creationism - and the concept of teaching it in American public schools.

Just to surprise everybody, I'll admit that I think creationism should be taught in every public school in America - but only EVER in Religious Studies class.

It's an important Christian concept and a major part of Christian theology. I totally support children being taught the basis of 'what Christians believe.' (Likewise, I think children would do well to learn the basic concepts of Judaism, Hinduism and Islam.)

What I do not believe in is teaching creationism as an 'alternative' to the currently accepted scientific theory on the creation of the earth. That's just wrong. Creationism is not a 'scientific theory.' It's fantasy.

Christians often argue that creationism is a valid alternative to the Theory of Evolution because the theory of evolution isn't complete. It has holes in - questions that still aren't answered.

How did the universe begin? How did life start of planet earth? There are theories, like 'the Big Bang' that answer this, but they're just theories (even though they're supported by very convincing scientific evidence.)

However, unlike creationism, there are parts of the evolution system that aren't theoretical. They're facts. Cold, hard, immutable, inarguable facts. These facts don't just help support the theory of evolution - they also prove, beyond any doubt whatsoever, that the creationist doctrine is wrong.

To teach creationism as 'science' is to teach science that is wrong. It's a lie. In fact, it's bordering on child abuse. It's like teachings kids that the world is flat, or that 2 + 2 = 36.

Creationism says that God created the world six thousand years ago. Scientific fact proves that the world was forged between 100 and 150 million years before that. [Yo! Militant Ginger, you dumbass! Your dad points out that the Earth was formed 5 BILLION years ago. Geeze. Try using Wikipedia some time - Editorial Bear.]

Creationism says that God created Adam and Eve six thousand years ago. Scientific fact proves that man was walking the African plains two hundred thousand years earlier.

Creationism says that God created each type of animal (including man) individually. Scientific fact shows the evolution of fish into amphibians, amphibians into reptiles, reptiles into mammals and those mammals (eventually) into man.

It's laid out in front of us like a jigsaw puzzle. To argue against these facts is like saying the sky isn't blue, or water isn't wet.

What fundamentalist Christians have lost sight of, in their battle to get creationist fantasy taught as scientific theory, is that God can still exist in Darwin's world.

Fourteen billion years ago, the universe got created in what scientists call 'the big bang.' Why? How? Nobody knows - and the suggestion that a 'higher power' deliberately created the universe makes as much sense (if not more) than the idea that it just happened randomly.

How did life arrive on Earth? Why didn't it appear anywhere else? One popular school of thought is that life arrived on Earth from outer space (a theory called Panspermia .) It would be just as credible to suggest that 'God' created life.

How come mankind was the only animal to develop language, art, science, music and technology? Atheists think it's just coincidence. Doesn't it makes more sense to believe that a 'higher power' guided us and helped shape the society that humanity has become?

The fact is, science and God can coexist quite happily. Christians can live in reality, yet still believe in a higher power. The two are not mutually exclusive.

What the religious right need to do is adopt scientific methods into their religion - and accept that time, fact and circumstance can help their beliefs evolve just like science does.

After all, even the most fundamentalist Christian wouldn't argue that the world is flat (although that was established Christian 'fact' four hundred years ago.) If religion has evolved enough to shed itself of that stupid, outdated and ignorant belief, why can't it do the same for creationism?

After all, according to the Bible, Jesus had an important message for his followers to spread and it sure as hell wasn't 'My Dad created the Earth in six days...'

9 comments:

Suki said...

Complete agreement. Religion needs to be taught as religion - man's way of making sense of the world before we got to know much about it. And seeing as we still don't know much about our world, there is still room for religion.

Coffee Bean said...

The "Big Bang" is theory. Let's take religion out of this completely for a moment. I think creationism deserves the same status. It is just saying that some form of intelligence was behind the formation of the earth. Some people believe the Big Bang approach and some believe that the earth is of Intelligent Design. No need to bring religion into it at all.

Consequently, I homeschooled my kids using Christian curriculum and I also taught them about evolution. I didn't try to hide what others believe.

Roland Hulme said...

Hey Coffee Bean!

I only object to the REALLY stupid stuff, like telling kids that the world was created 6,000 years ago etc.

Saying: 'Hey, kids, the world was created 150 million years ago, but we don't know how, so some people believe God made it' is absolutely fine.

I don't mind using Intelligent Design as a theory to fill in the blanks. It's just this 'new earth' rubbish, and using religious doctrine in the classroom that contradicts what we KNOW to be FACT (like the age of the earth, when humans first appeared etc.)

Anonymous said...

American Association for the Advancement of Science says "intelligent design has not been demonstrated to be a scientific theory."

The US National Science Teachers Association and the American Association for the Advancement of Science have termed it "pseudoscience."

Others have concurred, and some have called it "junk science."

PQG said...

It is just saying that some form of intelligence was behind the formation of the earth. Some people believe the Big Bang approach and some believe that the earth is of Intelligent Design.

Couldn't an intelligent designer start off everything with the Big Bang? Are they incompatible?

The Big Bang theory is a scientific theory. It predicts certain things that have been and can be tested. If in the future the evidence starts contradicting the predictions of Big Bang then it will be disposed of.

How are we to dispose of God? Oops -- I mean the intelligent designer. What evidence will contradict His existence?

PQG said...

Clarification:

The Big Bang theory is a scientific theory. It predicts certain things that have been and can be tested. If in the future the evidence starts contradicting the predictions of Big Bang then the Big Bang theory will be disposed of.

Cory said...

I know you know better, Roland, as a person who has "lost" his faith - sounds like you were taught the truth that the world was created by the creator of the universe and did not evolve by a series of random accidents. Biblical accounts have never, EVER, been found in error. Evolutional theories, however, are constantly having to answer for its mistakes and unknowns.

Cory said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Becky said...

No need to share my opinions on this matter...your readers will ultimately choose to believe what they believe without any help from the maid. LOL

I disagree strongly on many of your arguments as I am sure you suspect...especially that teaching Biblical facts can be deemed child abuse.

I still maintain that the obligation of public school educational systems is to expose to a variety of theories.

Thanks for dropping by and commenting on my blog...it is always good to see a familar face.
:)