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Christopher Halliwell

Secondary Education Physics, Mississippi State University

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Should public schools be allowed to teach creation myths in science class?

Should christian political parties be allowed to circumvent the scientific method by using politics to put mythology in science textbooks?


Closing Statement from Christopher Halliwell

This conversation contains strongly differing opinions about public education. However, those who commented in favor of introducing creation myths into science textbooks were always religiously motivated. This is no surprise. Instead of appealing to the validity or truth of their respective creation stories, theses people appealed to "teaching the controversy". My response:

There is no controversy concerning evolution in the scientific community. "Teaching the controversy" of creation stories vs evolution is equivalent to teaching astrology next to astronomy, or alchemy next to chemistry, or magic next to electromagnetism. Without any verifiable claims to test, creation stories are not scientific. Ergo they do not belong in a science textbook.

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  • Feb 24 2013: Science class is for the facts. I agree with the current curriculum (I say current being a High School student). While I can appreciate the "inequality" presented by teaching just the facts (I'm assuming you mean that it sort of supports atheistic thinking because the facts coincide with their beliefs), I don't think that SCIENCE class is the place to instill the word of god into the minds of the youth (or Norse creation, Greek creation, etc.). If you really want that taught at a public school, I'd look into English class (or maybe, if you really want to push it, History).

    But science, especially for younger children, is and always has been taken as gospel (yes, I recognize the irony). Including other creation stories that have been disproven is not only dangerous to the children's mental development, it is unscientific. It's like doing algebra in Music Appreciation or something. I wouldn't mind adding the christian creation story to the curriculum of public schools, as long as it went alongside other creation stories, and stayed OUT of science class.
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      Feb 25 2013: WoahWoahWoah, slow your roll. No scientist or student of science should ever believe what they are told strictly based on the authority of the teacher/ professor. "Taken as gospel" is really a statement of believing something based on the authority of the source. Science has no use for this. Either the person presenting the theory has evidence, or they do not. You base your belief or nonbelief in the proposed theory on whether or not you were convinced by the evidence. If the evidence is not convincing, then the teacher did a very poor job explaining the theory.
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        Feb 25 2013: Agreed. But at certain points, scientific facts are articles of faith. When my chemistry teacher taught us about atoms and subatomic particles, I smiled and nodded and memorized what she said. Later, I came to a more complete understanding of the facts and concepts.
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          Feb 25 2013: If you put faith in scientific ideas, that is nobody's fault but your own. With just a little effort, you could have researched the concepts that you did not understand.

          You may have put faith in science, but I do not. My confidence and trust in any specific theory is a direct result of my understanding of the evidence presented for it. If I am not convinced, then I have no right to say I believe based on faith or any other ridiculous reason that some people give for their beliefs.

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