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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 26 2013: "God created everything" is not a scientific theory, because it is unfalsifiable. It is impossible to have an experiment or an observation that would prove it wrong. Karl Popper wrote: "A theory which is not refutable by any conceivable event is non-scientific. Irrefutability is not a virtue of a theory (as people often think) but a vice." http://www.stephenjaygould.org/ctrl/popper_falsification.html. Therefore, creationism does not belong in science class.

    However, in the same essay, Karl Popper writes: "...historically speaking all — or very nearly all — scientific theories originate from myths, and that a myth may contain important anticipations of scientific theories...if a theory is found to be non-scientific, or "metaphysical" (as we might say), it is not thereby found to be unimportant, or insignificant, or "meaningless," or "nonsensical." But it cannot claim to be backed by empirical evidence in the scientific sense — although it may easily be, in some genetic sense, the "result of observation."

    Creation myth is a valuable part of human culture and has many great philosophical points. I see nothing wrong teaching it to kids as such, but outside a science class.

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