TED Conversations

Christopher Halliwell

Secondary Education Physics, Mississippi State University

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

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?

+3
Share:

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.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Feb 27 2013: No, because the literal interpretation of Genesis, is wrong.

    That story, myth or parable, has nothing to do with this physical world. Everything there is to be applied to the spiritual world.

    So both sides should come together and acknowledge that neither Religion nor Science knows and can proof what happened, millions of years ago.

    We might say 'the universe was created out of nothing. However, it was not created out of anything material. Just as Rembrandt created paintings from his spirit, so, on His level, God created the universe from His Spirit.
    Both processes are 'similar' but, obviously on completely different levels.

    Maybe this will help. as I do not have the means to express the thoughts.
    http://www.swedenborgstudy.com/books/H.Lj.Odhner_Creation/creation.htm
    • thumb
      Feb 27 2013: There are many scientific disciplines that can in fact prove what has happened millions of years ago. If this is hard to believe, you simply haven't taken enough science courses. There is a huge difference between unverifiable claims (religion) and verifiable facts (science).

      Also, what materials did your deity use to create the universe? If none, then you are the one who believes that something can come from nothing.
      • thumb
        Feb 27 2013: The way you presented the subject I did not expect an open and balanced view and approach.

        Obviously you have chosen to not see a spiritual side of life as real. That's OK, we have that freedom.

        So apparently you see science as the only provider of facts and truths (even if this happened many millions of years ago), not assumptions and interpretations. Does this also mean this can be repeated, and if not, what excuse do you have why it cannot be repeated? :)

        Apparently you did not read or understand what I said about Rembrandt. A painting does not start with arranging brain particles or chemicals. It starts in the spiritual substance love. This is what the link above is all about. God is love and He finited His love to the point it became physical substance, material. That's why we may see e.g. iron as solid, while in fact it really is a cloud of particles.

        All that being said. There is a reason why no one will ever be able to proof physically that God exists or not. As human beings we have been given and do need the freedom to go one way or the other. That's how love works, in freedom. The closest we, personally, might come to proof is through a NDE.
        But please take the time to see what the link says and whether you can open your mind/spirit to it.

        Sorry to be this far off topic
        • thumb
          Feb 28 2013: What would you accept as an "open and balanced view"? Everyone is entitled to their opinion, to which this thread is created for.

          I have not "chosen to not see a spiritual side of life". There is no choice involved. I've asked thousands of religous people what evidence they have to believe in anything spiritual. Since I recieve no evidence, I have no reason to believe.

          The results of all scientific theories can be repeated. That is one of the requirements for a hypothesis to become a scientific theory.

          Appartently you don't understand the burden of proof. If you are willing to claim the existence of a spirit or soul, you and you alone carry the burden to prove your claim. I am not claiming anything, I am simply unconvinced.

          Science only studies the natural world. If you define your deity to be supernatural, then you have defined a non-existent entity. Period.

          Agreed, this is off topic. However it is extremely important that you and other religous people understand the burden of proof.
      • thumb
        Mar 1 2013: Hi Chris Just two questions.

        How come science can tell someone they think, but not what they think?
        Why not?

        When you love someone, like a spouse, can you in any way show and proof that other person on a measuring device how much you love her?
        Why not?

        There exists a spiritual realm, or reality, that is more real than matter. You may need a NDE to open your mind to that possibility.
        • thumb
          Mar 1 2013: Hi Adriaan. We have probably touched on this before.

          Love is human concept. You can define it and the type of associated behaviours. While there is currently no lovemeter there is evidence of love in the actions of others.

          If by spiritual realm, you mean the realm of human consciousness we agree.

          NDE are not quite proof of a magical spiritual realm IMO. Even some people who have had NDE accept that they might just be the products of a natural mind, much like dreams and hallucinations.
        • thumb
          Mar 2 2013: I am open to all possibilities. The issue here is that there is no proof of spirits/souls/god. The minute someone provides a good reason to believe in that nonsense, I will logically change my mind. Until then, you are simply making wild speculations about what you hope happens after you die.
    • thumb
      Feb 27 2013: I would think they would open up creationist curricula to encompass a divine creator, whom created evolution through nature...in nature, as nature.

      Direct Genesis interpretation is not the best way to go, but the idea - designed (created, in order to create), shouldn't be dismissed.

      Well then who created the creator (assuming there is one)? Now that's a fun question.
      • thumb
        Feb 28 2013: Hello Nick, thanks for your input. I am not really dismissing anything in the Bible. It is just that human development has reached a stage for which the literal text of the first 10.5 chapters of Genesis have little use. There are very few people so far, who can answer my question "When was the last time you applied the Creation Story in your life?"
        There exists however an internal meaning that every individual can always apply to their own life and their own spiritual development.
        Here is this short treatise of the Creation Story by Emanuel Swedenborg. I hope you like it.
        http://sites.google.com/site/liveitupspiritually/home/source/The%20Real%20Creation%20Story.pdf?attredirects=0

        Even if you don't, :) I'm 99% sure you'll like this book about the human mind:
        http://webhome.idirect.com/~abraam/documents/TheHumanMind.pdf

        I like your "fun question" too, but for me I know there is one Creator. :)

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.