Friday, May 1, 2009

Things that make you go...

Bryn is learning about dinosaurs at school. I tried to ignore the worksheet that came home with the millions of years crossed out to read "dinosaurs roamed the earth thousands of years ago". My hope was that it was a one day lesson and the brief explanation I gave about what I believe to be the age of the earth was enough to counter whatever lesson had been given. Boy, was I wrong.

Aaron and I have both noticed a trend toward belief in "Young Earth Creationism" in our students. Any resident of Kansas would have to have been asleep for the past decade to not have some knowledge of Intelligent Design vs. Evolution, but I was not really aware that young earth creationism had become such a popular idea. Maybe I didn't want to know or maybe I just wasn't paying attention. But Bryn's school teaching it has sure made me sit up and take notice.

In all fairness, Bryn's school can teach whatever it wants to teach as it is a private religious school. But I have a hard time subscribing to (and an even harder time paying for!) the notion that the earth is 6000 years old, that dinosaurs lived with humans, that all animals were plant eaters before Eve ate the apple (since there was no killing or death before that) and that there were "teenage" dinosaurs on Noah's ark (that way they were small enough to fit in there with Noah and the rest). To me it is not a far leap to the idea that science and religion can't work together and that all scientists are atheistic heathens doomed to an eternity in hell. I find this hard to believe as I happen to know many scientists (myself included) who believe in God as the Creator and still can subscribe to the idea that the earth is billions of years old and that evolution does occur.

Is there biblical support for young earth creationism? Yes. Is there biblical and scientific evidence against young earth creationism? Yes. I happen to believe that there is more against than for. And I think that people that ignore this evidence do a massive disservice to Christianity by pretending that any scientific evidence contrary to their views simply does not exist. I do not think this kind of ignornace proves that a person's faith is strong. I believe it proves they are ignorant.

Anyway, it just makes me sad that this kind of information is being presented to my child as the final word, the only viewpoint and the ultimate truth. But I suppose it is what I signed up for. Now I guess I just have to un-sign up...


Debi said...

(((HUGS))) That must be a very tough position to be in. Bryn's a smart cookie with smart parents, and I've no doubt you'll be able to teach her that faith and science do not have to be mutually exclusive.

Rich teaches an evolution class, and there have been times when it's been almost scary. And this is a college class, an elective that no one is forced to take. And yet still the venom he has had to face on occasion has been downright shocking.

Jennifer said...

I won't get into a long discussion, because I simply don't do them well. My beliefs are different from yours...but I think that's ok. I'm not one who will say someone else is wrong because they don't believe what I believe. I understand where you are coming from, because being on the other side, I feel the same things! Since we homeschool, we have the freedom choose what we teach. When CJ was in public school, we just stayed very aware of what was being taught to him, and if anything went against what we believe, we would tell him why we believe what we do. Even now, when we are watching something on tv, we do the same thing. So maybe you could go along side and explain to your Bryn why you believe what you believe, but that others belive something different? I think in a perfect world, both evolution and creationism should both be taught as theories. Since no one was here in the beginning to observe what really happened, they really are only theories anyway.

I didn't mean to go on as long as I did. I just wanted to share what we did when CJ was exposed to something different than what we believe in hopes it could help you with Bryn. Also - just want you to know that I am NOT one of those who thinks that scientists are atheistic heathens doomed to an eternity in hell! Not by a long shot!!! I think scientists are EXTREMELY important and am very thankful for all of you!
And I certainly don't want to say anything that would offend you - just share that we feel the same thing but on the other side!

kreed said...


You absolutely did not offend me and I was not aiming to offend anyone with my post. I also believe that everyone is entitled to their beliefs and that everyone should be exposed to all sides of an argument. Bryn has been exposed to the Bible and Christianity from her earliest days but she has also been exposed to science and the wonders of biology. And obviously a private school has the right to teach whatever they feel is right including young earth creationism. However, I believe that this idea dismisses biology, geology, mathematics and other sciences which could be a part of the discussion. I think excluding these things is as damaging as teaching ONLY evolution or intelligent design. In my opinion, teachers and schools, public and private, have a responsibility to present fair, accurate and thorough information to students and I don't believe this was done in this case. Maybe I should join you in the world of homeschooling...

Jennifer said...

You certainly didn't offend me either! And yes, if only one side is being taught, I don't really agree with that. Even in CJ's christian science book this year, evolution was discussed. We've always said that we don't have a problem even with the public schools teaching it, but that we would prefer they teach it along with creationsim as theories. I think to dismiss any other possiblity is a bad idea - so I totally get where you are coming from.
Homeschooling definitely has it's advantages, but I won't lie and say it's easy! It may be for some, but for me, it is getting harder and harder! CJ starts 9th grade next year and I've decided there is just no way I can do it alone! We are actually putting him in a group we have where he will go to "school" 2 days a week, receive his instruction and assignments, and we oversee him at home on the other 3 days to make sure he's doing what he needs to be doing. And the greatest thing? They have an accreditation program, so he will get all his highschool credits without me trying to figure everything out! And the other greatest thing - he will have to answer to someone other than me. He's at the stage in his life where mom/teacher lines are blurring, and getting him to do what he's supposed to is becoming increasingly difficult. Meanwhile, I'll be starting all over with Ruthi! (At least it's the more fun stuff!)
OK - totally didn't mean to turn this into a homeschooling conversation! Sorry!

kreed said...


It sounds like you will have a good arrangement for CJ next year. I do not have any desire to homeschool but know that I could and would if I had to. I'm not quite there yet but am glad I have some people to ask questions if I end up there!

Melissa said...

Hi Kara! Somehow I didn't notice that you had a blog each time you've commented on mine! I'm catching myself up this morning. It's a bit slow at the office. :)

This post really interested me as I just completed an Earth Through Time course, which I hated because I'm not a science person, and also a decent Geology lab. To me evolution and creationism have always been something that happened together. As far back as I can remember learning about evolution I've always thought that it was part of God's plan, the creation, and just give us and especially scientists more to learn about and ponder. I do believe that evolution has it's place in the earth's creation. Once in a while I have to remind myself that God's time table is probably quite different than ours. Creating the world in seven days may have been millions of years for Him. We don't know.

Anyway, interesting topic. So far I haven't had to have any conversations too deep about this with my boys, and as you know Shane's about to start middle school! Maybe I've just made my beliefs about this clear and so they haven't had any reason to question this. Or maybe I just haven't known about the lessons taught at school.

Since we don't have many options here for private or alternative schooling I haven't had to make the decisions of where to send my kids, except for when we built our house and moved into a new elementary "district." I think if I had the time I would enjoy home schooling but that's just not an option for us since I have to work for the benefits.

Take care! I know where to find you online now. :)