More on home schooling materials and evolution

| 69 Comments

A few weeks ago I wrote on the desire of (some) evangelical home-schooling parents to have honest materials for science education. Now Christianity Today has picked up that story, adding at least one new wrinkle: it claims that at least some of the parents who want such materials are young-earthers who want their children exposed to different perspectives. Interviewees from both BioLogos and the American Scientific Affiliation make that claim.

Numbers on the trend are hard to pin down. Still, BioLogos president Deborah Haarsma says that it’s “fairly common” for homeschooling families to request materials from her organization, which promotes theistic evolution. Some of these parents still believe in a young earth, says program director Kathryn Applegate, but they want their children exposed to different perspectives.

Doug Hayworth, coordinator of homeschool science resources for the American Scientific Affiliation, agrees. Inquiries to his Christian association reveal not a wave of old-earth converts, but instead frustrated young-earth believers who believe that “the standard [YEC] curricula … are very strident,” said Hayworth, who homeschools. “They’re looking for some advice.”

BJU Press, operated by Bob Jones University, claims that its materials meet that need:

BJU Press, one of the largest providers of Christian homeschooling resources, said demand for its YEC curriculum remains strong–and it already includes other viewpoints. “We don’t hedge on [YEC] at all,” said Brad Batdorf, who supervises authors of 7th to 12th grade curriculum. “We talk about other views … [and] even go so far as to give some scriptures they use. But then we present what we feel is the strongest, most supportable position.”

Fat chance. Notice there’s no mention of actual evidence, but only of scriptures. From BJU’s blurb for its home-schooling materials on biology:

In the Biology Student Text, students will see God’s power and glory in creation as they learn about cellular biology, genetics, taxonomy, microbiology, botany, zoology, and human anatomy. When studying topics such as Creation and evolution, human cloning, abortion, and stem cell research, students are pointed to Scripture as the ultimate authority and are encouraged to develop a biblical perspective about these topics.

I’m sure that covers other perspectives from an objective, evidence-based stance. Right? Right? Buehler?

Hat tip to Jimpithecus

69 Comments

“When studying topics such as Creation and evolution, human cloning, abortion, and stem cell research, students are pointed to Scripture as the ultimate authority and are encouraged to develop a biblical perspective about these topics.”

Name one way in which the topic of evolution is similar to the topic of human cloning. (HINT: do not use the word controversial).

Name one way in which the topic of evolution is similar to the topic of abortion. (HINT: do not use the word controversial).

Name one way in which the topic of evolution is similar to the topic of human stem cell research. (HINT: do not use the word controversial).

Name one other actual field of science where scripture is the ultimate authority. (HINT: it isn’t geocentrism, or germ theory, or the theory of gravity, or the Law of Segregation, or geometry, or calculus, or plate tectonics).

Man these guys just can’t open their mouths without sticking their foot and their bible in.

Fat chance indeed. The terms “biblical perspective” and “biblical worldview” have always been code words for the selectively literal YEC interpretation of Genesis.

We teach both kinds of origins of life: Young Earth Creationism and Old Earth Creationism… with respect to the Blues Brothers.

I wondered what were the “scriptures” that I use. Finally I realized it was one we can all agree on: John 8:32.

If one wants to nuke the growing, and well done, home schooling movement then why not just make better schools? Homeschooling is probably for the upper middle class(smarter) people who want to bypass the slowness of public schools. Including Evangelicals in this class of just middle class people who believe schools are propaganda machines for wrong and bad ideas. Anyone I ever knew who were homeschooled, in evangelical circles, were smarter people who had the confidence their kids would do better this way They did. Why not just allow a school system that teaches all sides to issues of great contention?! Saying these people need evolution stuff seems odd coming from those who censor all the other kids getting creationist point of views. Evolutionists always seem to me to be the guys in the movies who are on the side that can’t take a fair hearing on matters. Creationists desire more attention and are confident in doing well or a wee bit better then that.

Robert, were you homeschooled? Who published the textbooks and other materials you used? Did you learn science at home? Did your mom teach you your writing skills?

And there you have it folks, the best argument against home schooling you could ever want. Robert is his own worst enemy.

Robert Byers said:

Why not just allow a school system that teaches all sides to issues of great contention?!

I agree. That’s why I’ve been pushing my public school to include the sides of astrology, alchemy, natural history according to Scientology, Crystal Therapy, and phrenology in their science and health curricula. I feel that I’m almost on the verge of acceptance there! As to history lessons, they stubbornly refuse to entertain my suggestions of British Israelism, the history of North American according to Mormonism, and according to Native American oral tradition where each tribe was the first of the human race and appeared in-situ. What closed-mindedness! Why can’t we let the (by definition) uninformed and malleable students decide which is correct for them?

And I expect the schools to teach the controversy about sports, whether the higher score wins, or the lower score wins. After all, there is no proof that the higher score wins - it is just an arbitrary decision. Let the kids be exposed to Calvin Ball and other alternatives, and let them decide.

I’m sure that such proposals will gather more attention from the parents, taxpayers and legislatures than the controversies over non-Euclidean geometry and musical theory.

Byers’ comment suggests that education, including science education, is little more than being exposed to legal or political arguments. The successful argument in science is based on evidence, not rhetoric, Gish-galloping, or wishful thinking.

https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/[…]JFFvZY1tS-dM said:

Byers’ comment suggests that education, including science education, is little more than being exposed to legal or political arguments. The successful argument in science is based on evidence, not rhetoric, Gish-galloping, or wishful thinking.

Sadly, this is something that Byers and the many of the home schooled never learn. But then again, he didn’t even learn the capital of North Dakota. (HINT Robert: it’s a trick question).

I agree. That’s why I’ve been pushing my public school to include the sides of astrology, alchemy, natural history according to Scientology, Crystal Therapy, and phrenology in their science and health curricula. I feel that I’m almost on the verge of acceptance there! As to history lessons, they stubbornly refuse to entertain my suggestions of British Israelism, the history of North American according to Mormonism, and according to Native American oral tradition where each tribe was the first of the human race and appeared in-situ. What closed-mindedness! Why can’t we let the (by definition) uninformed and malleable students decide which is correct for them?

We should not forget the Christian Science(Mary Baker Eddy) alternative to germ theory–sin causes illness. And so much more!

DS said:

“When studying topics such as Creation and evolution, human cloning, abortion, and stem cell research, students are pointed to Scripture as the ultimate authority and are encouraged to develop a biblical perspective about these topics.”

Name one way in which the topic of evolution is similar to the topic of human cloning. (HINT: do not use the word controversial).

Man these guys just can’t open their mouths without sticking their foot and their bible in.

Evolution is similar to human cloning in exactly the same way that a freshly painted firetruck is similar to a popular newspaper - one is red and wide and the other is widely read. Is that the kind of logic you want to teach to home schoolers?

DS said:

But then again, he didn’t even learn the capital of North Dakota.

Which one? :p

There is a strong statistical correlation between the amount of time kids spend with adults and how well they do on IQ and other basic cognitive tests. The psychologist Zajonc famously conjectured that this simple effect is the main reasons for the observed higher intelligence of first-born children. It’s probably also the reason why home schooling has some advantages even if parents are teaching their offspring a load of nonsense about science or history. At least the kids have a bigger vocabulary, and a bigger vocabulary is known to have lasting effects on academic performance.

If any of you would like to see an example of how very exxxtreme Byers’ denial of reality is, you can check out the following thread at Jeff Shallit’s recursivity in which Byers demonstrates that no mountain of evidence can affect, or even alter, his endlessly repeated beliefs. He does not even change his wording or phrases in response to mountains of evidence disproving his point.

The topic of the Recursivity thread was creationist Doug Groothuis (a William Lane Craig wannabe, which is scary to think about) presenting a WLC-style logical “proof” that evolution is false, because evolution is racist, and being racist, it logically must be untrue.

I respond by presenting the counter-argument that at all points in history, major creationists were always MORE racist than evolutionists. Essentially all major creationists up to and including the 1980’s had bizarre, freaky racist ideas, such as some of them believing that blacks AND APES resulted from humans [whites] mating with animals.

Byers denies flatly, talking about how “YEC” (which he describes as if it were a person) was never racist and “YEC” (as a person) could not be racist. He presents no evidence.

I back up my point with specific racist quotations from George M. Price, Frank L. Marsh, Harold W. Clark, Henry Morris, etc. Again: I back it up with racist quotes from their books and letters.

Byers simply repeats: “YEC” was never racist and “YEC” (as a person) could not be racist. Again, no evidence. He says that all the people I named, since they had bizarre ideas, must not be real creationists!

I point out, of course, that Flood Geology was FOUNDED by George M. Price, that “variation within a kind” was FOUNDED by Frank L. Marsh etc. etc. etc. and that the people I quoted were the FOUNDERS of Young Earth creationism.

Byers simply repeats his repeated repeat: “YEC” was never racist and “YEC” (as a person) could not be racist. No evidence. He does add that YEC did not exist until Henry Morris, Henry Morris founded YEC, and so by definition, anyone pre-Morris could not be a creationist.

As you might expect, I respond that Morris himself promoted YEC racism.

Byers simply repeats his repeated repeat: “YEC” was never racist and “YEC” (as a person) could not be racist.

To Byers, “YEC” is a person and he knows “YEC” well. “YEC” is not made up of human beings, much less sinners! “YEC” is morally perfect; “YEC” never lies, is never racist, never fascist, never supported Hitler in the 1930’s. “YEC” never lies. Byers knows “YEC” so he don’t need no stinkin’ evidence to prove is claims about the mind of “YEC.”

In the end, Byers just exhausted me. It’s like boxing with a 50-gallon bag of water.

Henry J said:

DS said:

But then again, he didn’t even learn the capital of North Dakota.

Which one? :p

That’s why it’s a trick question!

I’m sure that covers other perspectives from an objective, evidence-based stance. Right? Right? Buehler?

If you consider claims that dinosaurs were fire-breathing dragons is objective, evidence-based coverage of biology/evolution:

http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/[…]ion.17918511

Even Casey Lumpkin called them “wacky textbooks”:

http://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/0[…]a061401.html

Robert Byers said:

Why not just allow a school system that teaches all sides to issues of great contention?!

Because the children might choose the wrong answer, and become miseducated. I mean really, why stop at issues of “great” contention Robert? There’s contention in every subject. Why give the kids any guidance at all? Just toss them into the library and tell them to read any book they want on given subjects?

Evolutionists always seem to me to be the guys in the movies who are on the side that can’t take a fair hearing on matters.

Um, Robert, you know movies aren’t real, right? You know people can make a movie about anything they damn well please, right? If I made a movie where all the scientists have halos and wings and all the creationists have fangs and eat babies, would that change your mind?

Evolutionists always seem to me to be the guys in the movies who are on the side that can’t take a fair hearing on matters.

Really? I guess you missed the documentary on the Dover trial where the creationists lied and committed perjury under oath, got caught, pissed the judge off, lost and almost went to jail. You know, the trial where expert after expert presented real evidence that the creationists had no answer for. Remember, the creationist guys who hadn’t even read the relevant literature. You know, those lying creationist charlatans who couldn’t convince an impartial judge, even though they claimed the deck was stacked in their favor. Movies like that?

DS said:

Evolutionists always seem to me to be the guys in the movies who are on the side that can’t take a fair hearing on matters.

Really? I guess you missed the documentary on the Dover trial where the creationists lied and committed perjury under oath, got caught, pissed the judge off, lost and almost went to jail. You know, the trial where expert after expert presented real evidence that the creationists had no answer for. Remember, the creationist guys who hadn’t even read the relevant literature. You know, those lying creationist charlatans who couldn’t convince an impartial judge, even though they claimed the deck was stacked in their favor. Movies like that?

Which documentary was that?

diogeneslamp0 said:

DS said:

Evolutionists always seem to me to be the guys in the movies who are on the side that can’t take a fair hearing on matters.

Really? I guess you missed the documentary on the Dover trial where the creationists lied and committed perjury under oath, got caught, pissed the judge off, lost and almost went to jail. You know, the trial where expert after expert presented real evidence that the creationists had no answer for. Remember, the creationist guys who hadn’t even read the relevant literature. You know, those lying creationist charlatans who couldn’t convince an impartial judge, even though they claimed the deck was stacked in their favor. Movies like that?

Which documentary was that?

Perhaps the PBS series Judgement Day: Intelligent Design On Trial (link here).

The BBC produced its own documentary on the trial, The War On Science.

DS said:

Henry J said:

DS said:

But then again, he didn’t even learn the capital of North Dakota.

Which one? :p

That’s why it’s a trick question!

We might cut Byers some slack, as he’s not in the USA (our condolences to the wonderful country of Canada).

However, Byers probably didn’t even learn the capital of New Brunswick - or he dismissed it as mere lines of reasoning. :)

DS said:

Evolutionists always seem to me to be the guys in the movies who are on the side that can’t take a fair hearing on matters.

Really? I guess you missed the documentary on the Dover trial where the creationists lied and committed perjury under oath, got caught, pissed the judge off, lost and almost went to jail. You know, the trial where expert after expert presented real evidence that the creationists had no answer for. Remember, the creationist guys who hadn’t even read the relevant literature. You know, those lying creationist charlatans who couldn’t convince an impartial judge, even though they claimed the deck was stacked in their favor. Movies like that?

YEC defendants Bill Buckingham and Alan Bonsell escaping perjury (if just barely) for their lying under oath was one of the few disappointments the plaintiffs had in the Kitzmiller v. Dover (PA) School Board trial in Harrisburg.

Otherwise, it was quite telling how most of the expert witnesses for the defense (the side defending ID-type creationism) jumped ship and ran away from testifying. The remaining defense testimony ranged from ineffective to disastrous. Michael Behe admitted under oath that there had been no ID-related science experiments by him or anyone else. He admitted that if the definition of science theory was broadened to include ID, astrology would also qualify as science theory. Behe claimed that one of his popular level books had been “peer-reviewed” yet the one individual that had “reviewed” the book turned out having not even read the book. Also, one of Behe’s popular math calculations that he deemed supported ID was duplicated during the trial and it embarrassingly showed the opposite results. A large stack of mainstream science research publications was literally stacked on the witness stand almost obscuring Behe, yet Behe admitted he was unfamiliar with much of it.

This is not even considering the highly effective testimony by expert witnesses for the plaintiffs from the likes of Ken Miller, Barbara Forrest, John Haught, etc. From both a scientific and legal perspective, the plaintiffs did multiple slam dunks.

Byers might reconsider which side “can’t take a fair hearing on matters” but this is likely over his head.

Just Bob said:

Robert, were you homeschooled? Who published the textbooks and other materials you used? Did you learn science at home? Did your mom teach you your writing skills?

No. I’m a product of Canadian public schools. Why did you ask??

ksplawn said:

Robert Byers said:

Why not just allow a school system that teaches all sides to issues of great contention?!

I agree. That’s why I’ve been pushing my public school to include the sides of astrology, alchemy, natural history according to Scientology, Crystal Therapy, and phrenology in their science and health curricula. I feel that I’m almost on the verge of acceptance there! As to history lessons, they stubbornly refuse to entertain my suggestions of British Israelism, the history of North American according to Mormonism, and according to Native American oral tradition where each tribe was the first of the human race and appeared in-situ. What closed-mindedness! Why can’t we let the (by definition) uninformed and malleable students decide which is correct for them?

GREAT CONTENTION is the operative phrase. Creationism being taught is acceptable by some 70% I understand in the states. This including those you are not creationists or close. Its reasonable, its morally and legally demanding. Censorship has not stopped creationism whatsoever. Censoring the truth, a ancient common belief, and present common opion is just pathetic for any confident establishment or philosophy/theory in present vogue inn the establishment.

Robert Byers said:

Just Bob said:

Robert, were you homeschooled? Who published the textbooks and other materials you used? Did you learn science at home? Did your mom teach you your writing skills?

No. I’m a product of Canadian public schools. Why did you ask??

Because you demonstrate that the Canadian public school system failed you utterly.

Robert Byers said:

ksplawn said:

Robert Byers said:

Why not just allow a school system that teaches all sides to issues of great contention?!

I agree. That’s why I’ve been pushing my public school to include the sides of astrology, alchemy, natural history according to Scientology, Crystal Therapy, and phrenology in their science and health curricula. I feel that I’m almost on the verge of acceptance there! As to history lessons, they stubbornly refuse to entertain my suggestions of British Israelism, the history of North American according to Mormonism, and according to Native American oral tradition where each tribe was the first of the human race and appeared in-situ. What closed-mindedness! Why can’t we let the (by definition) uninformed and malleable students decide which is correct for them?

GREAT CONTENTION is the operative phrase. Creationism being taught is acceptable by some 70% I understand in the states. This including those you are not creationists or close. Its reasonable, its morally and legally demanding. Censorship has not stopped creationism whatsoever. Censoring the truth, a ancient common belief, and present common opion is just pathetic for any confident establishment or philosophy/theory in present vogue inn the establishment.

Teaching a topic that is inappropriate for the subject of the class is not censorship.

But, you are too stupid to understand this otherwise basic truth.

Jim said:

There is a strong statistical correlation between the amount of time kids spend with adults and how well they do on IQ and other basic cognitive tests. The psychologist Zajonc famously conjectured that this simple effect is the main reasons for the observed higher intelligence of first-born children. It’s probably also the reason why home schooling has some advantages even if parents are teaching their offspring a load of nonsense about science or history. At least the kids have a bigger vocabulary, and a bigger vocabulary is known to have lasting effects on academic performance.

It makes sense the first born gets more attention then latter born kids and so gains in smarts. yet homeschooloing, from what i’ve seen and read, is always done by the smarter people. It takes confident parents etc to teach their own kids and be certain they keep up with other kids. It would be the smarter parents only who would do this. i bet stats would show homeschool people do better at marks then others all things considered. Public education in the lower grades is not keeping up with modern knowledge or ambition of major demographics to gain knowledge quick for their kids. Homeschool kids will be more independent intellectually then other kids. Creationism is just another manifestation of this.

Werewolf Dongle said:

DS said:

“When studying topics such as Creation and evolution, human cloning, abortion, and stem cell research, students are pointed to Scripture as the ultimate authority and are encouraged to develop a biblical perspective about these topics.”

Name one way in which the topic of evolution is similar to the topic of human cloning. (HINT: do not use the word controversial).

It is a question of theory and practice. Human cloning is something evolutionists want to do since they don’t have children and also because they believe it will prove people don’t have souls.

Name one way in which the topic of evolution is similar to the topic of abortion. (HINT: do not use the word controversial).

Again, its about theory and practice. Abortion is a sacrament of the religion of evolutionism. Evolutionists must engage in ritualized baby-killing because it makes them feel humans have no souls.

Name one way in which the topic of evolution is similar to the topic of human stem cell research. (HINT: do not use the word controversial).

See above under the heading of abortion.

Name one other actual field of science where scripture is the ultimate authority. (HINT: it isn’t geocentrism, or germ theory, or the theory of gravity, or the Law of Segregation, or geometry, or calculus, or plate tectonics).

Man these guys just can’t open their mouths without sticking their foot and their bible in.

Can this obvious troll’s comments be sent to the BW. It is either a poe or it is mentally deranged. Either way …

I think it’s satire.

If it’s (not its) satire, a smiley would have helped ;-)

Malcolm said:

Keelyn said:

What you refuse to let pass through your tinfoil hat is that the public classroom is not obligated to be one of those venues. It is not unreasonable. You must think that classrooms are structure around a concept of unlimited time. Not so – most class instruction is limited to hour or less. It should not have to waste time with crackpot notions that were refuted by empirical evidence, sometimes centuries ago. The immoral thing would be subjecting students to known nonsense. And it is hardly illegal, as all of “contentions” are firmly rooted in fundamentalist religion. The public school is an instrument of the state. To teach a specific religious dogma (in this case yours) is clearly unconstitutional, i.e., illegal! The experts are not afraid to present facts and evidence – that is exactly what they do. Your “criticisms,” and “alternatives,” however, are unpersuasive and generally refuted. They do not have a picogram of credibility, so no one is obligated to present them in a publicly financed science class.

Byers doesn’t believe that education is of any value.

Except when he thinks it is convenient for brainwashing children into becoming Idiot Zombies for Jesus.

AIG doesn’t like home-schooling creationists using non-creationist materials. The Sensuous Curmudgeon has commentary.

Richard B. Hoppe said:

AIG doesn’t like home-schooling creationists using non-creationist materials. The Sensuous Curmudgeon has commentary.

In other words, letting have children have free will and using educational materials that do not have Ken Ham’s personal seal of approval are evil and of the Devil.

Richard B. Hoppe said:

AIG doesn’t like home-schooling creationists using non-creationist materials. The Sensuous Curmudgeon has commentary.

Riiiight. So, having creationist teachers teach evolution to children is a bad thing, but having secularist teachers teach theology to children is a good thing.

If SCOTUS were to make religious teaching legal, one wonders what Creationists would think if secular teachers were to directly ridicule the Bible. Methinks that they would be the first to call for firing the teacher, or bringing legal action against the school.

So much for “Teach the Controversy™”.

Notice that Ham doesn’t even acknowledge the actual point of the Christianity Today article. He constantly phrases it in terms of whether homeschooling parents should teach their children to “accept” evolution (and the other things YECs don’t like). But that’s explicitly not the issue; the point being discussed is to expose them to these ideas and have the children understand the concepts of mainstream biology, even if they’re not “supposed” to agree with them. That’s what the homeschooling parents in the CT article are doing. They’re trying to present a more accurate summary of the “opposition” along with their own sectarian beliefs, the latter of which the children are supposed to adopt.

It is, in no uncertain terms, exactly the kind of “Critical Analysis” Creationists want to drive into public schools. It is indeed hypocritical to say that this has a place in public schools but is wrong for private and homeschooling. But the real big red flag is not that AIG rejects this when applied to their own indoctrination methods, it’s that they don’t even see it. Merely exposing children to mainstream science is, apparently, teaching them to “accept” it, and automatically reject the YEC position so that the kids’ religious beliefs must be adjusted to fit around evolution.

It’s not just simple hypocrisy, it’s utter stupidity. They not only misunderstand the position they argue against, they can’t even recognize their own. I’m amazed that such a basic and simple position can be so deeply and thoroughly misunderstood. But I really shouldn’t be, since Ham has proven to be perpetually (indeed, professionally) invulnerable to any understanding of things that aren’t his own.

Scott F said:

Richard B. Hoppe said:

AIG doesn’t like home-schooling creationists using non-creationist materials. The Sensuous Curmudgeon has commentary.

Riiiight. So, having creationist teachers teach evolution to children is a bad thing, but having secularist teachers teach theology to children is a good thing.

If SCOTUS were to make religious teaching legal, one wonders what Creationists would think if secular teachers were to directly ridicule the Bible. Methinks that they would be the first to call for firing the teacher, or bringing legal action against the school.

So much for “Teach the Controversy™”.

Hey, Creationists and their like-minded allies can not be faulted for wanting and being capable of only teaching “controversies” that they think will give their political agendas an unfair advantage.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Richard B. Hoppe published on April 30, 2013 12:02 PM.

Iguana iguana was the previous entry in this blog.

World’s first WWW page … is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Categories

Archives

Author Archives

Powered by Movable Type 4.38

Site Meter