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