Hi, New to this forum, although I am certainly concious of the evolution vs. creationism debate, and being a science major it certainly strikes a personal note. As a Canadian, my primary perception of creationism is through the American media (all too present up here) and it seems to have a very vocal and relatively large group of supporters. I recently met a staunch supporter of creationism at school (strangely she also is a science major) and must admit that I was quite surprised, thinking that people like this hadn't survived past the 19th century save in the American Bible belt(gone the way of the dinosaur I had supposed). However looking into it further it seems that here most Canadian creationists tend to exist in rural areas, although this is just a personal inference and I am not at all certain of the facts. But certainly the Canadian creationism crowd is not as large nor vocal as the American one, (As a matter of fact the Canadian population has the highest percentage of post-secondary education in the world). My question was if any one would knew if creationism is a primarily American phenonmenon, or if it has a strong following in any other first-world countries? Ignorance is bliss
I'd say that the historical roots of creationism go back to Europe. But for the moment creationism is not only big in the US. It has been imported to Turkey and from there it spread throughout the Muslim world.
Canadian, Creationist, Christian, College student. Well I'm in the lineup of C's, I'm curious as to how you ascertained that most of the Canadian creationist live in rural areas? Not challenging your assumption, I simply had never thought about it. Most of the creationists I know are from Winnipeg and T.O. But that could simply be because of the circles I travel in.
Like I said I just made this assumption based upon personal perception, it seems that faith and religion has deeper roots among rural populations, although this is may be a generally Southern Albertan thing where we have our own "bible belt". In addition I was surprised not so much at running into a creationist at school, it was more the fact that she was a biological science major at a major University. (ie. not earning an arts diploma at a smaller christian college/bible school)
How true that is. It reminds me of a telephone call my wife once had while working in sales. I was stationed in Texas at the time, serving in the Army. My wife was working in sales and service at the time, and would often have small conversations with the people on the phone while dealing with such sales. For a little context, my wife is a fairly devout christian, while I am an athiest. We have different views on religion, but it provides no conflict in our lives. Anyways, one day she was talking with a lady on the phone who was obviously a woman of deep faith. She enjoyed talking with my wife, and they briefly had a chat about each others family. Anyways, somehow religion came up, and my wife mentioned I was an athiest. Well, the woman suddenly began to preach to my wife, telling her she must immediatly reconsider her marraige to me!!!! She went on that by being married to me, my wife was endangering her immortal soul (the implied idea is that I am already lost, damned, beyond redemption, evil, and a corrupting force. : ) . My wife was shocked and didn't know how to respond. This woman went on for a minute or so before she had enough and just hung up on the woman. She was so ticked that she told me all about it as soon as she got home. It made me angry, but then I got over it, since what do I care what anyone other than my wife and I think about our marraige. However, it did demonstrate to me how hostile people could be towards atheists for no appearant reason other than their lack of belief in a god of some sort.
quote:Here in the States if you say you are Athiest/Agnostic you are viewed as Evil... I thought the whole world was like that until recently...
The majority of kids in my school have no belief in God. I have a reputation for being knowledgable I guess. But for some reason they seem to regard me lower. I really don't know.
The curriculum endorses a lot of things. We had to read stories like "Gryphon", a short story which "brainwashes" the ill-informed student into thinking conservatism is an atrocity and ultimately viewing change as absolute necessity on the war against tradition. It's your average run of the mill book to change thinking, setting up the sympathetic characters accordingly and such. I feel the author may have been duped by his own characters though, seeing many sympathetic characters may be unsympathetic at heart. A victory for humanists everywhere for that literature to be in school.
We also read a story called "Blue(?)", relaying that being gay is fine. Which in much of the population's opinion it very well may be.
The schools are shaping the students in the way they think, to avoid ignorance of course, but may very well be creating a breeding ground for anti-christians. (I do expect a snappy remark from someone correlating ignorance to christianity.)
Furthermore many teachers state their opinions frequently from what I've seen, which may be the greatest cause in the sway of thinking. Many are a little reckless in what they impose onto their students.
What I am getting at is this:
A new generation is coming, one that will be radically different from the one now in the States.
Polarized to no chance of middle ground ever.
So take comfort in the fact that so the States will be like (according to your assumption of course) the rest of the world.
It has been my experience in high school and college that there are many non-praciters of faith. However, most will still describe themselves as religious or declare they believe in a god. However, I will agree that many such people are often ignorant of the tenets of their repective faiths. Of course, free will is what it is. However, the common ground to many of the people in this up and coming generation is a lack of critical thinking skills and a lack of focus. Of course, that is a generalization, and many fine individuals are able to get the most out of their education. I think the teachers should challenge peoples beliefs, in the right context and appropriate class, in order to stir debate and promote critical thought. Of course, there is a difference between teaching and indoctrination. In my experience, the best teachers always challenged you to think. The worst expected you to simply listen and regurgitate. However, I hardly think that there is a huge swelling of anti-christian thought in this country. In fact, polls consistantly show that the US is one of the most religious of all first world nations. Several polls I have seen even seem to indicate a recent trend towards youth participation in faith-based activities over the last decade or so. Of course, there are those who are anti-christian, just as there are those who are anti-muslim, anti-hindu, etc. However, to charecterize it as a signifigant problem is an exaggeration.
Here is a link to one survey that has show strong trends towards more religious activity in many parts of the country over the past decade. http://www.barna.org/cgi-bin/PagePressRelease.asp?PressReleaseID=159&Reference=F Of course, Barna is a christian based market research company. You can also find similar stats showing how large a portion of the US population considers faith important with this article and supporting surveys. http://secularhumanism.org/library/fi/bishop_19_3.html There are several other polls I could did up that would show similar trends. America is not having a crisis involing a huge anti-christian movement, nor is religion rapidly losing its place in society.
BTW: One purpose of english cirriculum is expose readers to various viewpoints, not all of which people might agree with. I haven't read the particular stories you referenced, but I can say from my own experiences in school that you will be exposed to books that will cover a wide range of beliefs, some which you may agree with, some which you may not.
Just a viewpoint from Norway. We just had the premiere of Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" today, and it seems like the turnout was realy low (no wonder after getting slaughter reviews in all the major newspapers). My perception of Norwegians, is that more and more are asking questions about their faith. I think this have something to do with the school reforms during the last years, where we are being taught equaly much about all the major religions and evolution. Science and nature programs are a big part of our everyday TV programs. Being a very tolerant society, I think more and more feel safe about making up their own mind, whether it's religion or evolution based. We also hold the Nobel Prize here each year, which I think make people more aware of achievements made in Science, Math, Biology etc.
I'm not sure about the ratio, but I'm pretty sure that most teenagers growing up during these new school reforms, are more pursuaded by the evolution theory than a religion, even if they come from a religious family.
Polls can't show where the youth, the next generation is putting there beliefs. I'm in the school to know, I highly doubt my school can be considered unordinary. You have to be there to see it. These trends are fading fast. I can nearly guarantee a radical change in beliefs in America within, at most 20 years. -chris
Sorry to burst the bubble, but my highschool years weren't much different. There usually is only a small group that really cares about their faith at that age. Most kids have too many other things on their mind, and church is essentially unimportant to them at that stage. As for polls, most scietific polls, if done right, are valid samples withing 3 to 5 percent. Given that the polls indicated a stable trend over decades, I will have to say they are more valid than you give them credit for. Additionally, you are basing your opinion on realitive appearances of at your school. One thing teenagers are notorious for is keeping many of their beliefs and opinions hidden, while portraying an image to fit their click or group identity. Trust me, if you were to ask most of those students if they beleived in god, you would get a positive answer. Just because they aren't interested in religion doesnt mean they are athiests.