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Author Topic:   Help in teaching 11-12 Year olds (RE (Religious Education) in the UK)
Rahvin
Member (Idle past 39 days)
Posts: 3964
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 34 of 126 (538547)
12-07-2009 7:05 PM
Reply to: Message 29 by Peg
12-07-2009 6:40 PM


Re: Do not mix science and religion
the issue of creation IS a religious topic.

And for kids to be informed of the difference between the ToE and creation, then the only place they'll hear the difference is in their religious class because science refuses to present creation as an alternative. IOW in science, there is no choice.

This is a valid issue. Children should not only be taught about the difference between Creation and Evolution in an (obviously biased) religious setting.

Yet Creationism is not scientific. That's why it has no place in the classroom in the first place.

I think the solution is, in fact, to draw the distinction in the classroom. Teach the Theory of Evolution as accurately as possible (which already requires extreme remediation for most American teachers at the High School level and below). Don't teach Creation as an "alternative" because scientifically, it's nothing of the sort. But you can use Creationism as a useful tool to draw into contrast what is and is not a scientific theory.

You'd have to be careful - you cannot call a specific religion's teachings outright false for all the same reasons we don't allow religious teaching in public classrooms. But you can show that faith-based topics like Creationism are different from science, and do not use the scientific method.

I remember back in my Junior year of High School, we spent a significant amount of time at the beginning of the year learning about what science actually is. About how science is never the search for truth, but rather a never-ending quest for ever-increasing accuracy in understanding and modeling the natural world around us.

The Theory of Evolution has been rigorously tested for a very long time, and has been changed over the years such that it is now extremely accurate when compared to observational data and in predicting what we should find when new species (extant or fossilized) are discovered (among other things).

This can be contrasted with religious views by simply stating that sacred texts like Genesis could be true, but there is no way to test their accuracy. That science requires being able to test your hypotheses against observed evidence to determine accuracy, while religious stories simply claim to be true, full stop.

I think an effective contrast can be made without saying that Creationism (regardless of which creation myth we're talking about) is actually false, and stressing to children that while individually we all are only able to believe what we find to be a convincing argument, science can only accept that which has tested accuracy, and does not concern itself with the truth or falsehood of that which it cannot test in the first place.

why dont scientists present a Theory of Creation???

There is no such theory. It's rather difficult to put a theory that doesn't exist through the peer review process. "Creation scientists" have never even managed to publish such a theory, except in the popular media where they needn't concern themselves with the peer review process. Quite simply, someone has to do the legwork and come up with an actual model for Creationism - how, specifically it occurred, the mechanisms that drove it, what evidence supports such an explanation above others, and how such a hypothesis might be tested through experiment or predictions. "Goddidit" is not an explanation or mechanism, is untestable, and involves no evidence.

As soon as a Creation Scientist comes up with an actual, fully-formed hypothesis with evidenciary support and potential falsification, I assure you that other scientists will look at it.

Is it because they refuse to believe that a God could exist???

How absurd. Peg, you know full well that the overwhelming majority of scientists believe in some deity or another. You've just suggested that scientists who happen to also be Christians refuse to believe that God exists.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 29 by Peg, posted 12-07-2009 6:40 PM Peg has not yet responded

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