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Thursday, September 04, 2008

Creation and Science

Science is "the systematic observation of natural events and conditions in order to discover facts about them and to formulate laws and principles based on these facts."

Science class is supposed to be learning about that process and what has been discovered, and to train students to think scientifically so that new things can be discovered, researched, analyzed and documented. It's that simple.

I appreciate that many people believe in things that run contrary to what we have discovered via systematic observation. That's fine. Believe whatever works for you. If you want to believe that god created the world in seven days, that's fine with me. If you want to believe that Lord Vishnu woke up and commanded Brahma to create the world, then that's fine too. If you want to believe that Bumba vomited up the sun, that's just dandy.

However, that does not make it science and it has no place in a science class.

If you want to talk about it in school, I'd recommend a history class (since it's likely not much more off than many other historical things we know for sure) or in an English class. Heck, that's what I did when I taught English. We spent a week in the mythology segment of the class talking about creation myths from around the world. There was a lot of variation and a lot of similarity. I worked primarily from Primal Myths, but there's far more readable texts out there nowadays. The funny thing was how many students thought they got the easy one when they got a copy of Genesis. The sad part was how few of them had actually read it and only believed what their pastor or their parents had told them was in it.

2 Comments:

  • Some of the people who wants creationism to be taught in science class would be upset if Genesis were taught alongside Hindu and other creation stories in English.

    By Blogger Chris, at 12:21 AM  

  • Yeah, many religious types aren't too happy when you call their religion a "mythology." To them, it's not a belief--it's The Only Truth, and anyone who doesn't agree is wrong and quite possibly evil. Eeeeevil!

    By Blogger CKL, at 1:28 PM  

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