Skip to comments.Is evolution missing link in some PA high schools? (20% of biology teachers are creationists)
Posted on 05/02/2013 7:07:17 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
During an Advanced Placement biology course in Easton Area High School, Jennifer Estevez's teacher sped through the large chapter on evolution, focusing on one formula for the AP exam and the basics: survival of the fittest and natural selection.
In those high school years in Northampton County, she also would attend a Baptist leadership retreat where a speaker denounced evolution as false, unproven science. Seemingly unimportant and even discredited, evolution fell off her radar. So the Easton student, who is a Baptist, arrived at Duquesne University last fall considering herself a creationist, a person who generally believes God created the world as described in the Bible.
But a college biology course convinced her that evolution was valid science with overwhelming evidence that all living things, including humans, evolved most likely from a common ancestor -- over a period of millions, even billions, of years longer than that described in Genesis.
Ending her freshman year, and in pursuit of a career in medicine, Ms. Estevez, 19, said she's "a bit upset" that her high school teacher played down evolution while others trashed the science that serves as the foundation of modern biology, genetics and medicine.
"In high school, a lot was not taught correctly, and it didn't prepare me for college," she said. "They should have gone into evolution in detail. The controversy should not be what is taught in school."
Her experience represents the ill-kept secret about public school biology classrooms nationwide -- that evolution often isn't taught robustly, if at all. Faith-based belief in creationism and intelligent design continues to be discussed and even openly taught in public school classrooms, despite state curriculum standards.
(Excerpt) Read more at post-gazette.com ...
Openly taught! Oh the horror! Burn the witches!
Poor widdle baby.
Unless you become an evolutionist, I can’t see what good this information on competing theories would do you anyway. What happened to teaching kids real skills, like PENMANSHIP?
Next thing you know they will be objecting to the teaching that the Universe began with an act of creation (aka the ‘big bang’).
A creationist in a biology course is many times less dangerous than a liberal in a history or sociology course.
Anyone ignorant enough to teach creationism to a classroom of kids as science has no business teaching kids anything and they should be fired immediately. People like that will ensure the US falls even further behind in science education. All hail your new overlord China.
There is more to science than just Darwin.
This is a mischaracterization. The bulk of creationist doctrine is modern invention, and in the teachings of the very influential Henry Morris, the Noachic Flood is emphasized as the creative agency responsible for the formation of the earth as geological science finds it.
Creationists are no doubt sincere in their embrace of such teachings as a bulwark to their own Bible based beliefs, but these teachings are not supported by any direct exegesis of the actual description in Genesis I.
I think it is, or was, quite common, and I personally know one retired teacher who openly averred that he did this.
Yes you open the door ...then Buddhist....Islamic..pagan...will be allowed their agendas also. Teach your beliefs at home.
I’m not going to get all wee-wee’d up because Grandpa Simpson avers that he taught Creationism at the Shelbyville High School. Doesn’t strike me as a national crisis requiring journalistic outrage.
evolution is a pack of lies that should not be taught at all - much less to young scientists who are going to medical school. who wants a doctor whos head is full of such rubbish?
Oh my word!!! Truth and reality being taught instead of superstition and imagination?
Please don’t tell me you consider Darwinian evolution “science,” please. It is pure imagination.
Anyone that doesn’t consider it science has never learned what it is. Willful ignorance of the world for fear that it will anger your God is not a virtue.
How did the amino acid building blocks of the very first DNA molecule come into existence, and how were the correct amino acid molecules, of the required isomeric form, selected?
Among my former university faculty colleagues there were some, accomplished, respected, peer reviewed and published scientists, who could not accept the evolutionary model simply on the basis of it mathematical improbability.
Of course they kept their “unorthodoxy” to themselves, inasmuch as the gateways to tenure are guarded by evolutionists.
Not worshipping at the altar of darwin????? Oh how gauche......
Tell me sir in what way is it falsifiable?
It’s bad science, and it obstructs productive research in the field to determine what actually did occur.
You may be right about specific interpretations, such as the idea that the flood shaped the sediment layers and geological formations. That isn’t in the Bible, it’s just a hypothesis.
However, the basics of creationism, that God created man in basically his present form, and created the rest of life on Earth at the same time, shortly after he created the world, is certainly derived directly from Genesis. It’s the most obvious and simplest reading of the text, and one that was the universal Christian interpretation until recently.
But the Creation is separated into "days" which have the obvious meaning of epochs. Literalism is impossible, starting with Genesis I:5, "And the evening and the morning were the first day". This makes sense poetically, since God has divided the light from the darkness, but as famously noted, there is as yet no Sun and no Earth, so there could not be "days" in the objectively literal sense.
Creationism is the attempt to provide an objective material theory "literally" corresponding to this poetic narrative, and this project is just doomed. More than doomed, it is ridiculous, if one is considering a plain and simple reading.
And then these days being epochs, far from describing a sudden monolithic creation, describe a lengthy and diverse project. I say it's amazing, and even uncanny, how closely this division corresponds to the modern evolutionary account, which may be considered a "gloss".
Because, that is, there is very little to go on, in terms of detail, in Genesis I. Everything is done by fiat. There is no designing or figuring. In fact the process is delegated by commands - "Let the earth bring forth grass", and then the earth does so. So here is naturalism.
As to Adam and Eve, this is an existential account, stating the uniqueness of humanity in God's world. Creationists always recoil at the idea of evolving from primoridal slime, yet this process is as grand and remote from our daily sensibilities as any other notion of creation. I'm thinking in particular of the privilege I have lately of watching my grandchildren grow and mature ( they're still preschool ) at close range. It's an overwhelming miracle that cannot satisfactorily be accounted for by materialistic explanation, hence our resort to the spiritual.
“But the Creation is separated into “days” which have the obvious meaning of epochs. Literalism is impossible, starting with Genesis I:5, “And the evening and the morning were the first day”. This makes sense poetically, since God has divided the light from the darkness, but as famously noted, there is as yet no Sun and no Earth, so there could not be “days” in the objectively literal sense.”
You might interpret them as epochs, but that is certainly not the most obvious and simplest reading of the text, since the word “epoch”, or anything like it, doesn’t appear in the text, while the word “day” does, many times. You also would have to dismiss the fact that for thousands of years, all Christians that left any record of their opinion on the matter read the verses straightforward and literally.
“And then these days being epochs, far from describing a sudden monolithic creation, describe a lengthy and diverse project.”
Yet, this is exactly the opposite of what the text describes, which are instantaneous acts of creation, through the power of God’s Word (ie, “God said ‘Let there be light’, and there was light”). These instantaneous acts are consistent with other instantaneous manifestations of God’s power through His Word recorded elsewhere in the Bible, both in unmistakeably literal accounts (Jesus speaks a word, an someone is healed), and in more poetic accounts (at the 2nd Coming, Jesus instantly defeats the armies at Megiddo with his tongue, the “sharp two-edged sword that proceeds from his mouth”).
“As to Adam and Eve, this is an existential account, stating the uniqueness of humanity in God’s world. Creationists always recoil at the idea of evolving from primoridal slime, yet this process is as grand and remote from our daily sensibilities as any other notion of creation.”
Are you saying that Adam & Eve never existed, or are just archetypes of some sort? Obviously, the way you are interpreting the book, they can’t be the first man & woman, created as soon as the world was complete, since this conflicts with your beliefs in evolution. By what principle of proper exegesis do you discount a historical account in the Bible (complete with genealogies, which only ever appear in historical sections), simply because it conflicts with some theory of modern science?
Ok. Recall that I said that the literal "evening and morning" of the first day is famously cited as impossible, since the sun was not yet created. But you are right that this was no barrier to the traditional literal interpretation. I cite Chapter I of History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom (1896) by Andrew Dickson White:
In the first of the biblical accounts light is created and the distinction between day and night thereby made on the first day, while the sun and moon are not created until the fourth day. ... the original text is a precious revelation to us of one of the most ancient of recorded beliefs the belief that light and darkness are entities independent of the heavenly bodies ...
Of this belief we find survivals among the early fathers, and especially in St. Ambrose. In his work on creation he tells us: "We must remember that the light of day is one thing and the light of the sun, moon, and stars another the sun by his rays appearing to add lustre to the daylight. For before sunrise the day dawns, but is not in full refulgence, for the sun adds still further to its splendour." This idea became one of the "treasures of sacred knowledge committed to the Church," and was faithfully received by the Middle Ages.
So, there we have the simple literal meaning, believed by Christians for centuries. Is your faith equal to this? Would you reject revealed truth on the strength of mere human notions of optics?
Darwin cited several possibilities that would be "fatal to his theory". Recall that he and his age were utterly ignorant of molecular biology, which we understand as the entire basis of genetics. It's very easy to imagine any number of ways that biological evolution could have been falsified with this new knowledge. If different groups of plants or animals had incompatible genetic coding, that would do it.
Of course, just the opposite occurred, with genetic sequencing providing a sort of microscope into the details of ancestral relationships, and so providing comprehensive and spectacular confirmation of evolutionary descent.
I cited "Let the earth bring forth grass" ... what about that? The next verse says, "and the earth brought forth grass" . This is really a nice point, I think. God is totally disconnected from any sort of activity here, other than the WILL that such a thing should happen.
“Darwin cited several possibilities that would be “fatal to his theory”. Recall that he and his age were utterly ignorant of molecular biology, which we understand as the entire basis of genetics.”
His theory actually never provides any explanation for heritability. What you’re talking about here is the modern synthesis, not Darwinian Natural selection. So let’s get that out of the way.
“If different groups of plants or animals had incompatible genetic coding, that would do it.”
That still doesn’t provide evidence that one is formed from the other. Elements are all common between organic and inorganic. Does it mean that if you take a rock you can get people out of it? Just because the rock has oxygen in it and you have oxygen in you doesn’t mean that you are descended from this rock.
Is it replicable. Can we take it into a lab and prove that evolution happened this way? No, it’s never been see. The assumption is that differentiation eventually leads to tramutation of a species, something that’s also not been observed either.
Also how does one define ‘compatible’. Plants don’t have a chromosomal structure to people.
Another understanding is that the revelation occurs over 7 days.
That still doesnt provide evidence that one is formed from the other. Elements are all common between organic and inorganic. Does it mean that if you take a rock you can get people out of it? Just because the rock has oxygen in it and you have oxygen in you doesnt mean that you are descended from this rock.
No, but if rocks DIDN'T have oxygen in them, then that would be fatal to the theory that we are descended from rocks. Capice?
Unfortunately Darwin makes no such assertion of ‘genetic coding’ in his theory. Remember, you’re defending Darwinian natural selection - not stuff that came later.
Everything that we know to actual be true comes from Mendel, and Mendel mentions nothing about evolution.
“Anyone that doesnt consider it science has never learned what it is. Willful ignorance of the world for fear that it will anger your God is not a virtue.”
This has nothing to do with angering God. Even if I did not believe in a Creator, logic and reason lead me to believe that evolution - at least on the macro level - is utterly false. And that there must be, indeed, an Intelligent Creator.
So, you being a believer in evolution, could you please tell me what were the evolutionary steps required in order for mankind (and every other species on earth that requires a male and female to procreate) to be where we are today? In other words, for mankind to continue to exist, you need sperm (actually sperms) and an egg. Without these two, mankind existence is limited to one generation. So somewhere between ‘something coming out of the ooze and billions of years later we have mankind” and where we are today, there has to be a number of conditions that “evolved”:
1. A matched set (male with sperm and female with egg)
2. Complementary sexual organs
3. A physical attraction between the man and the woman
4. A mechanism by which the man can inject sperm into the woman
5. A mechanism by which the sperm can find the egg
6. The ability for the baby to grow within the womb of the mother and be born before it becomes too large
I could go on and on and on, but...
So, evolution believer, how do you credibly explain this based on what you call evolutionary science? And please don’t obfuscate by telling me about some fruit fly somewhere. Just address the five points above in a logical, rational, orderly, scientific way. No changing the subject or pointing to the corner of the room and shouting “Over there!”
If you cannot do this, it is you who is ignoring true, hard scientific fact.
Sig - still waiting...
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