This post is not going to be quite what you think. We’re going to be debunking and demolishing a meme I found shared into a facebook group I lurk in. Right off the bat, I will be honest, I hate memes. I feel they dumb down the conversation and often miss significant amounts of context and nuance. However, the culture loves using them so we will take a look at this one and explain why it is complete, utter, rubbish.
Obviously the originator of the meme (no clue who that is by the way, so I can’t credit them), has an ax to grind. Let’s break down the errors he makes.
First error is assuming there is an equivalency between private religious institutions like churches and mosques, and publicly funded ones like public schools. There is a major, constitutional difference in this country. The way the Supreme Court has ruled, religion may not be compelled by the government. What this means in practice is that all instruction must be religiously neutral. Of course, this gets violated all the time, mostly by introducing Hindu meditation, Islamic prayers, or pagan spirituality. Atheists never seem to care much about these, and in fact, celebrated when a Christian student lost her suit to avoid being forced to write out the Islamic conversion prayer in a public school in Maryland. However, by definition, no instruction is religiously neutral. Atheism is a religion. Any commentary on origins will, by definition, go into religious territory.
The reason for this comes from a very important, but often ignored distinctive between two types of sciences. Empirical science is what we can do at a lab bench. It is things we can observe, test, repeat, and falsify. Empirical science gives us things like cell phones, computers, microwaves, and other wonderful amenities of modern life. However, it does not address the past. Often the word “science” is used as a catch all to cover both empirical and historical science. The problem is, historical science is a completely different ball game. You cannot do experiments in historical science. Instead you move from science by testing, to science by inference. Now there is nothing wrong with inferences, but they are heavily dependent on the worldview of the scientist making them. That is why creationists and evolutionists can look at the same fossils, the same genetic sequences, and the same stars, and come to vastly different conclusions. The issue is not the science, it is the worldview.
That out of the way, I actually think church young people SHOULD be taught evolution. I just think they should be taught it warts and all. In other words, students should be exposed to evolution, then be exposed to the legion of problems with evolutionary dogma. However, I don’t think I would ask the meme’s creator to come explain evolution.
That said, most creationists I know have basically no interest in having creation taught in public schools. There are a couple of reasons for this. The first is that the vast majority of public school teachers are atheistic evolutionists and thus, were they required to teach creation, they would simply mock it. (Side note: parents, why are you letting your kids be educated by atheists?). The second reason creationists are not fighting to teach creation in public schools is that it is a poor allocation of resources. Schools will not voluntarily introduce it, meaning lawsuits will be required. Lawyers are not just proverbially dishonest, they are expensive. Creation groups do not have the billions of the federal government at their back. Further, the courts almost always rule against such suits, even when backed by the intellectual prowess of such luminaries as Michael Behe. So rather than waste time and money, most creationists prefer to look elsewhere.
My personal opinion, in a perfect world, would be to teach both sides, something the late Philip Johnson called “teaching the controversy”. However, in a perfect world, no one would be teaching evolution at all so, obviously, I’m not getting that. In the current fallen world we live in, I do not expect the public school system to incorporate any creationism in the near future, and frankly, I’m fine with that. Most evolutionists couldn’t tell me even basic aspects of creation anyway so even if they wanted to represent creationists fairly (they don’t), they couldn’t.
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