Are there oppositions, or should there be opposition to teaching both Evolution and YEC in a classroom?


(Neil) #1

Thank you for allowing me to ask questions in this forum. :grinning: I understand this is a Evolution Creation website and forum and I am asking from a foundation of faith in YEC. I was reading a number of posts from this forum and was apprehensive in joining considering I stand on YEC principles. Since I was graciously directed to these forums instead of seeking information from Facebook, here is my question:

Are there oppositions, or should there be opposition to teaching both Evolution and YEC in a classroom? Would anyone here be opposed to teaching YEC in classrooms, or do most here think that the YEC position is intellectually bankrupt?


(Christy Hemphill) #2

Glad you found your way here. Neil. Welcome to the forum.


(Laura) #3

Welcome, Neil!
I think it depends on the class – is it philosophy or religion? If so, then creation beliefs would probably be quite apt. If science, though, I think science class should generally follow scientific consensus unless investigating something new.


(Phil) #4

I think you will find a variety of opinions here, as it is an open forum, and that is its nature, but I’ll give you mine.
I think it is fine to teach both in a religion class or theology class discussing origens and Genesis, and would actually encourage it, along with teaching ID. However, I would oppose teaching YEC or ID or EC in a science class, as it is not part of that discipline and not relevant to the materials. I suspect the last part of that sentence is a point that we might disagree.
I think many if not most EC folk who comment here have good friends who are YEC adherents, so you are welcome to the discussion.


(Neil) #5

Thank you for responding. There are scientists that hold to YEC view on the creation of what we know to be the universe. Would you object to a YEC scientific alternative, or is the evolution scientific view the only foundation which would be acceptable?


(James McKay) #6

Hi Neil,

Don’t be afraid of asking questions and joining in the conversation as a YEC. The important thing is to be gracious and honest in how you approach it. There are some YECs who come onto forums such as this one with all guns blazing only to demonstrate to everyone that they haven’t a clue what they are talking about. But there are others who are prepared to engage with the rest of us in a more informed and gracious manner, and if you can demonstrate a willingness to learn and keep a cool head, you’ll be more than welcomed. As a YEC, you’ll certainly find some of your presuppositions challenged, but remember – Christ is the foundation of our faith, and whatever you do, don’t lose sight of that.

Regarding teaching creationism in schools – I don’t think that creationism (of whatever flavour) should be excluded from the classroom just because it is creationism. Instead, I believe that the position of creationism in the classroom should be based solely on whether or not its claims meet the same standards of honesty, factual accuarcy, and quality control as everybody else. The one thing you don’t want to be encouraging, especially in science classes, is sloppiness or fudging of data – students will go out into the world and end up in situations where that kind of approach could kill people.

Unfortunately, when looking into YEC claims, especially as far as the age of the earth is concerned, I’ve found them to fall far, far short in that respect. The main problem is their approach to measurement: their claims are simply not mathematically precise enough to be meaningful.


(Christy Hemphill) #7

One problem I have is that every YEC scientist I can think of arrived at their YEC views because of a prior theological commitment to a certain interpretation or view of the Bible. I can’t name a single one who was not first committed to literal Genesis or who arrived at YEC science via the scientific method. YEC science tries to find data to fit a scenario that is pre-established as the only allowable scenario and explain away data that doesn’t fit. That isn’t how the scientific method works.


(Laura) #8

Hmmmm… an alternative to what though? To actual science? I would think that once we consider something a scientific “alternative,” we’re in the realm of philosophy, not science.


(Shawn T Murphy) #9

I think we need to be careful to teach children openly what we know and what are the current best theories, always making sure to indicate what is fact, good theory and speculation.

Currently the best theory of evolution (development from A to B) is what people refer to as Evolution theory. This should be taught as a theory.

There is no good theory of creation today. No consensus even on what caused the Big Bang and no solid theory for how we went from inert material to living organisms. We should teach that evolution does not describe creation and that there are competing theories for creation.

We should not teach YEC at all since there absolutely no evidence for it. What should be taught is the evolution of behavior or the soul. There are observations in behavior that are not explained by DNA or evolution. There is also no solid theory for the evolution of mating rituals of animals for example.


(Neil) #10

I think if we are honest, we can admit that cosmology as a whole cannot be explained with science. I believe that science is a way to observe things today, but once we make an observation of the history of the universe, we leave science and enter philosophy. I believe this because it is a fact that science requires the observable to make a statement that is logically true. Thus, why can we not all come to terms that each creation model could be the truth?

I of course believe by faith (a term that cannot be tested by science, since we cannot test science with science either) that God created all things for His glory and that the interpretation of scripture points to a young earth. Can some scientific tests show that this is a possibility? Yes, they have, therefore it should be open to the possibility that YEC is one possible fact.

I guess that is what I mean by opposition. Obviously, if either YEC, OEC, or EC, was not a possibility, those in these professions would be out of a job. That is why I think that all should be considered equally in a classroom setting, rather dogmatically say this one hypothesis is the truth.


(James McKay) #11

It’s not quite like that. Science works by coming up with hypotheses and models that make testable predictions. For instance, if the results of stratigraphy and radiometric dating can predict where to find oil, it’s passed a whole lot of tests – and economically pretty important ones at that.

Moder scientific cosmological models are pretty good at making testable predictions back to about 10-11 seconds after the Big Bang. It’s only once you get earlier than that, that things start to get murky, with questions such as why the Big Bang created more matter than antimatter, why the fundamental constants of the universe are so finely tuned, or whether or not string theory is right.

There are plenty of things that we don’t know (and probably never will). But the age of the universe isn’t one of them.


(Neil) #12

Thank you for responding. I can understand the thought that evolution is a theory. I too believe there are competing theories for creation…so do you believe it becomes philosophy and not naturalism? Can you explain why there is no evidence for YEC? So basically you believe we should teach our children that we simply just do not know?


(Phil) #13

To me, the answer to that question is: All creation models are not consistent with observed facts (truth) regardless of philosophy. As I firmly believe that all truth is God’s truth, we have to look at ways that honors all truth, and is consistent with what we observe.


(Shawn T Murphy) #14

I cannot see how scripture points to any age of the earth. Since there are so many carbon dated facts against it, why bother teaching an outdated belief? There is a logical understanding of the Bible that is consistent with the measured age of the earth.


(Shawn T Murphy) #15

Yes, for me creation requires wisdom, so Philosophy is the right tool, but not as used today. With logic, reason and wisdom the enlightened Greeks told a creation story that makes the most sense to me and best fits with observations. But this is nothing to teach children and should be studied after the student has gained wisdom, logic and reason.


(Neil) #16

So where do the presuppositions for hypotheses and models come from? I remember from a very young age I was trying to grasp the thought of how something can come out of nothing. Well, the scientific model needs “something to create something”, and this is what we know from our understanding of the first law of thermodynamics. When some also tells me about dating methods, they must do so with the presupposition that the dating methods are constant throughout history.

I agree. But probably not the same why you do. But is that ok though? I struggle with if it ok for scientists to tell me that such and such is fact, yet they do not have all the answers. Rather for me it is trust in God by faith that if He says something, where do I have the knowledge to challenge it? I am reminded of scripture…

1 Cor 1:19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. 20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.


#17

The dating methods are cross checked against other methods and the dates agree within the error bars. One simple one is to use C14 to date a tree ring and then simply count the rings to get to a date. Also there are multiple radiometric dating methods that use different elements with different decay rates and again the ages determined by these different methods match. These are all good indications that the decay rates are constant.


(Neil) #18

Are carbon dating “facts” based on presuppositions that can not be testable with a scientific method?


(Neil) #19

Where do we get wisdom, logic, and reason from?


(Phil) #20

I agree that they are there, but the same questions can be asked of theology also. Where do the presuppositions and models of YEC come from? From Morris? Ham? As I see it, they have placed a modernist interpretation on an ancient text that says little about what they propose.