Greetings! Brand new here, as I work through my own thoughts on the whole evolution/creation discussion.
In a nutshell (I’ll post longer on the introduction topic!) - I teach 7th grade (Life Science) and 9th grade Biology at a local coop. I’d say that 90% of the parents are strongly YEC. We are using BJU Biology and Life Science, which is far more YEC than I’d like, but it’s what we’ve got to use at this point.
I’ll be hitting Evolution/Creation/Intelligent Design in about 5 weeks. What I’d LIKE to do is present the “pros/cons” of each viewpoint in a very easy to understand manner. My big takeaway for my classes is that Christians can and do disagree on this topic, but that doesn’t mean their salvation is in question. I’ve taken some notes on Collins’ Language of God, but am looking for something more - comprehensive, mainly to aid my own understanding. Clear as mud?
Origins by Loren and Deborah Haarsma discusses the various positions, the scientific and theological challenges each have and is written in a very accessible way. There was a book club series of blog posts here on the book that you could take a look at to get a feel for the content.
If you want an overview of the evidence for evolution and an ancient earth from a Christian perspective, Darryl Falk’s Coming to Peace With Science is a helpful resource for non-scientists.
I have a website, scienceandfaith.org, that I think will help a lot. It is designed to help anyone find comprehensive information on all major Christian approaches to the big apparent conflicts of science and faith, without alienating anyone including parents. While as you said 90% of parents are strongly YEC, at least 60% of their youth will leave active faith in the high school thru college and beyond years, partially because they don’t see any compatibility with science and faith. Check it out!
Someone just posted this site. The resource I just finished looking at, Christian views of Creation in their bible section, might be useful in your goal to help students understand that Christians can and do disagree, and it’s not a salvation issue. Activity Maps – FASTly – Faith & Science Teaching
Out of an abundance of caution, I send an email containing the script to the parents in our co-op. I received exactly 3 responses, all of which were resounding “Thank yous”. The students for the most part listened respectfully, and I felt my goals were met - which were to broaden their horizons and let them know that there are other viewpoints than YEC.
Now, if Novarre would just publish a Biology textbook. Sigh.
Thanks again, everyone! This has been a great experience for me.
And just as further encouragement: as a bonus question on the chapter test, I asked the students to react to this prompt: “I learned some interesting/surprising things during our studies of origins in Biology class.”
Here’s a sample answer - there were others that expressed this same idea. Needless to say, I’m pretty pleased with the result!
I found it very interesting that someone who believes in Evolution can be a Christian. I’ve always thought of evolutionists as atheists who are out to get Christianity. This, however, is not true. Just because someone believes in evolution, does not mean they do not believe in God. Honestly a lot of the theories of Old-Earth Creationists and Evolutionary Creationists are very convincing. As long as you maintain a faithful submission to Christ, any of the beliefs are “good.”