How to deal with anti Evolution in School


(Dark X Studios) #1

Hello, I am a 9th Grader at a Private school. This year, as most Freshmen do, we are doing Biology. Now, as a private school, and your typical Christian school, they are all anti- Evolution. We haven’t done much about that stuff yet. but we are just about to talk about Mutations, then after that, we will talk about Human Heredity I think, and then Evolution.
As a side note, the book is the Miller/Levine Biology Book.
Once we get into this stuff, me as an Evolutionary Creationist, will experience ridicule. I have already form my family and people at school.

My real question is : How should I handle the situation and what are the key point I should use if I must defend my view?
I need some advice on how to get through it. throughout the Year and probably for the remainder of the year we have had or will have many Young Earth Creationists come in to talk, So I may have to explain my view many times.


(Mervin Bitikofer) #2

I’m glad you are willing to drop in for support. As a teacher at just such a school myself I may have some good idea of the variety of challenges you are facing, but that certainly doesn’t mean I have the answers. I can tell you this, though – this is a pretty good place to learn to navigate these waters.

I’m impressed that your school is inviting ECs in to speak. [Edit – my bad – I misread your post and thought it was ECs, but I see you said 'YEC’s. Oh well, wishful thinking struck again!] Isn’t the Miller Levine book a regular evolutionary-biology text? --i.e. one you would not normally find in anti-evolutionary classrooms? You must have an interesting class.

That’s rough, though, that you are feeling pushed hard on this by both family and school. My small and only bit of advice to throw in early here is to just try to be patient with your classmates. Some of them may have the same kinds of questions you do, but may have not yet found the courage to put themselves as far forward into “the hot seat” as perhaps you have. Allow that they too are on a journey and pulled in many different directions by their own families. You are one piece of that cultural surrounding for them, and if you put Christ at the forefront (even ahead of these issues), that will be the treasure worth selling everything else for. That is a journey that all, young and old should feel invited to join.


(Christy Hemphill) #3

Hopefully you can prevail on your teacher to promote an atmosphere where people are treated respectfully no matter what their views. That is part of your teacher’s job.

It’s not really your responsibility to convince your classmates or guest speakers to change their mind. They probably won’t, even if you line up a massive offense of incontrovertible evidence. It would probably be a waste of your time to try to memorize all sorts of counter arguments to typical YEC claims. But it is a good and healthy thing for your classmates and teacher to be reminded that YEC is not the default “Christian” view and there is actually a whole spectrum of views that faithful, Bible-honoring Christians can hold. That would be what I would try to emphasize.

Here is a nice little talk about the whole concept of scientific consensus. You can be confident knowing that the vast, vast, majority of scientists who have studied this topic, including the Christian ones, agree with one another on the major stuff. The burden of proof is not on you to defend your view, the one that agrees with the scientific consensus, it is on those who want to throw out the scientific consensus in favor of something else.


(Dark X Studios) #4

Yes, Miller Levine book is an Evolutionary book too. Miller himself is an Evolutionary Creationist. Thanks for the advice. I try to make God and Jesus at the forefront of our discussions. I wish they would have ECs come in and talk, I think that would be great because many great Christians are ECs. I think it would show that being a Christian doesn’t require a YEC interpretation.


#5

Boy, do I feel for you! But I also clearly see that you are intelligent and will not back down without a fight. Since your school issued you the Miller/Levine book, you can use it to your advantage. Yes, Miller is a good Catholic Christian and a prominent Biology professor at Brown. And Joe Levine is Jewish. Here is Ken Miller’s Home Page. You might enjoy Miller’s other books, such as Finding Darwin’s God. You can also contact Ken Miller directly.

Also, you might want to join the National Center for Science Education. Although its main concern is with public schools, they might have ideas for you. And you will have a community of like-minded science-loving people.


(Phil) #6

I think one the big problems we face with this issue as well as other issues in life is how to be loving and respectful without compromising our belief. In your situation, I would tend to avoid direct confrontation, as you are not going to argue them to a different position, but would rather take an approach where you ask questions that you have in areas that conflict with your understanding. Questions like: How do you explain why the apparent age of the universe is different from what you presented? How do you reconcile that with the truth and the nature of God? How does your interpretation of Genesis apply to your life, and how do you live differently because of it? Is that meaning dependent on whether the interpretation is accurate or not?


(Jay Nelsestuen) #7

I’m a freshman at a very conservative Christian university that promotes and teaches young-earth creationism. I have found the theory of evolution to be a good explanation of the evidence and see no reason so far to doubt its validity. This has given me a few awkward looks and some very intellectually stimulating conversations in my time there. I have found it helps to simply stay calm. As an introverted person, that isn’t terribly difficult for me to do, but sometimes I can get worked up about ideas that are being challenged. Struggling to maintain an open mind is always a good struggle, and so far has been rather rewarding.

If your creationist friends present a sort of “gotcha” moment that you can’t answer, simply reply “I hadn’t thought of that; I will do some research and get back to you.” Not having all the answers is not a bad thing. If anything, it demonstrates intellectual humility and reasonableness. Further, strive to set an example as a well-rounded thinker and remain humble; that will go further than any argumentation you could offer. That was the case with my senior year apologetics teacher; he never sought to put me down when I tried to present arguments contrary to his own (he was an evolutionary creationist), and instead calmly explained why he thought he was right. You could tell that he had thoroughly and clearly thought these issues through.

Anyway. Those are my small pieces of advice.


(Dark X Studios) #8

Thank you I will use this advice :blush:


(Dark X Studios) #9

Thank you a lot. I didnt know Levine was Jewish. That may help some too. I appreciate it. :blush:


#10

Not only is Levine Jewish, but he is the one who writes the evolution material in the Miller/Levine textbooks!

btw, did you know that there is a March for Science on April 22 (Earth Day)?
Consider participating in it.


(Dark X Studios) #11

Ya I know. I didnt know Levine was a Jewish so him writing the evolution section is great.