We should discuss creationism in the classroom?!

That’s what Michael Reiss says. He’s a former teacher with PhD in evolutionary biology, now director of education at the Royal Society in the U.K.: “What Reiss believes is that when the issue of creationism or intelligent design is raised in the class room (and he expects it to be raised increasingly frequently) the teacher should discuss it as an alternative ‘worldview’ but show why it is not a scientific theory and why evolution is a scientific theory.”

More at the Nature Web site.

4 thoughts on “We should discuss creationism in the classroom?!

  1. Bill Baar

    Why do you believe in flow-time?

    If you get beyond that pre 20th century view, than creationism or intelligent design doesn’t seem so incompatible with science.

    Schools should teach physics first, than head into biology. That would resolve a lot of this musty fight from the 19th century.

  2. Jean

    Why not? If you don’t discuss things because they are stupid, or ill-informed, or wacky, or nefarious plots to overthrow all accumulated wisdom and replace them with dumb ideas — well, those things gather a kind of weight. They do. The folks who carry these ideas around feel slighted, feel sort of martyrish, feel as though they are a “minority” that is being discriminated agains. I’m not kidding. I’ve heard those words used. So, talk about these ideas. Air them out in the classroom, come prepared to be rational rather than combative, and lo and behold, everyone might learn something.

    I, for one, a lapsed but still cheerfully admitted Unitarian, have had some fascinating and eye-opening conversations with Southern Baptists about heaven and hell, the afterlife, how life got here in the first place, and what we’re doing on earth right now.

    And we all still like each other.

  3. Dan

    Bill @ 1 — You write: “Why do you believe in flow-time?”

    Huh? Where did I say that?! I’m not sure I even believe in causality, and time seems but a convenient fiction (actually, it’s very convenient for fiction writers, but I digress).

    Jean @ 2 — Yup. Plus, if we follow Reiss’s recommendation, kids would learn a whole lot about what a scientific theory is, and is not. Everyone wins.

  4. Bill Baar

    Evolution is a theory of creation as something that happens over time…. it is the flow of time… and was a theory concieved before modern physics gave us a better description of how our universe created (not why, but just how) and without much us of “time” at all.

    Study physics and the biblical creation stories don’t seem so odd. The “how” in those stories doesn’t seem so strange compared to the strangeness of modern physics, and we understand creation stories just the best approximation of the ancient mind to understanding a physics of creation even as our modern minds struggle with the modern physics of creation…

    …and then there’s our realization that the point of those stories was far less on the “how” of creation and a good deal more about the “why” of creation.

    You get that concept accross to kids in school and I think it would be a very good thing.

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