Creationism or Evolution in the Public Schools? Both

9 Mar

From www.mcgeepost.com .Copyright © 2013 Michael H. McGee. All rights reserved. Please feel free to share or re-post all or part non-commercially, hopefully with attribution.

These comments relate to some of my previous blogs. In Charles Darwin and Geological Time I asserted that the modern concept of evolution is a completely warped version of what Darwin had in mind. I made it clear that we have no reliable evidence to look into the geological deep past of the earth. Stories such as that the earth is 4.6 billion years old, or that dinosaurs ruled for 65 million years, are the products of the imagination of scientists who were willing to make up things in order to explain the origin of the earth; whereas Darwin stuck with facts in explaining the Origin of Species, and he got it right.

In Albert Einstein and Space-Time, I challenged the reality of many of the astronomical and cosmological “discoveries” of the twentieth century. I stated that mathematics has been used by scientists as a substitute for observed evidence. Using only the abstractions of math, these scientists have constructing a fabricated history of the universe began from a Big Bang singularity 13.77 billion years ago. We cannot know what is going on beyond our solar system with any certainty, let alone the certainty of Received Truth as given us by our cosmologists.

I find that these very entertaining so-called scientific facts are no more real than the myth of the Minotaur. Much less entertaining is the reality that all our students from the first grade through post-graduate degrees are being indoctrinated on a daily basis that these fabricated myths are in fact the reality of our planet and the universe.

One way to give more incentive to students is to stop teaching science as entertainment and myth, and substitute hard facts in the place of the current wasteland of vast delusions. Young people can tell when they’re being conned by the educational system, even as early as the primary grades. They will not find their passion for science easily in an educational system which seems to be pushing them toward things they at some level see as not making any sense; which will not make any difference in how people live, work, and make progress. Will the Big Bang help us make progress on clean-fuel automobiles? No, it will not.

For example, the debate on whether we should teach Creationism or Evolution, or both, in the public schools, has raged like a wildfire for a hundred years, confusing and turning off generations of otherwise eager students. Here’s a great compromise: teach neither.

There is absolutely no question that the account of creation in the Judeo-Christian Bible is entirely theological and cultural. It is not science, and was never intended to be science. Theology deserves great respect on its own terms. It has no place being taught in our public schools as a scientific explanation of our origins.

The authors of Genesis never set out to be paleontologists or cosmologists. Giving them status as scientists does nothing to forward either theological or scientific inquiry. Further, at least here in the US we are constitutionally prohibited from teaching theology in the public schools.

The problem is that the scientists who have magnified Charles Darwin’s evolutionary theories to great extremes are also basically promoting a theological concept. Scientists tend to treat Darwin’s books as inspired writing, and they make Darwin the prophet. One reason the current interpretations of his writings are theological is that we must rely solely on faith and belief in order to accept them, which is no different than the teachings of the Book of Genesis.

In its most extreme version, the theology of evolution states that there was a random big bang explosion fourteen and a half billion years ago, and the way we are today is the result of totally random mutations occurring over that fourteen and a half billion years, and we are absolutely nothing more than the sum of our randomly selected parts. There is no God, and materialism is the highest good. One must accept such an explanation of the world based on belief, as an act of faith. The high priests of science urge us to have faith in their belief about the world, and ceaselessly condemn those who have any other view of the world.

The US Constitution should also prevent the teaching of evolution as a basis for creation. It is not science. Evolution as now preached is a religion of materialistic self-determination, with just as much mystical teaching as any other religion. The denial of God is as entirely theological as the affirmation of God. There is no ontological difference in the two points of view.

One of the publications which blatantly promotes the theology of evolution and space-time is Scientific American. I really like the magazine and just renewed for another three years. Their reports on scientific progress are great. I read their more speculative forays to remind myself how very mystical science has become.

For example, in their most recent issue a respected astronomer says that computer simulations show that the Milky Way galaxy is expanding by gobbling up smaller nearby galaxies “If the [computer] simulations are right, then ancient halo stars and dwarf galaxy stars should [both] be made from the same stuff.” She compares the chemical composition of these two entities as shown on her instruments, and finds they are the same. This proves, she says, that the Milky Way is gobbling up smaller galaxies.

I say that this proves only (1) that the needles on the measuring instruments she uses are moving in a predictable manner based on the design of the instrument; or (2) that what she is seeing in her telescope is the dust cloud hovering over the Atacama Desert; or (3) that computer simulations have nothing to do with the actual behavior of galaxies. (I call the first category of explanation “intelligent design.” Yes, intelligent beings designed her measuring instruments.)

I want to make it clear that I’m not singling out this particular teacher-researcher. I’m sure there are at least a thousand other articles published which have made similar definitive findings based on unsupportable assumptions. None of these researchers show respect for the Scientific Method, which has brought so much progress to our world.

And from the third grade on up through the most advanced doctoral programs students are being taught this stuff that makes no sense to them. And most students have built-in bullshit detectors: the innate ability to know at least at a subconscious level when they’re being fed ideas lacking in substance or real value.

It’s great entertainment to teach students from the third grade on up about fierce velociraptors and the smiley-faced brontosaurus, and about the dramatic fury of black holes and the big bang, and that we are descended from artistically rendered cavemen. But it’s not science. It’s a mass delusion, and the really bright students can see right through it. Why should they want to pursue a career in the science of building an even higher mound of BS from the delusions of the past and present?

In science, as in other areas of life, we should seek to teach wisdom to those whom we have the high privilege of instructing. In his 1984 book From Knowledge to Wisdom, Nicholas Maxwell, University College London, defined wisdom as “The desire, the active endeavor, and the capacity to discover and achieve what is desirable and of value in life, both for oneself and for others.”

Mass delusions exaggerating what science can tell us about our world and our universe are not wise. And those who encourage the next generation to build on and perpetuate these mass delusions are not wise teachers and are not teaching wisdom. Where is the fundamental value and wisdom in learning the false myths of geological time and cosmological space-time?

What can we teach in place of Evolution and Creationism? Well, we can teach that different cultures have different creation stories. In the dominant cultures in the United States the creation story is the narrative found in Genesis, and this creation story has shaped our thinking about the world. It has made us bold and creative: the people of both the Old and the New Testament are the Chosen People. The creation stories from other cultures shape the thinking of these peoples in this way and that. Creation stories have value in telling us about the values and history of both ancient and modern civilizations.

We can teach that Charles Darwin changed science forever in 1859 by among other things refuting the then prevailing belief that all organic species were separately created in their present form at the relatively recent beginning of the earth. He also proved beyond doubt that mutability was a primary characteristic of living organisms, including human beings.

What he taught us in these areas has been subsequently confirmed by DNA science. What he taught us has been actively used by scientists to greatly benefit the planet by the cross-breeding cattle and other livestock, and hybridization of wheat, rice, and other crops, to have higher yields and more elastic climatic ranges. It has been invaluable in studying the mutations of disease-causing organisms. Each of these advances has great value to all of us.

Teachers, stop messing with the minds of your students in your science classrooms! Put away your funky dinosaur pictures and your charts of the universe, and use this time to teach basic and advanced science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

“We don’t need no education…. We don’t need no thought control…. No dark sarcasm in our classrooms…. Hey! Teachers! Leave those kids alone!” Pink Floyd.

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