Darwin’s Push Back in the Classroom

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You probably assume evolution is heavily taught in public-school classrooms across the US, and that’s true in some cases. But studies show that in 60% of cases, teachers avoid the subject or skim over it as quickly as possible.

That is a grave concern to evolutionists who run the Teacher Institute for Evolutionary Science (TIES), located in Florida. Funded in part by the British atheist Richard Dawkins’ foundation, as well as the anti-creationist group the National Center for Science Education, TIES has already trained approximately 1,500 teachers in over 30 states.

TIES debuted in 2015 when a middle school teacher, Bertha Vasquez, discovered that many teachers avoid teaching evolution simply because they don’t know how or because they are afraid of religious students and parents who raise objections.

Evolutionists have tried to overcome this problem before, but with little success. This time Vasquez sought out sociologists to test how classrooms really operate and which approach is most likely to break through with religious students.

Their key discovery is that students from Christian backgrounds will readily embrace evolution if they’re told that evolution doesn’t challenge their faith.

Instead, they say that science deals with facts we can observe and analyze, while religion deals with different questions. They don’t compete—or so they claim.

Vasquez explains, “We recommend the teachers say, ‘Since this is a science class, we will not address religion here. We advise you to ask your parents and faith leaders about the religious question.’”

One problem. You can’t separate faith from science. When it comes to explaining the origin of life on earth, which no human ever observed, every claim is built on assumptions, and its correctness is only as good as those assumptions. Good science and good education will teach students “how to think,” including recognizing the role of assumptions, especially when it comes to historical science.

Christians need to be keenly aware of what’s now going on, understand what’s at stake, and be able to articulate a clear and coherent response.

All studies of origins are built upon assumptions about the past, and the one infallible source of truth about the past is God’s Word.

Answers Magazine

November–December 2018

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