Starting in 2013, all free schools in England will have to teach evolution as a “comprehensive and coherent scientific theory.” How should Christians respond to this situation?
Today, the BBC published an article reporting that, starting in 2013, all free schools in England will have to teach evolution as a “comprehensive and coherent scientific theory.” The director of the New Schools Network, Rachel Wolf, commented that in her opinion, free schools are already under obligation to teach evolution in science. At the same time she echoed the voice of humanist Andrew Copson and showed her approval of the government’s commitment to evolutionary teaching.
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So teaching creation in non-state schools that receive government funding is allowed if creation is only taught in the religion class. Biblical creation must be kept out of the science classroom, where evolution must be taught as the most evidenced and supported “theory” of origins.
How should Christians respond to this situation? We need to be aware of a number of issues to properly assess this development with a biblical worldview.
First, the article quotes Dr. Berry Billingsley of Reading University as saying that “evolution is a fantastic theory and explains so much about how humans come to be here.” Every Christian needs to be informed that evolution is not even a theory to begin with.
A theory requires an initial hypothesis that can be confirmed or denied through the application of observational science. Scientists are certainly able to collect facts about the evidence before them and study such things as mutations and DNA—and even notice similarities and differences—but they can never test unrepeatable events in the past. Even when scientists are able to observe natural selection, they are only observing what happens with genetic information that already exists.
Biblical creationists also observe and teach about natural selection, but that observation confirms our worldview.
Biblical creationists also observe and teach about natural selection, but that observation confirms our worldview, which leads us to expect to see variation within created kinds. There is no known observable process for increasing information in the genome to account for molecules-to-man evolution. Praise God that we have a historical record in Scripture, which clearly teaches that God made each creature “according to its kind,” and observational science is consistent with this.
Second, the article also reports how humanists are concerned that creationists will find ways to circumnavigate the law so they can teach “creationism” as science. Christians also have a wonderful response to these concerns. We are not trying to teach “creationism” as science. Our desire is to teach science as science and to define science properly. I have often heard my brother Ken ask people a question when he is confronted with a query about science. He asks them to define science, and then I hear him eloquently explain the key differences between operational science and historical (origins) science.
There is a significant difference between observable, testable, and repeatable science in the present—which is used to put men on the moon, build space shuttles, and find cures for diseases—and historical science—which makes assumptions about the unobservable, untestable, unrepeatable past, such as the origin of humanity or how long a fossil has been buried. Christians should understand that we all have the same observational science and that the most reliable account of the past comes from historical documents given by a Witness who was there. Christians have a reliable historical record from our self-existent, eternal God who has revealed the history of creation in His Word.
Third, when it comes to historical science, there is no difference between education and indoctrination. If a school chooses to accept government funding and communicate to children that evolution is real history and creation is a religious story, then that school is effectively agreeing to indoctrinate children with a secular religion of our day. At this point, it seems like the only schools that have freedom for Christian education in England are ones that do not rely on government funding and take a foundational stance on the authority of God’s Word.
Probably the most amazing statement in the article came from Dr. Berry Billingsley, who said, “The importance of studying evolution is indeed the first thing to be said but children also need opportunities somewhere in the timetable to explore the ‘Big Questions’, which our research shows they want to consider and it is often the science lesson that stirs up those questions.” This is pure honesty. At Answers in Genesis we have seen this response for many years, and it’s one of the reasons our message is so critical.
Because of the attack on the Word of God in our education systems (and many other areas), the next generation is asking crucial questions about the origins of life, age-dating methods, dinosaurs, and many other subjects—including the very meaning of human existence. They are essentially asking whether the Bible can be trusted. These are not just children in non-Christian homes but even those who are brought up in theologically conservative homes. These children go to school, where evolution is presented as fact, and then they go to church, where biblical history is sadly portrayed as mere “Bible stories.”
This next year, our theme at Answers in Genesis will be “Standing Our Ground and Rescuing Our Kids.” Few articles I’ve read have given me more reason to stand firmly in the battle of this theme. Here is a reason to boldly proclaim the truth of God’s Word to a Western world that has little time or respect for our Creator or His Word—or ultimately for the only true message of rescue in Jesus Christ. Still fewer articles have made me as determined to stand with our brothers and sisters in the UK office of AiG and support them with all possible effort to reach the people of Darwin’s homeland for Jesus Christ and His wonderful gospel.