By Arlie Martin
Senior Opinion Writer
Let me just begin by saying that I believe the Bible, I do my best to read it every day and I absolutely believe in the power of Scripture because it is God-inspired. With that being said, I will not make any claims that I am an expert about what Scripture says, and I do think that some places leave room for interpretation.
A debate that has been in the Christian community for as long as I can remember is over creation. I believe that God created the world and that man was made in God’s image. Because of my faith, I believe in the things unseen and unproven by fact.
However, science is science, and it deals with what can be seen, touched, tested and proven.
Science is an important part of our society, and I believe that it points to the creativity and love of God to provide a world that works so perfectly together.
Science education, though, should not deal with theories that cannot be based in irrefutable fact. Creationism is wonderful, and the intelligent design theory aligns with what I believe, but I cannot put forth a scrap of evidence outside of the Bible to prove my point. On the other hand, evolution is, in fact, taught as a theory in most textbooks, complete with definitions of what a scientific theory is and how it comes into being. As an educator, I believe that science education should teach modern scientific theory and not be convoluted with anything else.
Beginning in elementary school, teachers focus more on teaching students about what science is rather than just presenting facts such as the three types of rocks and the states of matter.
The goal is for students to know the steps of the scientific method, be able to use observations skills and know how to ask the “why” questions. The facts are how we show them examples of this type of thinking.
Middle and high school is when students are exposed to the questionable material. It’s when parents become afraid that their child is going to hear the word “evolution” and that it will undermine our Biblical beliefs. I think that shows a huge lack of faith in their parenting and in their children. How can someone own what he or she believes when they don’t know the counterarguments?
School is a place where students explore and learn things they probably wouldn’t at home.
That’s why we teach science at school and why I think creation should be taught at home. Tell your kids, when you have them, all about what God has done and teach them the truth. Look at your children’s science homework with them and discuss it with them. Creating an open dialogue is one of the best ways to help children grow in the abstract understanding and grasp of faith.
Further, school is a place where people of all beliefs come together to learn. In our wonderful country that is based on freedom, public schools shouldn’t push one belief over another.
However, if schools were to teach creationism, then I believe that it should touch base with all the major world religions. Facts should be presented that could be seen as supporting the creation stories of all major world religions, not just the Judeo-Christian view. Then the creationism being taught would not discriminate against any student.
School, at its core, is a place for students to come and feel safe enough to learn. In our society, we have had to ere on the side of caution, causing people to be asked not to overtly talk about their beliefs. However, it has created a place where teachers can facilitate learning in an environment that builds up all students and ignites discussion. Students are presented with opportunities to delve into their own faiths, making it more real and meaningful.
As Christians, we should spend our time preparing our children to have intelligent conversations about these difficult topics so that they are prepared in each and every moment to share the gospel with the people around them.