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Old August 27 2012, 06:20 AM   #5
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: Bill Nye: “Creationism is not Appropriate for Children”

I think that a false comparison is being made in this thread, by equating believing in creationism with being a racist. A racist someone who causes harm to others, emotionally or physically. While there are some creationists who are nasty and hateful, the problem is that they are fanatical, which is something that can happen to people of ANY ideology. Creationism in and of itself is not a hateful ideology. Only when fanaticism is there, is there a problem because that is the source of cruelty, not an argument about science.

My grandparents, for instance, are creationists and are nice people who would never bully anyone, never bullied my mother and aunt into agreeing with them on the subject, and with whom I was able to have a wonderful conversation on the subject even though we never agreed on it. (Grandma: "If evolution were true, there would be [multiple species of the Homo genus] running around." Me: "But Grandma--there are Neanderthals EVERYWHERE!" We both had a great laugh over that.) They do not bully or abuse people on other religious ground either.

So I do have a problem with reaching into people's homes and telling them what they must teach their children on a thing like this. This is not like raising your kid to be a skinhead or some other sort of hateful ideology.

That said, I would raise my own children the same way I was raised: by encouraging them to read and learn about the world. In my own case my parents gave me full access to the Bible and full access to all sorts of (accurate) books on science and encouraged my curiosity in both. No mention was ever made of any sort of conflict between the two. I clearly recall being about 5 or 6 years old, noticing the "apparent issue," and sitting down and reading both the science books and the Bible together, and coming to the understanding of what is called theistic evolution. I did not go to my parents and ask them this question myself. Simply being provided all of that information with the full support of my parents was enough for me to discover the truth by myself.

I didn't learn that term for it until I got older, but it basically entails the view that all of our scientific observations are accurate--there is no bending of facts. The processes that we see and observe are real. However, science cannot answer the more "thematic" questions of our purpose, nor does science itself provide any guidance as to what is right and wrong. It can only provide us with the possibilities of what we can do, and the potential consequences of each choice we could make. Construing science to be any sort of moral guide or capable of offering any proof or disproof of God is to use it for something it is simply not capable of delivering on, just as it is an abuse to bend scientific facts to fit a literalist interpretation of theology.

In other words, I completely reject the idea of a conflict between science and religion. If I ever have kids, I intend to teach them the same way--by making sure they're free to satisfy their curiosity, and if they ask me about it, I will explain to them why there should not be any conflict and teach them that truth is to be respected where it is found...both in the Genesis account, which should be read as a theological text rather than some sort of literal scientific treatise, and in the scientific method that reveals the physical processes by which the Creation occurred.
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