Sunday, July 18, 2010



Both-Sides-e
For once I get to combine Science Sunday with my traditional "hot topics" Sunday. It all started during our traditional “one last question before saying Good Night” time.
  • Anna: Mama, how did animals come to Earth?
  • Me (looking at the animal atlas book next to her bed): Do you mean how did they come to different parts of Earth?
  • Anna: No, how did they first come to Earth?
  • Me: It’s a very good question, but the answer is rather long. You see, people have different opinions about it. Some people who study animals think that all of them and even humans started very-very-very long time ago as seeds of life called single cells and very-very-very slowly changed into what we see today. This is called evolution. Now, some other people who believe that everything written in the big book called The Bible is true, say that God created all animals and even humans in just six days. What do you think?
  • Anna (sleepily): I am too tired to think about it now. I’ll think about it tomorrow (totally channeling Scarlett O’Hara here).
This discussion made me think again about what I want my child to believe and how I want to raise her. I am an evolutionist, and while I believe in the message of the Bible, I don’t believe in it as “God’s Word”. I don’t see myself “coming to Jesus”, because over the last two thousand years untold atrocities were committed by people who supposedly came to Jesus. My God is a tolerant God, a God with a sense of humor, a God who has an inbox like this (read and unread items crack me up).
god_inbox_mac Returning to science and hot topics, I do believe in teaching both sides of hot issues. I would like to see religion classes in public schools, but as part of social studies curriculum, not part of science curriculum. I also believe that teaching both sides should start early. I heard many Christian friends of mine saying, “Oh, of course, we will tell our children about evolution, but only when they really absorbed the lessons of the Bible”. I would rather my daughter to know both sides and guide her to what I want her to choose. I want her to find her own God, but to be a critical thinker that can distinguish between faith and science, between miracle of God and human interpretations of God. And I also hope that she can merge both in her own way on her way to maturity.
For less controversial science topics, visit Science Sunday at Adventures of Mommydom.

16 comments:

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Pathfinder Mom said...

What a fabulous, thoughtful post. I like your perspective.

That inbox is the funniest thing that I've seen in some time. The read/unread and the creativity of the names and their posts is hilarious. Good stuff.

I'm curious what the "both sides" is to the Earth Shape is? Is there still a coalition that insists it's flat?

Raising a Happy Child said...

@Pathfinder - see here http://theflatearthsociety.org/cms/. I was personally more intrigued with "the other side" of Holocaust. I suppose Iranian president has that other "faith-based" view - that it has never happened despite all the evidence.

Pathfinder Mom said...

As a follow up, even the desktop in that picture is hilarious.

Joyful Learner said...

I was fortunate to go to summer camps sponsored through the church where they had the young adults discuss and debate hot topics like creationism, evolution, abortion, etc. What it taught me were critical thinking skills and to look deeper beneath the surface. Many people get creationism and evolution wrong. Because evolution is taught in schools and creation is not, I find very few people who have actually read the Bible. After many years of doubting and questioning, I've begun to learn what faith is. And I love when kids ask the very important questions of life! Sometimes adults stop thinking about these things but for a child, it's an universal need to know where and how things came to be. In our family, I teach from the Bible and daddy teaches evolution. Even though I majored in Biology in high school, I have a hard time teaching evolution as anything but theory. Theories change over time...like scientists believed the embryo was inside of the sperm at one time until another scientist disproved it.

Joyful Learner said...

Oh, I don't think I can teach the holocaust as something people just made up even if people don't want to believe it happened. There are too many evils that mankind has caused and justified it on all kinds of levels. Sadly, it will continue on through human history.

Debbie said...

I agree with a lot of what Joyful Learner has to say. I want Selena to know that the world is full of different beliefs, I want her to understand that Great Scientists have studied for years to prove thier theories. As for history, I could never teach that the holocaust did not happen, I know some like to believe it didn't but it think that is to numb their own guilt that man could truly be that way. I loved your comment: "what I want her to choose" I feel rather we are a Christian or Evolutionist, we all want this desire for our children. A good balance of both sides though is a great way of opening our children up to being a critical thinker or learning to think for themselves.

Kim said...

I believe in evolution, and my husband is mostly a creationist. Leads to some very interesting conversations in our house... But like you, we'd like to raise Crumpet with an understanding of both concepts, and let him grow up to form his own beliefs. Sometimes it's hard not to nudge him one way or the other though!Love the inbox!!

Waterdreamer said...

This is a topic I struggle with. I'm not sure how I will go about it...

Ticia said...

Huh, oops I typed a big long response, and apparently closed the window before hitting comment. And now I'm feeling lazy.
I forgot the first time through to say the comic is hilarious!

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Wow! You put a lot into this hot topic. Maybe too much to respond to in one comment. But, the first thing that hit me, was I think your first comment to Anna is a little off. Yes, there are different opinions about the origin of the world, but just because one theory agrees with the Bible, does not mean there are not "real" scientists who agree with it. So, I think instead of saying "some people who study animals believe...and some people who believe the Bible think...", I would say people who study animals, have different theories - and then give them. But, I do agree that it's good to share those theories, and the reasons why, or why not you think they are valid, at an early age. I would love to talk more with you about the whole people-who-profess-Jesus-have-done-terrible-things thing, but perhaps another time :) Good hot topic, though!

Ticia said...

Oh yeah, someone typed out what I did in my first comment (Almost Unschooling Mom), except without all the rambling.

Christy said...

Fantastic post. Very thought provoking.

Tyler studied some things from the Bible in Social Studies in a public school.

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Mom and Kiddo said...

I get a little disheartened when I hear for parents pushing for creationism to be taught in the science classroom setting. My personal views aside, Science and Evolution are the empirical study of Natural Phenomena while Religion is based on the Supernatural (I am not using that term is a derogatory fashion, btw). Maybe I'm biased because I know a lot of scientists, but it is pretty clear to be that evolution is more than just a theory.
Learning about religions, however, is also extremely valuable. Even if one doesn't practice a certain religion, our culture is filled with reference and metaphors that find their origins in Judeo-Christian traditions.

Rebecca said...

Thank you for this post. I have been tip-toeing around this issue for far too long. It is refreshing to read another secular homeschool blogger that is willing to speak her mind on this sensitive topic.

On one hand, I don't want to be divisive, and I tend to want to "play nice". On the other hand, I'm tired of holding back on what I believe to be true in the interest of being polite.

The other side certainly doesn't hold back. If we hold back, our voice is going to get drowned out altogether. I also see by the other comments here that people are able to have civilized discussion even if they don't see eye to eye.

Thank you again. I look forward to following a fellow secular homeschooler.