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Should Creationism be taught in schools?

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Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:54 pm
Cole says...



Teaching creationism as science is telling people what to believe. Studying what religions believe is completely different than actually teaching belief as a potential fact.
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Wed Feb 15, 2012 4:28 pm
misstoria says...



Isn't teaching evolution as science the same? It's telling people to believe in a theory, just as there are people who believe creationism is a theory, If you teach one theory they should teach another.
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Wed Feb 15, 2012 4:59 pm
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Cole says...



No. Evolution can be confirmed by scientific evidence, observations, and studies. Creationism--though there is evidence (non-empirical) supporting a Creator--cannot be proved.

But, first, let me get this straight. What do you mean by "Creationism"?
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Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:30 pm
misstoria says...



By creationism I mean the belief that the universe and living organisms originate from specific acts of divine creation, as in the biblical account, rather than by natural processes such as evolution. All proof for evolution can be disputed by the proof for creationism and the bible.
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Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:35 pm
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Cole says...



I posted this on another post about evolution:

As for me, I am a very, very strong Christian, yet I still believe in The Big Bang Theory (it's also a hilarious TV show, for those of you who don't know), as well as evolution.

None of you guys have to take to heart what I am saying, but I am directing this towards a Christian audience. Depending on how you look at the Bible, if you look at the original Hebrew texts, we see that the Bible actually makes room for a very long creation period as well as evolution. Theories of evolution as well as a long creation process do not disprove the original account of Genesis.

Let's look at interpretation. You can be Creationist or Evolutionist and still believe in the account of Genesis. The writers of the Old Testament used Hebrew poetic properties, which include a lot of figurative language (a primary characteristic in Hebrew writings). Many Evolutionists believe that Genesis should be taken figuratively and symbolically. However, there is still a way to take it literally and still be an Evolutionist.

I now many of you Christians are Creationists. However, evolution is a valid belief system, and Theistic Evolutionists are free to believe it if they choose. It doesn’t mean they disregard the Bible in any way.

***I’m going to use the terms "old earth" for those who believe earth was created over billions of years, and "young earth" for those who believe literally the Genesis account of the six day creation.

Let's look at the original Hebrew:

The Hebrew word for "day" is the word "Yom." Young earth creationists have always argued that the word used for the days of creation can only mean a 24-hour day.

One must understand that the Hebrew language is not nearly as diverse as our English language. Whereas our vocabulary is around half a million, the Hebrew language has only 8,700 words. The French language, one of the poorest modern languages in vocabulary and the language of choice for diplomats, has just about 40,000 words or over 4 times the amount of words that Ancient Hebrew has. Many of the Hebrew words could be considered duplicates with only slight differences. Thus, words which contain multiple meanings are common. Such is the case with the word Yom.

Let's start with the possible meanings of Yom;

Source: The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (1980, Moody Press)

"It can denote: 1. the period of light (as contrasted with the period of darkness), 2. the period of twenty-four hours, 3. a general vague "time," 4. a point of time, 5. a year (in the plural; I Sam 27:7; Ex 13:10, etc.)."

Source: Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible.

“from an unused root meaning to be hot; a day (as the warm hours), whether literal (from sunrise to sunset, or from one sunset to the next), or figuratively (a space of time defined by an associated term), [often used adv.]:--age, + always, + chronicles, continually (-ance), daily, ([birth-], each, to) day, (now a, two) days (agone), + elder, end, evening, (for)ever(lasting), ever(more), full, life, as long as (...live), even now, old, outlived, perpetually, presently, remaineth, required, season, since, space, then, (process of) time, as at other times, in trouble, weather (as) when, (a, the, within a) while (that), whole (age), (full) year (-ly), younger.”

As you can see, Hebrew dictionaries attest to the fact that the word Yom is used for anywhere from 12 hours up to a year, and even a vague "time period" of unspecified length.

Other uses for the word Yom:

Day is not the only translation for the word Yom in the Bible. Here are some other translations:

---Time---
Genesis 4:3
Deuteronomy 10:10
I Kings 11:42
Isaiah 30:8
In the case of Isaiah, Yom is equal to "forever." How long is forever? An infinite number of years... billions upon billions upon billons of years. If Yom can equal trillions of years, then why not billions of years in Genesis?

---Year---
Four times in the Old Testament Yom is translated "year."
I Kings 1:1
2 Chronicles 21:19
Amos 4:4
In each case here, Yom represents years, not days.

---Age---
Eight times in the Old Testament Yom is translated "age."
Genesis 18:11, 24:1, Genesis 21:2, Genesis 21:7, Genesis 47:28 refers to "the whole age of Jacob," therefore yom here refers to an entire lifetime.
Joshua 23:1 and 23:2
Zechariah 8:4

---Ago---
One time Yom is translated "ago."
1 Samuel 9:20

---Always---
Four times yom is translated as "always," in Deuteronomy 5:29, 6:24, 14:23, and in 2 Chronicles 18:7.

---Season---
Three times yom is translated "season."
Genesis 40:4
Joshua 24:7
2 Chronicles 15:3
In each case here yom represents a multi-month period.

---Chronicles---
When used in conjunction with the word dâbâr, yom is translated "chronicles" (27 times).

---Continually---
When used in conjunction with kôwl, yom is translated as "continually" (11 times). Once, in Psalm 139:16, it is translated continuance (without the kôwl).

---Ever---
Ever is used to represent a long period of time, such as in Deuteronomy 19:9. Nineteen times Yom is translated "ever." The Old Testament uses "for ever" instead of the word forever. In sixteen cases of use of the word ever, for is placed before it, indicating a infinite period of time. Thus, Yom, in 16 verses, represents eternity.

---Evermore---
In one instance, when yom is used in conjunction with kôwl, Yom is translated "evermore” in Deuteronomy 28:29.

As you can see, Yom is used in a wide variety of situations related to the concept of time. Yom is not just for days... it is for time in general. How it is translated depends on the context of its use with other words.

Yom can be used to represent a finite, long period of time, usually either millions or billions of years. To show support for this, consider the uses of Yom by Moses.
Moses, the author of the first five books of the Bible, and of Psalm 90, used Yom in many different ways.
Genesis 4:3, In this instance, Yom refers to a growing season, probably several months.
Genesis 43:9, Here, Moses uses Yom to represent eternity
Genesis 44:32, Again, Moses uses Yom to represent eternity
Deuteronomy 4:40, Here, Yom represents a physical lifetime
Deuteronomy 10:10, Here, Yom is a time period equal to forty days.
Deuteronomy 18:5, Again, Yom is translated as eternity
Deuteronomy 19:9, Here, Yom represents a lifetime.

As you can see, Moses used the word Yom to represent hours, days, the creative week, forty days, several months, a lifetime, and eternity.

(Spoiler) Theologically: (Know that the spoiler might be a little preachy. I do think I make some good points, but just be warned.)

Spoiler! :
If God's creation was billions of years old, how would He have written the creation account in Genesis? One thing is certain... God is good at telling us exactly what we need to know.

When God refers to a large number, He uses picture stories, such as Abraham's descendants being as numerous as the sand. Why does He do this? If God had said, "You will have millions of descendants," Abraham would have asked, "What is a million?"

When considering the creation, if we broke it down into days, that would be 5,000,500,000,000 days, or roughly 13.7 billion years. Do we need an account for each day of creation... of course not. God in His infinite wisdom, saw fit to tell us the creation story by breaking it down into creative segments, each of which was attributed to a specific creative act or acts. We need to give the early Hebrews of Genesis a break... they didn't have calculators like we do.

One must also consider that time with God has no meaning. To Him, 10 billion years is like a day. Thus, it is no problem for God to put billions of years into one of His days. Genesis 1:2 puts the witness of creation on the surface. But who is witnessing these events? It is God himself. During the first 5.99 days of creation, God is the only one present. Thus, human time does not matter... no humans were there to witness the passage of time. What matters is how God sees time. Thus, a billion year day is only a passing moment in God's eyes.

The creation account is written in such a manner for all people to understand it. The issue is not how long creation took... the issue is that God did it, and that's all that matters in the end.


With such a wide usage of the word Yom for many different time periods, it cannot be claimed that Yom in the Old Testament only represents a 24-hour period. During the creation account alone, Yom represents four different time periods.

Since humans did not witness creation, our own concept of a 24-hour day does not apply. The only thing that matters is God's concept of time. Thus, the only evidence we have to accurately assess the age of creation is the creation itself. Since the rocks and stars say we are billions of years old, that must be the truth. This fits perfectly with a literal interpretation of Genesis, and an inerrant Bible, and does not impact any other Biblical doctrines.

Now about Evolution!!!

Young earth creation science advocates have always argued that a belief in evolution is denial of the Genesis account of fiat (from nothing) creation. They believe that God said it, and poof!, there it was. For the purposes of this discussion, lets look at Day Three, Five, and Six of creation. First, here is the Day Three passage:

And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:11-12)


Notice that God did not say, "Let there be grass," and there was grass. God told the land to produce the vegetation. It was the land doing the producing, not God. God told the earth to bring forth grass, and in verse 12, "the earth brought forth grass..." In essence, God let the land "do its thing" on its own. Instead of fiat, out of nothing creation, the text for Genesis actually supports evolution better. The same is also true of Day Five:

And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.
And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:20-21)


In this passage where God creates ocean life, He tells the ocean to bring forth the creatures. He does not say, "Let there be whales;" or "let there be sharks." Verse 21 shows the result, that "God created great whales." Verse 20 gives the process God used to create..."Let the waters bring forth..." Again, this seems to support evolution better than fiat, out of nothing creation.

Now let's move on to Day Six:

And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.
And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. (Genesis 1:24-27)


Again, notice that God instructed the earth to bring forth the living creature. Verse 25 says that "God made," and verse 24 gives the method. God did not say, "Let there be cattle," or "Let there be tigers." He instructed the earth to bring them forth. This again is strong evidence for God's use of evolution.

Even the account of man's creation supports this. Genesis 2:7 says,
And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.


God made man from the dust of the ground... from previously existing material. Young earth creationists admit this, but the implications for evolutionary theory are staggering. It shows that it agrees with the previous creation of life on Days Three, Five, and Six, in that the earth brought forth the creatures.

The Scripture references for the creation of plants and animals seem to support evolutionary theory better than it does fiat creation. As you can plainly see, evolution is not contrary to the creation account, and Christians should feel free to believe in evolution.

CONCLUSION

You can be a Christian and still believe in Evolution, believe in a long Creation period, and still believe in a divinely inspired Word of God that is the Bible. Furthermore, just because God may have used evolution, does it make us any less valuable as human beings? Does it make us less loved by God? Obviously not. You do know about what Jeuss did for us, right? ; )
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~Hosea 6:3~
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Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:56 pm
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Snoink says...



My best friend, in studying to be a Wiccan priestess, had to learn how to attune herself to the spirituality of rocks and to understand the life force of herbs and plants and rocks and other things using meditation and magic (used for healing and stuff). This is what her religion is about.

By your very argument, it would be okay to teach, in a science course in a public school, how rocks and herbs and plants had a spirituality to them which could be read through meditation and magic, as this is specifically what her religion is about. They also have evidence too about the benefits of spiritual healing through crystal therapy and such.

No, crystal healing is not recognized by the scientific community as scientific, because they have evidence contrary to this. But, neither is creationism, for the same reason.

Anyway. If you would be okay with learning crystal healing in your public school, then at least you're consistent, and I admire you for that. Or, if you think that crystal healing can be taught as a science elective for those who are Wiccans, then good for you! Or, maybe you can learn that some people believe that crystal healing is possible in your science course and learn how people believe crystal healing can be accomplished. Whatever. If you think that all of this is reasonable, then you are very consistent and I applaud you. Good for you!

But, if this seems offensive to you, or, alternatively, if this sounds like madness, consider that maaaaaaaaybe you are missing the point of science. Namely, that science can never be truth. It is the study of how we think things are or how we think things came to be, and it is based on observations, evidence, and reason. We can be reasonably certain about it! And we can use it as the basis of our subsequent experiments. But fact it is not.

That is not to say that science can disprove God -- it can't prove nor disprove God. But, from what we can tell, science shows that evolution seems to be the way that God worked His miracles. And, if there is any evidence out there to prove otherwise, we'll go with that too.

EDIT: Also, I don't mean any disrespect for Wiccans. If it sounds like I do, then I apologize.
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Wed Feb 15, 2012 8:45 pm
hopeispeace says...



HaydenSmith says..
Depending on how you look at the Bible, if you look at the original Hebrew texts, we see that the Bible actually makes room for a very long creation period as well as evolution. . . You can be a Christian and still believe in Evolution, believe in a long Creation period, and still believe in a divinely inspired Word of God that is the Bible. Furthermore, just because God may have used evolution, does it make us any less valuable as human beings? Does it make us less loved by God? Obviously not. You do know about what Jeuss did for us, right? ; )


Well, you pretty much took what I was going to type here. Evolution itself doesn't dis-prove Christianity in any way at all. All that it does is answer "how" everything came to be, not by whom or why. And the bible doesn't say how old the Earth is, while it leaves time gaps often. Therefore, the Earth could be billions of years old, and created thousands or millions of years before man was created. The word "day" doesn't necessarily mean a 24- hour time period, as it has been interpreted in Genesis. Evolution in some ways could be possible.
However, I still disagree that it has been proven enough to be taught as factual. It is still theory, and theory should not be taught to students as what is inevitably truthful. I have no religious objection to evolution, but I don't think it should be taught in a science class, as it has not been proven. If there existed a class where scientific theories and progressing studies could be taught, this would be the place for evolution.
Furthermore, I don't think that creationism or any religious beliefs should be taught in schools as factual. As an elective or outside course? Sure. Maybe in that same theories class that I would put evolution in. Or a religion class, where other religions are taught.
I suppose I believe similarly to what others here believe, except I that I would exclude theoretic science to a theoretic class. We want to teach the distinct difference between theory and fact. Evolution is a theory that has not been %100 proven. Religions are theories that have not been %100 proven. Therefore, neither should be taught as pure fact in public schools.
~HopeisPeace




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Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:20 pm
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Snoink says...



But no science is ever 100% true. Heck, the law of gravity isn't 100%. Science is not truth. If you are taught as such, your science teachers are doing you a profound disservice. The cool thing about science is that you say, "You're full of it" and then the other scientists say, "Oh? Then prove it" you can totally prove them wrong, granted that you have enough reasonable evidence to do so.

Observe this educational video:



So, yeah. That means that TMBG got it wrong when they said that the truth is in science. But, they're totally right when they say that, "A scientific theory isn't just a hunch or guess--it's more like a question that's been put through a lot of tests."

A better way to explain this is actually on Wikipedia:

A scientific theory is a set of principles that explain and predict phenomena. Scientists create scientific theories with the scientific method, when they are originally proposed as hypotheses and tested for accuracy through observations and experiments. Once a hypothesis is verified, it becomes a theory.


Why is it commonly thought of as a fact? Well... according to the United States National Academy of Sciences:

The formal scientific definition of theory is quite different from the everyday meaning of the word. It refers to a comprehensive explanation of some aspect of nature that is supported by a vast body of evidence. Many scientific theories are so well established that no new evidence is likely to alter them substantially. For example, no new evidence will demonstrate that the Earth does not orbit around the sun (heliocentric theory), or that living things are not made of cells (cell theory), that matter is not composed of atoms, or that the surface of the Earth is not divided into solid plates that have moved over geological timescales (the theory of plate tectonics). One of the most useful properties of scientific theories is that they can be used to make predictions about natural events or phenomena that have not yet been observed.


So, if the hypothesis is correct a lot of times, this means that we say, "Okay, we'll use this idea and build on it." Which happens. It's awesome.

And, again, this isn't to say that God doesn't exist. But, this is just an explanation about what science is about.
Ubi caritas est vera, Deus ibi est.

"The mark of your ignorance is the depth of your belief in injustice and tragedy. What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls the butterfly." ~ Richard Bach

Moth and Myth <- My comic! :D