Adamant about teaching "evolution as just a theory" [YOU RESPOND]
I know this is extremely lengthy, and I'll be surprised if I get a reply...but I'm taking a shot!
I am currently discussing with a Christian re: their reasons for homeschooling (using the curriculum, Apologia) their children and teaching them the theory of evolution. This individual obviously has the right to teach her children anything in this situation but I wondered why she was so adamant about teaching evolution as 'just a theory'.
Her response (which is quite lengthy):
"The basics of science are taught, in Apologia, from a perspective of ID. The only difference is how the big WHY question in science is answered differently. You should look at it or view online samples of lessons. Information is presented in with an immersion approach.
Modern science began with ID Christian men who assumed God created an orderly universe. If the universe was created randomly then if we take that ideology to the logical extent we should only expect it to follow that same pattern of randomnness, and we should not expect to have any order in nature. We don't see that, instead we see order evidenced by both aspects of science past and current. Kepler, Galileo, Newton, Bacon (and I could go on) used biblical truths as a foundation for their scientific innovations. Would you say their discoveries are psuedoscience?
Let's define both aspects of science: Operational and historical. A scientific operational theory is: an explanation of a set of facts based on a broad set of repeatable and testable observations that is generally accepted within a group of scientists. Operational science we agree on. The only exception is any event that occurs outside of natural law I would refer to as supernatural or a miracle. You would dismiss it as untruth. Right?
Historical/origin science is where we differ. Because evolutionary ideas are interpretations of past events, they are not as well-founded as testable scientific theories like Einstein’s Theory of Relativity or Newton’s Theory of Gravity. These theories offer predictable models and the ability to conduct experiments to determine their validity in different circumstances. Molecules-to-man evolution does not offer this opportunity because these events happened in the past. Therefore, evolution is not an operational theory. The past is not directly observable, testable, repeatable, or falsifiable; so interpretations of past events present greater challenges than interpretations involving operational science. Neither creation nor evolution is directly observable, testable, repeatable, or falsifiable. Each is based on certain philosophical assumptions about how the earth began. Naturalistic evolution assumes that there was no God, and biblical creation assumes that there was a God who created everything in the universe. Starting from two opposite presuppositions and looking at the same evidence, the explanations of the history of the universe are very different. The argument is not over the evidence...the evidence is the same...it is over the way the evidence should be interpreted. Wouldn't you agree?
Historical Theory: an explanation of past events based on the interpretation of evidence that is available in the present. This is where I believe that it can be evidenced that evolution isn't fact. In the naturalistic scientific community, evolution has become a theory that is assumed to be an established fact and not an explanation. Evolution is the prevailing paradigm, and most scientists have stopped questioning the underlying assumptions that the theory is based upon. Creationists develop theories, too, in light of biblical truth, but they are not as widely accepted by scientists. All interpretations (theories) of the past are based on assumptions and cannot be equated with facts that are observable in the present.
In the naturalistic scientific community, evolution has become a theory that is assumed to be an established fact and not an explanation. Evolution is the prevailing paradigm, and most scientists have stopped questioning the underlying assumptions that the theory is based upon. Creationists develop theories, too, in light of biblical truth, but they are not as widely accepted by scientists. All interpretations (theories) of the past are based on assumptions and cannot be equated with facts that are observable in the present. This holds true for both theories.
Evolution also relies heavily on the assumption of uniformitarianism— a belief that the present is the key to the past. According to uniformitarians, the processes in the universe have been occurring at a relatively constant rate. One of these processes is the rate of rock formation and erosion. If rocks form or erode at a certain rate in the present, uniformitarians believe that they must have always formed or eroded at nearly the same rate. This assumption is accepted even though there are no observations of the rate of erosion from the distant past and there is no way to empirically test the erosion rate of the past. However, the Bible, Epic of Gilgamesh, Native American folklore, etc. makes it very clear that some events of the past were radically different from those we commonly observe today. Noah’s Flood, for example, would have devastated the face of the earth and created a landscape of billions of dead things buried in layers of rock, which is exactly what we see. Would you consider yourself of the uniformitan belief system?"
And then she goes on to transitional fossils:
"Transitional fossils: Darwin fretted over the lack of them, paleontologists are still looking for them, but they are often touted as the foundation of evolutionary theory. Fossils do not come with tags telling us when and how the animal was buried, its lifestyle, and if or how it was related to another species. Scientists must make reasonable assumptions based on what they believe about the past and extrapolations from the data. Without an OBJECTIVE source of information, these assumptions are often tied to the SUBJECTIVE evolutionary worldview. Creation scientists, on the other hand, see the fossil record as evidence for both a global Flood and also the amazing diversity of the original created “kinds.”
Because there are a lack of transitional forms (and the ones found, including “walking whales” and fish, are contentious to say the least), evolutionists must resort to blurring the lines and claiming that since all species are in transition, we should not expect to find “missing links.” Consider this, the reason we do not find true transitional forms is because one created kind does not, cannot, and has never changed into another created kind."
Any advice on responding to her?
I'll send him this link: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/evolution-fact.html
I'm a tad busy today... Do you folks want to help? Any thoughts?
I'm sending him the link to this thread with his permission to post.