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#1 mamashark

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 08:40 AM

We believe in young earth creation on a religious level but I also realize that if my daughter wants to go into science, she needs to know and understand evolution. She's already into middle school level texts, should I be focusing on secular curriculum now? when will that begin to be important? 



#2 8FillTheHeart

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 09:02 AM

It is far more than evolution. Physics and the speed of light; birth and death of stars; planetary "birth"; chemistry and atomic decay....it is going to cut across fields.

(We are devout Christians. YE is an entirely different issue, though. I am not sure how you begin to deal with a YE view at an advanced level of science. I think you might need to turn to someplace like Answers to Genesis.)

Edited by 8FillTheHeart, 22 March 2017 - 09:04 AM.

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#3 mamashark

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 09:05 AM

It is far more than evolution. Physics and the speed of light; birth and death of stars; planetary "birth"; chemistry and atomic decay....it is going to cut across fields.

We are devout Christians. YE is an entirely different issue, though.


Ok so I need to focus on secular curriculum now, keeping religion and science separate.


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#4 dmmetler

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 09:30 AM

In general, yes, secular texts will be a better fit, particularly for biology, physics (although less at the K-12 level) and Earth/Space science, for a child who potentially will go into science. One of my friends teaches bio at a religious college where the bio department mostly turns out people who plan to be medical missionaries of one form or another, and what she says is that, basically, they understand the students' religious beliefs, but even at a religious school, they have to teach biology as it is currently known to work, not how it was known to work several thousand years ago. There is just too much that has to be left out to do otherwise. Students who come in just with a YEC background have a tough row to hoe in their programs (and it can be an obstacle for those who choose to go into graduate school rather than into medicine. YEC viewpoints, or the perception of same, are not generally an obstacle in medical fields, but they are for those who want to go to graduate school in science in general, particularly for biologists, physicists, and folks in Earth/Space fields).
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#5 Mike in SA

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 11:56 AM

I would always separate the two topics. Faith-based discussions and empirically-based discussions are inherently different.

This may be a personal opinion, but some differences don't need to be reconciled. If your child can learn to operate in multiple mindsets, he/she will be far the better for it. There's no imperative in science to disavow your faith, but there is an imperative in the scientific process not to make leaps of faith. What is unknown to empirical observation remains unknown. Faith is free to stand strong on its own.
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#6 8FillTheHeart

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 12:46 PM

I would always separate the two topics. Faith-based discussions and empirically-based discussions are inherently different.

This may be a personal opinion, but some differences don't need to be reconciled. If your child can learn to operate in multiple mindsets, he/she will be far the better for it. There's no imperative in science to disavow your faith, but there is an imperative in the scientific process not to make leaps of faith. What is unknown to empirical observation remains unknown. Faith is free to stand strong on its own.


I agree. Faith and reason have a reciprocal relationship.
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#7 Mike in SA

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 12:51 PM

Hoping I didn't derail the topic - my point was, "yes, use secular content for science." It will be essential to success in any higher scientific endeavor. No need to fear it for any reason.
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#8 mamashark

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 12:55 PM

Hoping I didn't derail the topic - my point was, "yes, use secular content for science." It will be essential to success in any higher scientific endeavor. No need to fear it for any reason.


No no you didn't derail the topic! I appreciated your thoughts as I think through this. Coming from a very conservative background has me working from a slight disadvantage when it comes to science.


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#9 8Arrows4theLord

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 05:56 PM

I think they need to know the secular points of science as older students, but be sure to fully explain your family's views of the topic. For example- the young earth. If she is going to go into science, she will need to know the other point of view.  There is a lot of secular material on the AP tests that needs to be learned to pass the test, not learned as true facts. Most importantly, she will need to know why she believes (back it up with facts and Bible truths) and how to defend her views if needed.


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#10 winterbaby

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 07:43 PM

I would always separate the two topics. Faith-based discussions and empirically-based discussions are inherently different.
 

Yes. Another thing in that connection that struck me when I was looking at religious curricula is that aside from specific content issues, they seem to model constantly dropping the name of God here and there throughout the discussion, and a dc could be in for real embarrassment if they went into college - even at most religious institutions - thinking that's the thing to do when discussing science, history, etc.


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#11 Tanaqui

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 07:58 PM

I absolutely admire your intellectual honesty here! I know a lot of atheists who go "I don't want my kids to know anything about religion" (well, they use a different word...) and I think "We have to live with these people. We need to understand them." And your kid has to live in a world where most people aren't going to share your views. It's good for her to understand the logic and reasoning behind the theory of evolution*, even if she doesn't believe it.

 

With that said, you are definitely going to want to go with secular curriculum. Religious curriculum, I'm told from people who grew up with it, does not fairly represent the mainstream point of view. It's also likely to use fallacious arguments like "a theory is a guess". (In science, a theory is about as close as you can get to a fact without using that exact word.)

 

* And anything else that ends up conflicting with your religious beliefs, or the underpinnings thereof. I don't want to belabor the point here.


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#12 Mike in SA

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 06:56 AM

(In science, a theory is about as close as you can get to a fact without using that exact word.)

 

 

 

/pedanticism

 

Well, not quite - that's a "law."  A theory is entirely unproven, though it may be well supported.

 

And, "model" is under-appreciated - such as how Newton's laws are very good models of macroscopic interactions between forces.  Those same laws break down at the extremes.

 

pedanticism/

 

 

But, I agree with your point.  :001_cool:
 


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#13 kiwik

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 05:26 AM

/pedanticism

 

Well, not quite - that's a "law."  A theory is entirely unproven, though it may be well supported.

 

And, "model" is under-appreciated - such as how Newton's laws are very good models of macroscopic interactions between forces.  Those same laws break down at the extremes.

 

pedanticism/

 

 

But, I agree with your point.  :001_cool:
 

yes but a lot of people put "The theory of ..." in the same basket as "I have a theory about what John is doing during those long lunches (without having done any research or having any supporting evidence) ... A scientific theory has a lot of evidence to back it up it just can't be conclusively proven at this point - or not safely or ethically.


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#14 mamashark

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 07:30 AM

yes but a lot of people put "The theory of ..." in the same basket as "I have a theory about what John is doing during those long lunches (without having done any research or having any supporting evidence) ... A scientific theory has a lot of evidence to back it up it just can't be conclusively proven at this point - or not safely or ethically.

 

I agree with this - and know personally I was never explicitly taught the difference between a scientific theory and an unsupported theory in normal life. I think part of it was that I was taught that evolution was not true, and heard it referred to as a "theory" and thus understood scientific theory to be something that was considered logical and then disproven once put to the test. It was not until I was an adult that I learned otherwise about the definition of a scientific theory. I realize that with a thoroughly science smitten child, who just spent her birthday money on science books, that the same learning experience for her will do her a disservice. 


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#15 Tanaqui

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 11:05 AM

yes but a lot of people put "The theory of ..." in the same basket as "I have a theory about what John is doing during those long lunches (without having done any research or having any supporting evidence) ... A scientific theory has a lot of evidence to back it up it just can't be conclusively proven at this point - or not safely or ethically.

 

Not exactly. A scientific theory is "a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on a body of facts that have been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment."

 

It's not about how conclusive the proof is or isn't, or why we can or can't prove it - a theory is an explanation that ties together all the facts. "I have a theory, it might be bunnies" is a guess. (Tangent: Anthony Stewart Head sure can sing!)

 

So we have the germ theory of disease, which is that contagious disease is caused by microorganisms. And it is! We now have a substantial body of evidence proving that. But it's still a theory.


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#16 Mike in SA

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 12:32 PM

People confuse hypothesis with theory - a theory is not considered credible without strong support. A hypothesis may be untested.

Likewise, fact, proof and support are confused. Scientific theory is rarely proven in the way that mathematical theory is. But, a prediction may be proven in the sense that it is supported experientially. That does not make a theory fact. With a preponderance of support, it may well become law, though. Again, Newton's laws are great models, but not entirely correct. String theory is currently untestable by normal means. Evolution is still called theory, but may more accurately be considered law. None of these things are facts. Clear as mud!

By the way, I'm actually agreeing with prior comments. I just find it an entertaining topic...

#17 SeaConquest

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 03:25 PM

I agree with this - and know personally I was never explicitly taught the difference between a scientific theory and an unsupported theory in normal life. I think part of it was that I was taught that evolution was not true, and heard it referred to as a "theory" and thus understood scientific theory to be something that was considered logical and then disproven once put to the test. It was not until I was an adult that I learned otherwise about the definition of a scientific theory. I realize that with a thoroughly science smitten child, who just spent her birthday money on science books, that the same learning experience for her will do her a disservice.


I hope I don't sound condescending, but I really commend you for understanding the limitations of your own scientific background, and for striving to do better for your dd.
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#18 mamashark

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 04:54 PM

I hope I don't sound condescending, but I really commend you for understanding the limitations of your own scientific background, and for striving to do better for your dd.

thanks, I appreciate your comment, not condescending at all!


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#19 Have kids -- will travel

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 06:38 PM

I would always separate the two topics. Faith-based discussions and empirically-based discussions are inherently different.

This may be a personal opinion, but some differences don't need to be reconciled. If your child can learn to operate in multiple mindsets, he/she will be far the better for it. There's no imperative in science to disavow your faith, but there is an imperative in the scientific process not to make leaps of faith. What is unknown to empirical observation remains unknown. Faith is free to stand strong on its own.

 

This is great advice.

 

OP, I wanted to encourage you and tell you about a very conservative Christian I know who now has a PhD. in chemistry. He ascribes to a Young Earth worldview but indeed learned to operate in with multiple mindsets, as Mike indicated.

 

Faith can be very separate from science and you're doing your child a great service by teaching her secular science and allowing her to draw her own conclusions on faith. She'll be much stronger going into college, whether that it is in science or not.


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#20 strawberryjam

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 02:44 AM

I don't think it was mentioned yet, but the Biologos Foundation is an excellent resource for the discussion on science and Christianity. It was founded by Francis Collins, the director of the NIH and the Human Genome Project, who is also a Christian.


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#21 calbear

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 02:53 AM

Reasons to Believe. http://www.reasons.org/

 

I attended one of their events. Really great conference.

 

RTB's mission is to spread the Christian Gospel by demonstrating that sound reason and scientific research—including the very latest discoveries—consistently support, rather than erode, confidence in the truth of the Bible and faith in the personal, transcendent God revealed in both Scripture and nature.


Edited by calbear, 26 April 2017 - 02:54 AM.

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#22 kristamaranatha

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 03:01 PM

Hello! I hope I am not too late to jump in here. I would like to encourage you by saying that science and faith are not mutually exclusive. It is not like we check our brains out at the door when we go to church.

 

I do like Reasons to Believe, as well as Answer in Genesis and the Institute of Creation Research  (although these vary a bit on their position on the age of the universe, with AIG being a top-notch Youth Earth resource). Also, Ravi Zacharias International Ministries has some great resources for young people. I think that a study in apologetics is beneficial to every student, because it applies everything else that has been learned about logic to the topics of faith. (I am currently working on my MDiv in Apologetics, so I admit I am a bit biased about its importance.).

 

With all that being said, I don't think that you necessarily have to go secular to advance in science. I would like to encourage you to read up on the subject of faith and reason. Perhaps a bit advanced for a high schooler, but great for us parents, one of the first books I was assigned to read on this topic was Reason Within the Bounds of Religion by Nicholas Wolterstorff. William Lane Craig's On Guard was written specifically with young people in mind, as was RZIM's ASK curriculum.

 

If you do choose to go with a secular curriculum, I would like to encourage you to study a Christian textbook alongside it, and use apologetics to sift the valid from the fallacious.


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#23 calbear

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 05:55 PM

Tagging along to add that you can find curriculum recommendations at reasons.org that are Christian and secular and why they recommend these resources. 


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#24 kbutton

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 08:10 PM

I wanted to add that there are people who receive a completely secular science education throughout elementary, high school, college, and grad school and end up YE creationists. I knew a professor or two who were in that boat, and they taught in pretty diverse fields of science, including physics. 

 

I do think that you need to talk about the various views explicitly so that your child feels prepared.  

 

http://blog.drwile.com/?page_id=4

You might find this blog interesting. 


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#25 tj_610

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Posted 30 April 2017 - 07:59 AM

mamashark, I have a little bit of a different view than some posts here. Long reply, so I private-messaged you instead of posting here.
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#26 SeaConquest

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 11:11 PM

mamashark, I have a little bit of a different view than some posts here. Long reply, so I private-messaged you instead of posting here.


I would love to hear your view, if you would feel comfortable sharing it.
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#27 mamashark

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 06:23 AM

So here is another question in a similar theme, since we are still sort of discussing the topic - in Sunday School we recently watched a video from a Christian scientist who was expounding on why geology proves the earth is in fact young. 

 

Now the discussion centered around how we need to defend our faith and not back down and so on, and it was not an appropriate setting for these specific comments, so I held my tongue. Now, I firmly believe the Bible, and personally hold a young earth creation viewpoint and do not feel at all defensive about it. I've spent a great deal of time defending my faith in a small christian college that disagreed on several key points of theology so I'm good with the apologetics and have learned not to feel threatened by christians who disagree with me. I'm firm and confident in my faith. (except for the sticky point of predestination vs. an age of accountability, but that's not the point here, lol)

 

Anyway, I couldn't help but be annoyed with the video because the examples the scientist chose to expound upon seemed cherry picked. Like he only picked examples that would prove his point and not cause confusion. It was poorly done to the point where I really was wondering about the examples he didn't pick. The harder ones that may not have fit into the concept so neatly. AND, and maybe more importantly, he treated the subject with an air of superiority and clearly indicated that scientists who disagree with him and believe in a "billions of years earth" are simply idiotic. Like they just refuse to look at the SCIENCE and see the TRUTH. 

 

My husband and I discussed it afterwards because it really bugged me. Scientists who believe in evolution or a "billions of years old earth" or however you want to put it, are not dumb. They're smart people doing really amazing things with their lives and it's no wonder they dislike Christians and the concept of creation if we stuff it down their throat like that and treat them like idiots! My husband's opinion was that, in general, conservative Christians view science as this very liberal thing and as a threat to religion. 

 

I guess there's not much of a question there - but it really bothers me that we can't have an academic conversation about the topic without pitting science and religion against each other. I would have loved to hear a secular scientists views on the specific examples used in the video, but the entire concept of having those views challenged is treated with disdain! 

 



#28 Mike in SA

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 06:46 AM

As far as I can tell, pitting one against the other serves one and only one purpose: to satisfy the personal needs of the proponent.  Those on the "for" side (whichever that is) are already close to 100% set.  Therefore, I find such arguments to be almost pointless beyond affirmation (which some people honestly do need).  I have never heard a single argument which has influenced my religious beliefs nor my thought processes regarding science.  My experiences have been like yours - arguments were cherry-picked, playing to a common logical fallacy. 

 

I find it much more fruitful to consider how little we know and understand, and marvel in the wonder and splendor we are given to live in.


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#29 mamashark

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 07:02 AM

As far as I can tell, pitting one against the other serves one and only one purpose: to satisfy the personal needs of the proponent.  Those on the "for" side (whichever that is) are already close to 100% set.  Therefore, I find such arguments to be almost pointless beyond affirmation (which some people honestly do need).  I have never heard a single argument which has influenced my religious beliefs nor my thought processes regarding science.  My experiences have been like yours - arguments were cherry-picked, playing to a common logical fallacy. 

 

I find it much more fruitful to consider how little we know and understand, and marvel in the wonder and splendor we are given to live in.

 

This bold part - that's what I love about science. I am at an extreme disadvantage because of my upbringing, but as we studied Ellen McHenry's Cells back in January I was struck by how much we DON'T know about cells! and the news that comes out almost weekly now about new discoveries in space! Or the medications that were meant for one purpose and are being realized to work really well for unexpected purposes and no one really knows why yet!  There are a lot of things we don't understand and are still striving to learn about and I don't honestly fault anyone for not believing the same way I do - a lot of what I believe doesn't make sense in light of various arguments. But we do get to live in a fascinating and marvelous world and to consider and ponder things that I don't understand in light of my beliefs about a God who created us all doesn't challenge my beliefs at all. 



#30 maize

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 07:13 AM

There is So Much still to learn in every scientific field, it really is fascinating and awe inspiring.

I find no opposition between science and faith, but then I also don't hold to a young earth point of view.

If you really want the mainstream science point of view on the specific points from your Sunday School class you could probably look them up. Personally I don't think science needs to be addressed in Sunday School--if the theology of your denomination and mainstream science are at odds with one another it may be one of those things where it is just best to allow for some mysteries and unknowns and trust that some day in the future truth will be clearly known and reconciled--but perhaps not in this life.
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#31 Tanaqui

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 11:09 PM

Mamashark, are you personally interested in some resources "from the other side" to help you work out what you believe here?



#32 mamashark

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Posted 03 May 2017 - 05:54 AM

Mamashark, are you personally interested in some resources "from the other side" to help you work out what you believe here?


I am curious about the rebuttals, I just don't have the energy to search for them!

You know, sitting here pondering it, I'm not sure I've ever read anything that tries to actually explain the other side. I've read a lot about why young earth, but all the evolutionary perspectives that I've been exposed to have assumed understanding and been simply passing mentions of millions of years....


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#33 regentrude

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Posted 03 May 2017 - 06:36 AM

I am curious about the rebuttals, I just don't have the energy to search for them!

You know, sitting here pondering it, I'm not sure I've ever read anything that tries to actually explain the other side. I've read a lot about why young earth, but all the evolutionary perspectives that I've been exposed to have assumed understanding and been simply passing mentions of millions of years....

 

Wouldn't any standard high school or introductory college text cover this?



#34 mamashark

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Posted 03 May 2017 - 06:39 AM

Wouldn't any standard high school or introductory college text cover this?


Probably. I just don't have any. I should look it up.


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#35 TracyP

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Posted 03 May 2017 - 07:04 AM

I came at this from the opposite direction. I always believed in an old earth and never had any issue with this as a Christian. I never even heard of YE until I started homeschooling. Once I saw how fervent my new YE friends were, however, I started to research it myself. Ultimately, I came back to an OE perspective. I found that every YE resource I turned to used so many straw men and so much cherry picking of information that they became unreliable in my view.

One book I highly recommend is The Language of God by Francis Collins. He explains the evidence for evolution and discusses how his scientific knowledge has strengthened his faith. There are many other great resources out there, but I would start with this one.
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#36 Have kids -- will travel

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Posted 03 May 2017 - 06:43 PM

Wikipedia isn't a bad place to start if you can't get the book recommended by PP. I had also never heard of Young Earth until after college. Obviously, the Wikipedia articles present the Old Earth viewpoints as facts and the Young Earth viewpoints as beliefs, but that's consistent with scientific consensus. One important part of science is being able to read information from multiple viewpoints and assess the validity of the statements, so this would be an easy, quick way for you to see what the secular scientific community has to say about YE.

 

A secular, scientific foundation for how the world was created is not incompatible with religion for many people. 

 

https://en.wikipedia...rth_creationism

https://en.wikipedia...ge_of_the_Earth

https://en.wikipedia...Dating_creation

https://en.wikipedia...ion_and_science


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#37 TerriM

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Posted 03 May 2017 - 09:42 PM

I really like the writings of John Rankin who is an evangelical pastor who believes in an old earth, young civilization, and gives his interpretation of what Genesis meant to the Hebrews based on his study of Hebrew culture, language, and history:

 

http://www.teii.org/...ys-of-creation/

 

He has done Mars Hill forums and debates at a number of colleges where he is often the only speaker on the panel who brings a positive religious view to tough questions of the day.  He calls it a "Love of hard questions," and I think he really does take the time to address them thoughtfully.  

 

Main website is here:  http://www.teii.org



#38 serendipitous journey

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 11:12 AM

I just wanted to add to this thread -- the Novare company is putting out some really excellent science texts, which IMHO do a very good job of walking the line.  The authors assume an old earth/universe for their science, and they explain why, but they do discuss this and the curriculum is scientifically outstanding.  We are not using the full curriculum, which requires more output than I want my child to be spending time on, but reading the books and memorizing concepts. 

 

For secular folks, they are in process of developing a secular correlate.

 

I myself don't like the theology in the books.  While the name of God isn't tossed about just for effect, the authors do give God credit for the good and beautiful but so far don't mention God when discussing the tragic or unpleasant, which tends to turn my child _away_ from faith. 

 

anyway: one more resource! 


Edited by serendipitous journey, 10 May 2017 - 11:13 AM.

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#39 strawberryjam

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 02:19 PM

I second "The Language of God" by Francis Collins. I was on the fence when I read that book, having been brought up with a YE perspective and being taught you can't be a Christian if you believe in Evolution... well after I read that book, it wasn't long until I made the full jump. Took about two years in total, but I started questioning YE after studying a lot of Astronomy since my little boy was very passionate about it and I knew next to nothing. Also around the same time, I came across a homeschool blogger who was a Christian and taught from an OE philosophy. This is the first time I had encountered a Christian who didn't believe YE.

 

When I learned more about light years and other things in how the universe works, I really started to question YE even more. I started watching videos of debates online. I found some really old footage of Ken Ham and others like him which gave me more insight into their motivations. I started off with Hugh Ross's lectures and books, then read Francis Collins, then started investigating Biologos resources... I discovered that one of the people who works at Biologo's is also a professor at a local Christian university, and that they teach Biology there from an evolutionary perspective. He has written extensively on evolution and genetics and came out with a book recently, "Adam and the Genome: Reading Scripture after Genetic Science".

 

I find the strongest evidence for evolution is in astronomy, geology and genetics. Genetics is probably the the strongest evidence of the three and the easiest to grasp because it is so accessible. "The Language of God" covers a lot about genetics since Francis Collins led the Human Genome project. If you want something more academic I would highly recommend John Walton's books. He does not cover the science specifically as much as the theological implications, which are of course extremely important to understand. (Some of his books are "The Lost World of Genesis", "The Lost World of Adam and Eve", etc).

 

I used to be strongly supportive of YE and especially Answers in Genesis. To say they cherry pick is putting it mildly though. Now that I'm more knowledgeable about the subject I'd say they lie outright a lot of the time.


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#40 strawberryjam

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 09:29 PM

I just discovered that Biologos has a forum just for homeschoolers! That has got to be a helpful resource. https://discourse.bi...omeschool-forum



#41 Joules

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 05:35 AM

I'd recommend Only a Theory by Kenneth Miller, if you are looking for some information for you for the science of evolution. It may be advanced for middle school, though.   He co-wrote a Biology text with Levine, that would be a good all-purpose resource.  Older versions are available used on amazon very cheap.

 

I enjoyed the film Test of Faith for information on now scientists reconcile religion and science.  They seem to have many resources on their website now.



#42 Joules

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 06:10 AM

dp


Edited by Joules, 19 May 2017 - 06:10 AM.