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Where's the science written by/for Theistic Evolutionists?


kentuckymom
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So, I'm not really searching for curriculum right now, since my son is in school, but I dream of homeschooling someday, and I particularly love looking at science curriculum since DS is a science freak.

 

All my looking has left me wondering, is there a science curriculum out there that teaches that: 1) God created the universe and 2) He did so approximately 14 billion years ago? If not, why not? Is it simply that there wouldn't be enough of a market for it?

 

I've found secular programs and young earth Christian programs, even a few "neutral" programs that say they present both views (though they seem to all be written by Christians, so I find it hard to believe they're not at least a bit biased).

 

Now, if I do end up teaching my son, I'm sure I can figure out how to modify either a secular or a YE program, but I'm still left wondering why there doesn't seem to be a program written specifically for people like me. In the Christian circles I run in, Young Earth Creationists are the exception, not the rule. Surely I'm not the only one who would love a curriculum like this.

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I would venture to guess that the reason there aren't many is that you don't really NEED one. :) But someone will probably fill that market someday. It's easy to use an old earth lesson and mention your beliefs while discussing (at least in the younger grades when you do so much WITH them).

 

Perhaps if you look in the older age bracket you might come up with something? Just musing outloud.

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I had heard a while back that the BioLogos Foundation intended to develop a Theistic Evolution curriculum but AFAIK nothing has ever been written. :(

 

My dad's family is Catholic and my mom's family Episcopalian/Anglican so almost all the devout Christians I know IRL are not YEC's.

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The reason why there are not any Theistic Evolution curriculums is mainly because of Ken Ham (founder of Answers in Genesis). He wrote a book called Already Gone where he tries to equate that if one believes in anything but a literal 6 day creation, you are not a Christian. His faulty logic tries to prove that children who are not absolutely grounded in a literal 6 day creation, will loose their faith when faced with all the teaching of evolution they receive in school. Ham has caused many problems amongst other Christian curriculums including Peace Hill Press and Sonlight.

 

Honestly, I don't know anyone who lost their faith because of evolution. I know they are out there, but being a person who personally believes in ID and thinks the earth is very, very old, I still have my faith in Christ!

 

I plan on using Real Science 4 Kids when my dc are middle school aged. I plan on teaching all the theories of how the earth was created when they are old enought to have a logical conversation.

 

For now, using secular science discovery books is enough.

 

“The Bible shows the way to go to heaven, not the way the heavens go.â€

― Galileo Galilei

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The reason why there are not any Theistic Evolution curriculums is mainly because of Ken Ham (founder of Answers in Genesis). He wrote a book called Already Gone where he tries to equate that if one believes in anything but a literal 6 day creation, you are not a Christian. His faulty logic tries to prove that children who are not absolutely grounded in a literal 6 day creation, will loose their faith when faced with all the teaching of evolution they receive in school. Ham has caused many problems amongst other Christian curriculums including Peace Hill Press and Sonlight.

 

Honestly, I don't know anyone who lost their faith because of evolution. I know they are out there, but being a person who personally believes in ID and thinks the earth is very, very old, I still have my faith in Christ!

 

I plan on using Real Science 4 Kids when my dc are middle school aged. I plan on teaching all the theories of how the earth was created when they are old enought to have a logical conversation.

 

For now, using secular science discovery books is enough.

 

“The Bible shows the way to go to heaven, not the way the heavens go.â€

― Galileo Galilei

 

Oh, don't even get me started on Ken Ham.... there are a lot of curricula I've perused that I love parts of, but then I see that they're using one of his books.

 

I try to be respectful of YEC Christians, really I do. God is all-powerful. If He wanted to create the universe in six 24 hour day less than 10,000 years ago He could have, but I don't think He did. I really do respect people who've examined the science behind evolution and old earth geology and genuinely think it's flawed, but it really bothers me when people imply or directly say that you can't love Jesus and believe the universe is billions of years old but have never looked at the science.

 

I live just over an hour from The Creation Museum, and I keep telling myself I ought to take my son there, but I just can't wrap my mind around how to explain to him why they have people and dinosaurs living together in their exhibits. We haven't talked much about the age of the earth, but we've already talked about how dinosaurs lived before people.

 

I'm a big fan of Biologos Foundation. I do hope they put out a science curriculum someday, even if I don't have the opportunity to use it.

 

I think most of the responders are right, though. For YE believers, there's a genuine need for curriculum that teaches from that viewpoint. It's a lot easier for OE believers to just insert their beliefs into secular or neutral curriculum.

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Oh, don't even get me started on Ken Ham.... there are a lot of curricula I've perused that I love parts of, but then I see that they're using one of his books.

 

I still use MFW even though they use some of his book. I just leave them out:D. I will probably start using RS4K middle school books as a replacement for the Apologia books.

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So, I'm not really searching for curriculum right now, since my son is in school, but I dream of homeschooling someday, and I particularly love looking at science curriculum since DS is a science freak.

 

All my looking has left me wondering, is there a science curriculum out there that teaches that: 1) God created the universe and 2) He did so approximately 14 billion years ago? If not, why not? Is it simply that there wouldn't be enough of a market for it?

 

I've found secular programs and young earth Christian programs, even a few "neutral" programs that say they present both views (though they seem to all be written by Christians, so I find it hard to believe they're not at least a bit biased).

 

Now, if I do end up teaching my son, I'm sure I can figure out how to modify either a secular or a YE program, but I'm still left wondering why there doesn't seem to be a program written specifically for people like me. In the Christian circles I run in, Young Earth Creationists are the exception, not the rule. Surely I'm not the only one who would love a curriculum like this.

 

What would be theistic in your ideal course? It sounds like you would like a science that is essentially providential & evolutionary: that sees God's hand guiding an ancient & evolving universe?

 

I think the reason you don't find theistic evolution is that evolution is inherently not especially theistic. That is to say: evolution is amoral. Sort of like physics. And chemistry. I believe that God is not empirical -- not testable, not falsifiable, not measurable. And so not likely to be found in a science course that is based on empirical science, only in natural philosophy courses that assume God is empirical and/or can be described well by particular religious texts, and those texts are infallible records of natural history. IMHO :)

 

ETA: ssavings' siggie, in the post just below this, reminded me that I'd forgotten about Montessori materials, which are both theistic and scientific. Not sure if I have to swallow any of the above words now, but at any rate, here I'm pasting the resources I post later in this thread:

 

The Montessori Great Lessons are presented fairly inexpensively in teacher manuals at montessorird -- that links to their Elementary level geography and history; to teach the Great Lessons, start with History 1; or North American Montessori Center for considerably more $$$ and also more thorough materials -- that links to their curriculum for early elementary, and the 5 Great Lessons are near the top of the page. These are not necessarily explicitly Christian Theistic, but they are frankly more theistic than I like in my own science & history curriculum so maybe they'd suit!

Edited by serendipitous journey
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Thank you for starting this thread. I was beginning to think I was the only one out here that is Christian but yet doesn't understand/buy into Creationism.

 

I hate being accused of not being a believer just because I do not buy into the whole Creationism thing. It makes all the Christian look like they don't have an ounce of scientific background to the secular or that we are all Ken Ham believers.

 

Have anyone of you heard of Hugh Ross? He is a Christian Astrophysicist that believes in Old Earth and Big Bang. He is however a Creationist.

 

I do talk about Creationism with my kids as my husband is a Creationist but I also teach the evolutionary beliefs as well. I veer more to the more evolutionary beliefs because it just makes sense to me more. I tell my girls if they want to learn more about Creationism talk to their dad or go ask their church leaders.

 

 

Thank you for sending me to these great leads.

Edited by happycc
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The reason why there are not any Theistic Evolution curriculums is mainly because of Ken Ham (founder of Answers in Genesis). He wrote a book called Already Gone where he tries to equate that if one believes in anything but a literal 6 day creation, you are not a Christian. His faulty logic tries to prove that children who are not absolutely grounded in a literal 6 day creation, will loose their faith when faced with all the teaching of evolution they receive in school. Ham has caused many problems amongst other Christian curriculums including Peace Hill Press and Sonlight.

 

This is simply not true. Ken Ham does not say that you are not a Christian if don't believe in the literal 6 day creation. What he does say is that if you are a Christian and you ascribe to the millions-of-years theory then you are compromising God's word. It's a biblical authorityissue, not salvation issue.

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When you find it, let me know! :glare:

 

ssavings, I see you are using Montessori: the Great Lessons are perhaps the solution here. You can find them presented fairly inexpensively in teacher manuals at montessorird -- that links to their Elementary level geography and history; to teach the Great Lessons, start with History 1; or North American Montessori Center for considerably more $$$ and also more thorough materials -- that links to their curriculum for early elementary, and the 5 Great Lessons are near the top of the page.

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This is simply not true. Ken Ham does not say that you are not a Christian if don't believe in the literal 6 day creation. What he does say is that if you are a Christian and you ascribe to the millions-of-years theory then you are compromising God's word. It's a biblical authorityissue, not salvation issue.

 

I agree. The key to 6-day creationism is the ultimate authority of the Bible. For Christians who believe the Bible is the ultimate authority, this makes sense. There are also Christians who believe it is idolatrous make any object or text ultimate in authority. It's not a problem that will be solved here though!

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Bill is an outstanding scientist, a very good person, and a professing Christian. He believes in a billions-year-old universe, in evolution, and in the power of God and divinity of Christ. Here is a lecture he gives that discusses how his science and his faith interact. It's about an hour long -- I listened to it last year while doing some holiday baking ...

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Bill is an outstanding scientist, a very good person, and a professing Christian. He believes in a billions-year-old universe, in evolution, and in the power of God and divinity of Christ. Here is a lecture he gives that discusses how his science and his faith interact. It's about an hour long -- I listened to it last year while doing some holiday baking ...

 

Thanks for this link! I didn't mean for this thread to start a debate on Biblical authority. Just for the record, I self identify as an evangelical. I love Jesus. I've had a conversion experience. I work part time with an evangelical campus ministry. I believe strongly in the authority of scripture for our faith and lives. However, I believe it's possible to believe all of that and still believe the universe is billions of years old. I've examined both the theology and the science for young earth creationism, and I think it is flawed. If you've examined it and disagree with me, I respect that. What irks me is people who have come to a conclusion without looking at the issues, and that happens on both sides of the young/old earth divide.

 

I haven't read the Ken Ham book referenced by another poster, so I'm sorry if my thread was used to mischaracterize him. I don't doubt for a second that he loves Jesus and believes he's educating people about the truth, but I believe he is sincerely wrong in his conclusions.

 

As to what I would love to see in a science curriculum:

 

Upon reflection, saying I wanted a curriculum that teaches theistic evolution was actually too specific. What I'd really like is a curriculum that 1) teaches the major scientific theories about origins, the age of the earth, etc. 2) acknowledges young earth creationism and critiques it scientifically,

3) acknowledges that scientific theories change over time and touches on some of the questions about the prevailing theories 4) acknowledges that religious believers have come to a wide variety of conclusions regarding the age of the earth and the interpretation of the early chapters of Genesis.

 

Mind you, not all of these things could be covered in the grammar stage, but I think they should all be covered at some point.

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Upon reflection, saying I wanted a curriculum that teaches theistic evolution was actually too specific. What I'd really like is a curriculum that 1) teaches the major scientific theories about origins, the age of the earth, etc. 2) acknowledges young earth creationism and critiques it scientifically,

3) acknowledges that scientific theories change over time and touches on some of the questions about the prevailing theories 4) acknowledges that religious believers have come to a wide variety of conclusions regarding the age of the earth and the interpretation of the early chapters of Genesis.

 

Mind you, not all of these things could be covered in the grammar stage, but I think they should all be covered at some point.

 

Is there anything from Catholic publishers on this? How do they deal with this, anyway?

 

I have found some older science books aimed at the general market that make statements about science and religion not being in conflict but looked at for different things. So not dismissive of religion, but not religion-focussed, either. But they aren't textbooks and sometimes the science is out of date.

 

I would think other religious people besides Christians might be interested in this, depending on the amount and tone of discussion about the Bible. Young earth people have a disproportionate amount of influence.

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Have a look at some of the Catholic stuff. I was educated in the Catholic system in Australia. The Catholic Church is quite comfortable with evolution.

 

You could also try some books written outside North America. The rest of the world isn't half as bothered by the evolution vs creationism debate as people in the US seem to be. Its only a fringe issue here in Australia.

D

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...

As to what I would love to see in a science curriculum:

 

Upon reflection, saying I wanted a curriculum that teaches theistic evolution was actually too specific. What I'd really like is a curriculum that 1) teaches the major scientific theories about origins, the age of the earth, etc. 2) acknowledges young earth creationism and critiques it scientifically,

3) acknowledges that scientific theories change over time and touches on some of the questions about the prevailing theories 4) acknowledges that religious believers have come to a wide variety of conclusions regarding the age of the earth and the interpretation of the early chapters of Genesis.

 

...

 

This is not a curriculum, but a book I recommend for contrasting the old and young earth theories as graciously as possible is: Asimov's "In the Beginning". Here's the Amazon blurb:

 

"Creation. The beginning of time. The origin of life. In our Western civilization, there are two influential accounts of beginnings. One is the Biblical account, compiled more than two thousand years ago by Judean writers who based much of their thinking on the Babylonian astronomical lore of the day. The other is the account of modern science, which, in the last century, has slowly built up a coherent picture of how it all began. Both represent the best thinking of their times, and in this line-by-line annotation of the first eleven chapters of Genesis, Isaac Asimov carefully and even-handedly compares the two accounts, pointing out where they are similar and where they are different. "There is no version of primeval history, preceding the discoveries of modern science, that is as rational and as inspiriting as that of the Book of Genesis," Asimov says. However, human knowledge does increase, and if the Biblical writers, "had written those early chapters of Genesis knowing what we know today, we can be certain that they would have written it completely differently." Isaac Asimov brings to this fascinating subject his wide-ranging knowledge of science and history-and his award-winning ability to explain the complex with accuracy, clarity, and wit."

 

HTH, and blessings. I was blessed this morning when I read your loving reply to the posts on your thread!

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I also wanted to mention that if you enroll in Kolbe's science courses, while the textbook is standard issue secular, the lesson plans include ways to incorporate a Catholic/Christian perspective into the science lessons. Most Catholic schools use secular texts for that reason - they find no reason that science and God cannot coexist nicely and simply insert their POV along the way using secular texts as spines. Even growing up in the 70's, other than the old Voyages in English, the only Christian specific curricula used by my husband in Catholic schools was for religion class.

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I am a theistic evolutionist. I teach my kids mainstream science, and we talk about God. Problem solved. :D Actually one of the BEST philosophical conversations we had about God was with my 10 yr old following watching an episode of "Curiosity" where basically Stephen Hawking attempts to "prove" there is no God. It initially troubled my daughter but we had a GREAT conversation!

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Honestly, I don't know anyone who lost their faith because of evolution.

 

Well, I know people who ceased to be Christians because they thought they had to reject astrophysics and evolution, does that count?;)

 

 

I think the reason you don't find theistic evolution is that evolution is inherently not especially theistic. That is to say: evolution is amoral. Sort of like physics. And chemistry.

 

I think this is the reason as well. A physics or biology curricula is going to teach about the physics or biology, not philosophy or metaphysics.

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I agree. The key to 6-day creationism is the ultimate authority of the Bible. For Christians who believe the Bible is the ultimate authority, this makes sense. There are also Christians who believe it is idolatrous make any object or text ultimate in authority. It's not a problem that will be solved here though!

 

I am going to have to disagree. I don't believe the creation story is about the creation of the world, but rather the creation of the first covenant with man. You can read more about what I mean here Beyond Creation Science. I do believe the Bible is the ultimate authority, but I also understand symbolism.

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Thanks for your responses, everyone! I'll definitely look more closely at Behold and See science if I actually have to choose a curriculum. In the end, there's a decent chance that I'll end up using a secular curriculum, but I'm glad that Catholic curriculum is a potential choice. It's also good to know I wouldn't be unique as a Christian homeschooler who doesn't believe in a young earth.

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Biologos has a curriculum for theistic evolutionists called Test of Faith:

 

http://biologos.org/blog/science-christianity-and-homeschooling

 

But I agree that there really shouldn't be a need for a separate theistic evolution curriculum. A science curriculum should just include evolution, and then a philosophy or religious study can further investigate the spiritual and biblical questions about creation. I think this particular curriculum, at brief glance, deals with the philosophical questions of science v. Faith. While I think it is a good step forward, I had some reservations about some of the language. I am agnostic-leaning most days, and at best, a Christian universalist with lots of doubts...and while I think evolution needs to be addressed and taught and appreciated, I do think it makes for a complicated faith at times. People like Ken Ham just make Christianity harder for people like myself who question at baseline.

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This is a great thread! Honestly, I have no conflict with evolution and Christianity. I don't know how He did it and it doesn't matter to me. I believe in a God of laws. The scriptures are always teaching us to obey the laws and commandments of God. Why can't the laws of science be the explanation for how God created the universe? If He used evolution to get to the species of man and put the spirit of Adam into the first of His creations that was in His image so be it. I am open to scientific discovery and inquiry. It affirms the beauty of nature and the power of God to me.

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I also wanted to mention that if you enroll in Kolbe's science courses, while the textbook is standard issue secular, the lesson plans include ways to incorporate a Catholic/Christian perspective into the science lessons.
I'm using the Kolbe biology course for my high schooler this year. We didn't enroll in the course, just bought their syllabus and plans/tests. I appreciate having the "heads up" written in the plans -- they have Catholic/Christian/Church readings listed in the plans and give specific topics that may be addressed by religious sources (for which they also give references).

 

Since we're Muslim it is very easy, then, for me to see whether I feel we need to address an issue, and if so I can substitute Islamic thought on the topic.

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Not a curriculum, but something that may help the OP out, is the book Finding Darwin's God: A Scientist's Search for Common Ground Between God and Evolution by Ken Miller. Ken Miller is the biologist who is one half of Miller/Levine Biology, and he is also a Catholic. Finding Darwin's God is a nice middle ground between those two opposing sides, and he makes a strong argument for accepting science and still keeping your belief in God.

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But I agree that there really shouldn't be a need for a separate theistic evolution curriculum. A science curriculum should just include evolution, and then a philosophy or religious study can further investigate the spiritual and biblical questions about creation.

Maybe, then, there is a need for a religious-based refutation of young earth creationism? In order to break the dichotomy of secular science with no mention of religion (except in some texts aimed at the k-12 market, something about creationism, or some sort of statement against creationism/the young earth movement [e.g., Galore Park's Junior History 1 which includes a discussion of Darwin and then briefly discusses young earth creationism and the conflict in 1 page]) and the religious books, many of which have been heavily influenced by YE people and their influential lobby.

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I'm using the Kolbe biology course for my high schooler this year. We didn't enroll in the course, just bought their syllabus and plans/tests. I appreciate having the "heads up" written in the plans -- they have Catholic/Christian/Church readings listed in the plans and give specific topics that may be addressed by religious sources (for which they also give references).

 

Since we're Muslim it is very easy, then, for me to see whether I feel we need to address an issue, and if so I can substitute Islamic thought on the topic.

 

Thank you, I was wondering about that. Sever of the Catholic publishers use a few Protestant texts and I was wondering if/how they dealt with that. Very good to know.

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Biologos has a curriculum for theistic evolutionists called Test of Faith:

 

http://biologos.org/blog/science-christianity-and-homeschooling

 

Thanks! That looks like it could be something good to go through with my kids even if we never homeschool.

 

But I agree that there really shouldn't be a need for a separate theistic evolution curriculum. A science curriculum should just include evolution, and then a philosophy or religious study can further investigate the spiritual and biblical questions about creation. I think this particular curriculum, at brief glance, deals with the philosophical questions of science v. Faith. While I think it is a good step forward, I had some reservations about some of the language.

Based on what I read about the noted curriculum, it's definitely aimed at decidedly Christian homeschool families. It's possible others could get something from it, but it seems to be aimed at a narrow market.

 

I am agnostic-leaning most days, and at best, a Christian universalist with lots of doubts...and while I think evolution needs to be addressed and taught and appreciated, I do think it makes for a complicated faith at times. People like Ken Ham just make Christianity harder for people like myself who question at baseline.

 

I agree with this. In my (admittedly very limited) experience, people who grow up in strong YEC households and "lose their faith because of evolution" could just as easily be said to have lost their faith "because of young earth creationism." If you're taught that in order to accept the Bible as authoritative you can only believe in a six day creation, and then you're presented with a compelling argument for evolution, you feel the need to make a choice between the two. Some people choose evolution. Is that spiritually tragic? Yes, but I think the most tragic part is that they didn't really need to choose between the two in the first place.

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Not a curriculum, but something that may help the OP out, is the book Finding Darwin's God: A Scientist's Search for Common Ground Between God and Evolution by Ken Miller. Ken Miller is the biologist who is one half of Miller/Levine Biology, and he is also a Catholic. Finding Darwin's God is a nice middle ground between those two opposing sides, and he makes a strong argument for accepting science and still keeping your belief in God.

 

Thanks! I've read a few books along those lines, but not that one. I'll have to look for it.

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Nothing much to add. This is someting I look for off and on, so I wanted to find the thread later.

 

I have a Catholic friend who this year is using the elementary Catholic science mentioned in this thread and she likes it.

 

My little man is reading through Rainbow Science. The first half of the book is elementary physics and chemistry. It probably lines up well with what you are wanting.

 

The second half of the book is life and earth science. He doesn't say that the big bang is entirely wrong and he doesn't get into a timeline at all but he does question some aspects of the big bang theory (where did the matter come from and the lumpiness of the universe). I don't know how I will address this when ds gets there. I mean he knows that there are other scientific theories regarding the beginning of the universe. We have read other books and watched shows on this topic, so since no timeline is stated this is probably a nonissue that I worry about far more than necessary.

 

His treatment of abiogenesis and evolution are dismissive but not religiously dogmatic. He doesn't mention God or religion at all in either passage. Due to his tone, I don't find either passage particularly problematic. He is just stating his opinion on why he thinks these are unlikely explanations. He allows that human-like fossil remains are not exactly human or ape, but states that this does not mean that they are relatives of one or the other and uses this to segue into adaptive evolution. (Although his closing sentence/ opinion on evolution is one of the most blatant opinion statements in the whole book and that does irk me.) His treatment of adaptive evolution is IMO age appropriate.

 

Anyway, this is what we are using at the moment. I understand what you are looking for, but I haven't found it. I guess I should look at Behold and See Science more closely, but at this point we may be moving past that level.

Mandy

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(they are planning more in the Behold and See series, just an fyi :D)

Nothing much to add. This is someting I look for off and on, so I wanted to find the thread later.

 

I have a Catholic friend who this year is using the elementary Catholic science mentioned in this thread and she likes it.

 

My little man is reading through Rainbow Science. The first half of the book is elementary physics and chemistry. It probably lines up well with what you are wanting.

 

The second half of the book is life and earth science. He doesn't say that the big bang is entirely wrong and he doesn't get into a timeline at all but he does question some aspects of the big bang theory (where did the matter come from and the lumpiness of the universe). I don't know how I will address this when ds gets there. I mean he knows that there are other scientific theories regarding the beginning of the universe. We have read other books and watched shows on this topic, so since no timeline is stated this is probably a nonissue that I worry about far more than necessary.

 

His treatment of abiogenesis and evolution are dismissive but not religiously dogmatic. He doesn't mention God or religion at all in either passage. Due to his tone, I don't find either passage particularly problematic. He is just stating his opinion on why he thinks these are unlikely explanations. He allows that human-like fossil remains are not exactly human or ape, but states that this does not mean that they are relatives of one or the other and uses this to segue into adaptive evolution. (Although his closing sentence/ opinion on evolution is one of the most blatant opinion statements in the whole book and that does irk me.) His treatment of adaptive evolution is IMO age appropriate.

 

Anyway, this is what we are using at the moment. I understand what you are looking for, but I haven't found it. I guess I should look at Behold and See Science more closely, but at this point we may be moving past that level.

Mandy

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What would be theistic in your ideal course? It sounds like you would like a science that is essentially providential & evolutionary: that sees God's hand guiding an ancient & evolving universe?

 

I think the reason you don't find theistic evolution is that evolution is inherently not especially theistic. That is to say: evolution is amoral. Sort of like physics. And chemistry. I believe that God is not empirical -- not testable, not falsifiable, not measurable. And so not likely to be found in a science course that is based on empirical science, only in natural philosophy courses that assume God is empirical and/or can be described well by particular religious texts, and those texts are infallible records of natural history. IMHO :)

 

I would like to see a curriculum that rejects the materialist view of evolution as amoral and purely accidental. I want something that is similar to Dr. Owen Gingerich's God's Universe but simplified so that it is accessible to logic stage students. I loved God's Universe but it was a bit of a slog for me to get through even though I studied science at Stanford.

 

I also want something that specifically addresses how someone can be a Christian and believe in evolution & an age of the universe in the billions of years. Something like The Language of God by Dr. Francis Collins but again simplified for a logic stage student.

 

Yes, I can use secular materials and then add to them, but I would prefer something that is explicitly Christian. I want somethin that acknowledges God created the universe and everything in it, and that His hand guided evolution rather than it being all just random.

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These were suggested by Dr. Newsome in the lecture I linked earlier. They aren't perfect, but might be of interest and I thought I'd add them to the thread.

 

Life's Solution: Inevitable Humans in a Lonely Universe by Conway Morris.

 

The Crucible of Creation, also by Morris.

 

And a book Morris wrote at a date later than the lecture, so Bill didn't suggest it of course, might be preferable to some as a starting point: The Deep Structure of Biology: Is Convergence Sufficiently Ubiquitous to Give a Directional Signal.

Edited by serendipitous journey
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You're such a tease, how many more?:bigear:

When I asked them I was told that they plan on doing what they can with the funding they receive and *when*. Their answer was vague, but from I understand grade 7 is actively in the works and they hope revenue allows for funding for more upper grades science. I hope so - because Behold and See is one of the best options I've seen for Old Earth Christians; it is narrative, discovery geared/hands on, and (unlike the secular public school texts) involves nothing more than you find in your cabinets or with minimal grocery store purchases... at least that I've seen.

We supplement it, but not heavily and only as much as we do because of my hubby's science geeky bent :D.

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When I asked them I was told that they plan on doing what they can with the funding they receive and *when*. Their answer was vague, but from I understand grade 7 is actively in the works and they hope revenue allows for funding for more upper grades science. I hope so - because Behold and See is one of the best options I've seen for Old Earth Christians; it is narrative, discovery geared/hands on, and (unlike the secular public school texts) involves nothing more than you find in your cabinets or with minimal grocery store purchases... at least that I've seen.

We supplement it, but not heavily and only as much as we do because of my hubby's science geeky bent :D.

 

Happy Dance :hurray: That will be in plenty of time for us since mine are still young.

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Crimson Wife, I've been pondering your post all day. Thank you for giving me food for thought -- although I'm sort of ambivalent about your bringing up more fascinating, important books I ought to read!!!! :D

 

I would like to see a curriculum that rejects the materialist view of evolution as amoral and purely accidental. I want something that is similar to Dr. Owen Gingerich's God's Universe but simplified so that it is accessible to logic stage students. I loved God's Universe but it was a bit of a slog for me to get through even though I studied science at Stanford.

 

I myself think this is a tricky one. I cannot see evolution as a strongly moral force: Jesus' morality, and acute care for those who suffer and His dedication to alleviating the pains of hunger, of sickness, of isolation and of social ostracism -- these are absent, to my mind, in the force that gave us, say, the Black Death and the smallpox that wiped out Native American civilizations years before any European thought to weaponize blankets.

 

Gingerich's general argument -- I have not read his book -- seems to be related to a universe that is remarkably, improbably congenial to life/intelligence. I do not know how, or if, he connects the dots to a personal and loving Deity. The general sense of wonder evoked by the beauty of physics has a mirror sense of horror at the suffering brought by genes going about their competitive business.

 

I could see a request for a curriculum that describes, or advocates for, or argues for, the hand of God in evolution; but "acknowledgment" sort of puts me in mind of folks that think atheist-scientists (a la DH) are willfully and stubbornly refusing to see obvious evidence for God in the material world. But this is almost certainly just my sensitivity about this issue!

 

I also want something that specifically addresses how someone can be a Christian and believe in evolution & an age of the universe in the billions of years. Something like The Language of God by Dr. Francis Collins but again simplified for a logic stage student.
This I agree would be wonderfully useful. An intelligent, and logic-age accessible, perspective on Christian faith and current science.

 

Yes, I can use secular materials and then add to them, but I would prefer something that is explicitly Christian. I want something that acknowledges God created the universe and everything in it, and that His hand guided evolution rather than it being all just random.
This of course I have trouble with -- it is problematically worded for me -- I think the hand of God as active in the universe is not something that just requires acknowledging, like the Holocaust or the role of nurture in human development or the tradeoff between taxes and public services -- but is fundamentally ambiguous and unclear. I would be somewhat okay with the idea that an impersonal force with ambiguous values designed the universe; but that the same force designed the universe as incarnated in a man who wept when a friend died, that is more complex. For me. Edited by serendipitous journey
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....puts me in mind of folks that think atheist-scientists (a la DH) are willfully and stubbornly refusing to see obvious evidence for God in the material world.

 

You know, I do think that the material world is an evidence of God. That is how many philosophers have come to suggest some sort of underlying first cause for the universe - by observing creation and drawing out the implications of its existence and nature (for example that it is rational and knowable).

 

But it isn't a scientific issue, because it isn't, even theoretically, testable or observable. Not everything based on initial material observations is science. In this case, it is metaphysics.

 

Now, I would think children of an appropriate age should learn about metaphysics, but it isn't science.

 

Reading this thread, I was also thinking some sort of text for logic or rhetoric age kids on the philosophy of science might be what some people here are really looking for. Though I unfortunately don't know of any text like that.

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I cannot see evolution as a strongly moral force: Jesus' morality, and acute care for those who suffer and His dedication to alleviating the pains of hunger, of sickness, of isolation and of social ostracism -- these are absent, to my mind, in the force that gave us, say, the Black Death and the smallpox that wiped out Native American civilizations years before any European thought to weaponize blankets.

 

God's intention for His creation was a place of perfect happiness and no suffering or illness. However, He gave humans Free Will, including the ability to disobey Him. With the Fall, came the entering of suffering and illness into creation. Microbes became pathogenic as a result of Original Sin. But at the same time, God uses all suffering as part of His plan. Illness is a tangible reminder of our brokenness and need for redemption through Christ. God's hand guides everything that happens, even if we have difficulty understanding why He allows certain things to occur.

 

Gingerich's general argument -- I have not read his book -- seems to be related to a universe that is remarkably, improbably congenial to life/intelligence.

 

Yes, the main point I took away from reading the book is that the statistical likelihood of the conditions necessary for life on Earth arising purely through chance is so infinitesimally small as to be virtually nil. It's like that old cliche about a tornado going through a junkyard and assembling a working 747 jet.

 

The other part I really liked about Dr. Gingerich's book was his discussion about the difference between the "efficient" cause (how something happens) and the "final" cause (why something happens). The question "why is the water boiling?" has both a efficient cause (because the water was heated to 212 degrees Fahrenheit) and a final cause (because I want some tea). Both answers are true, but they are answering different questions. Gingerich talks about science as dealing with the efficient causes and faith dealing with the final causes. One isn't true and the other false, they just answer different questions.

 

I could see a request for a curriculum that describes, or advocates for, or argues for, the hand of God in evolution; but "acknowledgment" sort of puts me in mind of folks that think atheist-scientists (a la DH) are willfully and stubbornly refusing to see obvious evidence for God in the material world.

 

I do think that materialists are going just as much on faith as theists (faith defined not as religious belief but rather a belief that one can neither prove nor disprove). One can neither prove nor disprove scientifically any role for a supernatural deity in the origins of the universe. Materialists have faith that nothing exists except that which can be measured scientifically, and theists have faith in a supernatural deity beyond the realm of science. Materialists tend to refuse to acknowledge that their beliefs are, in fact, a worldview rather than based in "objective fact". Whether that refusal is "stubborn" and "willful" is a judgment call that I think really varies by the specific individual.

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This is an interesting thread. Finding science materials has been tricky for me as well. I do not like materials that offer "evidence of evolution" with a tone that is trying to convince readers of something. I also do not use religious materials since they seem to be over overwhelmingly Christian and YE.

 

I also get pretty irked when I read or listen to scientists who try to "prove there isn't a God." I'm sorry, but as soon as you start making those statements you're out of the realm of science and in the realm of theological philosophy. Whole 'nother ballpark. One cannot "prove" God or "disprove" God. Just can't be done. Never will be.

 

I personally have no problem accepting a Divine Creator and accepting scientific theory or fact as well. What does bother me is the basic falseness of some of the YE claims. And it also bothers me when secular materials try to overly sanitize everything of any spirituality.

 

I usually deal with this by keeping most spiritual talk out of our general science discussions and saving it for more introspective times.

 

I honestly can't relate to either side really. I don't understand how the atheist can watch the birth of a child or the metamorphosis of a butterfly or the sunset on a mountain (or even study cosmology!!!) and not be moved towards a higher feeling. That's our inheritance as humans to be able to read God's "Book of Earth." I also feel like an Earth (universe!!) billions of years old is much more awe inspiring than a 6000 year old Earth. That ancientness beyond all possible human memory and even understanding moves me to think of the Divine more than anything the YE side claims. (How do YE Christians study Tolkien, especially The Silmarillion, and still claim him as a Christian author? Just a thought.)

 

I also think that these discussions/debates will continue as long as we think in atheistic vs. Christian terms. That's typically the problem in America. One can't seem to believe in "God" and yet not self-identify as a Christian (or anything else). I also sometimes wonder if it's "organized religion" more than "God" that the scientists are trying to reject. I tend to not even talk about my belief in God unless someone make the knee jerk reaction that I am a Christian. (Even though I'm working off of that foundation.)

 

Now I'm rambling. For me it's much simpler to just teach science. And philosophy. And theology. And holy text as literature. And to teach my children that the world is not split between atheistic evolutionists and YE Christians. There are other ways.

 

That "Bead Story" link is pretty cool btw. And thanks for the Montessori references.

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snip

 

I also think that these discussions/debates will continue as long as we think in atheistic vs. Christian terms. That's typically the problem in America. One can't seem to believe in "God" and yet not self-identify as a Christian (or anything else). I also sometimes wonder if it's "organized religion" more than "God" that the scientists are trying to reject. I tend to not even talk about my belief in God unless someone make the knee jerk reaction that I am a Christian. (Even though I'm working off of that foundation.)

 

Now I'm rambling. For me it's much simpler to just teach science. And philosophy. And theology. And holy text as literature. And to teach my children that the world is not split between atheistic evolutionists and YE Christians. There are other ways.

 

That "Bead Story" link is pretty cool btw. And thanks for the Montessori references.

 

I may live in a microcosm but until I dove into the homeschool world I didn't know YE creationists still existed in any appreciable numbers. I only knew athiests and theistic evolutionists so evolution was accepted either way. The debate was on intelligent design or chance. I don't think society in general sets up atheistic evolutionists against ye christians. That is peculiar to homeschooling, where ye christians are represented in much higher numbers than the general population. Imagine my surprise the first time I looked at what I thought was a just Christian science book.

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I may live in a microcosm but until I dove into the homeschool world I didn't know YE creationists still existed in any appreciable numbers. I only knew athiests and theistic evolutionists so evolution was accepted either way. The debate was on intelligent design or chance. I don't think society in general sets up atheistic evolutionists against ye christians. That is peculiar to homeschooling, where ye christians are represented in much higher numbers than the general population. Imagine my surprise the first time I looked at what I thought was a just Christian science book.

I think that is unique to your area. I live in Bob Jones land - ripe with young earth creationists and not at all unique to only the homeschooling christians.

(Unless I misunderstood what you wrote; quite possible since I'm drifting into sleepy land)

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God's intention for His creation was a place of perfect happiness and no suffering or illness. However, He gave humans Free Will, including the ability to disobey Him. With the Fall, came the entering of suffering and illness into creation. Microbes became pathogenic as a result of Original Sin. ...

 

Hmmm... I had not heard this before. What do you mean by: suffering; illness; and pathogenic? Starting with the last, it seems to be understood that pathogens predate humans by a great deal. Certainly the evolutionarily conserved neural pathways for pain, & for immune cascades & proteins & so on, show that suffering and illness long predate the evolution of humans on earth. You could argue that non-humans do not "suffer"? though that seems unsubstantianted, esp. in the case of non-human primates & the extinct homo species. And since the pathways for pain & illness-management are older than the evolution of sentience, it seems impossible for humans on earth to have sinned before they suffered. Is there an argument for non-earth origins of sentience & sin? Or some other step I'm missing, different assumption I'm making?

 

Yes, the main point I took away from reading the book is that the statistical likelihood of the conditions necessary for life on Earth arising purely through chance is so infinitesimally small as to be virtually nil. It's like that old cliche about a tornado going through a junkyard and assembling a working 747 jet.

 

:iagree: I thought that was his main point.

 

The other part I really liked about Dr. Gingerich's book was his discussion about the difference between the "efficient" cause (how something happens) and the "final" cause (why something happens). The question "why is the water boiling?" has both a efficient cause (because the water was heated to 212 degrees Fahrenheit) and a final cause (because I want some tea). Both answers are true, but they are answering different questions. Gingerich talks about science as dealing with the efficient causes and faith dealing with the final causes. One isn't true and the other false, they just answer different questions.

 

I like this discussion of efficient vs. final causes -- and I think it has very Classical roots, too ...

 

I do think that materialists are going just as much on faith as theists (faith defined not as religious belief but rather a belief that one can neither prove nor disprove). One can neither prove nor disprove scientifically any role for a supernatural deity in the origins of the universe. Materialists have faith that nothing exists except that which can be measured scientifically, and theists have faith in a supernatural deity beyond the realm of science. Materialists tend to refuse to acknowledge that their beliefs are, in fact, a worldview rather than based in "objective fact". Whether that refusal is "stubborn" and "willful" is a judgment call that I think really varies by the specific individual.

 

I personally reject the definition of faith as something one believes but cannot prove. But faith is a bigger issue, and one I am not at ease discussing with any air of authority. As Christians we are called not to judge; and we are taught that faith is a gift freely given or not, and is not given because of any inherent merit or worthiness (this makes Christianity rather prescient RE modern evidence for a genetic bias in religious feelings). The faith that is given or not, doesn't seem to me to be the more ordinary type of faith that means "assumptions". Tillich's writings RE faith as ultimate concern have made the most sense to me of any writing about what faith means. Also some of CS Lewis' work. I certainly would not be comfortable describing DH's materialism as his faith; secular humanism comes closer. And I must stop there, for faith is territory in which I am hewing my path with fear and trembling.

 

Regarding secular persons, materialist or not: it seems reasonable to me that believing in a divine entity that is omnipotent, omniscient, and has a morality even remotely related to what humans perceive as "good" -- well, that believing in such an entity is a stretch for the imagination, given the universe we inhabit. Which I suppose is the point of this thread -- where is the curriculum that dots the i's and crosses the t's on this one?

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  • 2 weeks later...

I know this thread hasn't been posted to in a while, and was never about Muslims anyway, but I wanted to mention for any Muslims (still) reading it that I recently read this book on Islam and Biological Evolution. I had never read a (to me) thorough discussion of various sides of this issue, and I appreciated the author's mostly methodical treatment of all viewpoints. I read it as my oldest (ds 14) is in the midst of high school biology; I'm not sure it would be accessible for him to read for himself -- it isn't overly long, but particularly the science-y bits I had to read and re-read (not being of a scientific bent).

 

But I very much enjoyed reading the commentaries from classical scholars as well as a few modern-day. And I did learn quite a bit (both in the religious and scientific areas).

 

FYI

 

:)

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Btw the book Darwin's Ghosts:The Secret History of Evolution by Rebecca Stott contains a chapter about the life and work of al-Jahiz of Basra, in particular his 7 volume Book of Living Beings (written in the mid 800s), which was an attempt to synthesize Greek (especially Aristotelian) and Arab knowledge of animals. It contained the kernels of evolution and natural selection, but framed not in terms of savage battles but balance and perfection, and his work serms to have been framed by his belief that God creates things with a purpose and does not abandon them to fate, and that the beauty of the universe is proof of the divine.

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