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kahlanne

Why the need to know?

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I was reading the homeschool convention thread and see that many have a difference of opinion on young earth vs old earth. I realize some have religious reasoning behind their views but if you take that out of the equation, why is it necessary to know the earth's age?  What are the benefits? I ask because my lack of science knowledge rather than to start a debate. My high school had a very weak science program and I can't say I know much more than the basics. As for religion I am Christian but don't really understand why its important to know the exact age in regards to Christianity either. I acknowledge  God is the supreme Creator of all things as Genesis states but the details never bothered me on whether one day to God was actually 24 hrs vs  ???? What am I missing?

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Its not necessarily important to know exactly how old the earth is but to understand certain concepts, evolution for example, one must understand that the earth is billions of years old rather than thousands.  

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I was reading the homeschool convention thread and see that many have a difference of opinion on young earth vs old earth. I realize some have religious reasoning behind their views but if you take that out of the equation, why is it necessary to know the earth's age? What are the benefits? I ask because my lack of science knowledge rather than to start a debate. My high school had a very weak science program and I can't say I know much more than the basics. As for religion I am Christian but don't really understand why its important to know the exact age in regards to Christianity either. I acknowledge God is the supreme Creator of all things as Genesis states but the details never bothered me on whether one day to God was actually 24 hrs vs ???? What am I missing?

For Christians who maintain a belief in biblical inerrancy, it matters for NUMEROUS reasons. When did dinosaurs exist if earth and humans and animals such as we know them were made literally days apart? If there was no death before the Fall of Man, dinos could not exist before humans. The scientific record does not indicate that they lived concurrently, either. There are all sorts of similar conundrums if one believes Genesis is an accurate account of the birth of a young earth. The Bible also had genealogies going from Adam to Christ, (all those "begats") which only total up to something like six thousand years, even if you believe a bunch of those guys lived to be several hundred years old (biblical inerrancy problem again).

 

For Christians who do not concern themselves so much with biblical inerrancy, the problem becomes, "If I don't believe this part is actually correct, why would I believe any of it is?"

 

That's the best summary I can devise at the moment.

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And modern geologic science (OE principles) is how we find petroleum deposits and mineral resources, make natural hazard predictions and preparations, etc.

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And modern geologic science (OE principles) is how we find petroleum deposits and mineral resources, make natural hazard predictions and preparations, etc.

Exactly. If we teach our kids that Hawaii was formed from volcanic activity, obviously time was required for that to happen, unless one thinks God just created Hawaii to seem to be a volcanic island from now on, but not that it began that way.

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I was reading the homeschool convention thread and see that many have a difference of opinion on young earth vs old earth. I realize some have religious reasoning behind their views but if you take that out of the equation, why is it necessary to know the earth's age?  What are the benefits? I ask because my lack of science knowledge rather than to start a debate. 

 

The scientific method is just that - a method. It is a particular means by which we can become familiar with the natural world. This methodology requires certain things to be reliable. Some of these things include identifying different variables, gathering objective information, experimentation, a collection of data, critical thinking about this data, ability for hypotheses to be falsified, free review and criticism from peers, etc. This process is the most reliable process we have of gaining an understanding of the world in which we live. It's not the first, it wasn't developed overnight, there is no office that oversees scientists, there are many unknown variables. However, it remains the most reliable method we have developed over time. If a more reliable method is discovered or developed, it will be used. The age of the earth has been determined by this methodology, over centuries of observation, experimentation, and collection of data. The age of the earth helps explain the theory of evolution, which explains the biodiversity we see in the world, which is in turn used to explore in more detail other unsolved mysteries. It is as much a fact as the germ theory. It's important because what we know influences what we do. Imagine a world in which germ theory is routinely and passionately fought against, and professional educators and public legislators were encouraged to promote the alternative (demon theory of health, say). People would wonder why the controversy, why bother, who cares if a staph infection or demons is attacking my child's blood stream? The point is to make him well, right? Well.. it matters. Having the right information matters. 

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If you are a scientist it matters.  I agree that it does not matter to most people for any practical reason.  The enormous fuss that people on both sides make over evolution in elementary school science, when most kids will never master enough basic science to even understand human biology or local geology, is silly IMO.  It's like having a massive, expensive, divisive, lifelong fight over how science teachers should pronounce "nuclear."

 

I think those resources would be better spent making sure American kids are proficient in reading, writing, math, and other basics.  If we do that, then kids can go to the library and read 100 books about the age of the earth and related topics.

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Is there some particular reason that the reading and writing can't be learned and practiced within the context of science and history?

 

We recently moved to an area that has had a huge spike in earthquake activity. Actually not just huge, massive, with some days being near constant shaking.  There is much debate about the cause of the upswing, but it is becoming progressively more clear  that drilling activity and in particular waste water injection and the geologic damage that occurs with these processes is the cause. 

 

So, in this current situation, many people in this area need to understand geology and plate tectonics and the behavior of various substances during earthquakes than ever before. We need our oil and gas professionals on all levels to deeply understand stratification, underground channels, water tables, and where and how the local fault lines behave. Otherwise they will continue injecting into unsafe areas. 

 

Our architects and builders need to understand all of this as well, in order to balance building for structural integrity as it relates to both tornado safety and earthquake safety.

 

Our septic installers need to understand how the motion of the earth combined with the make up of the particular soil type interacts with traditional septic system design and safety. 

 

Our law makers and judges need an accurate understanding of the geologic principles and reasons for the location of deposits and the safe extraction, so that they can prosecute those who practice unsafely and pass laws to ensure the long term safety and environmental quality of the area. 

 

And finally, we as homeowners need to know and understand both the geology and the science behind the processes of both drilling, injecting, geologic structures and consequences in order to make informed decisions about our properties and advocate for ourcommunity against the big business who is not going to give up without a fight. 

 

All of this requires at least a working understanding of geology, how the formations of aquifers, oil deposits and soil layers occur. The best building and repair practices for what is literally shaky ground, and what rights we may have as owners of the surface land with mineral rights being given away many many generations ago. 

 

In order for all of the information to make sense we all need a basic understanding of how the earth was formed, and the layering of geologic formations over time, the fact that oil is  formed by the carbon based remains of long long ago. (literally why it is called a Fossil Fuel) 

 

Without such knowledge, it is all too likely that hands are thrown in the air and it is left to god, as god's will or wrath  with our only hope being to pray about it and hope he makes it stop. 

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unless one thinks God just created Hawaii to seem to be a volcanic island from now on, but not that it began that way.

 

Which answers some questions but raises many, many more.

 

The whole of modern biology is built on understanding evolution. If you don't understand the concept - and this is the only time I'll say it here, but many creationists prove by their arguments that they do not - then you don't understand modern biology. Which means many discoveries that require evolution are lost to you. If we didn't understand the concept of evolution, we wouldn't be able to grasp why we need new flu vaccines every year, or why we need new pesticides frequently, or why we shouldn't overuse antibiotics. (And those are just some of the topics!)

 

Our understanding of the history of the universe is based, at least on part, on relativity and the speed of light. Relativity isn't some abtruse concept - if we didn't understand that, we wouldn't be able to make GPS function. If you reject the concept that the stars are extremely far away and the light we see now was emited billions of years ago, then you're rejecting relativity, which means there are whole fields that are completely inaccessible to you, forever.

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Thank you to everyone who is taking the time to answer without causing a debate. I find it very informative. I understood why scientist needed to know but wondered how it would factor into daily life of an every day person. A couple of responses above addressed this very question. Thank you.

 

I am sure y'all wonder how I could successfully homeschool, possibly feeling sorry for my children. :blushing: 

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Thank you to everyone who is taking the time to answer without causing a debate. I find it very informative. I understood why scientist needed to know but wondered how it would factor into daily life of an every day person. A couple of responses above addressed this very question. Thank you.

 

I am sure y'all wonder how I could successfully homeschool, possibly feeling sorry for my children. :blushing:

 

Speaking for myself, not at all.  I'm learning something new every day.  Most things I should have already known.

 

ETA: I should have learned by now to proofread before posting. :glare:

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Successful homeschooling is not measured by ones existing knowledge, but rather the ability and decision to research, learn and pass on information in a way the child can understand!

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I am sure y'all wonder how I could successfully homeschool, possibly feeling sorry for my children. :blushing:

 

Not at all!  I've got 8 years of homeschooling under my belt, consider myself to be very well educated and I learned something new from albeto's post above - a new way of thinking  about it that I hadn't previously considered.

 

We all learn every day.  Learning new things is one of the primary reasons I hang out here at WTM.

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For anyone who is interested - this thread http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/345246-the-unscientific-american-watches-a-mammal-walk-into-the-water-and-grow-fins/?hl=evolution - has excellent information on evolution, old earth, and why it's important.  And it actually didn't turn into a debate.   :thumbup1:

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I was reading the homeschool convention thread and see that many have a difference of opinion on young earth vs old earth. I realize some have religious reasoning behind their views but if you take that out of the equation, why is it necessary to know the earth's age?  What are the benefits? I ask because my lack of science knowledge rather than to start a debate.

 

In addition to what others have said?

 

It is important when it comes to understanding the past, present and possible future(s) of the earth. If someone believes that the earth has gone through all of its changes in a mere 6,000 years, then the impact of other scientific discoveries. It is a tool that certain factions use to garner distrust of science in general. The age of the earth was calculated in *1956* by John Claire Patterson, and the evidence for that date being correct has only solidified. There are zero scientific papers disputing the discovery for the last *fifty* years. It wasn't even what Patterson was trying to do. Patterson was trying to get lead out of everyday household products like gasoline and paint. While certain factions try to make everything look like a scientific debate, serious scientists are in almost perfect agreement on MANY issues that are made to look debatable. It will eventually impact every single one of us and/or our children.

 

 

For Christians who maintain a belief in biblical inerrancy, it matters for NUMEROUS reasons. When did dinosaurs exist if earth and humans and animals such as we know them were made literally days apart? If there was no death before the Fall of Man, dinos could not exist before humans. The scientific record does not indicate that they lived concurrently, either. There are all sorts of similar conundrums if one believes Genesis is an accurate account of the birth of a young earth. The Bible also had genealogies going from Adam to Christ, (all those "begats") which only total up to something like six thousand years, even if you believe a bunch of those guys lived to be several hundred years old (biblical inerrancy problem again).

 

For Christians who do not concern themselves so much with biblical inerrancy, the problem becomes, "If I don't believe this part is actually correct, why would I believe any of it is?"

 

That's the best summary I can devise at the moment.

 

Do you mean this is the YEC perspective? As a Christian who isn't a YEC, I wouldn't say that I am not concerned with Biblical inerrancy. I would not say that I believe that part of The Bible is error; I would say that it is symbolic, just like much of the rest of The Bible. NOBODY takes the entirety of The Bible to be literal, not even YECs. The Bible is full of parables, metaphor and symbolism. That doesn't take anything away from its truths, IMO.

 

eta:

 

"I don't think that there's any conflict at all between science today and the Scriptures. I think that we have misinterpreted the Scriptures many times and we've tried to make the Scriptures say things they weren't meant to say, I think that we have made a mistake by thinking the Bible is a scientific book. The Bible is not a book of science. The Bible is a book of Redemption, and of course I accept the Creation story. I believe that God did create the universe. I believe that God created man, and whether it came by an evolutionary process and at a certain point He took this person or being and made him a living soul or not, does not change the fact that God did create man. ... whichever way God did it makes no difference as to what man is and man's relationship to God." - Billy Graham

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If you're asking about day-to-day, I cannot imagine what would change in my life if I suddenly believed in a young earth.

 

Even my science teaching would remain the same; it's perfectly possible to teach something you don't believe by including it as something other people believe in. I don't have to believe in the Greek gods to teach about the beliefs of the ancient Greeks, and I would feel perfectly comfortable teaching old earth science because I'd be teaching science and scientists (almost) all believe in old earth. 

 

But this is all hypothetical, because short of a booming voice coming down from the sky, or historical video from aliens who caught the earth on camera millions of years ago, I would not be convinced.  :D

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If you're asking about day-to-day, I cannot imagine what would change in my life if I suddenly believed in a young earth.

 

Even my science teaching would remain the same; it's perfectly possible to teach something you don't believe by including it as something other people believe in. I don't have to believe in the Greek gods to teach about the beliefs of the ancient Greeks, and I would feel perfectly comfortable teaching old earth science because I'd be teaching science and scientists (almost) all believe in old earth.

Many, many homeschoolers use science curricula that absolutely do not teach old earth theories except to present them as wrong and/or debatable. For example, Apologia Biology (*widely* used by Christian homeschoolers) contains completely incorrect information. My friend's son was telling my son (I grant you this is hearsay, because I don't own the book) that his science book (Apologia Biology for high school) explained that T-Rex couldn't have been a carnivore because the roots of the teeth were only 2" long. This is not true at all. The roots of a T-Rex's teeth are 4-6" long, half the tooth was embedded in the skull. We also know that T-Rex's teeth were continually replaced, similar to sharks. These are the sorts of flat out untrue claims made by YEC "science" books.

 

People like HSLDA represent to the general public what homeschoolers think, here is one of their reps answering a question about homeschool science curriculum:

"'The majority of home-schoolers self-identify as evangelical Christians,' said Ian Slatter, a spokesman for the Home School Legal Defense Association. 'Most home-schoolers will definitely have a sort of creationist component to their home-school program.'"

 

Even if it is true that the majority of homeschoolers identify as evangelical Christians, it does not logically follow that they will "definitely" have a creationist (implied YEC) component to their program. It casts a shadow on homeschooling in general and reduces the likelihood that producers of mainstream science curricula will be willing to work with homeschoolers. Therefore, these fringe beliefs being put forth as a *common* belief among homeschoolers absolutely affect me and my children.

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Its not necessarily important to know exactly how old the earth is but to understand certain concepts, evolution for example, one must understand that the earth is billions of years old rather than thousands.  

 

 

This exactly. As a parent who is picky about her children's friends... knowing someone is YE enables me to weed out people I do not want in my children's lives because we are a logical, fact based family. As homeschoolers, we do a lot of science. If I know you do not follow commonly accepted scientific principles, then I also know you aren't going to want to hang around us.

 

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This exactly. As a parent who is picky about her children's friends... knowing someone is YE enables me to weed out people I do not want in my children's lives because we are a logical, fact based family. As homeschoolers, we do a lot of science. If I know you do not follow commonly accepted scientific principles, then I also know you aren't going to want to hang around us.

Hm, I guess I'd like my sphere of influence to be greater than people who think like me. Granted, I occasionally have to go back and do some re-teaching with my kids or explore a concept more. But, that's just an opportunity to emphasize what they have already been taught. There are other reasons people want to hang out with me. :D

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People like HSLDA represent to the general public what homeschoolers think, here is one of their reps answering a question about homeschool science curriculum: "The majority of home-schoolers self-identify as evangelical Christians," said Ian Slatter, a spokesman for the Home School Legal Defense Association. "Most home-schoolers will definitely have a sort of creationist component to their home-school program." Even if it is true that the majority of homeschoolers identify as evangelical Christians, it does not logically follow that they will "definitely" have a creationist (implied YEC) component to their program. It casts a shadow on homeschooling in general and reduces the likelihood that producers of mainstream science curricula will be willing to work with homeschoolers. Therefore, these fringe beliefs being put forth as a *common* belief among homeschoolers absolutely affect me and my children.

 

If it is still a "majority" or "most", I bet it isn't by much these days.  So many people are starting to homeschool due to problems with Common Core or lack of funding in schools.   I guess we'll never really know though.  

 

I think (purely my opinion from the groups I belong to) NJ has a clear majority of secular homeschoolers, or at the very least not YE.  But since we are a non-reporting state, it would be pretty hard to prove either way.  Even in reporting states, is this kind of information collected?  Or is HSLDA just going by their membership numbers, which I'm sure tend to lean conservative and evangelical, so would certainly be skewed.

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And here is just a minor point (*sort of* off topic) regarding scientists from Neil deGrasse Tyson:

 

 

When we pretend that basic scientific principles are debatable, then we take science and scientists our of the daily sphere of influence. I think this actually is a major reason that we are struggling to produce scientists in the US.

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If it is still a "majority" or "most", I bet it isn't by much these days.  So many people are starting to homeschool due to problems with Common Core or lack of funding in schools.   I guess we'll never really know though.  

 

I think (purely my opinion from the groups I belong to) NJ has a clear majority of secular homeschoolers, or at the very least not YE.  But since we are a non-reporting state, it would be pretty hard to prove either way.  Even in reporting states, is this kind of information collected?  Or is HSLDA just going by their membership numbers, which I'm sure tend to lean conservative and evangelical, so would certainly be skewed.

The thing is, it doesn't matter. HSLDA doesn't call itself the "Christian Home School Legal Defense Association." It clearly represents itself as representing homeschoolers at large. It has an extremely big political presence and lobbying component, often shouldering out local homeschool groups fighting local issues. There is no large secular organization with equal "clout" because homeschoolers on the other end of the spectrum tend to believe in self advocating or working in local grass roots groups instead of national organizations. Other than a large letter writing campaign from individuals and small homeschooling groups across the country to politicians to say, "this group does not represent our interests," I'm not sure how to counter their influence.

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Do you mean this is the YEC perspective? As a Christian who isn't a YEC, I wouldn't say that I am not concerned with Biblical inerrancy. I would not say that I believe that part of The Bible is error; I would say that it is symbolic, just like much of the rest of The Bible. NOBODY takes the entirety of The Bible to be literal, not even YECs. The Bible is full of parables, metaphor and symbolism. That doesn't take anything away from its truths, IMO.

 

This is what I have heard argued by YEC, when I was one. There was, for example, a talk on the radio one; I want to say the man was named David Moore? I don't recall. This was eight or more years ago. Anyway, he was making a case for why Yec is correct theology, and how a Christian can't logically believe in OE. (This was HIS argument; i am not supporting it, you understand.) so, he "debunked" the Day-Age theory, and The Gap theory. He spoke of all these "facts" that support YE, such as cosmic dust on the moon.

 

I gotta go now. More later.

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This is what I have heard argued by YEC, when I was one.

Gotcha. ;) I was just clarifying that a Christian who holds more mainstream beliefs (for lack of a better word, I know that one has been debated when used in conjunction with talk about scientific principles) about science would have a different perspective. :D

 

 

There was, for example, a talk on the radio one; I want to say the man was named David Moore? I don't recall. This was eight or more years ago. Anyway, he was making a case for why Yec is correct theology, and how a Christian can't logically believe in OE. (This was HIS argument; i am not supporting it, you understand.) so, he "debunked" the Day-Age theory, and The Gap theory. He spoke of all these "facts" that support YE, such as cosmic dust on the moon.

For those interested in learning more about these "controversies," this is a great website:

http://www.oldearth.org

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I don't know how one can teach dinosaur obsessed children without the different eras being a topic of discussion.

 

 

 

I don't avoid discussing things just because they might be controversial...which can be an attribute as well as a fault. :lol:

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For Christians who maintain a belief in biblical inerrancy, it matters for NUMEROUS reasons. When did dinosaurs exist if earth and humans and animals such as we know them were made literally days apart? If there was no death before the Fall of Man, dinos could not exist before humans. The scientific record does not indicate that they lived concurrently, either. There are all sorts of similar conundrums if one believes Genesis is an accurate account of the birth of a young earth. The Bible also had genealogies going from Adam to Christ, (all those "begats") which only total up to something like six thousand years, even if you believe a bunch of those guys lived to be several hundred years old (biblical inerrancy problem again).

 

For Christians who do not concern themselves so much with biblical inerrancy, the problem becomes, "If I don't believe this part is actually correct, why would I believe any of it is?"

 

That's the best summary I can devise at the moment.

 

This!

 

 

 

Not at all!  I've got 8 years of homeschooling under my belt, consider myself to be very well educated and I learned something new from albeto's post above - a new way of thinking  about it that I hadn't previously considered.

 

We all learn every day.  Learning new things is one of the primary reasons I hang out here at WTM.

 

Also, this.  I disagree with certain posters on most matters, yet I love reading their posts.  Even if it doesn't change my stance it helps me clearly see how others see things.  Sometimes I learn, sometimes I reaffirm my beliefs.

 

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If you are a scientist it matters.  I agree that it does not matter to most people for any practical reason.  The enormous fuss that people on both sides make over evolution in elementary school science, when most kids will never master enough basic science to even understand human biology or local geology, is silly IMO.  It's like having a massive, expensive, divisive, lifelong fight over how science teachers should pronounce "nuclear."

 

 

To the bolded I say that science is not being taught properly if this is the case.  The unfortunate reality is that many in our culture (including educators) are scientifically and mathematically illiterate. Because many Americans are not learning about science at an early age does not mean that they cannot.

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The scientific method is just that - a method. It is a particular means by which we can become familiar with the natural world. This methodology requires certain things to be reliable. Some of these things include identifying different variables, gathering objective information, experimentation, a collection of data, critical thinking about this data, ability for hypotheses to be falsified, free review and criticism from peers, etc. This process is the most reliable process we have of gaining an understanding of the world in which we live. It's not the first, it wasn't developed overnight, there is no office that oversees scientists, there are many unknown variables. However, it remains the most reliable method we have developed over time. If a more reliable method is discovered or developed, it will be used. The age of the earth has been determined by this methodology, over centuries of observation, experimentation, and collection of data. The age of the earth helps explain the theory of evolution, which explains the biodiversity we see in the world, which is in turn used to explore in more detail other unsolved mysteries. It is as much a fact as the germ theory. It's important because what we know influences what we do. Imagine a world in which germ theory is routinely and passionately fought against, and professional educators and public legislators were encouraged to promote the alternative (demon theory of health, say). People would wonder why the controversy, why bother, who cares if a staph infection or demons is attacking my child's blood stream? The point is to make him well, right? Well.. it matters. Having the right information matters.

 

I want to marry this post.

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To the bolded I say that science is not being taught properly if this is the case.  The unfortunate reality is that many in our culture (including educators) are scientifically and mathematically illiterate. Because many Americans are not learning about science at an early age does not mean that they cannot.

 

+100

 

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Many, many homeschoolers use science curricula that absolutely do not teach old earth theories except to present them as wrong and/or debatable. For example, Apologia Biology (*widely* used by Christian homeschoolers) contains completely incorrect information. My friend's son was telling my son (I grant you this is hearsay, because I don't own the book) that his science book (Apologia Biology for high school) explained that T-Rex couldn't have been a carnivore because the roots of the teeth were only 2" long. This is not true at all. The roots of a T-Rex's teeth are 4-6" long, half the tooth was embedded in the skull. We also know that T-Rex's teeth were continually replaced, similar to sharks. These are the sorts of flat out untrue claims made by YEC "science" books.

 

People like HSLDA represent to the general public what homeschoolers think, here is one of their reps answering a question about homeschool science curriculum:

"'The majority of home-schoolers self-identify as evangelical Christians,' said Ian Slatter, a spokesman for the Home School Legal Defense Association. 'Most home-schoolers will definitely have a sort of creationist component to their home-school program.'"

 

Even if it is true that the majority of homeschoolers identify as evangelical Christians, it does not logically follow that they will "definitely" have a creationist (implied YEC) component to their program. It casts a shadow on homeschooling in general and reduces the likelihood that producers of mainstream science curricula will be willing to work with homeschoolers. Therefore, these fringe beliefs being put forth as a *common* belief among homeschoolers absolutely affect me and my children.

 

I agree with everything you wrote but don't understand why you quoted me. Your response doesn't seem to follow from what I posted, which is what I would personally do. Did you mean to quote someone else?

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To the bolded I say that science is not being taught properly if this is the case.  The unfortunate reality is that many in our culture (including educators) are scientifically and mathematically illiterate. Because many Americans are not learning about science at an early age does not mean that they cannot.

 

It also follows that simply because someone is YE doesn't mean they have not learned science. There are well-educated YE'ers out there as well.

 

I again feel the need to say I am not YE.  :D

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I agree with everything you wrote but don't understand why you quoted me. Your response doesn't seem to follow from what I posted, which is what I would personally do. Did you mean to quote someone else?

I did mean to quote you, but your post was more of a jumping off point to my post, sorry it wasn't a more direct response. :) I took your post as sort of musing as to whether such beliefs affect you and your kids. I think the fact people (many homeschoolers) hold such beliefs and promote them is something that affects you and your kids, probably in ways you might not even realize. Does that help?

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It also follows that simply because someone is YE doesn't mean they have not learned science. There are well-educated YE'ers out there as well.

 

I again feel the need to say I am not YE. :D

Hm. I think that depends upon what one means by well educated? I think someone can be well educated in some areas and lacking in others. Being systematically filled with *incorrect beliefs* about science (like stuff you might find in certain textbooks marketed to homeschoolers) doesn't make you well educated in the subject. Does that make sense?

 

Eta: I am typing on my phone while my kids are at the dentist, and I have a hard time making sure my posts are readable on the tiny screen. :D

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If it is still a "majority" or "most", I bet it isn't by much these days.  So many people are starting to homeschool due to problems with Common Core or lack of funding in schools.   I guess we'll never really know though.  

 

I think (purely my opinion from the groups I belong to) NJ has a clear majority of secular homeschoolers, or at the very least not YE.  But since we are a non-reporting state, it would be pretty hard to prove either way.  Even in reporting states, is this kind of information collected?  Or is HSLDA just going by their membership numbers, which I'm sure tend to lean conservative and evangelical, so would certainly be skewed.

HSLDA is making claims it can't support. Michigan is a non reporting state. While I've met my fair share of YE homeschoolers, I've also met many that aren't. Our PS's are tanking, especially in rural areas where budget cuts have taken just about every possible decent course off the schedule in favor of more remedial classes. Every year more people are homeschooling and many of them are secular homeschoolers not affiliated with a specific group within evangelicalism. Most of the former SOF homeschool groups have fallen apart. Many more are taking advantage of library groups...some interesting middle school book clubs have started recently, and other community resources that while limited are at least not exclusive.

 

The State Board of Education already greatly underestimates the number of kids who are homeschooled because they can only count those that are removed from school and the school knows for a fact it is not because a family moved. Children who have never attended a ps are not on their horizons. They aren't on HSLDA's horizons either because many families in Michigan do not feel the need to have legal representation. It's just not common to have issues with homeschooling and CPS, police, or the school district. Alaska, Indiana...I can think of several states where it is extremely easy to never be counted, and of those families, no one could say for certain what they believe on YE/OE unless they join a co-op with SOF that then reports to HSLDA or if they join HSLDA. Given HSLDA's annual budget, they do not come near getting dues from even half of the estimated numbers from the Federal Department of Education and THAT estimate is probably too low to be even close to accurate.

 

A couple of years ago, there was an article about homeschooling in National Geographic from one of their regular contributors who decided to homeschool because he had a once in a lifetime opportunity for his kids to visit a foreign country with him for a month. The school refused to work with him and was going to fail the kids due to draconian attendance policies. I seriously doubt that a contributor to National Geographic is YE. Maybe....but, I doubt it. It is one example amongst many of how homeschooling is no longer only represented by one aspect of evangelicalism. It is just becoming more and more common to run across homeschooling families who aren't going to fit with "statement of faith" homeschool groups.

 

That said, I am not sure why ANYONE needs to know this other than a busy body nature that is seeking to separate themselves from others who believe differently on religious topics. It's a weeding mechanism so that those who wish to be more like the separatists or worse, puritans, can figure out who is who and avoid the sneeches that don't have stars, to use Dr. Seuss' take on discrimination. It really shouldn't be anyone else's business. One would think with as many topics in science, math, literature, history, art, music, sports, you name it, people would be able to find common ground as homeschoolers and be able to hang out for an hour without haranguing each other about origins of the universe. I mean really! When I discuss how to balance chemical equations with other moms, the Big Bang vs. God vs. geological evidence vs. falsified moth photos, vs. ....... you get the drift, Never Comes UP! It's just not necessary. The YE mom doesn't need to bring it up to me, and I don't need to bring OE up to her. Really, it's just not on the horizon. BUT, there are definitely people for whom it is. I have been rejected as a tutor because I was asked what my beliefs were and told I wasn't the right kind of sneech. I try very, very hard not to think of these people as "not my kind of sneech" because I don't want to be that kind of person, and I want to role model inclusivity, and non discrimination to my kids. I would like them to look for the common ground and what brings peace, not division within the culture. However, I have to tell you that some days it is very, very, very hard!

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It might be important if evolution was a known fact, but it is still just a theory.  Carbon dating isn't very accurate either.  People who want to believe the earth is very very old and that God doesn't exist, want to believe that evolution is a fact and that carbon dating is actually accurate.

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Not everyone is well educated about ALL subjects. Its just a trap to even worry about can you be "well educated" and believe the earth is 6000 yrs old. The fact is, if you believe the earth is young you are refusing to acknowledge peer reviewed credible scientific material. You are refusing because your personal bias is in the way. You are choosing to believe this in the face of all incontrovertible evidence.

 

It doesn't mean you are not well educated IMO.

 

It means you are discarding reason.

 

I believe in God. I pray. I am choosing to embrace the illogical and I am ok with that. I am well educated. I just CHOOSE to embrace the inconceivable. Ask Albeto. She'll tell you. ;0 Its not rational. And thats ok for me.

I believe in God too. I disagree that it automatically means that I am discarding reason or rationality, even if the existence of God cannot be proven through reason.

 

But, I also think the science on the age of the earth is well proven enough that rejecting it is akin to believing in a geocentric universe (or even solar system), which people also used to insist was anti-religion and against a literal interpretation of The Bible (people were even excommunicated and/or put to death over it).

 

I guess I *have* to believe that people rejecting it are not well educated on the subject because it is hard to reject so much science at once? It even rejects basic reason-where did all of these fossils of giant ferns and dinosaurs come from? I can't make any kind of sense from it, knowing what I know.

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It might be important if evolution was a known fact, but it is still just a theory.

This statement indicates a lack of understanding about what a scientific theory is, IMO.

 

Carbon dating isn't very accurate either.

According to whom? Evidence for this statement?

 

People who want to believe the earth is very very old and that God doesn't exist, want to believe that evolution is a fact and that carbon dating is actually accurate.

I believe the earth is billions of years old. I believe carbon dating is accurate given it's intended parameters. I believe in God.

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It might be important if evolution was a known fact, but it is still just a theory. Carbon dating isn't very accurate either. People who want to believe the earth is very very old and that God doesn't exist, want to believe that evolution is a fact and that carbon dating is actually accurate.

First, there are lots of people who believe the Earth is old, evolution is accurate, and God is real.

 

Please do not use the age of the Earth as a way to define who does and does not profess faith in God the creator.

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It might be important if evolution was a known fact, but it is still just a theory.  Carbon dating isn't very accurate either.  People who want to believe the earth is very very old and that God doesn't exist, want to believe that evolution is a fact and that carbon dating is actually accurate.

 

Your use of the word "and" suggests that you do not acknowledge that some people believe the earth is very old and that God exists.  These are not mutually exclusive statements.

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I did mean to quote you, but your post was more of a jumping off point to my post, sorry it wasn't a more direct response. :) I took your post as sort of musing as to whether such beliefs affect you and your kids. I think the fact people (many homeschoolers) hold such beliefs and promote them is something that affects you and your kids, probably in ways you might not even realize. Does that help?

 

Thanks for the info.

 

I agree that such things as HSLDA affect me and my kids. I was confused because I was only speaking about what I would do differently if I were suddenly YE, and the answer was "nothing" because I think it's possible to teach something you don't personally believe in and to teach it objectively.  :)

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Sneeches. I could run an entire convention on home education based on Sneeches! LOL, check your religious beliefs at the door because we are all in this home education thing together. So let's talk about Hamlet, polynomials, and angular momentum!

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It might be important if evolution was a known fact, but it is still just a theory.  Carbon dating isn't very accurate either.  People who want to believe the earth is very very old and that God doesn't exist, want to believe that evolution is a fact and that carbon dating is actually accurate.

First of all, as was discussed many times here before, the word theory when used in a scientific context does not mean the same thing as used in the general vernacular.  What you mean by theory is more of a hypotheses.  What scientists mean by theory is much closer to the word "fact." 

http://www.livescience.com/21491-what-is-a-scientific-theory-definition-of-theory.html

 

Also, carbon dating is not the only dating that is done.  Different isotopes are used for different purposes.  Some isotopes are more useful for long-term dating.  Some for shorter term dating.  From what I understand, uranium is used for much older dating purposes than carbon. 

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/03/3/l_033_01.html

http://geomaps.wr.usgs.gov/parks/gtime/ageofearth.html

http://www.universetoday.com/75805/how-old-is-the-earth/

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Hm. I think that depends upon what one means by well educated? I think someone can be well educated in some areas and lacking in others. Being systematically filled with *incorrect beliefs* about science (like stuff you might find in certain textbooks marketed to homeschoolers) doesn't make you well educated in the subject. Does that make sense?

 

Eta: I am typing on my phone while my kids are at the dentist, and I have a hard time making sure my posts are readable on the tiny screen. :D

 

I'll PM you.  :)

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It also follows that simply because someone is YE doesn't mean they have not learned science. There are well-educated YE'ers out there as well.

 

I again feel the need to say I am not YE.  :D

 

To be honest, I know many scientists but there is not a single YEer among them.  Perhaps my experience is limited?  Who in the National Academy of Science is a YEer for example?

 

Looking back to the 19th century, I can think of people like Agassiz who were anti-Darwinian but not YE. 

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For Christians who maintain a belief in biblical inerrancy, it matters for NUMEROUS reasons. When did dinosaurs exist if earth and humans and animals such as we know them were made literally days apart? If there was no death before the Fall of Man, dinos could not exist before humans. The scientific record does not indicate that they lived concurrently, either. There are all sorts of similar conundrums if one believes Genesis is an accurate account of the birth of a young earth. The Bible also had genealogies going from Adam to Christ, (all those "begats") which only total up to something like six thousand years, even if you believe a bunch of those guys lived to be several hundred years old (biblical inerrancy problem again).

 

For Christians who do not concern themselves so much with biblical inerrancy, the problem becomes, "If I don't believe this part is actually correct, why would I believe any of it is?"

 

That's the best summary I can devise at the moment.

This is a most excellent summary. Day to day it doesn't make much difference to me - but creation and the timeline of the bible is foundstionally important to many doctrines. It isn't necessarily a salvation issue in and of itself, but the outflow of how differing views on this affect the rest of one's theology isn't to be underestimated. Especially in the areas of death before sin and biblical inerrancy.

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I believe in God too. I disagree that it automatically means that I am discarding reason or rationality, even if the existence of God cannot be proven through reason.

 

But, I also think the science on the age of the earth is well proven enough that rejecting it is akin to believing in a geocentric universe (or even solar system), which people also used to insist was anti-religion and against a literal interpretation of The Bible (people were even excommunicated and/or put to death over it).

 

I guess I *have* to believe that people rejecting it are not well educated on the subject because it is hard to reject so much science at once? It even rejects basic reason-where did all of these fossils of giant ferns and dinosaurs come from? I can't make any kind of sense from it, knowing what I know.

My parents are firmly YEC. I was brought up with the subtle influence of constant ridicule and rejection of materials that uttered the words, "...billions of years ago..." Clearly there were some subjects my parents avoided. In other cases, they couldn't avoid it, but would substitute their view in exchange. So when a tv show spoke about the marine fossils embedded in, say, the walls of the Grand Canyon, my parents would dub over their version of how that could be (the Great Flood). But I do remember different things that made inherent sense to me as explained scientifically. The Appalachian Mountain range is an old range - see how it is worn down? The Rockies are younger - see how they are jagged? I knew my parent's explanation for this was that God made the Rockies tall and jagged, but made the Appalachians low and rounded. This did not sit well with me, even when I was young. Other things too - as a child, I found Galapagos fascinating. How could the animals there behave differently from others in their class, such as Marine Iguanas? How could animals *become* perfectly suited to their environment when they did not begin that way? (Texas Blind Salamander) Clearly, adaptation does occur. Still, I did not go looking much for the OE explanation, because I had always been taught that this was atheist propaganda that seeks to eliminate the need for God.

 

It wasn't until I was hsing my kids that I started to delve into YE/OE, because, though I was YE, I wanted to give sound and intelligent reasons why YE was logical. I did not find them.

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The word THEORY has a meaning in science and I don't think that word means what you think that means.

 

(Also Maaaaawiage bwings us togever today.)

It is "inconceivable" to think otherwise.

 

 

Still, as you wish. :D

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