Is faithless education possible?
Is secular education ‘religion free’?
Published: 2 February 2014 (GMT+10)
Alan S., from the USA, comments on the article Faith, not facts:
I find the article very interesting, but I find the author misses the point. When your teachers are not religiously motivated, they will teach only what there is physical evidence for. Evolution, for example, has transitional fossils and carbon dating to back up claims of extending before “your world” was even created. You were quite right to go to a religious school if you could not tolerate learning only what there is evidence for outside the Bible. To put it in simpler terms, science assumes the bible is not a resource, and publishes only what we can figure out without using any religious text. I’m certain you’re smart enough to understand all of this, but I’ve just come to make my plea: Please don’t try to destroy what human rights and science advocates have worked for since the enlightenment. Keep your religion out of public schools.
Don Batten replies:
When your teachers are not religiously motivated, they will teach only what there is physical evidence for.
Evolution, for example, has transitional fossils and carbon dating to back up claims of extending before ‘your world’ was even created.
No, the transitional fossils are notoriously absent, if evolution happened. And carbon dating is a huge problem for evolution and its claimed billions of years. For example: Radiocarbon in diamonds: enemy of billions of years.
To put it in simpler terms, science assumes the Bible is not a resource, and publishes only what we can figure out without using any religious text.
Pardon me but your religious bias is showing again. Science assumes no such thing. The founders of modern science, such as Newton, Faraday, Pascal, et al., assumed the truths of the Bible in their framework of thinking that helped them do science. See: The biblical roots of modern science. Atheists today have tried to hijack science to say something that it plainly does not and cannot say. The position that the Bible is not to be considered as a resource when studying history is a philosophical (religious) decision; it is not based on evidence. There is abundant evidence that the Bible is reliable account of history and should be a primary source. See the Archaeology Q&A.
Furthermore, there is a confusion here about ‘science’. There is the science that claims to know what happened in history (its practitioners today dream up stories that try to explain everything without reference to a creator, no matter how illogical this is) and there is the science that investigates how the world today operates. They are quite different; see ‘It’s not science’! There is nothing in operational science that contradicts the Bible. The founders of modern science recognized that science depended on repeatable experiments. History is not open to repeatable experiments. The greatest scientist of all time, Isaac Newton, believed the eyewitness account of history given in the Bible (he even studied the chronology of the world based on the Bible’s historical record).
I’ve just come to make my plea: Please don’t try to destroy what human rights and science advocates have worked for since the enlightenment.
Do you want human rights and science, or do you want the fruit of the (so-called) ‘Enlightenment’? Human rights and science came from Christianity, not the materialistic Enlightenment. For example, slavery was abolished by Christians, not materialists who supported anti-Christian ‘Enlightenment’ dogma. The ‘Enlightenment’ produced the French Revolution with its ‘reign of terror’ and the 20th century bloodbath of Marxism. How can you get ‘all men are created equal’ from chemistry and physics? Evolution is about survival of the fittest, not compassion for the unfit. As secular humanism (atheism) has gained ground in academia, once-great nations have been sinking into darkness, not emerging into the light. Just look at the statistics on crime, suicide, abortion, drug abuse, family breakdown, child delinquency, etc. Even A.C. Grayling, prominent British atheist, admitted: “You can see we no longer really believe in God, because of all the CCTV cameras keeping watch on us.” (in an interview in The Guardian (U.K.), 3 April 2011). Another British atheist, Roy Hattersley, had to agree:
And I often say I never hear of atheist organizations taking food to the poor. You don’t hear of ‘Atheist Aid’ rather like Christian aid, and, I think, despite my inability to believe myself, I’m deeply impressed by what belief does for people like the Salvation Army.
True enlightenment comes from God: “For the Lord gives wisdom; out of his mouth comes knowledge and understanding” (Proverbs 2:6).
Keep your religion out of public schools.
So that your religion can have no competition? It is clear that atheists cannot allow children in schools to hear of evidence against their creation myth (cosmic evolution), or they will likely not believe it (as Eugenie Scott admitted), so indoctrination is the order of the day rather than true education. They have even set up organisations to protect evolutionism from criticism in educational institutions. So much for ‘free thinkers’ and ‘being open to following the evidence wherever it leads’, etc. The religion of atheism/secularism has replaced Christianity in public schools. You cannot have ‘no religion’; any position begins with philosophical (religious) presuppositions (unprovable beliefs).
As brief as I can make it. My proposition: Based upon our constitution [USA] government cannot prefer or prevent religious exercise, however in the public school classroom religion is very publicly displayed each and every day. Since science teaching should be a simple stating of the facts and not an interpretation of them, then Evolution has crossed the line into evangelistic territory and is in fact (very much) a faith based endeavor violating the separation of church and state. Let me hear what you think.
That's what we are saying; that nothing-to-minds cosmic evolution is a religious position.
Faithless education is an oxymoron promoted by atheists and materialists who want to shun any inclusion of an infinite aspect of the natural or created world. Incidentally, rejecting an infinite aspect to the world moves against axioms of math, science, and physics.
Learning, theories, and academic progress can not be produced without FAITH. Without getting into details, Paul Tillich argued that faith is the belief in a reality that is beyond our present circumstance. It is, to paraphrase David Hume, a belief in an unobserved concept or entity. Faith is the belief in something not proven, which is what makes it so simple and challenging. Therefore, whether one is talking about God or a theory of Physics, the mechanics of faith are the same. If we are to grow closer to God or to increase the wealth of human knowledge, we must move beyond the present circumstance and pursue that which is still unobserved. Otherwise, stagnation will occur.
Education needs faith or, as Einstein praised, imagination. Education needs to explain the unobserved and keep clarifying our understanding. The same is true of religions. Our understanding of God is certainly different than it was thousands of years ago.
Overall, education and theology both are founded on faith- the attempt to gain knowledge of the unobserved.
While faith goes beyond what is observed, it is not disconnected. True faith helps make sense of what is observed.
Which is worst: A faithless mind or a mindless faith?
Well, the first is not possible. The atheist, for example, has an incredible 'faith': hydrogen (from the big bang) generated minds, and ultimately he believes that nothing times nobody produced everything and everybody (acknowledgement to Dave Coppedge). And while the second is possible, it is not what we are encouraged to be like in the Bible. We are called to worship God with all our heart, mind and soul.
All humans look for reasons as to why we are here, I feel this alone is glaring evidence of a creator. The atheist, as well as Christian, also looks for answers, and yes those answers change as new theories are put forward. The majority of atheists do not understand science and rely on people like Dawkins, Harris, Krauss, etc. to provide them with current explanations. The universe from nothing, humans from bacteria. These people are the shining lights for the atheist movement. They provide answers for the atheist.
Well,I have met Krauss and seen a lot of Dawkins. If you believe him when he talks about multiuniverses, if you believe Dawkins when he tells you it is a scientific fact we evolved from sea sponges, these ordinary men who tell you there is no God. I think it is laughable if not for the fact that these people are the educators for future generations. Science is not an atheist ,that IS a Fact! Are these men too arrogant or do they simply over estimate their God given intelligence?
If you look at the world and examine the science and just as importantly look inward at yourself as a being, God is obvious! A belief in God does not limit you in your scientific endeavours, in fact it gives it real meaning and relevance! As a Christian I do not look to the wanna be, arrogant academics to provide me the answers to life. I look to a higher power!
We all have free will (although Harris will tell you that you do not and you are a chemical reaction). If you choose to believe there is no God, then be honest with your self to admit life has no meaning or relevance. Love, compassion, respect, are chemical cocktails and nothing more.
As a parent do I want my children to go to a school that pushes the atheist philosophy that your writer seems so proud of? .....God help us if that occurs.
Sir, that was so well said. I enjoy it when you guys take apart letters and answer them point by point. I so enjoy them , I even wonder could they be put into booklets some time. I believe they would point out a lot of point/issues to a lot of people.
Good on you guys, thank the good Lord for you all & keep up the good work.
With respect and regard,
How true this is. I work for the Public School Board. Just yesterday I posted a link to the CMI review of the Nye/Ham debate to the Board CHATT service, thinking it was helpful educational information. This is the response I got:
Your message in [the Board] Staff Room has been removed as it violates the Board's Equity and Inclusive Education Policy. The policy covering this is excerpted below:
“[the Board] will not distribute faith based literature or act as agents for distributing face based literature to students, families, and staff.”
Please note that if you continue to post messages contrary to the policy, you may lose your CHATT privileges.
Thank you for your cooperation,...
Note these points: 1) the policy is not Equitable nor INclusive - it is EXclusive, just as Don's point says; 2) the threat to remove privileges amounts to bullying, one of the main things the Board is adamantly campaigning to wipe out; 3) ironically, there is a typo: 'faith' has turned to 'face'. Perhaps it should read 'we only accept two-faced literature...'
The more you learn about the futility of evolution to explain anything (origin of life, stars/galaxies, planets, fossil record, or any other topic in biology, geology, or astronomy) the more obvious it becomes why they make every effort to maintain their monopoly in the public school system, museums, and mainstream publications.
The many quotes about evolution winning by default or admissions of it being a faith based system by several evolutionists speak volumes.
As CMI and others have stated, if the evidence was so overwhelming what would they be afraid of? If they thought creation was so absurd they should eagerly take it on to show it's vast "inferiority".
Perhaps the best analogy for evolution in this great battle of hearts, souls and minds is as a prizefighter. Evolution is a prizefighter that talks trash all day long in every form of media about how they are the undisputed champ and how pathetic their opponent is by comparison.
Yet when their competitor challenges them to a fight, the only prizefighting maneuver they show is evasion as they completely duck fight after fight.
And the only time they do occasionally fight it's hit and run cheap shots or in a ring with brass knuckles or some other kind of dishonest advantage.
But it's never a straight up mano a mano fight versus an opponent that evolutionists' boast they could beat with their eyes closed and with one hand tied behind their back.
That's because those of us who know the truth know that if all of the raw data (most of which is unfavorable to evolution and favorable to creation) was allowed in a public school system evolution would lose in a first round TKO.
And the evolutionists in charge of institutions know it too which is why they publicly are all about fluff, bluff, and bluster.
What if we went back to the 3 'r's of education in the public school. Private schools are privately funded and therefore have freedom to do different. Can science teachers resist the evolutionary concepts when teaching? Hopefully they are 'educated' enough to do this. As another responder said, schools can have extra curriculum courses discussing evolution and creation (not versus) as these are the predominate thoughts in this part of the world. We are (in part) a 'christian' value based nation.
Thank you for your informative reply to what could be seen as the standard response of non Bible believers. My take on the debate is simple.
Why would respected scientists bother to try and refute what, in their eyes, is an ancient creation myth of the Jews in an attempt to replace it with Darwinism, yet they do not refute the other ancient creation myths put forward around the same time, by e.g. the Egyptians or Greeks or by other religions?
The only reasonable answer to this question can be that they know in their hearts that all other ancient creation myths are just that, but that the Jewish 'creation myth' is true as clearly stated by Paul in Romans 1:19-23:
'Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.'
The bible states that it is our sins that separate us from God, when Adam and Eve disobeyed God, they ran and hid themselves. That exactly what we are doing, running away from God. God called out to Adam! " we're are you Adam" his calling out to you " were are you my children" " return unto me and I will return unto you because I love you. Just admit your sins in the name of My Son Jesus and I am just and merciful to forgive your sins and remember them no more as if you've never sinned, then I will cleanse you from all unrighteousness and give you a heart of flesh and you will become my child and I your God, I did not send my Son into the world to condem the world but that the world would be saved through Him, please consider. Your Heavenly Father.
Dr Batten. Outstanding, as usual. I notice that many/most/some of your objectors show they ignore our evidence for the Bible's truth. They will suffer the consequences of ignoring God's multiple evidence and of just spewing out their banal talk instead. The Bible says," Because they did not receive the love of the truth, God shall send them strong delusion so that they believe the lie."
But we who believe God could safely ignore evolution/atheism's chatter. Why? Jump straight to the conclusion of the matter. When a believer dies, if evolutionists were right, he/she knows no grief or loss. But if God's Word, in which we trust, is the correct choice, atheist evolutionists know grief and loss for ever. The stakes are too big to trust our own flimsy ideas. We absolutely have to trust Jesus to save us from our damning sins.
I do not know the detail of evolution that is taught in schools, but having been following the science over the past ten years, I have noted that the scientific evidence is trending against rather than for the neo-Darwinian explanation. Even 'died-in-the-wool' evolutionists are now rejecting the variation-selection model and trying to find solutions that accommodate what is known in bio-chemistry, genetics, and information theory, and not very successfully at that. The situation is somewhat akin to cosmology whereby the Big Bang model is generally accepted, but many scientists acknowledge the flaws and seek alternate explanations such as multi-verses etc. The really curious aspect is that the hypothesis remains long after the scientific ideas that gave rise to it have been soundly refuted. If that is not a faith-based approach, what is? I wonder what Charles Darwin would have made of our new understanding, and whether his intellectual integrity would cause him to acknowledge his error?
Love your work!!! Keep the good fight, you are encouraging others of us to get off our butts and have a go at changing currently supposedly accepted humanist norms. The amount of faith evolutionists have in their theory is astonishing and needs to be correctly channelled back to God
Thank you, Dr. Batten, for taking the gloves off in the main article and with your responses to the ensuing comments. And you did so without ever hitting below the belt! Some may take offense with my boxing analogy and to them I say take their complaints to the Apostle Paul. The fact is, this is a battle CMI has engaged and must be recognised as such. Blessings!
I've pondered the idea of suggesting that evolution, Christian ideology and other world views should be a separate part of our curriculum, along with their apologetics (ie scientific evidence/basis).
The Australian governement is looking at the national curriculum again. Maybe now would be a good time to suggest it to them.
At least this correspondent acknowledges the root of the issue: the beliefs of those behind the 18th-century "Enlightenment" which was a product of anti-Christian and anti-miraculous sentiment. As per usual, though, he doesn't appreciate the distinction between science and naturalistic historical stories.
TBH, I have sympathy with the "creation ought not to be taught in public schools since public schools ought not to be used to teach religion" argument. For the same reasons, evolution ought not to be taught either - at least, not in science classes and not as "the only intellectually acceptable view" \ "the only view compatible with the evidence" \ whatever. Keep science classes for real science. If taught at all, evolution ought to be taught in an appropriate class (general studies or suchlike) as what it is - a naturalistic historical story which has the starting assumption that God (if He exists at all) had nothing to do with anything which has ever happened in the physical realm.
If more people can start getting their heads around such basic facts, we can make a bit of progress in public education. It'll never be religion-free, but at least there might be a bit less of the blatant bias towards atheistic religions (mainly Humanism of course) over theistic ones.
After researching the many supporting facts for Creation and the utter lack of reasonable refutation from evolutionists, it didn't take me long to become a biblical creationist. The miracle here is that someone who is familiar with the above-mentioned facts could possibly hold to their bankrupt evolutionism.
It is 'the only game in town' if you don't want to acknowledge the one true God who is creator of everything that is not God.
I think that the religious nature of evolution needs to be highlighted more frequently.
Dr. Michael Ruse, an expert witness for the evolutionists in the ‘Kitzmiller’ trial, has explicitly stated that evolution is a religion, intended as a “full-fledged alternative to Christianity.” However, evolution is also specifically identified, in the Humanist Manifest II, as one of the tenets of Humanism, which various of its practitioners have specifically referred to has the “Religion of Humanism”. Consequently, it seems to me to be more appropriate to refer to Humanism as the religion and evolution as one of its dogmas.
Other dogmas of the Religion of Humanism identified in HM II, are atheism, moral relativism, situational ethics, acceptance of all expressions of sexuality, abortion and euthanasia. The fact that all of these are taught in Western public schools, to the exclusion of anything else, especially the Christian perspectives on these things, is completely contradictory to one of the other dogmas of the Religion of Humanism (also specifically stated in HM II) that the state should not “espouse a single ideology.”
Successfully making the case that Humanism, by its own admission, is a religion and using its own assertion that the state should not espouse a single ideology, ought to result in the curtailment - at least in the science classroom - of the teaching of the non-scientific aspect of evolution (i.e. those parts not able to be verified by repeated experimentation, which includes, but is not limited to, the idea that all life has descended from the Last Universal Common Ancestor) and a discussion of the Christian perspective on the interpretation of the observations being allowed in the same classes where the evolutionary interpretation is discussed.
The Bible teaches us in Genesis that God formed Adam from the dust of the earth. This implies that Adam was initially dead meat, until God gave him the breathe of life, aka a human spirit.
Fast forward in time to Jesus Christ; he predicted he would become dead meat after crucifixion, but that he would raise himself from the dead on the third day. And all the eye-witness evidence is that he did what he had often predicted. Thus, the Christian faith that Jesus is the Creator of all life is based on fact backed reason.
The atheist believes that all life on earth was created by an lifeless creator named abiogenesis aka evolution. But empirical evidence and reason tells us that only living entities can propagate life. Moreover, this faith in the lifeless evolution god bestows no temporal or spiritual benefits, such as forgiveness of sin and eternal life. Falsifying the empirical facts of Judaism/Christianity is not good science; the faith of atheism defies sound reason.
Very helpful reply. Thankyou!
You seem to be making the mistake of conflating evolution with atheism or some kind of anti theism. You seem to be stating it is taught only to satisfy some kind of anti theistic opinion. That is not the case. Evolution is the current accepted theory of biological diversity based on the best interpretations of the best evidence we have. If that changes so will the theory, it has. after all, been refined as new facts are found. It is, in short, purely based in the science we have.
Whether you believe that science to be fundamentally flawed or not, that is the reasoning behind the acceptance and teaching of evolution. Nothing more nothing less.
If you wish to change that then it is all that evidence you must challange. Not just small parts, the whole after all is greater than the sum of those parts. Coldly, without emotional recourse to your beliefs or those of others. Logically, step by step and coherently you must present a more cogent case for your beliefs that will persuade all your scientific peers whatever their beliefs. All beliefs because there are many very good evolutionary biologists who are devout and good Christians as well, I doubt God gives extra brownie points for views on how He created. The bible seems to consider other factors, like behaviour to others, acceptance of Jesus etc as far more important.
Claiming that there is some kind of anti theistic, secularist conspiracy does creation science no favours. It diminishes and throws doubt on all you say. How can I take an article on geology serioulsy when the next sentence says it won't be accepted because geologists are godless? Scientists of all persuasions moved from a steady state to big bang model of the origins of the universe despite the religous implications of the universe having a start.
You don't appear to have read the article very carefully.
Evolution as an alternative to Christianity was tacitly the position of the complainant whom I was responding to. He was saying (wtte), 'Keep your religion (Christianity) out of schools; we will teach evolution' (instead). And that is what is actually happening.
You have clearly not read the linked articles or related reading, all of which back up the proposition that evolution is a religiously-motivated view of history that replaces the Bible's history. It's not even experimental science, which you seem to be conflating with evolution (did you read the "It's not science!" article?). It is naive in the extreme to claim that evolution is just a result of following the evidence wherever it leads. If that were so, it would have been dropped long ago (due to the missing fossil evidence, for example, but much else). And why is it that all the 'new atheists' defend evolution to the hilt? Because it is their creation myth, an alternative to believing in God.
You make unsubstantiated assertions about all manner of things that are answered repeatedly on creation.com (a condition of commenting is that you have sought to find such articles). I note that you have submitted quite a lot of comments on articles, so you cannot be ignorant of the nature of the debate or the depth of articles on creation.com that answer the sort of propositions that you have made (such as their being religious people who accept evolution; Richard Dawkins calls them "barking mad").
You cite big bang cosmology, but it is a classic example of philosophy-driven 'science'; search for 'philosophy big bang'. Even many 'secular' scientists do not accept it, and with good reason. See: "Secular scientists blast the big bang".
Thank you Dr Batten for your response. I have been enjoying the creation website very much. God has reignited my desire for study, starting with ancient history and seeing how it flows. Showing how God's Word is with out flaw. Then seeing how in science, genetics, geology etc showing the awesome designs of God. Also enjoying Dr Sarfati's book Refuting Evolution; it's been very helpful. Thank You
It is true that the whole worldview is based upon a religion because as the Bible says "the fool has said in his heart, there is no God" and in truth they are making their own idol. The physical world of Creation. Creation is beautiful but winding down, not evolving into the "god" of the atheists. God even shows us this through Science and Creation.
You (the author) make very good arguments and always expose many flaws in an evolutionists thinking when they challenge you, good job :D
But why don't we get to see the challenger's response? Is it because you upload the article before they respond or is it a matter of privacy?
In this case there was no response. If there was a response we would normally at the least acknowledge that. Often we publish a sequence of correspondence. If you check some other feedback articles, you will find some examples.
Great article. There is a huge amount of generally unrecognised hypocrisy in the assumptions and assertions of atheist/secular educationalists.