What is your child’s authority?

‘Science’ camp undermines creation


Published: 1 September 2016 (GMT+10)
Evolutionary teachers often use equivocation to indoctrinate unsuspecting students with the general theory of evolution (GTE).
Evolutionary teachers often use equivocation to indoctrinate unsuspecting students with the general theory of evolution (GTE).

Recently, the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) published a series of blogs1 about a science camp they held for children, and what they wrote could be instructive for creationist parents.

First, it should surprise precisely no one that the NCSE is openly evolutionist. What was surprising to me is that multiple creationist families allowed their 9-to-11-year-olds to be in such an environment where they would obviously face challenges from authoritative adults challenging what their parents had taught them. Clearly at some point children will face evolutionist tests to their faith, but a 9-year-old child will likely see an evolutionist Ph.D. geneticist as having great authority. And it has been shown multiple times that science organizations like the NCSE are not neutral regarding religion.

Second, the evolutionary teaching at the camp was full of what we call ‘bait and switch’ argumentation. For instance, the blog2 talks about how the kids learned about DNA and evolution by extracting DNA from strawberries. Well, what those kids did was very interesting operational science. But the fact that strawberries have DNA does not explain how such a complex code could arise from an unintelligent source, or how mutations, which are errors in the copying process, could give rise to more complexity instead of simply breaking what already exists. In fact, the camp itself is a bit of a ‘bait and switch’, because it was called a ‘science’ camp, but it really turned out to be more of an ‘evolution’ camp.

Third, one of the most powerful tools the camp leaders used was insisting that the dialogue was always respectful, and this is something we can wholeheartedly agree with. We have always advocated for creationist students in public schools to always engage with their teachers in a respectful manner.

Fourth, evolutionist scientists were consistently presented as ‘authorities’ to the students to counter creationist objections.3 While it is tempting to dwell on the growing number of creationist scientists who have invented things like the gene gun and the MRI scanner, there is a more important lesson to parents: a warning to be careful with who is presented as an authority in your children’s lives. Scripture tells us to be respectful to and pray for our authorities, and while civil authorities are in view in that passage, we can see how that would apply to teachers and professors as well.

We have argued before that parents have the ultimate authority for managing their children’s education, and that is the case no matter what educational choices a family makes for their children. Biblically, the most important element of a child’s education is ensuring that they know Scripture and are encouraged to believe it in all areas of their life. Many parents feel overwhelmed when it comes to teaching their children about a biblical worldview, but the great news is that there are more resources teaching biblical creation than perhaps at any other time in history. For instance, Refuting Evolution 2 was written specifically to refute a book that NCSE sent out to every science teacher in America.

The people who ran this camp genuinely believe that it would be best if those creationist children believed in evolution. But biblically, it’s not their call. If you are a parent, what are you doing now to ensure that when (not if) your children are presented with evolution, they’re standing strong on the authority of Scripture?

References and notes

  1. Schoerning, E., NCSE runs a camp: part 1, 27 July 2016, ncse.com/blog/2016/07/ncse-runs-camp-part-1-0018318. Return to text.
  2. Schoerning, E., NCSE runs a camp: part 2, 28 July 2016, ncse.com/blog/2016/07/ncse-runs-camp-part-2-0018319. Return to text.
  3. Schoerning, E., NCSE runs a camp: part 3, 29 July 2016, ncse.com/blog/2016/07/ncse-runs-camp-part-3-0018320. Return to text.

Helpful Resources

Readers’ comments

Mathew P.
As a result of the simple foundations of family structure being destroyed, many parents are confused about their own position vis a vis their own children. Some believe they are and their kids are equal and do not believe in any authority at all.
Graeme M.
I have no qualms about teaching evolution on the provisory that the playing field is levelled, so that when the belief in a Creator is taught to students in camps that it gets the same amount of tolerance.... but we see that is not the case and the latter is often accused of 'brainwashing' tactics. (as the old saying goes "Its the pot calling the kettle black!")
Trisha H.
Reminds me of a Sunday schoollesson I once heard--talking about Eve and Adam in the Garden of Eden becoming awakened to their nakedness after partaking of the "forbidden fruit." The teacher pointed out the only reason Adam and
Eve were ashamed of their nakedness was because of "who" tole them and how it was presented. If the Lord had chosen to divulge the information we can be sure they wouldn't have become ashamed. We must be careful who tells our children the facts of life as well as the miracle of life itself--if it be from God there will be no confusion and no leading away from the Scriptures or from God. On the other hand....
Lita Cosner
I have a slightly different take on why Adam and Eve were ashamed. Once they disobeyed God, they were sinful and therefore knew they could not appear before Him without a covering; hence the fig leaves, which were insufficient, thus they still hid. God mercifully provided both the physical covering (clothes) and the atoning covering of the blood of Christ. See Does God care what I wear? for more.
Geoff C. W.
Not exactly Scripture, but every time someone mentioned millions or billions of years on a nature or science show i was watching with my kids, i would say 'Yeah, yeah, yeah' in a disbelieving tone. From time to time, we also talked about why i said that, and we discussed the wrongs of evolution and the rights of creation. All my kids now believe in creation, and not in evolution. By the way, in case anyone thinks we brain washed our kids, everything we told them was based on discovered facts. No fairy stories about things that have never been observed, like functional complexity resulting from mutations, life coming from non-life, something coming from nothing, order spontaneously coming from disorder without external influences, dark matter, dark energy, dark light (I love that one!), etc, etc, etc. Can an evolutionist say this? Of course, they would say that God is a fairy story, but He has been 'observed', and His works are ever before is in multitudinous ways.
Mike A.
Hello, thanks again for this article. I also want to thank you for the time and effort that Creation Ministries puts into helping people understand a Biblical worldview. Sadly, here in Canada it feels like things have regressed even further than things in the United States have. I teach Sunday School at a fairly conservative evangelical church and I spent several weeks last school year teaching creation and some apologetics to my students. I used Creation Ministries as a resource throughout. However, the consistory at my church had two parents bring their concerns forward about what was being taught in Sunday school. I was even proactive and communicated with all of the parents ahead of time and even lent out some of the resources that I have acquired from your website. I was very disheartened to hear that even from within my own church people were 'concerned' that I am teaching creationism. I am a trained secondary science teacher by the way, so I am familiar with the way things are taught in the public system and what falsehoods these students would have already been taught or will be taught through school.
C. P.
I would just like to take the time to really urge parents to borrow their kids textbooks, and read them. If godly parents would do so they would likely be utterly stunned by some of the content inside. For example in COLLEGE physics, I have a workbook that we work through the expiriments that we do in class. In that work book, an example of determining how many significant figures to use in a measurement of an object. As humanity is limited by how precise a measurement we can make, the example involves God who would know the true exact measurement of the object. Well even in the very brief period God was being mentioned already a distortion appeared. God was referred to as "She"(which no other mono religion refers to God as). If such a small distortion such as this can be made in a strictly empirical field of science such as physics(which is essentially just math word problems), one can only imagine the distortions going on in history textbooks, or theoretical science such as evolution(which is taught as strict fact). I urge you, learn what your kids are learning, and do not merely teach them the truth of creation, but rather teach them how to think critically and stand by their beliefs and convictions against the tide of this world. Ask them lots of questions, and bring them to come to the right conclusion on their own. Also do not isolate them from the alternative views and values the world has. Instead expose them, and teach them to stand firm. I was a former believer in "A day to God is a thousand years" view of creation. It was only once I began to doubt parts of the evolution "evidence"(specifically the HUGE assumptions that are made when using dating methods, and the view of macro evolution), and I found the actual scientific truth that I can to the truth.
J. B.
Since creationist viewpoints are censored from the public high school biology classroom, I went to the libraries instead. Our public library doesn't accept donations of materials, but they do accept purchase requests for DVDs and books published within the last two years. I think DVD's, particularly, make it easier for students to quickly glean info while juggling classes and extra-curricular activities. Happily, the library decided to purchase the DVD "Evolution's Achilles' Heels." It's been immensely popular, judging by the double digit holds list it had over the summer. I'm also trying to get this DVD and other favorite materials onto the shelves at the high school library, so students have another avenue for finding the truth they aren't offered in the classroom.

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