googlef87758e9b6df9bec.html A Sure Word: The Other Lie Evolutionists Tell

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Other Lie Evolutionists Tell

In my last blog, I talked about the often-repeated lie that nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution. However, there is another falsehood that, while it is not as often spoken, is starting to gain some traction. As I said in my last blog, I don’t like calling anyone a liar. Many people who use some of these arguments may be sincere. However, considering the source on this one (The National Center for Science Education), I believe this is a deliberate attempt to deceive.
“We, the undersigned scientists at universities and colleges in Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana, are concerned about scientifically inaccurate materials at the Answers in Genesis museum. Students who accept this material as scientifically valid are unlikely to succeed in science courses at the college level. These students will need remedial instruction in the nature of science, as well as in the specific areas of science misrepresented by Answers in Genesis.” From NCSE
This is commonly called an appeal to emotion. The argument seems to be, if we teach our kids creation according to Genesis, they will be stupid and need remedial education when they go to college. Is there any truth to this at all? Let’s look at the facts.

First, it’s no secret that US students are falling behind their peers in other countries in both math and science. Consider this quote from The Washington Post:
“The average science score of U.S. students lagged behind those in 16 of 30 countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a Paris-based group that represents the world's richest countries. The U.S. students were further behind in math, trailing counterparts in 23 countries.”

That’s pretty alarming. Of course, there could be some bias built into the tests toward evolution: Question 1): “Do you believe in the descent of all present biodiversity from a common ancestor via evolution/natural selection?” Answer: “No.” >>>BUZZ<<< Sorry, Johnny, you’re wrong. Never mind the rest of the test - you need remedial education.

Besides that though, could it be true we score poorly because so many of our kids believe in the Genesis creation? After all, polls vary but around half of the US population believes the Biblical account of creation (USA Today). But wait a minute! After decades of legal haggling, only evolution has been taught in public schools since the late 60’s. I myself remember well being told in the second grade (1972/1973) that dinosaurs lived millions of years ago. I also remember the cheesy ape-to-human charts in my public school science textbooks. Perhaps you’ve seen them too.

So we have a generation of public school kids who have been taught evolution ONLY. If a teacher even suggests there may have been a Designer, he might as well hire a lawyer – he’s going to court (complements of the ACLU). If our students perform poorly on tests, I blame the public schools themselves, not the fact that some of the kids believe in creation. Indeed, if the students aren’t performing well, who should we blame BUT the schools? Does a belief in creation cause them to fall behind in math as well?

Now, a cunning evolutionist might argue that the public schools’ teachings are being undermined by zealous parents or by religious groups like Answers In Genesis. This may be a clever ploy but it does not hold water. I ask you 2 simple questions: 1) Where is special creation taught more often – in home/private schools or in public schools? 2) Who scores higher on standardized tests –home/private schooled students or public school students? The answers to both are obvious – home schooled students and private school students are taught special creation at rates higher than the population at large. Yet their education doesn’t suffer as evidenced by the fact they continuously out perform public school students who are taught evolution exclusively.

Here are some statistics:

“[H]omeschoolers, on the average, out-performed their counterparts in the public schools by 30 to 37 percentile points in all subjects. A significant finding when analyzing the data for 8th graders was the evidence that homeschoolers who are homeschooled two or more years score substantially higher than students who have been homeschooled one year or less. The new homeschoolers were scoring on the average in the 59th percentile compared to students homeschooled the last two or more years who scored between 86th and 92nd percentile” [emphasis added, source here]

“Private school students generally perform higher than their public school counterparts on standardized achievement tests… Private high schools typically have more demanding graduation requirements than do public high schools…. 1998 private high school graduates were more likely than public high school graduates to have completed advanced courses in science and mathematics. Advanced science courses include chemistry, physics, and advanced biology; advanced mathematics courses include trigonometry, precalculus, and calculus” [emphasis added, source here]

The claim that students who are taught creation suffer academically does not have a shred of truth. It would seem to me, if they really want what’s best for students, these scientists would be encouraging parents to home school their children. Perhaps what they meant to say was, “students who are taught Biblical creationism need to have intensive brainwashing when they enter college to make them believe evolution.”

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