What I Was Taught In Science Class

What I Was Taught In Science Class

Author: Drew Stedman
Published: December 12, 2009 at 10:36am UTC
I went to a Christian High School where I was taught young-earth creationism in science class. Here's what I learned then and what I know now
I have always had an enormous fascination with nature. Since I graduated from college I have had an insatiable interest in learning more about world and universe around me. As I began to study biology I rather quickly noticed large discrepancies between what I was learning and what I had been taught growing up in my Church, in my home, and while attending a Christian High School and Christian college. Much of the following was taken from an open letter that I wrote to the faculty and staff of my high school.

I was taught young-earth creationism in science class at my high school and as a result I believe that my education was severely compromised because I graduated from high school almost completely ignorant of what the Theory of Evolution (the foundation of modern biology) actually says. Much of the time I was actually taught that evolution made claims that in reality are the exact antithesis of what it says. Specifically:

1. I was taught that Evolution asserts that life came from non-life through "spontaneous generation" and that this had been proven impossible in the laboratory. This is false. Evolution has absolutely nothing to say about how life got here, it only describes biological changes after life already existed. The Theory of Abiogenesis is what attempts to describe this. It is a separate theory which also does not assert "spontaneous generation".

2. Similar to #1. I was taught that Evolution teaches that everything came about from the Big Bang. Again, this is false. The Big Bang Theory is a completely separate theory from Evolution and is not even from the same field of science.

3. I was taught that evolution teaches that complex life formed and evolved by random chance or "random selection". This is untrue because the process which evolution says explains the complexity of life is Natural Selection which is by it's very definition not random. This was presented in several ways with arguments such as, "How can something as complex as the eye have evolved by pure random chance?" With the answer, of course, being that it couldn't have. Also, the "random" element in the theory of evolution, mutation, is not actually thought to be purely random in the first place.

4. I was taught that no fossils of transitional life forms had been found in the fossil record and that this posed a serious threat to the theory of evolution. This one I find to be particularly dishonest because there are literally thousands of transitional species that have been found in the fossil record. (See my entry, No Transitional Fossils??? Here: http://recoveringfundamentalists.com/dubunking-creationism/no-transitional-fossils.html)

5. I was taught that there is doubt in the scientific community as to whether the theory of evolution is correct or not. I was lead to believe that there were plenty of respected scientists that were skeptical of evolution. In my research I have found the exact opposite to be the case. There have been over 235,000 peer-reviewed scientific papers published which support evolution and not a single one that has discredited it. Furthermore, evolution is supported by every independent discipline within biology including: Embryology, Anatomy, Paleontology and the fossil record, Genetics, Molecular Biology, Ecology, Bio-geography etc.

6. I was led to believe that Creationism or Intelligent Design was a scientific theory that was a legitimate alternative to evolution in biology. This is misleading as even Micheal Medved of the Discovery Institute (Intelligent Design Advocate Group) has acknowledged: "The important thing about Intelligent Design is that it is not a theory - which is something I think they need to make more clear. Nor is Intelligent Design an explanation. Intelligent Design is a challenge. It?s a challenge to evolution. It does not replace evolution with something else."

This list could go on and on, but I think I made my point. Sometimes it is easy for me to get very upset that I was taught complete and utter untruths as a child. The fact that this was presented to me in a science classroom and presented to me as real science adds salt to the wound. Today I am grateful that I eventually questioned this teaching because I have learned a wealth of knowledge in the process and my life has been greatly enhanced as a result.

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