Is Teaching Children Creation “Child Abuse”?
The words we choose to use critically affect the psychological mind game played while opposing worldviews battle for their version of “truth.” For example, during the last four decades, we have observed the “Pro-Choice” vs. “Anti-Abortion” battle taking place. Or should we call it the “Pro-Life” vs “Pro-Death” battle?
NPR made the decision in 2005 to use the terms “Pro-choice” and “Pro-Life” while Linda Mason was the CBS senior vice president of news in charge of standards. She said, “We call them pro-abortion rights and anti-abortion rights because it’s the right to abortion that we’re talking about.” Notice how CBS tries to focus on the “legal right” to have an abortion rather than on the “act” of the abortion itself.
Today we have a new issue that is raising its head with increasing frequency, and it has to do with the teaching of creation to children. In December, I appeared as a quest on the Thom Hartmann program to discuss the fact that eleven states have now passed a bill that allows homeschool children to use the voucher program to purchase the ACE curriculum. (ACE stands for Accelerated Christian Education, a Christ Centered, Bible-based curriculum for kindergarten through 12th grade.)
Hartmann starts off very perturbed by the idea that tax-payers’ dollars are going to support the teaching of creation in curriculum for homeschool. He then goes further and says that creation will “knee cap” our children, should they ever decide to “go into the sciences.”
After that introduction, Hartmann interviewed me asking, “Why would anybody want to do this to their children? It seems like it borders on Child Abuse.”
While this was not the first time I had heard those words, I was still taken back when I heard Hartmann say them. Talk about a slap in the face to all the individuals who have had to endure true child abuse, the heinous and hideous practice that includes physical, psychological, and sexual abuse. Let me outline a number of inconsistencies and fallacies in Hartmann’s thinking, caused by his faulty presuppositions.
First, his terminology is incorrect, and second, if we were going to claim that one side of this argument was a form of “Child Abuse,” it would be the one where students are told that there is no right and wrong, yet punishes them for doing wrong.
Hartmann assumes that biblically-based curricula do not teach children about evolution. This is not the case. The ACE curriculum, for example, frequently mentions evolution, and why it is that many scientists believe it. However, the curricula authors unashamedly point out the false presuppositions of evolution, and give students the tools with which to critically evaluate scientific evidence. If there are child abusers in the science education debate, then they are those who devise curricula that prevent children from analyzing evolutionary claims from a scientific point of view. Genuine observational science concerns itself with repeatable experiments and observations open to peer-review. The supposed “evolution of species,” involving the spontaneous generation of new and additional genetic information, is never observed. It is disingenuous for Hartmann to claim the moral superiority of such an unscientific position as the unthinking, unquestioning acceptance of evolution.
Current education policy both nationally and at the state level, concerns itself with standards. State education departments often monitor the level of teaching in public schools—and it makes sense for them to do so. But the very existence of such educational standards is a biblical concept. Evolution offers no standards, by which truth and accuracy can be measured. Even in the interview, Hartmann claimed that “science cannot give certainty.”
Christianity is under attack on a great many fronts in today’s society. The area of science education—and education on evolution in particular—is, however, one of the most important. The irony of the stance taken by Hartmann and others is that both education and science were originally Christian concepts, and neither would have developed without the strong biblical background of the pioneers of such disciplines. The truth is that commentators like Hartmann start from a false presupposition—that God either does not exist, or that He is irrelevant to any policy discussions that we may have.
As is so often the case, Hartmann’s attitude reminds us of Romans 1:20-21.
“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.”
Watch the first Interview