From as far back as I can remember, there has been this constant raging battle between Evolutionists and Creationists. As a child progresses through school, they're taught science, which preaches evolution, while being taught religion, which preaches creation, back at home. For a lot of people this can be not only frustrating, but downright offensive. Personally, I don't believe this has to be, or should be the case.
Last sunday in my church group we watched this horrendously stone age video dealing with this subject. A "perfectly normal girl" was questioning her beliefs because of what her school science teacher was teaching in her class. Now I had a lot of objections to the video: dialog, acting, and directors choice to make the "converted to atheism" girl's character start wearing dark clothes, staying out later, and getting a nose ring in order to symbolize her fall to atheism. What struck me the most, however, was the very brief discussion that happened after the video.
Many if the people in the class voiced an opinion that because they didn't believe what their science teachers taught them, they didn't care about the classes, didn't see the need for them, and didn't care if they flunked their classes. They rejected the classes teachings and in tern didn't apply themselves.
This presents itself as a huge problem for me. I personally don't believe that you have to reject your own beliefs to learn about someone else. In fact, I don't think that science truly challenges religion at all. Yes, science and religion share some discrepancies about how long ago the earth was created and how long it took, but it's all just theories and projections backward in time based on what we can see in our physical world.
Science is... well "good science" (for lack of a better term). Scientists have done amazing things in our lifetimes and all of it done under the same principles. The basic scientific method is the same whether you're attempting to invent the wheel, cure cancer, or discover the origin of man. Whether you believe we arrived here through evolution doesn't matter. What matters is that you are learning the methods through which scientists have arrived at their theories. Good science teachers wont tell you what to believe, they'll just show you evidence, data, and calculations that support their hypothesis.
Science is worth learning, even in purely for academic reasons. Creationism isn't taught in school for the mere fact that it wouldn't make a good academic course. The entire creation story is contained on the first page of the bible. There's not enough information there to teach an entire class on or even prepare tests for. If you want want to learn about the bible in general, there are plenty of religion courses in college. If you want to learn about the world as it can be understood through observation, then learn science. Just don't forget that the same science used to theorize about the origins of man is the same science responsible for your microwave oven and your satellite television. Don't be so quick to shut it out. You don't have to give up your own beliefs to learn it.
posted by Christopher Schnese