Saturday, February 4, 2012

Question the Textbooks: Tips for Students

Thank you for the opportunity to post on this blog! As a teacher myself, I thought I’d begin a series on questioning evolution in the classroom.  Over the next several weeks, I hope to cover the most common evidences for evolution presented in the textbooks and to give some helpful tips for those students who want to constructively challenge the prevailing evolutionary dogma.

The good news: the evidence for evolution presented in textbooks is extremely weak. With a little thought, students should have no problem coming up with incisive questions. 

The bad news: textbooks are very carefully – sometimes sneakily – worded.  Chapters can be written in a way that makes it difficult even to pick out the arguments, let alone question them.  If you find the sections on evolution confusing, don’t worry.  The problem is almost certainly not with you!

Tip # 1: Always keep in mind that the evidence doesn’t speak for itself.   It is interpreted within a framework.  Evolutionist teachers and fellow students may not understand that it is not a case of “their evidence against yours,” but rather a case of two different interpretations of the same evidence.  It is often instructive to pick an example of evidence for evolution, show how it also makes perfect sense in a creationist worldview, and then ask why this is considered evidence for evolution, since it could just as well be evidence for creation.  

Case Study: Homologous Features
Different kinds of creatures share similar features or structures (such as a five-fingered hand/paw/claw or the same genetic code).  This is claimed to prove that these creatures had a common ancestor.  However, it is easy to find real-life examples of situations where different items have structures in common not because they evolved but because they had a common designer.  A car, a truck, a school bus, a front-end loader, a locomotive, and an airplane all share some features in common (wheels, a gasoline-powered motor, the same symbols used on their blueprints, etc.).  If a person was so inclined, he or she could construct a beautiful phylogenetic tree of the ‘transport’ family…even though these vehicles were all specially created, not evolved. After all, any wise designer would reuse a part or component that works well.  So, in any collection of objects, whether created or designed, there will be similarities.  One would expect to see homologies regardless of whether creation or evolution was true.

Extra Credit: You will be much more likely to influence a teacher or a fellow student if you are polite, kind, and friendly than if you are aggressive and hostile.  Remember that a good Christian witness involves a lot more than stumping the teacher!  Strive to earn the teacher’s respect (and show some respect to the teacher) by working hard, obeying instructions, and finishing assignments on time.  After all, you don’t want to propagate the stereotype that only the ignorant and the uninformed reject evolution.

See also:

1 comment:

  1. nor do we want to propagate the generalization that only the ignorant, arrogant, bombastic, self righteous, uninformed reject God...we do not need to;
    they reveal it themselves :)
    I wonder how they can think that they keep their own hearts beating....
    "all souls are mine" saith the Lord


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