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Science vs Religion in the primary classroom...

Discussion in 'Primary' started by Cervinia, Mar 31, 2011.

  1. Cervinia

    Cervinia Occasional commenter

    I decided not to hijack someone else's thread, who mentioned that 'God' was mentioned within a science lesson.
    • Do children have the right to an unbiased education with regards to the teaching of subject matter related to the theory of evolution?
    • Should it make any difference whether children attend a religious/non-religious school?
  2. clear_air

    clear_air New commenter

    1. Yes (and I say that as a Christian).
    2. No - although I've never worked in a cofe or catholic or any other religious school, so I suppose I would hsve to check the policy of the school.
    It's not my place to tell other people's children (or anyone else for that matter) what to believe.
    OH (atheist), says Science is not a place to teach religious beleifs, and I agree.
    HOWEVER, I'm not convinced that science and religion are polar opposites. Each seek to explain the world, and tbh, each do it in remarkably similar ways. (too tired to go into great detail here, but could always dig out uni essays on science, religion and gender if wish!!)
    If asked I always try to be honest with children about my beliefs, while repsecting theirs, and hoping to instil that respect for personal beliefs and decsion making in my classes. Helps?
  3. As a scientist i feel it is imperative that, especially in science lessons, theories with the most evidence are taught.
    In science, evolution is supported with an unbridled amount of evidence. (Plenty of journals and publications to back it up.)

    Peoples personal beliefs should be just that, personal. If people wish to believe in a God or Gods in their own home in a private sphere then I dont take any issue with.

    What I do take issue with is children being indoctrinated by faith schools that the particular faith they follow is the absolute truth.

    We dont enforce our political ideologies on children, they are to young to make an informed decision about that.

    Even though i am an Atheist, I feel it is important to teach children about the wide variety of religions in the world, but to teach them that God made the world when the only evidence you can give is "because the bible says so" is scandalous.
  4. Also, may i just add, science and religion ARE INDEED polar opposite.

    Science works with fact and evidence.

    Religion works with blind faith.

    Very different.
  5. becktonboy

    becktonboy New commenter

    plus repeatable experimentation and observation, in addition to an acceptance that theory, hypothesis and interpretation are just that. Faith is apparent in both spheres, good science has the added bonus of accepting that what we believe to be the case now will (and probably should be) superseded / replaced in the future.
  6. You're equivocating, this is fallacy. Faith in God and faith in material evidence are two completely different things. What you're seeking to do is mystify an objective reality, perhaps next you'd like to insinuate we are just brains in vats and that I am not real or nor that the very keyboard you type on is not real. The fact remains that we are not brains in a vat, we can be very sure of this, sure it cannot be proved 100% but then what can? If you go by that logic. Religion purports to explain life in a way that directly conflicts with what we know. Either we are wrong, or the bible is wrong. Either God created the earth and all life in 6 days or we evolved. The evidence for the latter is astounding so much so that it makes the former seem ridiculous. Faith may well be defined as a belief in some that does not have proof. There surely, if you say scientific proof is just faith then your burden of proof is far, far too high.

    Also to purport that Darwins Theory is just a theory is also equivocation, so a little less fallacy please
  7. *Then surely
  8. becktonboy

    becktonboy New commenter

    a bold, unsupported beginning, not borne out by any subsequent argument
    agreed but then I only forwarded the view that 'faith is apparent in both spheres' .
    wow, line up the scarecrows and knock 'em over if you want but where does the 'you're seeking to do' and 'you would like to insinuate' come from? a little hysterical I fear.
    whilst perfectly true, this displays a poor, limited understanding of religion
    conclusion based on a comparison of 2 completely different things?
    couldn't agree more but you are narrowing any non-Darwinian intepretation down to the mythology generated by one small group of desert-dwellers who gained a lot of influence through good political connections.
    which starts to engage with my original point: Surely any 'theory, interpretatiion or hypothesis' and attempts to test, prove or develop new ideas based upon them falls into the area of 'faith' as I would use it here (narrowly to be sure but good enough for these purposes).
    where did that come from? I said no such thing.
    I purported no such thing, perhaps someone else did and you were upset by it. If I were the rabid religious fundamentalist you seem to be arguing with I don't think they would be equivocating in such a statement. I was quite unequivocal in my support of scientific method and the view you seem to have taken such exception to only served to add a wider dimension to a narrow faith/science debate
    I would recommend a lot less presumption and assumption and a lot more investigation and discussion of others' actual views - requested by a lifelong opponent of religious schools, atheist and believer in Darwin's theory of evolution from a time when those ascent of man progressions had a hell of a lot more gaps in them.
  9. Religion and the various Gods were "created" thousands of years ago to explain things they did not have the knowledge and technology to explain.

    I prefer to believe the science things rather than the magic things.
  10. From your perspective, to teach them that evolution made the world is valid because, as you implied, scientific evidence is superior to a religious text or to faith. Is this not indoctrination by science? Your idea of what is unbiased is esentially on the terms of science. True unbias would have to present the range of conflicting beliefs in our society. That means showing students how scientific theory COULD contradict religious texts and vice versa.
    I agree that we should not "enforce" political ideologies, including those of science. We should therefore not imply by our teaching and censorship that one way of thinking is superior to another. It's important for students to know that some people are atheists and value empirical evidence, whilst some are religious and value faith; that some take religion and science as polar opposites, whilst some find them compatible; that some find evolution theory irrefutable and others reject it completely.
    If we want to avoid indoctrination and to paint an unbiased picture, the question is not how to use evolution as the medium of what "actually" happened and religion as what some believe to have happened. The fundamental question should be how to present society's range of belief systems.


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