The How and Why of Teaching Origins
Interpretations and Theories in the Public Schools
The Present Treatment of Origins Is Wrong
1. Evolutionary interpretations and theories are taught:
a. Dogmatically as facts of earth history,
b. Protectively, without criticism of weaknesses and failures,
c. Exclusively, without competition, as the only scientifically acceptable way of
thinking about the world.
d. Under an erroneous definition of science distorted by injecting belief in a totally
materialistic, uncreated universe.
2. This is wrong because:
a. It is poor science.
1) There is no place for dogma in science. What cannot be proved to be fact should not
be taught as fact.
2) Theories in science should not be protected. They must always be open to critical
3) All ideas in science should be open to competition with alternative ideas.
4) Science properly defined is a method, not a belief.
b. It is poor teaching methodology to stifle criticism or competition of ideas.
c. Dogmatic, protective, exclusive teaching of evolution denies to Christians and other
religious students their constitutionally guaranteed right to the free exercise of their
How It Should Be Done
1. The observable, reproducible scientific data should be clearly distinguished from
theories, interpretations and speculative historical scenarios.
2. Students should understand that in interpreting scientific data:
a. Science correctly defined does not require scientists to believe in a materialistic
universe that is closed off from divine activity and intervention.
b. It is no less "scientific" to believe in creation rather than in
c. The core competing principles of evolution and creation are the origin of biological
designs (1) by spontaneous materialistic processes or (2) by intelligent purposeful
design, respectively. (Note: "Spontaneous" means without any imput of
intelligence, purpose, plan, design, goal, etc.)
d. It is proper in science to consider the evidence for and against both explanations
for the origin of biodesigns.
3. The assumptions basic to each interpretation should be clearly understood. They are:
a. For evolution
(1) That spontaneous materialistic processes produced all characteristics of all
(2) That all species are related by descent from one or a few common ancestors.
(3) That biological variation has in effect been unlimited (i.e., from amoeba to
university professor in just 3 billion years.)
b. For creation
(1) That the origin and basic characteristics of each species are the product of
intelligent purposeful design.
(2) That living and extinct species of organisms exist in groups or "kinds"
which have always been separate from each other.
(3) That variation is limited within the boundaries of the created kinds.
4. Both of these opposed ways of looking at the world are assumptions or beliefs.
Neither can be proved conclusively by science to be either right or wrong. They are faith
propositions grounded in two mutually contradictory philosophical views of the world.
5. It is very important to distinguish carefully between assumptions, observed
reproducible data, theories and speculative scenarios.
6. Competing interpretations and theories should be critically evaluated in science.
This means that both their weaknesses and strengths should be examined in the light of
assumptions, data and logic. In particular, students should have access in the classroom
to information in the secular scientific literature which reveals the weaknesses,
difficulties and failures of evolutionary theories.
7. No interpretation or theory of origins should be taught as a fact of earth history
unless it can be proved, demonstrated conclusively to be factual.
8. Students should have the opportunity to introduce and place alternative
interpretations in competition, in classroom discussion and debate, as well as in special
research papers written from an alternative perspective.
9. Students should be charged with the intellectual responsibility of assessing the
relative merits of the two sets of assumptions (given in 3, a-b, above), in the light of
pertinent scientific data and logical arguments.
10. Each student should be left free to come to a personal decision as to which
explanation of origins, evolution or creation, is preferred, superior or correct.