Evolution and Education: a Bad Mix?

Schools offer education that is meant to help students find out how to apply knowledge in their lives. One of the most important skills is to achieve a healthy thought process. This includes learning to think critically, to know how to ask why are as they are, and to be able to use the scientific method.

The evolutionary appearance of life

According to the theory of evolution, life on earth appeared as follows:

  • atoms assembled themselves into simple molecules

  • these simple molecules assembled themselves into more complex molecules

  • these complex molecules grouped themselves together to form genetic material

  • simple cells were then able to grow

  • these cells developed into present forms of life, among others into human beings

Many people, including scientists, assume nowadays that macro-evolution is a fact. Science textbooks are for the greater part based on this statement.

Importance of giving young people good education

Young people need good teaching; all will agree that it is very important. There are various reasons, however, why the instruction of evolution as it is done at present is not beneficial:

  1. Schools do not allow you to question the theory of evolution. Because of this, you are not encouraged to think critically.

  2. In chemistry and physics working according to the exact scientific method is encouraged. In biology, social studies and history, however, it is not. This is a bad educational approach!

  3. When evolution is taught, no attention is paid to the question to the ‘why’ of this knowledge and what it is useful for. Important material is withheld from the student. The method of thinking is not open but restricted.

  4. The moral consequences of what is being taught are not discussed, e.g. what is the use of macro-evolution (primate → human)? Knowledge of macro-evolution is irrelevant for issues such as hospital infections, genetic modification, biodiversity etc.

  5. What is important, however, is to know what caused the problem, how to develop methods and working mechanisms, and how to retain the present biodiversity. Knowledge of micro-evolution is very helpful for a proper grasp of biology, but knowledge of macro-evolution is irrelevant.

Moral Consequences of the Theory of Evolution

Evolution is taught as being a “struggle for life”. Mutations come about by chance. Living beings possessing new features with which the daily struggle can best be dealt with have the best chances to survive and bring forth young.

This way of thinking has far-reaching consequences as to how we look at human life.

It is very different if you think that humans have been created on purpose or if they came about accidentally and evolved as the best survivor. The view of human life and its values determine what is morally considered right in society.

Moral Standards are Related to Human Values

In general, people disprove of murder, theft, violence and rape. People groups nevertheless do approve of these deeds as long as it affects another tribe. Whole people groups have been exterminated in the past. Moral standards are dependent upon the way human values and norms are determined.

The consequences of norms and values as related to beliefs in Evolution and the Bible are indicated in the table below:

How to viewAccording to
Evolution
According to the Bible
murder, war?You shall not kill (Exodus 20:13)
theft?You shall not steal (Exodus 20:15)
Let him that stole steal no more (Ephesians 4:28)
lies?You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor (Exodus 20:16)

Therefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour (Ephesians 4:25)

… liars shall have their part in the lake which burns withs fire and brimstone (Revelation 21:8)
violence?And be you kind one to another, tenderharted, forgiving one another (Ephesians 4:32)
rape, adultery?You shall not commit adultery (Exodus 20:14,Hebrews 13:4, Matthew 5:8, Leviticus 20:10)
abortion?You shall not kill (Exodus 20:13, Matthew 5:21, Revelation 21:8)
homosexuality?If a man also lies with a man, as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. (Leviticus 20:13, Matthew 5:8, Romans 1:26,27)
disobedience at home?Honour your father and mother (Exodus 20:12),
Children, obey your parents (Ephesians 6:1)
stubbornness?God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6, 2 Timothy 3:2-4, 1 Peter 2:13)
ConclusionStandards
depend on
humans and
are therefore
flexible
Biblical standards are unchangeable

Dr. W. Hoek originally published this article in Dutch by  on http://evolutie.biz