The Brunswick County school board is looking for a way for creationism to be taught in the classroom side by side with evolution.
by Ana Ribeiro
"It's really a disgrace for the state school board to impose evolution on our students without teaching creationism," county school board member Jimmy Hobbs said at Tuesday's meeting. "The law says we can't have Bibles in schools, but we can have evolution, of the atheists."This makes me so insane on so many levels. Evolution is no more atheistic than linguistics and optics are atheistic. It's like saying that gravity is libertarian, or that death is illiterate.
Evolution is an explanation of how species have changed and developed through a process that took millions of years. Unless God chooses to reveal himself/herself, it's the only explanation out there.
I've been in and out of churches that had varying degrees of loyalty to the Biblical stories most of my life. I've taught the stories to kids - in some of the least dogmatic ways possible - as narratives about what life might mean.
But they aren't science !
You can go to seminaries (as I did briefly) and learn that they didn't happen ! They are metaphorical, not factual.
Here's more Ana Robeiro:
When asked by a reporter, his fellow board members all said they were in favor of creationism being taught in the classroom.
Oh, for the love of God. All of them said that? The whole school board?
The topic came up after county resident Joel Fanti told the board he thought it was unfair for evolution to be taught as fact, saying it should be taught as a theory because there's no tangible proof it's true.Please, please, please let that be a typo. "If evolution is so slow, why don't we see anything evolving now?" Joel, you don't see anything evolving because it IS so slow.
"I wasn't here 2 million years ago," Fanti said. "If evolution is so slow, why don't we see anything evolving now?"
The board allowed Fanti to speak longer than he was allowed, and at the end of his speech he volunteered to teach creationism and received applause from the audience. When he walked away, school board Chairwoman Shirley Babson took the podium and said another state had tried to teach evolution and creationism together and failed, and that the school system must teach by the law.If Mr. Fanti or Ms. Babson need help teaching creationism, let me propose the following lesson plan:
Give the class a copy of Genesis, Chapter 1, and Chapter 2, verses 1-3, along with the following outline:
Genesis 1:1-5 God said "Let there be light"
Genesis 1:6-8 God then created the Firmament, or "layers of sky" (as it was then understood) Genesis 1:9-13 Next, God made land, water, trees and plants
Genesis 1:14-19 God then made the sun, moon, and stars (disregard that he created "light" in verse one)
Genesis 1: 20-23 Fish and birds are created
Genesis 1:24-31 God made cattle, creeping things, and finally, man.
Discuss the writing style. The students will probably agree that the author of Genesis chapter one is giving a dry, somewhat bland account of God's actions at the beginning of time.
Discuss the lack of original manuscripts for the book of Genesis.
Discuss the difficulty of translating unpunctuated Hebrew.
Discuss the order in which God created life on earth: light, sky, land, water, plants, sun, moon, and stars, fish, birds, cattle and other wildlife, and man. Write this sequence on the blackboard or dry erase board as a timeline.
Ask a volunteer to read the first three verses of Genesis 2:1-3 to the class.
1 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.
2 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.
3 And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.
Ask the students if they understand this to be the creationist explanation for the origins of all life and all species. Ask if they know the meaning of the word "infallible". Ask if "infallibility" could apply to this narrative. Discuss at great length. Be gentle.
Distribute the text of Genesis 2:4-9.
4 This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created. When the LORD God made the earth and the heavens-
5 and no shrub of the field had yet appeared on the earth and no plant of the field had yet sprung up, for the LORD God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no man to work the ground,
6 but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground,
7 the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
8 Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed.
9 And the LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
10 A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters.
11 The name of the first is the Pishon; it winds through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold.
12 (The gold of that land is good; aromatic resin and onyx are also there.)
13 The name of the second river is the Gihon; it winds through the entire land of Cush.
14 The name of the third river is the Tigris; it runs along the east side of Asshur. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.
15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.
16 And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."
18 The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him."
19 Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name.
20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field. But for Adam no suitable helper was found.
21 So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs and closed up the place with flesh.
22 Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
Ask the class if Genesis chapter 2 seems to offer a contradictory account from chapter 1.
Discuss the writing style. Ask which story uses more emotion.
Ask why chapter one, in this translation, consistently uses the word "God", and chapter two always uses the phrase "the LORD God".
Explain that the original Hebrew word for God used in chapter one is "Elohim", while chapter two uses the word "Yahweh". Ask if the writers were talking about the same Deity. Ask one of the music geeks in the class to give the current definition of the word "mashup".
Mention the differences in writing style between, say, Shakespeare and Snoop Dogg. Ask what makes their writing distinctive and recognizable. Then ask the class if they think the first Genesis story and the second Genesis story were written by the same person. Be gentle.
Return to your blackboard timeline from Genesis chapter 1. Create a second timeline based on the account in Genesis chapter 2. Note the contradictions. Once again, be gentle.
Homework assignment: Ask the students to write a 250 word essay about which timeline is more convincing. Give 5 extra points for the correct use of the word "infallible" in each essay.
When grading, be very gentle. You are planting a seed. It will grow.
End of lesson plan.Mr. Hobbs and Mr. Fanti, are you sure that you want North Carolina's biology professors to teach creationism? Or do you think that the Bible should be taught in churches, and science should be taught in schools?