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Teaching my children evolution and the big bang.


Mr. Healy
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I find myself in a bit of a difficult situation. I live in an area that has lower than average public schools and no secular private schools. I am the parent of a 5 and 6 year old. K and 1st grade. In order for me to feel confident that they are getting a solid education, I have sent them to a private Christian school that has amazing academic scores. I myself absolutely do not believe in the Biblical story of creation. I need some advice on becoming a science teacher when it comes to explaining to children that the rock we live on is more than a few thousand years old. Also, some resources for teaching this in more than just a few conversations here and there. I feel that a proper education in science will form the next generation of great people. I know that they will learn their standard science in an acceptable fashion but much like Christian parents feel the need to teach their public school educated children that God created earth, I need to teach my Christian school children that everything they see is created by a series of accidents and chemical reactions over billions of years. HELP!

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There are numerous resources out there, and I applaud your desire to ensure proper supplementation on topics that may not get a fair hearing at a religious school.

 

Here is a collection that I quite like.

 

Carnival of Evolution 50: The Teaching Edition

 

http://bioteaching.wordpress.com/2012/08/01/carnival-of-evolution-50-the-teaching-edition/

Welcome to the 50th edition of the Carnival of Evolution! In keeping with the name of the blog, this edition will have an educational theme to it. The posts are categorised into modules.

 

<...>

  • The Boundaries of Life: Defining life; Origin of life; Origin of eukaryotes.
  • Zoology: Hummingbird moths; Bear speciation; Eye evolution; Beetle horns.
  • Behaviour: Animal personality; Dolphin genome; Language; Ladybirds.
  • Human Evolution: Mesolithic genome; African tribe genomes.
  • Problems in Evolution: Aging; Sex.
  • Deep Time: Carboniferous rainforest collapse; Feathered dinosaurs.
  • Molecular Evolution: Enzyme evolution; Enzyme adaptation; Mitochondrial gene flow.
  • Evolutionary Theory: Fitness landscapes; Adaptation; GxP research.
  • Evolution at Large: Tree-thinking; Misleading merchandise; Creationist mentality; Bananas; Robot reproduction.
  • Philosophy: Evidential standards.
  • History: Fake embryos everywhere.
  • Teaching: Simulations; Hardy-Weinberg equilibria; Childrens book.
  • Conference Reports
<...>

 

I hope this was a pleasant edition, and that your schedule and bookmarks folders are filled for the next few days.

 

 

And here's a nice video that rolls it all together in less than 9 minutes:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=GhHOjC4oxh8

 

 

 

Here's another good one, too: http://www.biology-online.org/tutorials/9_evolution_origins.htm

Origins of Life Tutorial

Edited by iNow
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Here is a nice overview for the big bang, too:

 

http://www.space.com/13320-big-bang-universe-10-steps-explainer.html

 

The broadly accepted theory for the origin and evolution of our universe is the Big Bang model, which states that the universe began as an incredibly hot, dense point roughly 13.7 billion years ago. So, how did the universe go from being fractions of an inch (a few millimeters) across to what it is today?

 

Here is a breakdown of the Big Bang to now in 10 easy-to-understand steps.

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Moderation with all things. Give them an open, honest explanation of different viewpoints and the evidence for each viewpoint along with the problems with each viewpoint.

 

Telling your kids that their science teacher is a liar and they need to accept that goddidit without question.... Will probably give them an unhealthy perspective. Likewise, if your intent is to teach them that the big bang is unquestionable fact and that anyone who says differently is a liar... You'll do just as much damage. There are rational dissenting viewpoints to both theories.

 

But you're right in your correlation between teaching magical physics defying creation stories in the classroom to magical physics defying creation stories with a different power source in the classroom. Both belong in a philosophy class.

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If the universe was created by one or more deities, the dissenting viewpoint stands that the existence of a deity has never been objectively proven.

 

 

The mainstream interpretation of the big bang has matter escaping a universal singularity... At the event horizon of any given black hole, the laws of physics break down because time and space are infinitely compressed. Radiation is expelled from a black hole, true, but common theory is that it's from particles being torn apart at the event horizon rather than expelled from within that point. With the big bang, a universal singularity is in no better situation than any other black hole... In addition, there's supposedly no outside forces or gravity fields to affect it. The dissenting viewpoint would state that if the energy required to escape a black hole is infinite.... An object with the combined masses of all black holes (and the rest of the universe) would require a specific explanation as to how matter could escape. Unfortunately... The laws of physics don't apply until after the big bang. ... Which inherently makes the time before that illogical.

 

Most still accept it.... But to say there is no dissenting viewpoint would be dishonest.

 

 

Also, if a single object "exploded" (for lack of a better term), conservation of angular momentum would dictate that all objects should be rotating in the same direction as the original object. This is nowhere near the case as various moons within our own system rotate counter to each other.

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I find myself in a bit of a difficult situation. I live in an area that has lower than average public schools and no secular private schools. I am the parent of a 5 and 6 year old. K and 1st grade. In order for me to feel confident that they are getting a solid education, I have sent them to a private Christian school that has amazing academic scores. I myself absolutely do not believe in the Biblical story of creation. I need some advice on becoming a science teacher when it comes to explaining to children that the rock we live on is more than a few thousand years old. Also, some resources for teaching this in more than just a few conversations here and there. I feel that a proper education in science will form the next generation of great people. I know that they will learn their standard science in an acceptable fashion but much like Christian parents feel the need to teach their public school educated children that God created earth, I need to teach my Christian school children that everything they see is created by a series of accidents and chemical reactions over billions of years. HELP!

 

I feel you may be exposing your children to a potentially stressful situation if they were to express their secular home schooled science during the classroom discussions of whatever alternative religious version the school teaches. I was fairly incapable at that age to remember instructions that my parents gave me about what to say to whom and why. The accidental sharing of what they feel is perfectly correct could leave them unavoidably embarrassed in front of an entire class if the instructor is less than civil about evolution.

 

I think many here were exposed as young children to creation stories as a rather normal part of their early childhood, then much later understood through public school science class the fundamentals of evolutionary biology, and to no surprise show no negative consequences of this diverse education. There have been generations of scientist that grew up in this sort of early primary education that show no negative consequence. I don't think your kids will be brain washed, and I don't think you do either, otherwise you wouldn't send them there.

 

I would be more concerned that my 5 and 6 year old feels liked and accepted by their classmates and not be placed in between two sides of a potentially volatile issue such as creation verses evolution. I doubt any of the other children would know any better but their parents are a completely different risk. They my have assumed this school would be a vacuum chamber to the outside world, can you predict what could go wrong and how bad it could be.

 

You have plenty of time for your children to learn evolution, mine occurred because my parents subscribed to several scientifically oriented magazines that I gladly devoured by the time I was 8 or 9. Give your kids a few years to get comfortable in their school and they will satisfy their curiosity with the resources you provide.

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I think the most child-friendly way of explaining that we know the world is more than a few thousand years old is dendrochronology.

You can show children the rings in a tree stump and let them count back to the year they were born, and the year you were born and so on.

 

Since we have tree ring records going back more than 11,000 years, there's no way that the world is younger than that.

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I have sent them to a private Christian school that has amazing academic scores. I myself absolutely do not believe in the Biblical story of creation.

 

I am quite surprised.

Learning in private Christian USA school means immediately that it'll propagate creationism.. ?

Is it not good reason to get child out from it.. ?

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You can give good evidence to oppose Young Earth Creationism with the tree-rings, sure. But trees being more than 6,000 years old doesn't necessitate the big bang.

 

 

But it does refute YEC and if people want their children taught religion they should take them to church. All the available evidence points to a big bang, nothing points to a god...

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But it does refute YEC and if people want their children taught religion they should take them to church. All the available evidence points to a big bang, nothing points to a god...

I agree. If people want to learn about any unprovable theories about where something came from that can not be observed, or even explained in a way consistent with the laws of physics as we understand them... it should be taught in a church of philosophy classroom or anywhere other than a science classroom stating that "this idea is right and all others are blasphamous."

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