Have you ever wondered how we know the Earth is a sphere? Maybe it’s a disc. The moon looks like a disc in the sky…
There are people who simply don’t understand, and apparently refuse to get educated about, how we know things. Much of this stems from religious indoctrination and education, where the faithful start with the answer and work backwards to make things fit. For example, the Gospels of the New Testament all have completely different versions of the story of the Resurrection of Jesus. It is simple to look at these different tales and conclude that they’re not correct. They literally can’t be. Yet the religious want them to be, so they concoct ways to make them fit, rationalizing away the glaring issues. The Genesis story of creation claims that God made the Earth before he made the Sun and the stars. This is incorrect, and while I’m at it, the Solar System and the Universe were not created in six days. Everyone knows this, but the religious are working backwards from the answer they want, so they must rationalize that six godly days could be billions of years. Of course some insist on sticking their head in the proverbial sand and claiming that the Earth is actually only a few thousand years old. They conclude this by starting with the answer, i.e. The Bible is correct, and working backwards. They add up lineages and dates in the Bible back to Adam and Eve and come up anywhere between 6,000 and 10,000 years. This is not how we know things.
We didn’t always know that there were hundreds of billions of galaxies in the Universe. We thought the Milky Way was the entire Universe. We didn’t always know that the Earth is a sphere. We had many ideas about various shapes. But we know definitively, that it is quite round. Here’s how we know:
So we don’t teach anything other than what we know to be true and correct. If we weren’t sure, we’d teach that fact as well. Logic, reason, critical thinking and the scientific method have brought us a long way. We start with questions, then seek answers and when we think we have an answer, we try to disprove it. The folks who oversee the textbook review process in Texas, which effects us all because textbook manufacturers aren’t going to make one book for Texas and different ones for everyone else, seem unable and unwilling to grasp basic concepts of science.
“I understand the National Academy of Science’s [sic] strong support of the theory of evolution,” one reviewer wrote. “At the same time, this is a theory. As an educator, parent, and grandparent, I feel very firmly that ‘creation science’ based on Biblical principles should be incorporated into every Biology book that is up for adoption.”
Another wrote that, “While I understand the theory of evolution and its wide acceptance, there should be inclusion of the ‘creation model’ based on the Biblical view of history.”
Another reviewer said this:
“Text neglects to tell students that no transitional fossils have been discovered. The fossil record can be interpreted in other ways than evolutionary with equal justification. Text should ask students to analyze and compare alternative theories.”
As you can see, the first reviewer doesn’t know what a scientific theory is. He should ask someone. He also thinks the Bible is biological science. It isn’t. The second doesn’t understand that we don’t teach the Bible in school, and that there is no “creation model.” That’s only a story, and there is no one in the scientific community proposing or testing such a thing or considering it as a hypothesis. The Bible is also not a history book. The third reviewer has apparently either never been to a museum or looked online, and also seems to think that we can have students, who we are supposed to be teaching, just teach themselves what they’d like.
These people have no business being involved in this process. Watching it happen should be shocking to everyone.