I am really sick and tired of the whole debate. I am tired of having to choose a side. But as a homeschooler evolution and creation is a larger conversation than just science curriculum. It permeates everything in homeschooling were I live. Every time I see a statement of faith that includes a section about how the Bible is to be interpreted, I balk. This is a signal to me that only creationism will be tolerated here. And it happens a lot. Statements of faith are attached to as many things in homeschooling as liability forms were in public school. Even if I did believe in every word, there is still a major reason I don’t want to sign: I believe my faith is between me and my God. It really isn’t anyone else’s business.
Oh, I get why they do it. They are creating a safe place to express their common views openly and with like-minded people. Fine. I won’t argue. I understand and respect that, but I don’t want to have to sign a statement that I’ll fit in just so I can play with your toys. I’ll take my ball and go home thank you.
I couldn’t care less about debating macroevolution versus microevolution anymore. Natural selection and old/young earth theories bore me to tears. Really, who cares? As a person trained in science I like to mull them over from time to time, but I am fine with saying I don’t know the answer. I’ll listen to facts and arguements. I’ll take in all sorts of theories and ideas and opinions, but I won’t be told that I have to choose a side before I am ready. And guess what? When I do make a choice, if ever, it will be because it is the most logical choice to me.
Creationists use fear way too much. Fear of being excluded if you don’t get on board. Fear of hell if you don’t believe in everything they hold dear. Fear of not being Christian enough. And let’s not forget shame. Shame for being liberal. Shame of being worldly. Shame on you for not bowing to the authority of those who know better than you. And the shame that you are being a bad parent if you don’t teach you kids this method. Their little souls are at stake! Train them young and they will be safe! I was at an art show where a woman was explaining the evolution of the artist’s work. A small hand shot up attached to a smirking boy. “We don’t believe in evolution! We’re children of God, not children of monkeys!” The mom patted him on the head “That’s right, honey!” Really? That’s what makes that mama proud? Well, shame on you mama.
Academics also use fear and shame. Fear of being made to look stupid. Fear of being considered simple. Fear of seeming closed-minded. Shame of believing in anything that isn’t emperical. Shame on you for not bowing to the authority of your intellectual betters. Even if they hate to admit it, scientists are human, for better or worse. Some of the sharpest minds I have ever had the honor of knowing were also some of the humblest. It’s the mediocre scientists I worry about; the ones with enough letters behind their name to appear authoritative but in reality are just ladder climbers looking for an audience and a grant. Those are the ones who will let bias lead their work. Want to make a scientist squirm? Ask him to explain and quantify beauty. Ask him to prove he loves his family in a mathematical equation. The arrogant ones actually try.
But what it comes down to is what will I teach my children?
I’ll teach them they don’t always have to choose a side. I’ll teach them that we humans think way too highly of ourselves. I’ll tell them that God is so far above our ways that no one can say with certainty they understand Him. The truth is far more complex than anything we can conceive. And that’s okay. It is actually quite beautiful. What a dreadful place the world will be when all of the mysteries are unraveled. Saying I don’t know the answer doesn’t mean I haven’t thought about it. It means I haven’t got enough information to draw a conclusion and I am being honest enough to say so.
I’ll tell them if they want to study muations in cells, then by all means do. If they want to study the layers of rock in the earth, then do. Question everything and use the brains God gave you to think! Take in the evidence and draw your own conclusions. You know what? The whole truth may not even be something said yet. It might be even more confusing and controversial than what we already debate. It could unify both sides and be the first step to world peace. Yeah, wishful thinking, I know. But know this: whatever the truth is, that is the answer. God is truth, and true science seeks understanding what is true. There really shouldn’t be a division between the camps. We are supposedly looking for the same thing.