Barry SCHWARTZ (Barijo ŜVARC) (chemoelectric) wrote,

Creationism and the responsibility of parents

Musings upon the topic of creationism.

I assume the reader believes the Earth is billions of years old and
that we are derived from something like a primordial soup. Meanwhile,
creationists take over our school boards and try to mandate
lessons in creationism. O the horror! Sarcasm? Yes, because what
have we done about it?

Did we send our children to Hebrew School or Sunday School? Yes, we
did that. At Hebrew School what do they teach? Creationism. You
say, not at your Hebrew School, and, okay, that may be so. But how
can there be a Hebrew School that does not at least teach that the
structure of the world is determined by words, and faith in scripture
is a virtue? Shouldn't your children be taught that faith in
scripture is a deficit? Isn't that kind of obvious, if you
value scientific method? If you do not teach your children to value
observations first, descriptions and inferences second, and instead
teach your children faith in scriptures, or in the presumed virtue of
faith in scriptures, you are giving your children the basis upon which
creationists work. If you treat "G-d" as a taboo word, instead of
spelling it out "God," or "god," then you are teaching your children
the primacy of words, and helping the creationists.

I implore, don't do that to your children. Do not condemn creationism
while also undermining scientific method and providing the basis for

People who do not depend on belief in archaic writings are not
therefore murderers and thieves. You do not need a bible to tell you
not to murder your neighbor, or to covet your neighbor's things the
way Homer Simpson covets the things of Ned Flanders. Even atheists
see Homer's behavior as unethical and self-defeating. If you don't
need your religion to keep you from being Homer Simpson, why would
your children need it? In fact, isn't it better to make your children
less susceptible to organized nonsense, by teaching them
comparative religion instead of a faith?

Give your children a bible, and give your children Bulfinch's
mythology, and Edith Hamilton's, and put those books together on the

Noah's flood may have been, simply, the Black Sea basin filling up
suddenly and disastrously as the continental glaciers melted and the
level of the Mediterranean Sea reached the height of the land near
where the Bosporus is today. How could people who did not even have
writing understand that this is what happened, when so much of the
world and so many entire peoples were inundated? The awful story was
passed along orally for thousands of years, and then writing was
invented and froze the story into the forms we know today. If your
child is able to understand that the world is round, they may be old
enough to understand how such a flood could occur, and it will not
harm them to know that this would be the origin of the bible story.

If your children ask you how the universe came to exist, be honest
and tell them you have no idea whatsoever.

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