Top home-school texts dismiss Darwin, evolution

Discussions for education, teaching & parenting.

Moderators: Blip, The_Metatron

Top home-school texts dismiss Darwin, evolution

#1  Postby RichardPrins » Mar 08, 2010 1:37 am

Top home-school texts dismiss Darwin, evolution
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Home-school mom Susan Mule wishes she hadn't taken a friend's advice and tried a textbook from a popular Christian publisher for her 10-year-old's biology lessons.

Mule's precocious daughter Elizabeth excels at science and has been studying tarantulas since she was 5. But she watched Elizabeth's excitement turn to confusion when they reached the evolution section of the book from Apologia Educational Ministries, which disputed Charles Darwin's theory.

"I thought she was going to have a coronary," Mule said of her daughter, who is now 16 and taking college courses in Houston. "She's like, 'This is not true!'"

Christian-based materials dominate a growing home-school education market that encompasses more than 1.5 million students in the U.S. And for most home-school parents, a Bible-based version of the Earth's creation is exactly what they want. Federal statistics from 2007 show 83 percent of home-schooling parents want to give their children "religious or moral instruction."

"The majority of home-schoolers self-identify as evangelical Christians," said Ian Slatter, a spokesman for the Home School Legal Defense Association. "Most home-schoolers will definitely have a sort of creationist component to their home-school program."

Those who don't, however, often feel isolated and frustrated from trying to find a textbook that fits their beliefs.

Two of the best-selling biology textbooks stack the deck against evolution, said some science educators who reviewed sections of the books at the request of The Associated Press.

"I feel fairly strongly about this. These books are promulgating lies to kids," said Jerry Coyne, an ecology and evolution professor at the University of Chicago.

The textbook publishers defend their books as well-rounded lessons on evolution and its shortcomings. One of the books doesn't attempt to mask disdain for Darwin and evolutionary science.

"Those who do not believe that the Bible is the inspired, inerrant Word of God will find many points in this book puzzling," says the introduction to "Biology: Third Edition" from Bob Jones University Press. "This book was not written for them."

The textbook delivers a religious ultimatum to young readers and parents, warning in its "History of Life" chapter that a "Christian worldview ... is the only correct view of reality; anyone who rejects it will not only fail to reach heaven but also fail to see the world as it truly is."

When the AP asked about that passage, university spokesman Brian Scoles said the sentence made it into the book because of an editing error and will be removed from future editions.

The size of the business of home-school texts isn't clear because the textbook industry is fragmented and privately held publishers don't give out sales numbers. Slatter said home-school material sales reach about $1 billion annually in the U.S.

Publishers are well aware of the market, said Jay Wile, a former chemistry professor in Indianapolis who helped launch the Apologia curriculum in the early 1990s.

"If I'm planning to write a curriculum, and I want to write it in a way that will appeal to home-schoolers, I'm going to at least find out what my demographic is," Wile said.

In Kentucky, Lexington home-schooler Mia Perry remembers feeling disheartened while flipping through a home-school curriculum catalog and finding so many religious-themed textbooks.

"We're not religious home-schoolers, and there's somewhat of a feeling of being outnumbered," said Perry, who has home-schooled three of her four children after removing her oldest child from a public school because of a health condition.

Perry said she cobbled together her own curriculum after some mainstream publishers told her they would not sell directly to home-schooling parents.

Wendy Womack, another Lexington home-school mother, said the only scientifically credible curriculum she's found is from the Maryland-based Calvert School, which has been selling study-at-home materials for more than 100 years.

Apologia and Bob Jones University Press say their science books sell well. Apologia's "Exploring Creation" biology textbook retails for $65, while Bob Jones' "Biology" Third Edition lists at $52.

Coyne and Virginia Tech biology professor Duncan Porter reviewed excerpts from the Apologia and Bob Jones biology textbooks, which are equivalent to ninth- and 10th-grade biology lessons. Porter said he would give the books an F.

"If this is the way kids are home-schooled then they're being shortchanged, both rationally and in terms of biology," Coyne said. He argued that the books may steer students away from careers in biology or the study of the history of the earth.

Wile countered that Coyne "feels compelled to lie in order to prop up a failing hypothesis (evolution). We definitely do not lie to the students. We tell them the facts that people like Dr. Coyne would prefer to cover up."

Adam Brown's parents say their 16-year-old son's belief in the Bible's creation story isn't deterring him from pursuing a career in marine biology. His parents, Ken and Polly Brown, taught him at their Cedar Grove, Ind., home using the Apologia curriculum and other science texts.

Polly Brown said her son would gladly take college courses that include evolution, and he'll be able to provide the expected answers even though he disagrees.

"He probably knows it better than the kids who have been taught evolution all through public school," Polly Brown said. "But that is in order for him to understand both sides of that argument because he will face it throughout his higher education."

Apologia Educational Ministries: http://www.apologia.com
Bob Jones University Press: http://www.bjupress.com/page/HS+Home
Jerry Coyne's blog, "Why Evolution is True": http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/
Image
Image
User avatar
RichardPrins
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 1525
Age: 54

Netherlands (nl)
Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: Top home-school texts dismiss Darwin, evolution

#2  Postby OgreMkV » Mar 08, 2010 1:41 am

Anytime you see 'education' and 'ministries' in the title... it's a bad sign.
Even if you disprove evolution, it does not mean that ID or your religion is correct.
User avatar
OgreMkV
 
Posts: 172
Age: 48
Male

Print view this post

Re: Top home-school texts dismiss Darwin, evolution

#3  Postby Darwinsbulldog » Mar 08, 2010 2:17 am

Putting creationists in charge of school science textbooks is about as logical as making pedophiles teach in primary schools!
Jayjay4547 wrote:
"When an animal carries a “branch” around as a defensive weapon, that branch is under natural selection".
Darwinsbulldog
 
Posts: 7440
Age: 66

Print view this post

Re: Top home-school texts dismiss Darwin, evolution

#4  Postby MoonLit » Mar 08, 2010 6:04 am

Darwinsbulldog wrote:Putting creationists in charge of school science textbooks is about as logical as making pedophiles teach in primary schools!


QFT.
Image Image Image Image
Click the eggs please!
User avatar
MoonLit
RS Donator
 
Name: Andi
Posts: 3417
Age: 32
Female

Country: Peyton, CO
United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: Top home-school texts dismiss Darwin, evolution

#5  Postby Onyx8 » Mar 08, 2010 6:14 am

All I have is a headshake. Sad,sad,sad.
The problem with fantasies is you can't really insist that everyone else believes in yours, the other problem with fantasies is that most believers of fantasies eventually get around to doing exactly that.
User avatar
Onyx8
Moderator
 
Posts: 17520
Age: 64
Male

Canada (ca)
Print view this post

Re: Top home-school texts dismiss Darwin, evolution

#6  Postby Soopercynic » Mar 08, 2010 2:07 pm

Well, I'm convinced. Evolution is false, and these few heroic publishers are fighting against a global conspiracy probably orchestrated by Satan himself. :crazy:

I would laugh if it wasn't true, those poor kids and I guess poor parents. If the parents have been as brainwashed as the kids then they probably feel justified in "teaching the controversy". Self perpetuating delusion.
User avatar
Soopercynic
 
Posts: 126
Male

United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Re: Top home-school texts dismiss Darwin, evolution

#7  Postby Sciwoman » Mar 08, 2010 2:14 pm

Not news to me that most folks who homeschool do it for religious reasons. They are so afraid that their children are going to be exposed to "non-biblical" ideas that they go to extremes to isolate them. The textbooks are only one brick in the wall.
Religion is not the answer-it is the problem. Everything considered, we would be better off without it.~Baubles of Blasphemy~Edwin F. Kagin
User avatar
Sciwoman
RS Donator
 
Name: AKA Ayaan
Posts: 916
Female

United States (us)
Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: Top home-school texts dismiss Darwin, evolution

#8  Postby I D of E S » Mar 08, 2010 2:19 pm

I am suddenly reminded of the BBC documentary Deborah 13 servant of god, and my blood begins to boil.
I D of E S
 
Posts: 65
Age: 46
Male

United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Re: Top home-school texts dismiss Darwin, evolution

#9  Postby I'm With Stupid » Mar 08, 2010 2:28 pm

Those who don't, however, often feel isolated and frustrated from trying to find a textbook that fits their beliefs.


That sentence could've been worded better. I don't agree with homeschooling, but while it's a reality, this might be the sort of thing that secular groups and charities should be getting involved in publishing.
Image
User avatar
I'm With Stupid
 
Posts: 9630
Age: 36
Male

Country: Malaysia
Jolly Roger (arr)
Print view this post

Re: Top home-school texts dismiss Darwin, evolution

#10  Postby Harmless Eccentric » Mar 08, 2010 2:43 pm

I taught in a religious school for a while that used the A Beka curriculum. It was, if you will pardon the pun, godawful. And all you'd really learn from the 8th grade science book is that Darwin was a mediocre scientist whose ideas aren't really respected by good scientists.

The English book's vocabulary section had 'liberal' and 'conservative' in one lesson. 'Conservative' was defined as 'someone who believes in values like good and evil," and 'Liberal' was "someone who does not believe in values," or something along those lines.
User avatar
Harmless Eccentric
 
Posts: 348

United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: Top home-school texts dismiss Darwin, evolution

#11  Postby Millefleur » Mar 08, 2010 3:01 pm

You've got to feel sorry for the minority of home schoolers who aren't religious nutjobs. We've considered it and may still go ahead with it if we can't afford the school fees in the future, it would enable us to continue to teach our children using methods we believe work, and its such a shame to think we might be tarred with the same brush.
This post was brought to you by Millefleur's Mature Responses™

Image
User avatar
Millefleur
 
Posts: 989
Age: 34
Female

United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Re: Top home-school texts dismiss Darwin, evolution

#12  Postby Gawdzilla » Mar 08, 2010 3:03 pm

Nothing like having them remove their kids from the job markets, now is there.
Chief Engineer on the Derail Express.

Geoff wrote:Not that I've anything against paedophilia, but it does leave one open to accusations of catholicism...


This space for rent.
User avatar
Gawdzilla
 
Posts: 3217
Age: 70
Male

Mongolia (mn)
Print view this post


Return to Parenting & Education

Who is online

Users viewing this topic: No registered users and 1 guest