[Three letters from SCMP’s Education Mailbag about creationism]
Mar 07, 2009
Creationism a faith and not a scientific theory
Evolution is a scientific theory, which has developed as a coherent explanation of observable evidence. The theory of evolution is extremely robust, and has been refined over generations as new evidence is brought to light.
Creationism “theory” is based on the single premise: “God did it”. This is an incredibly weak scientific theory as there is no robust evidence of any kind to support it, and as such it should be termed a belief. Therefore, it cannot be termed a competing theory to evolution.
If creationism is a belief, it has absolutely no place in a science class whatsoever. Doing so only gives it “scientific” credibility in the minds of young students it does not deserve.
There are also an infinite number of possible creation beliefs, so which one do you teach, the Christian, Buddhist, Hindu or the Spaghetti Monster and his noodley appendages? Whatever ones you select you will have objections from those left out. The real answer is that any faith-based ideas on the creation of life belong firmly in a philosophy or religious education class, not anywhere near a science class.
DAVE SANDERSON, Sheung Wan
Students should inquire into competing ideas
Seeing that both evolutionary and creationist theories rely on the same body of evidence, namely the fossil record, to support them, would it not be best to teach both theories and point out how each interprets that record and rebuts the other? This would certainly train students critical thinking skills, develop inquiring minds and enable them to independently find the truth.
Such a suggestion should not worry the evolution camp, as I am sure that the fossil record indicates very clearly which theory is more likely to be true.
ROGER PHILLIPS, Sheung Shui
Feb 28, 2009
Pro-creationists miss the point in scientific inquiry
All five pro-creationist letters (Mailbag Special, Education Post, February 21) reveal an ignorance of what has clearly been stated by the more rational members of the community. One writer asked: “How can scientists be sure there is no god?” This reveals a basic lack of understanding of science.
Scientists can be no more sure that there are no garden trolls, bed monsters or spiteful leprechauns than that there is no god. Science looks at the evidence, and it is up to the people who claim that there are trolls, monsters, leprechauns and gods to provide the evidence.
Another writer asked: “If man evolved from apes, why do we still have apes?” Again this reveals a lack of understanding of evolution, which is further reason for schools to continue teaching it.
I could continue to reveal the lack of understanding among pro-creationists but suffice it to say all the previously published letters by reasonable writers have clearly implied that creationism can be taught in non-science classes.
This message is conveniently ignored, in seems, perhaps because pro-creationists know that giving children a proper education, including teaching evolution in science classes and teaching about the world’s faiths in non-science classes, will equip future generations with the means to determine for themselves what they wish to believe, rather than to blindly accept what their elders wish them to believe.
WILL LAI, Western