A Homeschooling Mom Speaks to the Dangers of Young Earth Creationism


People travel to wonder at the height of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars, and they pass themselves by without wondering. 
(St. Augustine)






Special Post:


From time to time, we come across an interesting comment that we believe should not be buried in a comment section. A woman who goes by the name "Shadowspring" wrote one such comment today. She was responding to a man(KM) who wrote TWW, believing that the tone of our article was bitter and overly generalized. For the record I wish to make one comment. Ken Ham has demonized OE Christians, accusing them of heresy which is the worst thing anyone could say to Christian. We decided to respond with a lighthearted satire featuring the inimitable Fred Flintstone. Frankly, we were far nicer than Ham deserves. So, we add a final post, thanks to Shadowspring, on this subject.


Thank you Shadowspring. You should be writing a blog!




Wed, Oct 27 2010 at 09:49 am


As a long-time home school parent, I urge you to use caution in what you teach your students. Often, it seems, we parents think we are teaching one thing, while our students absorb our words in entirely different ways than we intended.

I thought I was teaching YE as one of many possible interpretations of the beginnings of life. And I would still maintain I was never dogmatic about it, as I myself was unconvinced. Still, I wanted to be open-minded and have my children understand the plethora of belief here in Christendom.

My oldest daughter, who does not care much for science, heard something quite different. You see, not only was she hearing the YE point of view in her Christian school science textbooks in elementary school, the vacation Bible school, AWANA, and various Christian home school support groups were throwing it in wherever possible. Unfortunately, it was not science for the most part, but ridicule and paranoia. “Evolutionists” was a term on par with “wicked atheist”. Even as a small child it was clear to her that this was a bad person. So no one taught her why carbon dating was important or why anyone relied on it to tell them things about how long something had been in existence; she was only told it was flawed logic that bad “evolutionists” used to bamboozle people.

Having had an evangelistic atheist biology professor in college (OSU 1986, botanist, don’t remember his name) I never really challenged this reactionary YE movement. This professor didn’t teach science either, not in the freshman classes anyway. He taught against Christianity, spending gobs of time railing on and on about the history of European Christianity, specifically Catholicism. So it really didn’t bother me that the Christian community was giving tit for tat. It was a non-essential issue. I mostly ignored it.

But my daughter did not ignore it. She grew up with a chip on her shoulder toward science and scientists. I really didn’t realize how serious of a problem this was until she was in college and her brother, who is very interested in science, made some comments that challenged her beliefs. That’s when I saw how seriously the sneering attitudes that YE had towards scientists had infected my daughter’s (shall we use one of their favorite terms?) “world view”.

I personally have my faith built firmly on the “bedrock” (sorry, couldn’t resist) that all truth is God’s truth. The heavens declare the glory of God and the earth shows His handiwork. The things we learn about this natural world (speed of light, fossil record, DNA, existence of black holes, etc.) all point to an amazingly intelligent Creator who is so far above and beyond all we can think or imagine. It amazes me, and were I trained in science, the question on my mind always would be, “how did You make this work, God?” Finding out that stars are millions of light-years away never shook my faith. It enhanced my sense of awe.

Since I have been home schooling for 14 years now, I can tell you that home schooled students ARE walking away from the faith. No one talks about these students at the conventions. If it is brought up in a conversation among parents, it is always the student that is the problem- “rebellious” I think is the common pejorative. Mostly these walk-aways though are relegated to oblivion. People dispense with their existence. If you didn’t know the family for a long time, you would never know they HAD older children.

I will agree that the fact that YECS doesn’t stand up to the evidence of reality is not the only disillusion that turns these students away, but it is certainly one large nail in the coffin.

The many other disputable matters that dogmatic fundamentalist home school parents insist upon also shares responsibility. For more than one of my acquaintances, it was the parent’s dispensing of the existence of the “wayward” oldest that started the questioning. For others, it was the insistence on patriarchy, courtship, strict dress codes, and other demands for strict conformity of belief and practice. For another, it was the horrible farce of their parents’ crappy home school marriage that turned her off of her family’s faith.


For all ( and I know several who claim to now be atheists, and several who say they don’t know what they believe anymore) these tertiary doctrines were taught as essentials to the faith. It all comes down to an inerrantist reading as literal every word of their English translations (usually KJV) that they want to take as literal, and dispensing of what doesn’t fit their paradigm just like they dispense of the existence of other Christian’s faith. Just like they dispense with the existence of billions of years of starlight.

Children think this way already. Everything is black or white, this or that, in a child’s understanding. So, someone tells your child that God created the world 6000-10000 yrs ago in 6 days. They then add “that’s what the Bible says” and maybe a slogan like “God said it. I believe it. That settles it.”

Teachers then go on to talk about atheists who believe in evolution. To the child, the equation is simple: Believe in God,=believe in the Bible= YECS. Don’t believe in YECS=don’t believe in God. Good people believe in God, therefore good people believe in YECS. Evolutionists=atheists=bad people.

Still skeptical? Ask your children to tell you what kind of people believe in evolution, then sit back and listen. My experience shows they will use the word atheist. I sincerely doubt they have considered that devout Christians who love Jesus and live by His words would ever be anything other than a YECS adherent.

The problem occurs when they leave home and they find out that the sound bites they were taught in their YE science seminars don’t stump their professors. If they have a thoughtful professor who will patiently explain how looking at the facts led to this scientific discovery, then the YECS student will be stumped. If this kindly, intelligent evolutionist turns out NOT to be evil personified, but reasonable, patient and more importantly, have facts on their side, that YECS student will rightfully begin to question what he/she was taught as a child.

If YECS was presented as an essential of the faith, and that student fully bought into that view, then in their mind Christianity and evolution can not both be true. If the facts convince them evolution is true, and/or the earth is much older than they were told “the Bible plainly teaches” then they will conclude that they can not be Christians.

Christ holds on those that are his? Absolutely. If the child’s faith was genuine and not merely demanded by outward pressure of an isolated fundamentalist paradigm, then that child will return to Christ at some point. But not necessarily to the organized religion of Christianity.

The Barna group did a recent study that revealed that 61% of evangelical Christian youth leave the church as adults. Half of those are predicted to eventually return to organized Christianity as they age.

I am open to questioning home school graduates, so they are talking to me after they leave home. I am basing all my advice/opinion on the realities with which I am personally acquainted. Your experience may very well be different, K.M., but that may only be because your children are still young. Keep your eyes open, and watch closely the families with children older than yours.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating, no? So the proof of the soundness of Christian home school social mores is in the lives of the older graduates. Ask around delicately, and I think you will find that my experience is not atypical.

Best wishes for a long, satisfying, mutually supportive relationship between you and your children even after they have graduated and gone out into the big wide world outside of your home and school, SS (Shadowspring)


A Homeschooling Mom Speaks to the Dangers of Young Earth Creationism — 9 Comments

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    Good article SS… here is a very interesting video to watch…a reporter visits and films some of the instruction in a private Christian school in the UK that teaches YE creationism. For me it’s frightening, curious what you all think of it..


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    Job 38: 4 “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
    Tell me, if you understand…”

    So begins God’s dialogue with Job in the oldest book of the Bible. Why does anyone feel the need to improve upon this approach to unknowable realities?

    Job replies in chapter 42 that before he had only heard of God, but now that he (Job) has actually experienced God, he has nothing to say. Speechless. No arrogance or pretending to know things he can not possibly know. No accusations about God’s character of any kind. Just speechless.

    If there is a god (and I believe in Him with all my heart) I think we will all have much more in common with Job than any know-it-all fundamentalist. Just saying’….

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    I can personally testify to the truth in these words. I attended the same church as Dee and for quite a while if you had asked me how old the earth was I probably would’ve answered along the lines of: “dunno… a few thousand years?” because that is what I was taught in Sunday School. The kicker is that about this age (12-13) we had not really been taught creation specifically yet. It was just thrown into lessons so casually that I naturally believed it to be true, our teachers stated it to be fact so why shouldn’t it be? I believe the hardcore infamous “creation classes” started around this time, but I could be wrong.

    But also about this time something happened that knocked the dear Church of Wonderland off of it’s pedestal for me. My 8th grade Sunday School teacher was arrested on charges of pedophilia. What does this have to do with creation? Well, I have to admit, that this is really the turning point in my faith, as I actually started to question what my Sunday School teachers put on the table before me. And ladies and gentlemen, it wasn’t pretty.

    I recall very well one creation lesson, where after some questions, I basically stated to the “teacher” that I didn’t think that the Bible made a very good geological textbook (or something along those lines) and we shouldn’t use it as such. I might as well have stamped atheist on my forehead for the reaction I received. I was told by my teachers to “look around and see the beauty and proof of God’s creation.” Honestly, I was stunned. I never said I was an atheist… merely saying that the earth could quite possibly and probably was older than 5,000 years. Blasphemy.

    I was also told that day that “belief” in the possibility of alien life was really the search for God and that true Christians wouldn’t even dare imagine that there was such an idea. And for a die hard Trekkie fan, that was a hard hit to swallow, but I held my tongue. Not that I do believe in alien life… quite honestly I have no idea… but that’s a discussion for another day haha.

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    How wooden to dismiss alien life! Like you, I don’t know, but can you imagine the limited view that some people have of God’s creation? It is this same lack of imagination that cause people to take simplistic view of creation. The Bible said, I believe and that’s that. Except, the Bible doesn’t say everything and God’s creation is vast and beyond our wildest dreams. So is God yet we want to tame HIm into a nice box so He’s domesticated and safe. Lise, you have a good mind. You will go far in life. Don’t let anyone give you simplistic answers.

    Now, here are my thoughts on aliens. 1. They exist and didn’t fall. 2. They exist and fell and jesus’ sacrifice covers them. 3.They don’t exist and we are the only inhabitants of this universe.4. They exist but only in an alternate universe where things have gone quite differently. Anyone else have other options?

    Finally, as to the pedophile and other such matters. People use churches and faith for many different reasons. The list that follows are primary reasons that people come to church. We all have a little bit of mixed motives in the mess.

    First are the true believers. Then come the seekers. Also, some leaders use the church because they like to pretend that they are “in authority.” Those use the church for ego gratification.Next come those who go to church merely to help their businesses by establishing contacts.Then there are those who come to get other needs met. Hence come the pedophile, etc. Lise, there are lots of users in life and there are many of those users in the church. YOu are one of the good guys!

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    They exist and DIDN’T fall? Now that’s a can of worms to be opened!

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    Two more other possibilities you forgot…

    1. They exist and God doesn’t
    2. They don’t exist and God doesn’t

    Didn’t seem fair to leave out the two most likely possibilities. 🙂

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    Confounded atheist! 😉

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    Read Lewis’ Out of the Silent Planet Trilogy. In this science fiction, he uses that theory for two of the books.