Thursday, March 25, 2010

Secular Homeschoolers Don't Owe the Fundies Anything

Could the author of  Darwin Has a Pity Party (and I about have an aneurysm) at least read Charles Darwin's The Orgin of Species before she starts bashing him and if Creationist actually understood the meaning of a SCIENTIFIC THEORY,  it would be nice.

Here are some terms used in Science and their definitions.
  1. A hypothesis is an educated guess, based on observation. Usually, a hypothesis can be supported or refuted through experimentation or more observation. A hypothesis can be disproven, but not proven to be true. 
  2. A scientific theory summarizes a hypothesis or group of hypotheses that have been supported with repeated testing. A theory is valid as long as there is no evidence to dispute it.
  3. A law generalizes a body of observations. At the time it is made, no exceptions have been found to a law. Scientific laws explain things, but they do not describe them.

 Evolution is not "just a theory". Any scientific theory must be based on a careful and rational examination of the facts. Creationist look really stupid learning impaired when they use the "just a theory" argument.  Newton's theory of "Universal Gravitation", is "just a theory" too but you don't hear Creationist demeaning it by saying "it's just a theory".

Scientist are not afraid of textbooks like those from Apologia, they just think they are full of lies false information. Let's put it this way so hopefully everyone can follow along. If some Christian Publisher choose to publish a science textbook claiming the Earth was flat and that the Sun revolved around the Earth and peddled it to homeschooers wouldn't we all agree that the book was worthless and full of lies?

And the arrogance of  this Fundamentalist Christian is astounding.
I have a message for secular homeschoolers. We welcome you into our ranks. We're glad you're here. Nobody is happier than I am that you have decided that the government run school system is broken and you want your kids out of it. But please remember, your freedom to homeschool was earned on the back of fundamentalist Christians.

Homeschooling was not started by Fundamentalist Christians and my freedom to homeschool wasn't earned on your back. Fundamentalist Christians stole co-opted the homeschooling movement in the 80's.

From Homeschooling: Growing and Thriving in the 21st Century
 Many people who are just now beginning to homeschool are not aware that the modern homeschool movement began as something of a cultural phenomenon. In the late 1960s, researchers estimate that the number of homeschoolers in the U.S. was between 10,000 and 15,000.2 These early homeschoolers were often considered the rebels. In Home Schooling: From the Extreme to the Mainstream, a paper published by the Fraser Institute, the authors state, "Although the contemporary image of homeschooling parents depicts a homogeneous, deeply religious, socially conservative sub-group of the population, back in the 1960s and 1970s, most homeschooling parents were members of the counter-cultural left, principally advocates of New Age philosophies, hippies, and homesteaders."3

So maybe you should take your own advice honey and remember homeschoolings roots. Modern Day Homeschooling was started by a bunch of SECULAR hippies and homesteaders. Why don't you try showing us a some RESPECT.


  1. Well said. And good to remind people where homeschooling really started.

  2. Sigh, this would be a good time for us, conservative Christian, to learn to shut our pie holes.

    Well written blog post.

    ..from a homeschooler who uses Apologia along with secular science and who has read Darwin's Origin of the Species and found it fascinating.

  3. Nicely said. I just wish you hadn't included so many links to her blog post, because I gave in and clicked over to it. Agghhh! My eyes!

  4. Any scientific theory must be based on a careful and rational examination of the facts.

    Substitute the phrase "scientific evidence" for "facts" and I would agree with this statement. There is a lot of scientific evidence to support the theory of evolution. But those pieces of evidence aren't "facts".

    It is not a *FACT* that the hominid fossil known as "Lucy" *IS* 3.2 million years old. We can, however, say that based on Argon dating of the rocks in which "Lucy" was found, scientists believe that she is 3.2 million y.o. It is possible that there is an alternative explanation for the observations the scientists made.

    Perhaps God created an "old" Earth 6,000 years ago that already included fossils. I don't personally believe this is likely, but as I believe in an omnipotent God, I'm open to it being a possibility. That is a theological discussion, however, and not one I cover in science class.

  5. Crimson Wife, if I understand correctly what you are saying is

    Any scientific theory must be based on a careful and rational examination of the evidence.

    And I concur.

    Sorry Idaho Dad, I just figured I shouldn't be the only one to suffer.

    Thanks for visiting everyone. ~Alasandra

  6. Hi, Alasandra. I've been reading your blog ever since you linked to mine. I greatly appreciate this post. As you may recall, we don't homeschool because of inherent or ideological distaste for institutional schools or because of religious beliefs. We do so because my autistic son simply does better learning at home. I'm baffled in some ways by the strident ideologies I've encountered in the homeschool "community."

    One thing our son will certainly learn (and has begun to do) is the following: Evolution itself, as a change in populations over time, is not a theory. It is a fact. It is observable and demonstrable in myriad ways. We rely on the principles of evolution in more ways than can be described, from most applications in drug development to therapies for cancer to forensics and much, much more.

    What the "theory" everyone talks about relates to is one of the proposed mechanisms for evolution: natural selection. Darwin posited this idea, which is now a full-fledged theory that has withstood any number of tests. But there are several other mechanisms of evolution (ways that it happens), including artificial selection, viral disruption of the genome, horizontal gene transfer, gene flow, and genetic drift.

    Simply put, evolution is a change in a population over time, one that we usually measure at the level of the allele and its frequency in the population (different forms of a gene). Its existence, its factuality, is not in question. As Theodore Dobzhansky said, "Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution." And it's simply true.

  7. HI Alasandra. I apologize about the carnival, I honestly didn't see it come through. Everything gets fwd to me, but some did get lost some how.

    Don't pay any attention to the legalisitic fundies.(I mean this as the system defines them in their actions, not specific people) There is no peace in their legalisitic statements. They claim to be 'free' in their faith, but they are bound up in rules and traditions. I used to be just like them and am thankful to be away from it all. Yet it is still in this world. You know how the playground advice goes, "Bullies just like to get a rise out of you. Just ignore them." People of faith are not all the same. I hope it's cool with you that I comment on your blog even though I believe in God. I would imagine you have a lot of really great homeschooling advice to share that would benefit them if they could stop looking through a narrow microscope in life. Don't allow their plague to be a leach on you. It sucks the life right out of ya. Be blessed.

  8. Sisterlisa,
    I love hearing from everyone. I want this blog to be a place where everyone is free to express their views, learn from each other and hopefully find some common ground.

    I understand about the Carnival. Having hosted before I know all about the glitches and it sounds as if you had a real challenge putting this weeks CoH together with all the technical difficulties.

  9. I don’t believe there is much value in arguing over who started homeschooling. People were educated in their homes throughout the world for centuries before there were public schools in the United States of America. What is important is that as Americans we retain the freedom to homeschool our children.

  10. Oh dear. I always find myself in the awkward position of not quite fitting either side. My personal belief is that there is a God who is the Creator. That doesn't keep me from believing that he could use evolution as a means, just as well anything else.

    To me, the whole discussion is a such a huge distraction for many Christians. If you believe in a creator, why argue about how he might have done his work? Time would be much better spent in learning to live in faith, love, and grace-- and allowing others to do so as well.

    You're absolutely right about the early homeschoolers. They were probably truly... (gasp!) liberal. Nice post. Thanks!

  11. Actually, homeschooling began way before the hippies. In America, before the invention of the public school system, you either went to private school, or were privately tutored, or you went to a small community school held in someone's house (think The Witch of Blackbird Pond - great book, BTW), or your mother taught you, or you were self-taught like Ben Franklin.

  12. "Evolution itself, as a change in populations over time, is not a theory."

    Micro-evolution (variation, adaptation - such as a change in the color of a moth), is evident - not macro changes from one species to an entirely different species.

  13. I loved The Witch of Blackbird Pond. I agree it is a great book.

  14. May I add a Catholic perspective here?

    As early as the 4th century by St. Augustine, also in the 13th century by St. Thomas Aquinas, and again at the very end of the 20th century by Pope John Paul II the Church has taught about the Unity of Truth. God is the Creator. He created the universe and inspired Scripture; He does not contradict Himself because Truth is singular.

    Only through the absolute regular, predictable, and organized nature of the universe can we recognize the miraculous. This is how we have absolute faith in the Resurrection as the singular Act of Salvation for all time. If natural events could not be explained, if we could not understand our world, the Resurrection would be diminished among common unexplainable phenomena.

    Thus, too, if Humans did not arise from the same age-old, predictable, organized manner as we have found in all other aspects of the universe, how could we recognize the miracle of our very souls? For only humans know God, know themselves, and know the universe. Our common experience tells us that humans are distinctly different from all other living beings on this planet, and yet we arose from a common mechanism.

    Science cannot know or study the metaphysical world. Yet the Materialist in error discounts that realm simply because she cannot study it. It is the realm of philosophy and theology and it every bit as valid as science.

    Just like scientist get their feathers ruffled when people pose these weak arguments against Evolution, Catholics don't care to listen to uninformed assertions of scientists when it comes to the metaphysical world. What could be lamer than, "Angels don't exist because is does not make logical sense for them to exist." Not in the physical world, but we cannot limit our view to that simply because scientists want to.

    We can set up separate spheres for science and religion, but we'd be lazy to do so. Let us be bold in considering the metaphysical and the physical, Faith and Reason.

    “Science can purify religion from error and superstition. Religion can purify science from idolatry and false absolutes.” --Pope John Paul II.

    "Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth..." —Fides et Ratio (1998)

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