“DNA Wasn’t Invented Then”
This post was prompted by some teaching of Tim McKenzie of the Set Free Christian Church. There is an excellent piece by PZ Myers of the University of Minnesota describing McKenzie’s errors as to science. Now seems like a good time to examine the ethics of such teaching.
We have the (to my mind startling) fact that 70 per cent of scripture teachers think that children should be taught the Bible as historical fact (credit: Cathy Byrne).
We also have the attribution to the Education Queensland assistant director-general Patrea Walton that Creationism is part of some faiths, and therefore is part of some teaching (same link). Her biography at the Bullying in Our Community web site states that she “has an extensive understanding of the multiple issues associated with bullying”. I will contrast this with the ostracism of a Year 5 student in Australia’s Sunshine coast for questioning one of Tim McKenzie’s teachings.
The Queensland Department of Education is currently allocating between $5,000 and $10,000 for “Chaplaincy Funding” to schools low socio-economic areas.
We also have the statement “Adam and Eve were not eaten by dinosaurs because they were under a protective spell” (my emphasis).
We now have a situation where we have the Education Department of Queensland officiating over an education system paying large sums of money to teachers most of whom wish to teach mythology as fact. Given that protective spells are necessarily a part of witchcraft in our culture we now have state supported advocacy of witchery!
The Year 5 student’s ostracism amounts to bullying. Yet Patrea Walton’s biography above claims an “extensive understanding” of this issue. One has to wonder at Patrea’s level of commitment to eliminating bullying.
The primary purpose of education in any civilised society is to empower its children to become well-informed thoughtful citizens. Against this, it could be argued that the Tim McKenzie case is a one-off. However, this would be at odds with Cathy Byrne’s findings. What we have here is government funding which is achieving exactly the opposite effect.
Unless, and until, those religious elements in our society who seek to drag our children into the wayside are eliminated from our schools, our society will continue to suffer.