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Home School Fail March 8, 2010

Posted by Dwight and Lynn Furrow in Dwight Furrow's Posts, Education, Science.
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There are lots of reasons why parents home-school their kids, but apparently the dominant reason is to avoid having to confront real science:

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.

This story has provoked many scientists, such as Coyne, to reiterate the harm such materials are causing children.

And the pushback has begun. Check out any science blog discussing this issue and you will find in the comments section some truly vile invective from people I can only assume are “Christians”.

Since we try to keep the language on this website relatively clean, I will not post the worst cases, but check out this post by Jerry Coyne if you want samples.

As Coyne writes:

Ah, there’s nothing so vile as a Christian insulted!  To those who are constantly whining about the “incivility” of atheists like Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris, I suggest that you might first have a look at the behavior of some Christians.

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