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Mar. 8 2010 - 4:52 pm | 3,232 views | 1 recommendation | 2 comments

Top Homeschooling Texts Reject Science

Does this qualify as a mild form of child abuse: teaching children to distrust science and believe lies?

I think it does. I don’t believe it’s appropriate to try to stop these parents (through legislation) from destroying their children’s ability to think critically, but it’s not hard to make a case that this kind of Dark Ages indoctrination is very bad for the United States. Evangelical homeschoolers are raising a generation of kids who are “culture warriors,” spreading a message of ignorance and superstition, in an age when science and technology are vitally important.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Home-school mom Susan Mule wishes she hadn’t taken a friend’s advice and tried a textbook from a popular Christian publisher for her 10-year-old’s biology lessons.

Mule’s precocious daughter Elizabeth excels at science and has been studying tarantulas since she was 5. But she watched Elizabeth’s excitement turn to confusion when they reached the evolution section of the book from Apologia Educational Ministries, which disputed Charles Darwin’s theory.

“I thought she was going to have a coronary,” Mule said of her daughter, who is now 16 and taking college courses in Houston. “She’s like, ‘This is not true!’”

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.”

And if you want to see how widespread and irrational this anti-science craziness is on the religious right, check out this thread of comments at the dependably insane Free Republic.


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    At most 5% of U.S. children are homeschooled yet surveys routinely show that HALF of U.S. adults hold “Young Earth” Creationist beliefs. I seriously doubt that legislating what private private schools (which is what homeschools are) teach would do anything significant to change that statistic. And it would represent a major infringement upon the rights of parents to educate their children in accordance with their family’s values, something that the U.S. Supreme Court upheld in the Pierce decision.

    FWIW I’m a Christian homeschooler and I believe in evolution and an age of the universe in the billions of years.

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    “Does this qualify as a mild form of child abuse: teaching children to distrust science and believe lies?

    I think it does.”

    I with you in this Charles. Although I would call it the worst form of child abuse. And not a “mild” one.

    Teaching children to be critical thinkers is the primary responsibility of parents (and schools) today.

    Saddling them with a bronze age philosophy and force feeding them religious dogma destroys their critical abilities for life.

    There can be no greater abuse of childhood innocence and trust than this …

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