Last Updated On August 27th 2012
At the time, slightly over a week ago, when I wrote the post, “The God Delusion”. What Does it Really Mean?, I was not well informed about how some schools (some, but not all, faith schools) in the UK and USA teach *wrong* science (I had read a few reports here and there in the past but had not studied the matter carefully).
Later, I studied some of the views expressed by Prof. Dawkins & others including a correspondent who kindly spared his time to share with me how *wrong* science is being taught in some faith schools in the USA and UK. I did some browsing of my own too. Some of these findings are given below.
Prof Dawkins with a British Faith School
From around 6:57 in the video below Prof. Dawkins is with a British faith school. It shows the, in my humble opinion, very odd spectacle of children, the school science teacher and the principal all “believing” evolution to be false since it apparently conflicts with their interpretation of their holy book.
Richard Dawkins: Faith School Menace? (2 of 4), http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B47pptxhgP8&feature=relmfu
I feel this is *wrong* science being taught in a science class and strongly disapprove of it.
Salt Water and Fresh Water Not Mixing In The Sea
I was quite taken aback when I saw this video where a child says that salty water and fresh water do not mix in the sea, as an aspect of science derived from a holy book, in front of Dawkins and her science teacher, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jlr1PZxFDEA&feature=relmfu. Now there seems to be some scenarios at estuaries where the body of river water (fresh water) does not easily mix with the body of sea water (salt water), http://cms.oregon.gov/dsl/ssnerr/docs/efs/efs33mix.pdf. But if the teaching was that salty water and fresh water always do not mix because there is some barrier between the two then I have to agree with one correspondent’s strong words of “misrepresentation of facts, undermining of science, …”.
I believe Prof. Dawkins is of the opinion that holy book interpretations (of various religions) should be reconciled to science. My humble opinion is that well established knowledge (“facts”) of science should be seriously considered by religious scholars and spiritual masters who interpret holy books of religions. Theories of science which still have significant room for doubt is a different matter.
Miracles of Religious Figures
Whether a religious figure performed miracles or not is a different matter. That need not be part of a science class but should be part of a Religious Education (R.E.) class, in my humble opinion. Science, as far as I understand it, has not disproved and cannot disprove that religious figures performed miracles.
One serious disagreement I have with Prof. Dawkins’ views is when he states that religious books should be treated as “fiction”, implying that the entire books should be treated as “fiction”. That is unacceptable to many believers including me. He is free to treat it as fiction but he has no scientific basis or any right to impose his opinion (that the entire content of religious books be treated as “fiction”) on the community.
Young Earth Creationism
I am given to understand that some schools in the USA teach children Young Earth Creationism, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Young_Earth_creationism. Given the fact that widespread scientific consensus opposes this theory I am very surprised to note that such theories may currently be taught as science in USA (and UK perhaps). I oppose teaching such theories as science unless these theories gain widespread scientific acceptance.
Recently I saw this video of Mr. Ken Ham lecturing a fairly large audience with many youngsters. “Evolution vs Creation – It is a Fact that the Dinosaurs Lived With Humans – Young Earth Creation”, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5d3AaAL10U
From 1:28 in the above video, Mr. Ham provides an argument based on a holy book that dinosaurs lived with people. This, according to my understanding of science, is *wrong* science being taught, though this is not in a ‘school’ environment.
The Creation Museum, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creation_Museum, is also promoting *wrong* science, according to my understanding of science.
I greatly appreciate the efforts of Prof. Dawkins and his foundation for reason and science to ensure that science is taught properly in schools in UK and USA, including faith schools. Where I do differ with Prof. Dawkins is his view of belief in God being a “delusion”.