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Teaching Science to Creationist Students


A common way to address creationist beliefs is to tell or show students that there are a lot of different ways to look at rocks and Earth history, but that the class will focus only on the scientific viewpoint (Havholm, 1998 , Wise 2001 ).

For ethical, and often, legal reasons, you shouldn't attack anyone's religious beliefs. Scientific theories are secular beliefs, and if your students choose to disagree with those beliefs, they are entitled to their opinions.

Science classes are generally not an appropriate place to discuss theology. So, rather than engage creationism directly, an instructor may want to:


Defining Science

It isn't necessary to address Intelligent Design or Young-Earth Creationism specifically in order to emphasize the many differences between scientific theories and religious beliefs, both in their content and development.

Sample Lecture Outlines (with web resources):

Alternatively, at the university level, experienced instructors whose students are confident in their own beliefs and willing to respect those of others may actually want to Teach the Controversy.

Help Students Learn by Doing

Showing students evidence of the age of the Earth rather than telling them about may instill a deeper understanding of it (i.e. Miller, 2001 ; Zen, 2001 ). There are many ways to do this including:

Resources for Addressing Creationism

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