Your Science Books May Contain Evolution

One critique of Sonlight's Science programs I see every now and again is that we carry books that mention evolution.

Never mind those pages aren't always scheduled. Ignore the fact that we include notes to help you work through this content with your children. Forget that we are Christian company dedicated to missions and spreading the good news of Christ to those who haven't yet had an opportunity to hear of Him. All that doesn't matter. What matters is that in a few titles here and there the idea of an old earth rears its head.

The idea that that idea is what gets people hung up confuses me. But even more important: Ignoring the topic (and content) of "evolution" is dangerous... to you and your children.

Just last night I got a call from a friend. "Luke, I just read an article that presents some really compelling evidence for why a global Flood isn't possible. Have you read anything about that? How should we even think about this?"

Unfortunately for my friend, I'm not as well versed in that particular field of study. But I've encountered enough to give a few tidbits here and there. We talked about evidence, interpretation, Old Earth Creationism, Theistic Evolution, misrepresentation, inerrancy, Young Earth responses, apologetics, science, definitions, and more. The thing that reverberated through my skull was that this was the first my friend had heard of these ideas.

Look, there's always going to be something that takes you completely off guard. So it doesn't make sense to keep your head in the sand about a topic that is going to come up. Far better to talk through topics with your kids. Bring up the opposing sides and discuss what you believe and why. Educate. Don't indoctrinate. When you are familiar with the arguments against Christianity, new arguments aren't as disorienting. We take them in stride and take them to Christ and His Word. We consider. We pray. And we seek to learn more.

And for that, I'm glad Sonlight carries Science titles that aren't just written by Young Earth Creationists. There's far more to learn!

As always, however, we must pick our battles. But, if you're interested in learning more, check out an article my dad wrote years ago: Young- and Old-Earth Creationists: Can We Even Talk Together?

Anything shocking/disorienting come across your path recently? Did you discuss it with your kids?

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Empty Nester

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9 Responses to Your Science Books May Contain Evolution

  1. Cindy says:

    It worries me when Christians not only teach the truth (which they should), but refuse to teach their children that there are other ideas. I remember being blind-sided by a theological question that should have been pretty easy for a pastor's kid. We need to teach our kids, not only that there are other views, but that the people who believe them take them seriously and need serious answers. I have never yet encountered a skeptic's question that couldn't be answered, but I've met a lot of Christians who behaved as though there were no answer! It's not pretty when the child of willfully ignorant parents forays out into the world for the first time.

  2. Brenda says:

    I agree they need to encounter other views! They learn to spot untruths this way. We can teach them to look for it.

  3. Michelle says:

    "One critique. . . is that we carry books that mention evolution."

    Actually many do more than just "mention" it. They teach it and they are scheduled. I've encountered many such pages in Core A Science. {Children's Encyclopedia}

    Yes. The notes are there. And yes, it is good to teach both sides. But honestly, I get tired of it. I just want to read a book to my little ones that teaches what I believe to be truth - in a literal creation and not "millions of years." For once, I just want to be able to read without having to say, "but we don't believe that." It's tiring. But, that's beside the point.

    I appreciate your exhortation to educate. not indoctrinate. That is why I chose Sonlight over those "more religious" curriculums that "tie the Bible into every lesson that day." I can't use them because we don't follow mainstream Christianity. So, I take what I get with Sonlight, because I can make it work. But, to say that you don't schedule evolutionary content is a misrepresentation of your curriculum.

  4. Jennifer says:

    'Never mind those pages aren't scheduled. Ignore the fact that we include notes to help you work through this content with your children."
    I agree with Michelle. Many times those pages most certainly ARE scheduled. I remember reading with my 4-yr-old from an Usborne book that offered far-fetched theories about how the moon was formed. My problem is not that the books contain evolution, but that they ONLY contain (or presume) evolution. Only your notes imply that creation might be true. Are you assuming that children never read these books on their own, without your notes present or a parent looking over their shoulder to point out the problematic worldview?

    I have switched more and more away from your curriculum because so many of the science and history books presume evolution and/or teach from a secular worldview. There are alternatives! Good, Biblically-based curricula that present a Christian worldview and also address secular views. The "God's Design for Science" series is one example. We don't have to content ourselves with using secular books and adding Christian notes to render them acceptable.

  5. andie says:

    i've thought this so many times!! just the fact that michelle keeps saying 'it's tiring' to talk about. well, it's also tiring to live in a fallen world with people that don't know Christ! it's tiring to wash the dishes every day and do the laundry. it's tiring to do homeschool! how much more tiring is it to bring our children up properly spiritually? our children need to be prepared to live in this fallen world and know how to love people that think and believe differently than they do. i think these conversations are great opportunities to talk about how we can minister to people who hold fast to these ideas and what we can say when we're questioned on our beliefs. for small children this will be harder and if it is just one of those days when you feel like you can't handle the conversation, save it and the reading pages for another day. i view these times as great opportunities to reinforce what we believe to our kids and to help prepare them to one day defend a faith that i pray they grow into.

  6. Kirsten says:

    I hold a science degree and went through a science program on a college level that degraded my beliefs in a public manner everyday. I am a firm believer that our children need to be taught not only our views, but also what the other views are. Along with this, they also need to know why we believe the other views to be false from an evidence based platform. When they reach college, even in Christian colleges, they will most likely confront science professors who either present evolution as a fact or mix it with Christianity trying to make Christianity and evolution go together. Both of these are dangerous. I have also heard people say that the Bible is not a science book. God is the designer of science and the Bible is the authority on it. We use Apologia science. I feel that it is exceptional. I also intend to have my children use material from Answers in Genesis and Kent Hovind is an amazing educator who has stood against the evolution community for years showing with evidence its falsehood even in the face of death threats. We are instructed to put on the armor of Christ. Isn't educating our children's minds in a way that they can think for themselves adding a piece of armor as they face the current world?

  7. Luke says:

    Absolutely, Cindy. It's the "blind-sided" thing I want to avoid!

    Brenda, learning discernment certainly is a skill, isn't it? What a privilege that we can build that in our children.

    Good point, Michelle. It can be wearisome. And thank you for pointing out my poor word choice. I have updated my sentence to try to be more accurately represent our curriculum.

    Jennifer, I don't presume to know how parents use our materials with their family. I would say, however, that worldviews are only problematic if they are never challenged or discussed. If a child (or an adult, for that matter) encounters a false idea, we can point out the flaws and move forward. Our children are not bound to believe a lie just because they heard it first. I'd also like to point back to the article my dad wrote: I don't think it's fair or necessarily accurate to say that the Young Earth perspective is the only "Biblically-based" option. But I do hear what you are saying, and I'm glad you've found something that works well for your family!

    Andie, that is a good point (and something I tried to mention in my post): If you don't have the time/opportunity to address this topic at this time, by all means... move on! Please. This is an important issue, to be sure, but we must learn to pick our battles.

    Kirsten, we offer Apologia in the high school levels... so... agreed: Apologia is great <smile>. And, yes: May we equip our children to bring truth and grace to this world!

    Thanks everyone--especially those who pointed out where I misrepresented things--for contributing to this discussion! I very much appreciate (and enjoy) it.


  8. Nichole says:

    Personally I am very glad that Sonlight carries these materials. I am a Christian who does believe in an old Earth and evolution. Evolution and Christianity, to me, are not mutually exclusive. I appreciate that Sonlight carries these products and look forward to using Sonlight's science program.

  9. Luke says:

    Nichole, absolutely. Evolution and Christianity are not mutually exclusive... especially when you consider the various definitions of "evolution" out there (everyone should agree on "descent with modification" as that clearly happens and fits perfectly with the Bible's account of the Flood) . How far from there you go depends largely--near as I can tell--on what you read and find compelling (common descent, abiogenesis, "eternal matter," etc). But that's way outside the scope of this post <smile>.