Last week I wrote a blog concerning the homeschool science curriculum Real Science-4-Kids that claims to be “worldview neutral.” This week I decided to take a look at the actual curriculum that is available for viewing online. Like most science textbooks the vast majority of the curriculum focuses on observational science such as atoms, cells, animals, plants, chemical reactions, laws of physics, planets, stars, etc. However, one obvious exclusion was any chapters dealing with origins (historical science). Thus, it be might be easy to believe that the curriculum was truly “worldview neutral” as the author, Dr. Keller, claims.
A closer look at the curriculum revealed this was not the case. For example in the Biology textbook for grades 4-6 it states,
The animal kingdom, Animalia, includes ALL of the animals: dogs, cats, frogs, sea urchins, bees, birds, snakes, jellyfish, bunnies, and even us!
This isn’t neutral language since the biblical creation position holds that mankind was created in God’s image separate and distinct from the animals. Instead it is “friendly” to the evolution position (and the intelligent design position since most adherents to the ID Movement believe humans evolved from ape-like ancestors).
In the Astronomy textbook for grades 4-6 it states,
The earliest recorded history reveals an interest in the stars. Cave drawings show primitive humans recording observations from the skies, and later the Babylonians recorded detailed planetary positions, eclipses, and other astronomical observations.
So the “earliest recorded history” is not the Bible but rather cave drawings from what Dr. Keller terms “primitive humans.” Again, this is not neutral language; rather, it is friendly to the evolution/intelligent design positions. The earliest recorded history—which is the history book of the universe, the Bible—does talk about the stars from the very beginning. Genesis 1:16 states, “He made the stars also.” Genesis also specifies the creation of Adam and Eve by God leaving no room for any sort of primitive man (Genesis 1:26–27).
As we see from just these two examples, this science curriculum is not “worldview neutral,” nor can it be (see my earlier blog post). And just to show how problematic the worldview-neutral idea is, a person wrote to Dr. Keller asking the following question (which she posted on her blog called Rhubarb with her reply on July 6, 2011): “Does your ‘science’ curriculum include equal time for Flying Spaghetti Monster theory?” [For those not familiar with the Flying Spaghetti Monster, it is essentially a spoof of the ID Movement claiming that the intelligent designer is the Flying Spaghetti Monster.] She replied:
My immediate response is that my science curriculum could include equal time for Flying Spaghetti Monster theory. I’ll consider it for Biology Level 2. I don’t have a problem with it. Why? Because what I am trying to do with Real Science-4-Kids is teach kids how to think, not what to think. [emphasis original]
Do you see the problems that stem from this concept of worldview neutrality and friendliness? Even the outrageous becomes plausible. She goes on to say the following:
I understand that this can be a difficult concept for some people to embrace when they feel it doesn’t support their current worldview. However, in my opinion anytime we present information as “undisputed fact,” we have crossed over into “dogma.” This includes both scientific “facts” and religious “facts.”
Wow! What does she mean by religious “facts”? Would this include the virgin birth and resurrection of Jesus Christ? Are they not to be considered undisputed fact and therefore not dogma? What does that mean for Christianity? What it would mean is that Christianity is dead as Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15:14, “And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty.”
Dr. Keller’s statements sound very similar to what I have read by many liberal Christians today who want to have a “conversation” about the Bible and believe that the Bible does not present absolute truth. We need to pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ that they will not be “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7).
On the front page of the Real Science-4-Kids website is a quote attributed to John Stuart Mill (British philosopher and economist) that states this:
Truth matters. The best way to get to the truth is to allow a serious and open contest of ideas. (1859)
I agree that truth matters, but how do we arrive at the truth as it concerns the area of historical science? We must begin with the Bible, the history book of the universe, and the eyewitness account of God Himself in Genesis. Everything else is just man’s fallible, errant opinion about the past. As we study observational science, we see it confirms God’s Word and the biological, geological, and astronomical principles presented in the Bible are true. I hope these blogs serve as a wake-up call to homeschooling parents to carefully select the curriculum they use and to take advantage of the many Bible affirming resources we produce at AiG.