I'm always happy to see MSM articles that challenge assumptions about conservative evangelicals, the religious community in which I grew up. Particularly when they aren't just about electoral politics.
This post by David Wheeler highlights a group a lot of people probably haven't considered: evangelical homeschoolers whose reasons for opting out of the school system have nothing to do with objecting to the teaching of evolution.
In high school I was taught that the Earth is about 10,000 years old. But I also learned the basics of evolution from my evangelical teachers. School administrators knew that students taking Advanced Placement biology exams and heading off to state universities needed to understand secular scientific reasoning, if only to combat it properly.
Forty percent of Americans favor teaching "creation science" instead of evolution in public schools. Fully 68 percent would like to see creationism taught alongside evolution. Given those figures, the decision by the Kansas Board of Education in August to downgrade the teaching of evolution should not come as a shock.
The "young earth” creationists behind the new $27 million Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky, insist that creation took place in six 24-hour days about 6,000 years ago. The “old earth” creationists, who argue that a “day” in Genesis could be a symbol for millions of years, are considered theological wimps. And advocates of intelligent design? They aren’t even worth a mention.
Bowing to pressure, Republican senator David Vitter of Louisiana has backed off an attempt to steer $100,000 to a Christian group that supports teaching religious and alternative theories of creation alongside evolution in science classrooms.
An engineering professor from Germany who was attending my course on the Genesis debates was flabbergasted to learn that in the U.S. a sizable number of people think that modern science is optional. “In my country,” he explained, “whether it’s a state school, a Lutheran school, or a Catholic school, we all teach the same science.”