How do religiously affiliated private secondary schools handle evolution in science class?

Never went to private or otherwise religiously affiliated secondary school so I have no personal expereince with this.

How does the typical religiously oriented middle or high school handle assertions in the geological (age of earth) and biological sciences (re evolution) that directly contradict the claims of the Christian bible?

I’m sure there are many that teach evolution is of the devil, but evolution does not, in many Christians’ minds, “directly contradict” the Bible. The majority of Christians do not believe in a literal translation of the Bible (although, the percentage that does is probably much higher among those that send their kids to Christian schools).

It wasn’t a secondary school, but I went to a very conservative Christian university. The way they handled this was that they taught evolution, and they taught that the earth was 4.5 billion years old (or whatever the right number is). Science was science. They didn’t teach “Christian Biology” or anything like that.

The Catholic high school I went to treated it like it was any other subject, albeit with the caveat that the Bible is also correct which left us plenty of room to have some good classroom discussions about it.

Evolution and biological science only contradict the claims in the Bible if you view the Bible from a literalist perspective. In Christianity, that perspective is limited to a subset of evangelical denominations and a few other rowdy but relatively small groups.

Most Christian parochial schools are operated by Catholic and Anglican dioceses, which certainly have no problems teaching proper science.

Schools run by literalist evangelical sects, while a much smaller proportion over all, probably just ignore the issue. Most states don’t require a biology program for high school accreditation, as long as there are enough science courses in other subjects to make up for it.

“The claims of the Christian Bible” are not its claims, but those of those people in the last two centuries who presume that it is factual historical narrative even though the evidence of Creation itself contradicts it. Most Jews and early Christians were quite comfortable with the idea that spiritual truths can be conveyed through the use of story, where the factual detail, location, and dating take second priority to the message the story was told to vividly answer. “Why, in a world created by a perfect God, is there sin and evil?” “Because man (‘human being’, adam as a common noun in Hebrew) is tempted to forbidden fruit.” “Why, living among people who sacrifice children, do we not do the same?” “Well, our ancestor Abraham…” And so on.

Typically, Catholic (and Lutheran, Episcopalian, etc.) private schools see no more need to “explain away the contradiction” between science and the Bible than they feel it’s necessary to explain why we don’t have slave auctions any more. The Bible says why; Big Bang theory, abiogenesis, and evolution (among other things) say how. There’s no contradiction.

Now, fundamentalist-oriented ‘Christian’ schools are a different question, and I’ll leave it to some of the scholarly debunkers of the Dope to identify the goofy sources, such as Hovind and Answers in Genesis, that they depend on for ‘evidence’ to support their position.

There was a recent thread about Roman Catholics and evolution. Notice how many posters chimed in to say they had been taught evolution as a part of their general science classes.

Of course, Catholics aren’t the only offshoot of Christianity.

I rather wonder how much evolution is taught in most high schools, even if you leave out Texas and such. I went to HS in California and can’t remember learning much–I will probably make my upcoming 5th grader study more about it this year than I ever learned in school myself.

The biology teacher at the Quaker boarding high school I attended said that he thought evolution was God’s means of accomplishing the creation of animals. I think the flavor of the comment was that that was how he personally reconciled what could be a conflict.

My daughter’s (Catholic) elementary school teaches evolution in their 7th and 8th grade classes, and even in her preschool class discusses dinosaurs, extinction and fossils. They made these cute little plaster of Paris “fossils” with rubber dinosaurs last month.

She’s not continuing at that school because we moved, but their science curriculum, which I was given a copy of when I requested it, seems very like my own public school lessons, with appropriate adjustment for more recent theories in the field (ie, no “brontosaurus” and all the books have dinosaurs pictured with tails proudly off the ground.)

I grew up in a relatively conservative and strict(I guess) Christian school.

  1. We were taught that understanding evolution was essential, especially since most of us were going to continue on to public universities. I went to U of Michigan and I think I knew as much as any other college kid. More than most, probably.

  2. We were taught that while evolution may be quite true for many cases, humans were created “as is” by God. I’m generalizing about this, so don’t quote me on that phrasing. I was taught humans are created in God’s image, while animals and plants aren’t.

  3. I learned the history of the theory of evolution, going back well past Darwin. I remember reading some of his Grandfather’s(I think) poetry, some of which included references to evolution.

This is probably true of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (NB: they’re the one that’s not Evangelical). The Missouri and Wisconsin synods are a bit more literal when it comes to Genesis.

It is my understanding that, in some parts of the U.S., public schools often avoid teaching evolution, or keep it to a minimum, for fear that conservative fundamentalist students (and it may only take one or two in the student body), and perhaps other conservative fundamentalists in the community, will make trouble over it. It may well be the case that many students in American Catholic schools will learn more about the topic than their compatriots in Public school.

The Catholic Church has always been very wary of being thought to be anti-evolution. They got badly burned over Galileo and heliocentrism; it was a PR disaster for them, and they do not want to make the same mistake again.

Interesting fact: the scientist who proposed the Big Bang theory was a Roman Catholic priest.

My sister’s kids, who go to such a school (K-12), apparently are taught young-earth creationism. The school is affiliated with something called “New Life Church.” (School’s web site, “statement of faith” for the church]

My school used the books churned out by A Beka Book, Pensacola FL; they’re hawked to both the home school and Christian school markets. The science books there are all young-earth creationist, and the descriptions of some of the books is telling. Here’s a blurb touting Science of the Physical Creation in Christian Perspective, aimed at 9th graders: “The geology section includes a good refutation of the “principle of uniformity” and other ideas of evolutionary philosophers.”

I went to a Catholic elementary school. Evolution was taught, and there was absolutely no religion intermingled with science classes.

Huh. As well as the guy who first showed the mechanisms of genetics.

My public school actually skipped over it due to worrying about fanatics. My friends from a private Christian school were more acquainted with evolution than I was.

Granted, they were taught creationism from a video or something, maybe 1 week out of the year. And they went back to assuming evolution

In general, religious schools never mixed science and theology. I went to a Marianist college, and their Religion 100 class had 4 units: Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism/Jainism, each one was exactly the same length as the others, and they encouraged questioning and debate. A couple of school events had a Catholic slant (e.g. Ash Wednesday service,) but students were not required to attend, faculty came from all backgrounds, and students never felt that religion was interfering with their education.

The Talibaptists in this country have lost their minds.

A lot of bad science is used to explain evolution in school. Just point out the errors that are being taught as truths.

When I was in public school I use to wonder about what was being taught. They had made spiece of premen out of jaw bones. And one it was descided that because it had sharp teeth it had to stand errect. My kids brought home books from school with some of the same stuff still being taught. No I do not have any sites My boys graduated HS over 10 years ago.

Evolution is a theroy, theroies are theroies not absolute truths.

Me I believe evolution is possable, but not sure it is probable.