Oh dear. This is one of those public school parenting dilemmas I have dreaded, as a Christian mum. I don't want to go all freak-out reactionary but I also don't want to ignore the potential confusion that could arise from my kid being taught something that goes so strongly against what we believe. So I've drafted an email to the teacher...
Dear Miss B
I just wanted to clarify something that was on the list under Science for Term Three..."EVOLUTION: Explain how we know that some living things from the past are extinct". I understand that the children will be learning about dinosaurs and fossils... which is all fine by me (and I am sure, very exciting for them).
BUT I am worried/concerned that the children will also be taught that people "evolved" from monkeys and that all life began as a random accident.
Before you put me in the wierdo/reactionary box, can I explain that for our family, our faith is very important and personal.
We believe that all of life is unique, designed and created by a very real Designer. We believe that human beings are more than just the cleverest animals on the planet. We have faith that we get to live on when our bodies give out.
This gives us hope and helps life have meaning; it means that we try to treat others with respect because God made them and loves them and each person is valuable not an accidental collection of molecules.
I won't get too much into the science of it (I'm not a scientist, though I do read) but the Theory of Evolution is still a theory, not proven fact. The Missing Link is still missing. Of course there is adaptation of species and survival of the fittest; but there does not exist any fossil evidence of one species mutating into another.
So I would be very against my 6-year-old being taught that he's an accident emerged from primordial ooze and monkeys, when it is actually more of a philosophy than true science. I am hoping that in Year Two we won't have to face that issue already?
The faith of a child is a precious thing, something to be valued and protected. Dash (while being a typical rascal of a boy) also has a very tender and sensitive heart. He takes things in & mulls things over. Dash is already asking some pretty deep questions about God, life, and the world.
We try to answer him to the best of our ability from the answers we have found through our lifetimes so far. How else apart from a real God can we explain so many of the uncanny "miracles" that we have experienced? In the end the choice of whether he wants to ultimately follow the Christian faith will be his own... it's a personal thing, after all. But children naturally seem to know that Someone made everything that's out there.
The whole Evolution issue is going to come up time and again, I know; my issue is with how it's presented... as Scientifically proven fact (which it's not), or as one way people have of trying to explain how this amazing world we live in came to be.
This may not even come up in the topic (I hope not)... but I just wanted to raise my concerns and ask for your clarification of what will actually be covered. Sorry if I have gone on a bit!
I've just sent it off. I will now nervously await her reply.
(What do you think - did I explain myself OK?)
Wow, just had a reply from Dash's Teacher already... "Thanks for your email. It’s absolutely understandable that you are concerned. We are definitely NOT going into evolution as I understand everyone has different views on this. We are sticking to dinosaurs and animal survival e.g habitat, but we will not be going any further than that. Hope this has cleared things up. If you have any other worries please let me know."