Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Waxing philosophical

Thoughts I would share with my mom, if only we could discuss religion without getting in a big, fat fight

Recently in class, we were discussing how we need to keep the culture of our students in mind in order to tailor our curriculum to their needs. Being the contrary person that I am, I proposed that, as a science teacher, cultural differences only really come up when teaching evolution, which of course we can't skip just because some people don't believe it happened.

Thinking more about the biblical story of creation, though, couldn't the 7 day creation story just be a metaphor for the gradual creation of the universe? Think of it. If, as some people believe, the bible was written through divine inspiration, then there may have been some ancient guy who was divinely granted knowledge of how the universe came into being. Big bang, evolution... all that good stuff. This guy was then charged with the task of passing on that knowledge to a bunch of iron age tribesmen.

Totally not going to work.

So, like any good teacher or scientist, he uses an analogy (well, in this case a metaphorical story). Light, then heaven and a planet, then land emerges and plants grow, birds and sea creatures come into being, then all the big land animals and finally humanity, which is charged with naming all the animals (a process which is continuing to this day)*. Sounds fairly consistent with physical cosmology and evolution.

See, science and religion can coexist**!

* Thank you Wikipedia.

** Says the atheist. Please don't kill me.

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