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My Take: The case for including ethics, religion in science class
Science teachers must make their subject relevant to students' lives by tackling religion and ethics, argues Arri Eisen.
December 15th, 2011
10:48 AM ET

My Take: The case for including ethics, religion in science class

Editor's note: Arri Eisen, PhD., is professor of pedagogy at Emory University’s Center for Ethics, Department of Biology, and Graduate Institute of the Liberal Arts.

By Arri Eisen, Special to CNN

A referendum that would have restricted in vitro fertilization in Mississippi, disagreements on the causes of global warming, the question of how to allot health care resources for desperate cases at the beginning or end of life.

Many of today's headlines and hyper-polarized political debates happen at the borders of science and society, especially where science meets ethics and religion.

At the same time, in at what first appears to be in an unrelated domain, President Barack Obama and others call for more and better science education in America to compete in innovation with rising giants India and China. This at a time when American science literacy appears to be decreasing, and even students who like science drop like flies from that pursuit once they hit college and its huge introductory lecture courses.

Is it possible that rethinking the ethical calculus of how we teach science could enhance the pool of future scientists and enrich the quality of conversation around controversial issues?

What’s the connection? Well, from kindergarten on we often teach science as a body of information not relevant to anything going on in the world. This is a cell and these are its parts; memorize them and their functions. This is the human body and these are the different systems of which it is composed.

Such facts are important, but without a meaningful context (cell functions gone awry can cause cancer; all the body systems talk to each other, so depression can affect your cardiovascular system) such information has little real substance and is poorly retained.

This approach violates the first rule of good teaching: Integrate the information into your students’ lives and worldviews, including those based in religion or ethical systems, and translate it into something they can connect with and use. Science has an especially rich and often fraught role to play in society; if we don’t at least acknowledge this we imply it is unimportant.

Not surprisingly, studies show that when teachers do integrate science knowledge into students' lives, the students learn the science better.

But rather than incentivize teaching innovation that would allow science educators to discuss religion and ethics –- for example, creationism in light of evolution and vice versa, or the scientific and ethical implications of stem cells and in vitro fertilization – many teachers are afraid to even mention these issues, despite their importance, for fear of losing their jobs.

The classic example is the public school biology teacher without tenure who, understandably, finds it much easier to skip any discussion of evolution because of its potential controversial nature. This would be OK except for the small detail that evolution is the fundamental, underlying principle of all biology.

I teach biology at a private university. When I ask students in my cell biology course, “How many of you believe in evolution?” almost all of them raise their hands. When I ask them, “How many of you think something in addition to evolution accounts for humans being on earth as we now exist?” almost all of them raise their hands.

Two inconsistent thoughts coexist without an attempt to reconcile or integrate them. It is this kind of dissonance of fundamental beliefs and science that good education should address and help explore, and certainly not ignore. Only when science educators can proactively engage all societal elephants in the room and illustrate science's relatively limited power will two vitally important things happen:

First, as they are forming their beliefs — whatever they may be — students will be aware of the nature of science and its relation to complex ethical and religious issues. That means they’ll better appreciate different types of evidence and will be more likely to argue from and about that evidence rather than from emotion. Second, more students initially interested in science will continue to pursue it through college because they will better see its value and importance to the big issues and will learn science better.

How to accomplish this? How to break the vicious circle? One way is to frame the benefits differently — economic competition and innovation, national security, improved learning, or more substantial political debate — for different constituencies. For example, perhaps a politically conservative, religious audience might appreciate the importance of good science education through the lens of its importance to the economy or national security.

Another break in the circle is to help teachers learn how to teach science in context more effectively. I often find that simply acknowledging the ethical or religious issue relaxes students; a few others  have explored approaches for better integration of these issues.

In my cell biology course, we investigate the biology and chemistry of a cell surface receptor that helps induce good feelings in us when it binds to a chemical compound found in incense; this may help explain why so many different cultures and religions have independently evolved the use of incense in their ceremonies and rituals.

We discuss the detailed cellular and molecular biology of the research in the context of ritual; the students report this opens a door that’s usually closed between those two sides of their minds. Religious students, who say they often feel their beliefs are ignored or belittled on campus, find this discussion especially welcome and thought-provoking.

High school educators in Wisconsin showed that students who read original texts from Darwin and intelligent-design scholars, and discussing those texts, critically learned evolution better (without rejection of other worldviews) than those taught it in the traditional didactic manner. Teaching potentially controversial science can work if done in an interactive, engaging fashion and in a rich historical and societal context.

Clearly, there are a multitude of reasons for America’s polarized politics and decreasing science literacy and innovation that go beyond just teaching science better. But sometimes a little creative wrestling with and engagement in systems and programs that already exist can make a difference.

Once I offered the opportunity for anyone in the cell biology course to simultaneously take a seminar course focusing on the societal and ethical implications of the biology discussed in the cell course. Half the biology class wanted to enroll in the seminar.

A dozen students — all future scientists and health care workers — wound up in the course, representing seven different religions and traditions, from Christianity to Jainism to Judaism.

Students were amazed so many of their peers took religion seriously, and those students tell me that the conversations and debates we had in the course, together with the seminar, resonate to this day. Many say science is now woven together with ethics and religion in their minds; they can’t think about biology without thinking about its meaning in the greater context.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Arri Eisen.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Culture & Science • Education • Opinion

soundoff (2,297 Responses)
  1. Alias901

    If they do start teaching religion in classrooms I want a class on how to fly my unicorn.

    December 15, 2011 at 9:41 pm |
    • BH in MA

      You are confusing the unicorn with the pegasus.

      December 15, 2011 at 9:48 pm |
    • Clayton

      Why not breed a unicorn with a pegasus? And add lasers. Don't forget the lasers.

      December 15, 2011 at 9:50 pm |
  2. wisdom4u2

    For a lot of people, including myself, it never really mattered whether or not there is/was a separation of science and ‘religion’. For most intelligent people, the comprehension of science only leads to the acknowledgment of a Higher Intelligence. So, go ahead and do whatever……but ‘true science’ has always revealed a Loving Higher Power.

    December 15, 2011 at 9:41 pm |
    • Jeebus

      What "true science" are you talking about?

      December 15, 2011 at 9:43 pm |
    • sharoom

      What on earth are you talking about?

      December 15, 2011 at 9:45 pm |
    • Answer

      Any references to "true" something is a religious moniker. He meant Intelligent Design.

      December 15, 2011 at 9:46 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Baloney. It has done nothing of the sort, wis.

      December 15, 2011 at 9:48 pm |
    • wisdom4u2

      @ Answer ~~~ I said what I meant and I meant what I said! To the others...ignorance is not bliss, obviously! Sad : (

      December 15, 2011 at 9:51 pm |
    • Matt

      Agreed, what are you smoking......science is rational and does not lead to irrational beliefs in anyway! Religion doesn't hold up to the scientific method, therefore it does not belong. In fact only a crazy creationist and crackpot clergy could somehow distort the scientific method enough to make a fools argument for the relevance of religion.

      December 15, 2011 at 9:51 pm |
    • Answer

      @Wisdom

      The people who are always preaching that their "truth" are always in dispute with themselves. What is your version of this truth? What you meant is what you meant – what garbage. Just put the neat tag right behind yourself and tell it like it is. You are a believer and you spread your religion. Don't be afraid – if you're honest, firstly be honest with yourself, otherwise you're just another wad.

      December 15, 2011 at 9:55 pm |
    • wisdom4u2

      Atheism would be totally destroyed if ‘true’ science was taught in every science class! Furthermore, most atheist can’t even grasp any revelations of the newly discovered elements of science; should they do so…. it would just blow their ‘unbelief’ clear out of their hardened lil’ hearts.

      December 15, 2011 at 10:08 pm |
    • Answer

      Once again – what is real science to you?

      What is your stupidity based on?

      December 15, 2011 at 10:11 pm |
    • Snow

      no wisdom.. religion would totally be destroyed if you just accept Darwin into your heart and study his one book on origin of species that has in its pages revealed all the truth you need..

      Give up on those urges for easy smeezy way out with god business and do the right thing.. embrace Darwin! that is the only way.. all the intelligent people of the world know that.. its your chance now.. Don't miss out

      December 15, 2011 at 10:13 pm |
    • Answer

      You have this huge bleeping flashing text that just speaks volumes of "Intelligent Design"..

      ID-iots .. we in science all brand your nonsense that label. ID-iots.

      December 15, 2011 at 10:13 pm |
  3. Jenn

    Why do I have a feeling that this was only written to stoke the fire?

    December 15, 2011 at 9:40 pm |
  4. Trader John

    It's almost impossible to keep religion out of government, now this guy wants to roll it up with science? I don't think so.

    December 15, 2011 at 9:39 pm |
  5. BCA

    You don't need to teach a person science through religion, it goes against the very basis of empirical data. You can, however, teach a better understanding of science not through tedious memorization but instead through cause and effect and the impact of it all in our daily lives.

    December 15, 2011 at 9:37 pm |
  6. MrMufasa

    What a creative (though manipulative and underhanded) way to worm Bronze Age lunacy into the classroom. "I believe in ridiculous things for no good reason. Please talk about my ancient beliefs in a science class so I further delude myself into thinking my beliefs are rational." Hopefully this is among the last quiet gasps of an absurd view of reality. Good night, religion.

    December 15, 2011 at 9:35 pm |
    • Matt

      I'll have to check out that book you mentioned below, that kind of thing really interests me. I like the whole Atheist and Humanist explanations for values and morals and relating that to science sounds intriguing. However, I'm sure that book isn't Bio 101 material.

      Manipulative is correct! They have this slimy way of trying to slip their idiocy into education. If they have to try that hard, they should realize there is no truth to it.

      December 15, 2011 at 9:46 pm |
    • MrMufasa

      Matt, it's called The Moral Landscape. If you like thinking about questions concerning the possible links between science and morality, you'll really like this book, I think.

      December 15, 2011 at 9:54 pm |
  7. Matt

    There is no room for religion, or God in science because it can't be proven or tested. It is a waste of time. If we are falling behind in science as it is, why on earth would we waste our time with this bologna? Makes no sense. How can you relate the scientific method to religion, God, or even morals for that matter.....you can't. They are two different things that are completely unrelated and should be kept that way. Its a shame that religious people in this country realize everyone is getting too smart to swallow the God pill and they are grasping at straws for ways to inject their lunacy into academia. This will only hurt education and confuse young people. Furthermore it wastes valuable time that can be spent learning actual science on stupid hypothetical arguments about fairy tales.....I don't know, I just can't believe everyone hasn't realized that holy books are simply fairy tales written by archaic primitive people for archaic primitive unenlightened people.

    December 15, 2011 at 9:32 pm |
    • md2205

      The reason why people think the Bible is written by lunatics and primitives is that the English translation that exists today is mistranslated and is not even close to reflective of what the original Hebrew means. If you want to read a reliable and relevant translation, find a book called "The Bible Unauthorized" and read it. You will be amazed because you will actually understand it and find it informative and relevant to today's world. Better yet – learn the Hebrew and read it that way. You will see what I mean. Or, learn it with an Orthodox rabbi. He knows the Hebrew and you will be even more amazed at what is in the Bible because he knows much more than what can be written in a little book.

      December 15, 2011 at 9:37 pm |
    • MrMufasa

      Generally I agree with you, Matt, but the outspoken atheist Sam Harris has a recent book on the relevance of science to moral living. It's pretty interesting.

      December 15, 2011 at 9:38 pm |
    • Observer

      Good to know that we have a blogger here who knows more than the biblical scholars that spent great time to translate the Bible.

      December 15, 2011 at 9:41 pm |
    • jackarouu

      Where did you come from? Isaaic Newton was the father of MODERN Science. He created calculus the math of modern science, He introduced laws of motion that are STILL used to send spacecraft to other planets, YET 75% of his writings were theological because it was the creator and the the creation that inspired him to create Physics before there was physics. What great thing have you created for science since you are so down on RELIGION which you obviously know nothing about? Have YOU read Origin of Species, have you read Genisis in the bible? Are you IDIOT PROOF?

      December 15, 2011 at 9:54 pm |
    • Matt

      @Md....I have no desire to spend that much time reading stories that aren't even that interesting. I'd rather read something mentally stimulating that has new ideas and much greater substance.

      December 15, 2011 at 9:55 pm |
    • Matt

      Darwin and the bible in the same sentence....I thought I've heard it all. Newton wasn't perfect. He lived in a society that was still polluted by religion. I suppose that is the only way he could relate in a world where people still thought the God fallacy was truth......The funny thing is that his "out of the box" thinking has led to the downfall of religion. Intelligent people realize this....what is your excuse jackarouu?

      December 15, 2011 at 10:00 pm |
  8. joe

    The difficulty in reconciling science and religion in the classroom is that science accepts lack of evidence as theory, while religion accepts lack of evidence as proof.

    December 15, 2011 at 9:32 pm |
    • Matt

      So true

      December 15, 2011 at 9:33 pm |
    • md2205

      Lack of evidence is not theory. Theory is when you see something and make a hypothesis about it in some way. It is an interpretation of an idea that cannot be proven. Evolution cannot be proven. It is a theory. But to diverge from that: Why is it so impossible that G-d could create the world and then use the elements of evolution through the generations to perpetuate His creatures. Why must two ways of thinking be thought of as separate? But even if He does use evolution, it is still a theory.

      December 15, 2011 at 9:42 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It is obvious that you don't understand the use of the word "theory" in science, idiot. Educate yourself. Better still, just shut the hell up.

      December 15, 2011 at 9:49 pm |
    • Bill

      To md2205: You are quite wrong, evolution is not a theory! Evolution is a fact. Evolution by natural selection is a theory but it is backed by a lot of data. The fact is that there is evolution is obvious, just look at the development of antibiotic resistance in bacteria. Darwin came up with the idea that evolution occurs by natural selection which is a theory. The problem with creation is that there is no data to support it, therefore creation as a theory is falsified and should be dropped. Unfortunately, the religious mind cannot afford to do that. And they infect our talented and young next generation people.

      December 15, 2011 at 9:55 pm |
    • sharoom

      No, lack of evidence is not theory. Lack of evidence means no conclusions can be drawn except that whatever is being tested has no detectable influence in the experimental setup.

      December 15, 2011 at 9:57 pm |
  9. JT

    Should we also allow witch doctors in medical classrooms? How 'bout alchemy in chemistry or astrology be taught along side astronomy? You Christian taliban fanatics have no clue what you're advocating.

    December 15, 2011 at 9:31 pm |
    • ZZZzzzzzzzzz

      Amen to that (pardon the pun!)

      December 15, 2011 at 9:33 pm |
  10. Chet Tucholski

    Believe any myth you want.

    December 15, 2011 at 9:30 pm |
    • Answer

      George you aren't looking for a debate – you're looking for people to accept your stupidity based on your version of religion.

      Get that sorted out.

      December 15, 2011 at 9:43 pm |
  11. George

    I believe in God. The God haters believe in science. Let's see what good science will do them when they are burning in hell. It's never too late to get your heart right with God until it's too late.

    December 15, 2011 at 9:29 pm |
    • streetsmt

      I want to get my heart right with God, but I can't get my mind to cooperate.
      Please help me!

      December 15, 2011 at 9:31 pm |
    • Observer

      George,

      Do you believe in talking serpents and unicorns?

      December 15, 2011 at 9:31 pm |
    • Alias901

      Oh I am soooo scared of burning in hell. I'll be sure to bring some hotdogs along and a 12 pack of beer for the devil.

      December 15, 2011 at 9:32 pm |
    • JT

      lol..alright come on...you've jerked everyone's chain enough and I must admit doing a great job of a protraying a brain damaged fundi xtian but a lot of people are falling for it and you're cluttering up the board with your one-liners.

      December 15, 2011 at 9:34 pm |
    • George

      Mock all you want, but the hour draws near.

      December 15, 2011 at 9:35 pm |
    • Observer

      George,

      Miss the question again? Do you believe in talking serpents and unicorns?

      December 15, 2011 at 9:37 pm |
    • George

      @JT

      I'd like to have a decent debate, but the comments are advancing too quickly for me to keep up.

      December 15, 2011 at 9:38 pm |
    • Answer

      George

      "Mock all you want, but the hour draws near."

      Standard threats. Typical. try the emotional ones now.
      We get that you fear death George – we don't care if you die. Frankly if you died tonight – we will forget you and bid good riddance. So go off and be afraid and just die. Don't go and promote your insane fear delusions onto others.

      December 15, 2011 at 9:41 pm |
    • Phi

      Hell you are in there bud, your madness in your religion made you feel mad, What kind of God will accept a person with so much of hatred in your heart ? U tell others that doesn't have the same believe as your believe should go to hell, guess what I'm laughing at you cause I'm sure God's balls do screw your brain big time bud.. Suck on those ballz for enternity with your God eh..

      December 15, 2011 at 9:42 pm |
    • Answer

      *wrong reply position* -corrected

      George you aren't looking for a debate – you're looking for people to accept your stupidity based on your version of religion.

      Get that sorted out.

      December 15, 2011 at 9:44 pm |
    • md2205

      The best way to get the mind to cooperate with the heart that wants to be right with G-d is to do what He wants. That, of course, entails learning from a reliable source what He wants. G-d gave all mankind Seven Laws of Noah: To believe in One united G-d, not to blaspheme Him, not to steal and kidnap, not to murder, not to do adultery and promiscuity, not to eat the limb of a living animal and animal cruelty, and to set up effective courts of justice. These are the basic laws, but one must learn about them in detail to do them correctly. These laws can be found online in greater detail.

      December 15, 2011 at 9:45 pm |
    • BH in MA

      Belief in science means I hate god? I believe in science because my cell phone works. And we have rockets that rely on our knowledge of chemistry and physics to function properly. And it's dark outside but I can see because of the electric lights in my living room. And my dinner was cheap and healthy because our knowledge of biology, genetics and chemistry have allowed us to grow ridiculous amounts of food compared to a few centuries ago. All these things and many more are understood and put to use for our benefit (mostly) as a result of science. How can you NOT believe in science? And, no, I don't hate god – how can I hate something that doesn't exist?

      December 15, 2011 at 9:45 pm |
    • NG

      George you are a fool. Religion is a device created for man to enslave him.

      December 15, 2011 at 9:48 pm |
    • Zoldknight

      Wait, um, I'm also religious, and I am going to have to disagree with you. Actually, I believe science advocates religion. However, that is my interpretation of the available facts (I.E. Galaxy to young, astronomically small chance of life developing, ETC) However, it sounds like you are saying that people that fall back on science are fools. I disagree. People have every right to choose what they follow. In the end, we may be judged for what they believe, but it is not our place to force them to believe or threaten them with the phrase "You're going to hell". They chose their path, I chose mine, and that is the way it is. I do believe there should be less people saying "Religion is stupid and wrong all the way through", but even more so, I hate it when people say the phrase "You're going to hell." Come on people, mature a little.

      December 15, 2011 at 9:50 pm |
    • Snow

      George.. have you given up on that heathen book yet? have you embraced the love of Darwin yet? It is not too late yet george.. I am worried about you.. you should embrace the love of darwin asap or you will suffer for the rest of your life.. know what is good for you..

      December 15, 2011 at 9:59 pm |
    • sharoom

      You seem upset with the world around you. Maybe you already are in hell.

      December 15, 2011 at 10:00 pm |
    • Snow

      We should stop the exact kind of brainwashing you underwent george.. dont let our children suffer like you..

      but you still have time.. it is never too late to accept the one book of origin of species and praise be to Darwin.. we need to stop the liberal voice be heard again and bring back what was once great with this country!

      December 15, 2011 at 10:07 pm |
    • Bill

      George, it's amazing what you are saying. How do you know there is hell? Has anyone ever seen or been to hell? How can you believe in such a stupid thing that even the mainstream christianity does not support. Bertrand Russell once said: if there is a china teapot revolving around the son that can't be seen by a telescope, you can't prove it does not exist. If I insist it does exist you think I am a fool. But if it is written in an ancient book that it exist, many would worship it even if there is no evidence whatsoever. That's how you believe in hell. It's simple brain wash and I am afraid you will stay forever brain washed.

      December 15, 2011 at 10:20 pm |
  12. ZZZzzzzzzzzz

    Add cake baking to science classes. That's got more in common with science than religion any day.

    December 15, 2011 at 9:29 pm |
    • jimmc

      Cake baking is all about science and all good cooks have to have at least an emperical understanding of chemistry.

      December 15, 2011 at 9:46 pm |
    • sharoom

      Interesting observation. I've always thought my kitchen was a fancy laboratory where I could eat my experiments. Yum.

      December 15, 2011 at 10:02 pm |
  13. Ric

    Most scientists are men of faith and they know that one way to confirm faith in God is through discoveries in science. The truth shall make you free. This is the word of the greatest man who ever lived. And forbidding faith in science class can hardly be called freedom.

    December 15, 2011 at 9:27 pm |
    • Observer

      Teach science in science class and religion in religion classes. Religion has a long history of persecuting scientists.

      December 15, 2011 at 9:30 pm |
    • ZZZzzzzzzzzz

      "Most scientists are men of faith "

      Don't hurt yourself jumping to all those conclusions.

      "And forbidding faith in science class can hardly be called freedom."

      Because religion promotes freedom for all right? LOL I suppose you've never heard of the Taliban or our American version of them- evangelical "christians"

      December 15, 2011 at 9:31 pm |
    • JT

      Science doesn't care what your beliefs are. Pat Robertson himself could have discovered the atom and religion would still have no place in science.

      December 15, 2011 at 9:39 pm |
    • Primewonk

      "Most scientists are men of faith and they know that one way to confirm faith in God is through discoveries in science"

      What? Yes there are some scientists who have a religious faith. Very few of them are fundamentalists. Fewer still are scientists in the fields relating to life sciences and cosmology. Fewer still the higher you get in the hierarchy of science – Associate Prof, Assistant Prof, full Prof, and by the time you get to be a member of the National Academy of Sciences, it is very very very few.

      December 15, 2011 at 9:46 pm |
    • md2205

      It might be better to clarify and be more specific when saying that religion persecuted scientists. Christianity and Islam persecuted scientists. Judaism did not. Hinduism – I don't know. To make broad statements about religion may not be true in many instances.

      December 15, 2011 at 9:47 pm |
    • Bill

      First, hard statistical data show that very few scientists believe in God. I know you are your religious people don't believe in data, but this is a fact. Second, allowing religion in science class is sort of like allowing fairy tales as evidence in a court trial. Sorry but this is not going to work.

      December 15, 2011 at 10:33 pm |
  14. Answer

    When you zealots are left barren in the wastelands of your hatred you'll come to the conclusion that science handed you the knowledge of fire. Gave you the portable fire known as the candle. It ultimately gave us electricity to run our societies.

    Ask your puny god for a lightning strike to light a tree if you're freezing in your wastelands. This was after all the very first barbarian realization that fire existed before knowledge came to him. Go back to your hovels and die in the dark like your god wanted you to do.

    December 15, 2011 at 9:25 pm |
    • Clayton

      To the primitive and ignorant people of the old days who were also superst.tious, their gods were very powerful!
      Their gods could make lightning! Thunderous noises!
      Their gods could make the whole earth shake and tumble mountains to the ground!
      Volcanoes were viewed with superst.tious awe and storms and basically every natural event was ascribed to their very powerful gods who did these things to show displeasure! Angry gods! They must be mad about something!
      They must be appeased! We will use the magic of our fires to show our devotion and to make sacrifices!
      Mighty and strange were the forces of nature! Mighty and strange were their gods!
      Everything had a purpose! Everything was from the gods! Everything that happened was a sign because gods that can make the earth shake would surely have no problem dealing with tiny things like humans and how they lived!
      People would die for no visible reason! Curses existed! Magic was everywhere! Quick! Make a sacrifice and plead with the gods for what they seem able to do!
      Everyone who follows rules can sometimes prosper beyond what a single person could do without other people!
      It's a sign! The gods must have wanted it that way! Give them thanks! And the priest says that the gods want us to fight and win! Fight and win! THE GODS ARE WITH US! ATTACK!
      When we win we know our gods helped! When we lose our gods are angry and are punishing us!
      Quick! We will try harder and do special things! No earthquakes today! The gods approve!
      etc.....

      December 15, 2011 at 9:39 pm |
  15. Hmmm

    Religious nuts fear the science of evolution because it clashes head first with their religious teachings. I'm for
    creative teaching. If it validates their beliefs to some degree and lessens their hostility to certain evolutionary concepts,
    then it allows them to think for themselves. The only beef I have is that a science class is so lacking in time to study
    basics, will it take away from ...?

    December 15, 2011 at 9:25 pm |
  16. Alias901

    ...Yes the entire universe popped out of a magic mans hat. There was no big bang or science behind it all. We all descended from two people who magically appeared on earth and humans were riding dinosaurs like Fred Flinstone 5,000 years ago. This needs to be in our science textbooks and taught to our children for future generations.

    December 15, 2011 at 9:24 pm |
    • Hmmm

      . It is a proven fact that Fred and Barney transported themselves in those foot powered log mobiles.

      December 15, 2011 at 9:28 pm |
    • sharoom

      I know man. I saw that s*** on TV. Has to be real.

      December 15, 2011 at 10:04 pm |
  17. Brandon

    Since it's always about Politics, I'm a Christian Independent... Now. 🙂 How about let's teach kids how to balance a checkbook? I can see it now, Mommy, please help me do my homework so I don't make Jesus angry?? Or, Let's go to the playground and drink our Juice. 🙂 People, Find a church that you enjoy, and take your children to worship on Sunday. Leave the lid on this can...

    December 15, 2011 at 9:23 pm |
  18. ngc2359

    religion is nothing more than man's fears put to emotion and eventually paper. He couldn't explain lightning, the sun, the moon, even life and death itself – so he invented a way to rationaize it... and now literally 10's of thousands of years later we STILL cling to this. It's screwed up the world for millenia and until it is finally considered the "science" of whack jobs and conspiracy buffs will continue to do so.

    To think that man, evolved, yes evolved over literally billions of years (from the first life forms) STILL has to hold on to something to make him feel a purpose, safe, moral is just ridiculous.

    Morality comes from ones own mind – ones own self... it is not something that is only brought about through some divine intervention.

    December 15, 2011 at 9:21 pm |
  19. Jacie

    So the Chinese, whom we are competing against, now include discussions about religion in their science classes?

    December 15, 2011 at 9:21 pm |
    • Brandon

      lol, exactly.

      December 15, 2011 at 9:25 pm |
  20. DMH

    Allowing a discussion of religion in a science classroom has the potential to open-up a critical examination of a creator and the intelligence of the designer. What do you explain to students when someone asks about their mother dying of breast cancer, or little brother in a wheelchair due to muscular dystrophy, or children in Africa dying of from malaria infection? What could you answer...the designer made a mistake in creating things? Of course there are philosophical answers to these questions but I don't think such a discussion is something people in support of creationism and intelligent want to have in a science class.

    December 15, 2011 at 9:20 pm |
    • JT

      Yes, I don't think Christians realize just what a slippery slope this would cause. Of course when they say religion they really mean Protestant Christianity and then probably Baptist and then really Southern Baptist. Imagine Johnny coming home with some rosary bads and a small plastic statue of Mary that was handed out in science class.

      December 15, 2011 at 9:43 pm |
    • Clayton

      The gods are angry! Look! They send us tornadoes! Hurricanes! Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions!
      These must be the END TIMES! We must be terrible sinners! Satan has taken control of our country! Our world!
      Our economy wasn't damaged because of greedy criminals! NO! It was because this nation is the Who're of Babylon!
      And GOD does not like us to have a president who is black like the devil! Soon Jesus will come because we voted for a Democrat! And they want to turn this country into a Satanic Communiist country! OMG! Call out the reserves!
      Let's turn this country back into a Christian, God-fearing country that will please our mysterious GOD and spare us from a horrible fate spelled out by some guy in a jail cell 2000 years ago! Because its true because it is written!
      /sarcasm

      December 15, 2011 at 9:47 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.