Why science education must be naturalistic

One of Creationists’ most serious objections to how science is taught to students in most public schools is that all supernatural explanations (miracles) are rejected out of hand, and this somehow limits the vision of scientists. But the truth is actually the opposite. To explain why, consider this scenario:

Supernatural explanation:

Child: Daddy, what causes lighting and thunder?

Father: God sends lightning bolts and thunder blasts to frighten people into submitting to His will.

Scientific explanation:

Child: Daddy, what causes lighting and thunder?

Father: Lightning is caused by unequal electric charges between two clouds or between a cloud and the ground causing a massive discharge of electricity. Thunder results from lightning heating the air and causing it to expand suddenly, producing powerful sound waves.

OK, Creationists, would you want BOTH these explanations taught in science classrooms regarding how weather occurs? Well that’s about as silly as requiring any form of Creationism taught alongside evolution! There is no evidence whatsoever that God directly causes lighting or thunder, and indeed such an idea might lead to the assumption that anyone struck by lighting was being punished by God. This is “magical thinking” which, if it had not been questioned centuries ago, would have prevented research into finding ways for people to avoid lighting by understanding how it behaves. Thus, any supernatural explanation, one that totally ignores or negates the known laws of physics and chemistry, would be no explanation at all, but merely an argument without evidence. And that is exactly why Creationism can never be scientific, but evolution is. Evolution is consistent with all known scientific laws, it is based on physical evidence, and it leads to more research. Acceptance of Creationism, or even the assumptions that allow for Creationism to be considered credible, would bring scientific advancement on almost any subject to a grinding halt, because you could then simply dismiss any unusual or complex phenomenon by saying “God did it, I believe that, so it’s settled”.

Therefore, there is no place for the supernatural in science education.

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