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  this homepage has two parts:  
1. Questions & Explorations
2. Educational Resources

 
 
     
1. Questions and Explorations

      Are you confused by differing claims?
      To get a feeling for commonly asked questions, imagine that:
      • In a sermon your pastor says, with confidence, "because the Bible teaches a young earth, I believe it and so should you." But at another church you've been attending a Sunday School class because it's taught by a close friend, who has explained (as an expert geologist) why science shows the earth is old, and (as a theologically conservative Christian who has studied the Bible carefully) why Genesis does not teach a young earth.  But your pastor insists that Genesis 1 must be interpreted as six 24-hour days.  And what about the geology?  You're not a scientist and neither is your pastor, but when you ask him about this he loans you a book by young-earth scientists, and their arguments seem to make sense.  Your pastor wonders why the pastor of the other church lets your geologist friend teach, and you have questions.
      • You are a flexible agnostic, uncertain about God but willing to search for truth.  You hear Richard Dawkins declare that evolution did happen, so God isn't necessary, and smart people don't believe in God.  But another respected scientist explains why evolution (astronomical and biological) is possible only because the universe was cleverly designed with the detailed fine-tuning that is necessary for life.  And a third scientist explains how evidence for "intelligent design" is evidence against a totally natural evolution.  You're confused, wondering whether Intelligent Design claims that evolution did or did not occur.  And is design scientific?  Some scientists claim that design (but which one?) is scientific, but other scientists claim it's religious (so do they believe the earth is 6000 years old?) and it has no basis in science.  These scientists disagree, but all of their arguments seem logical, so you're baffled, wondering "what is science" and "what is (probably) true" and you have questions.

      • You're a science teacher in a private Christian school, and last year several parents didn't like what you said about the "when and how" of creation, about the evidence for an old earth with a long history of biological development.  They removed their children from your school and began a campaign in local churches, encouraging other parents to also boycott your school.  Now your principal is blaming you for the school's damaged reputation and financial problems, and is saying "if you want to keep your job, you will change the way you teach science," so you are anxious and frustrated.
      • You're a public school teacher who is wondering what to teach about origins:  Is there any scientifically justifiable controversy about the "how" of origins, about evolution and/or design?  If you think "maybe there is" and you explain why in class, will you get in trouble with school administrators who fear the threat of an expensive lawsuit?  But if you don't, will you get in trouble with parents?  What is the best way to survive and thrive in the current climate of controversy?   *

      We'll help you explore your questions.
      Yes, this is a fascinating area, with hot debates about tough questions in science and theology.  We want to help you explore and learn.  We'll begin with simple explanations, and then if you want more depth we'll help you dig more deeply.
      What will we teach?  A variety of positions have been adopted by intelligent Christians who are dedicated to serving God and are searching for truth.  Usually you don't see this rich variety, though, because most websites give you strong arguments for only one view of origins.  But our goal is education, so we want to help you understand the diversity of views in the Christian community and in the American Scientific Affiliation (*).
      Therefore, instead of claiming to provide The Origins Answer, we'll explore Origins Questions.  While we're doing this, there will be a sharing of ideas by people who enthusiastically advocate different positions, so interpersonal tensions are possible.  But we'll try to minimize unproductive hostility by disagreeing in an agreeable way, by combining rigorous critical thinking with respectful attitudes and accurate portrayal of all views.
      After looking at the essential ways in which we agree, three basic views (young-earth creation, old-earth creation, and evolutionary creation) will be clearly expressed by their proponents.  And you'll see how three types of divine intelligent design differ from, yet overlap with, each of these views.  Our goal is to help you understand a wide range of perspectives about how to interpret the Bible and evaluate scientific evidence.  We hope our "multiple positions" website will promote accurate understanding and respectful attitudes and will be a valuable educational resource for teachers and students, for Christians and non-Christians.

      * This website is provided by the Science Education Commission of the American Scientific Affiliation.  ASA takes no official position on the details of "when and how" God created — What is ASA's approach for Origins Questions? — so the ideas in our website will be those of the page-authors, not the ASA.  This will allow more freedom of expression for the authors, who as individuals can say whatever they want to say.

* If you're a teacher, maybe we can help if you're searching for high-quality educational resources to ease the burden off your back, so you don't have to do all the work and take all the heat, so you can tell students "we'll teach the basic science in our public school, but if you're interested and you want to explore more widely and deeply, here is a website that can help you learn."  Or you can personally learn from our website, so you'll better understand the complex issues, and then you can decide how to use your knowledge for teaching.   {for more info, see "Education — how to use this website" below}

  

 
2. Educational Resources

CREATION QUESTIONS includes a "quick education"
FAQ about Creation, Evolution, and Intelligent Design plus
three overviews (left side below) and three sub-areas (right side):

The Views and Actions of ASA
(about creation, evolution, and design)
Are we creationists? (yes, no, and maybe)

Sitemap for Creation Questions
  
(for sections in the three sub-areas at right)  

Education — how to use this website
  for Teachers, Students, and Lifelong Learners:  
This is an organized guide, to quickly show you
  what is available and how to find it, so you can  
explore just a little bit or widely-and-deeply,
so you can learn (or teach) more effectively,
in a way that is time-efficient and enjoyable.
 

Views of Creation (mainly theology)
  What are the main Christian views of origins, and  
what is the theological support for each view?

Origins Evidence (mainly science)
What does a logical evaluation of evidence
from nature show us about the history of nature?

Origins Education
What are good methods for teaching origins?
(in public, religious, and informal education)

The table below shows these 3 sub-areas split into 
11 sections, each with an overview-and-links page.
 

 

The three sub-areas (for theology, science, education)
let you explore a wide range of ideas in eleven sections:
  VIEWS OF CREATION  
  Questions and Views  
  Age of the Universe  
  Methods of Creation  
  Two Books of God
  ORIGINS EVIDENCE
  Design of the Universe  
  Age of the Universe
  Evaluation of Evolution  
  Design in Science
  ORIGINS EDUCATION
  Public School Education  
  Christian Education (in  
    church, school, home)
 
  Informal Education

 

And for more about origins, the ASA Topics Pages (edited by Jack Haas) include
Bible and Science    Astronomy-Cosmology    Origin of Life    Creation-Evolution

 




 

This homepage for Origins Questions, written by Craig Rusbult, is
http://www.asa3.org/ASA/education/origins/index.html

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