Private schools freely refer to a creator when they teach about the origins of humanity and the universe.
Lighthouse Christian Academy in Coeur d’Alene teaches its students to examine evidence on both sides of the debate, said Colleen Fouche, school director.
“I was trained as a scientist and as a scientist you try to look at all the evidence,” said Fouche, who has a master’s degree in genetics. “Neither evolution nor creation can be proved or tested. Creation is a done deal. Evolution takes a long time.”
For that reason, Lighthouse Christian looks at the two ideas as models and examines evidence supporting or denying both. Challenging both ideas teaches students critical thinking skills, Fouche said.
“Are we going to stick our heads in the sand or are we going to teach our kids how to think?” she asked.
Opening up the debate in public schools would be “a great idea,” said Steve Taylor, a seventh- and eighth-grade science teacher at Coeur d’Alene Christian School.
“If anyone mentions creationism (in public schools), they’re just kind of laughed off and that’s sad.”
Both scientific creationism and evolution are “equally testable and equally falsifiable,” he said. “We don’t have a time machine. We can’t go back and see what happened.”
People can infer that a higher intelligence directed the formation of the universe and its inhabitants by analyzing how things form in nature, he said.
“You can’t prove God in a test tube, but you can infer an existence like this using the same methods used in science all the time,” he said.