Institute for Creation (Credulous) Research (Retards), PO Box 2667, El Cajon, CA 92021 Voi
Institute for Creation Research, PO Box 2667, El Cajon, CA 92021
Voice: (619) 448-0900 FAX: (619) 448-3469
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No. 255 "Vital Articles on Science/Creation" September 1994
A Practical Model for Integrating Science and Faith
by Stephen W. Deckard *
Copyright (c) 1994 by I.C.R.
All Rights Reserved
* Dr. Deckard is Assistant Professor of Science Education in the ICR
One of the four Master's degree programs at the Institute for
Creation Research leads to a degree in science education. Science
education is a broad amorphous field of study with little agreement
among the experts as to exactly what comprises the field. Because of
its diverse nature, it is important that a science education student be
able to integrate ideas, concepts, and principles from many different
disciplines. For example, a person trained as a secondary biology
teacher should also take courses in chemistry and physics. Yet the
educational literature shows that course work in a discipline (such as
chemistry or physics) does not usually enable the student to integrate
and apply that knowledge to other disciplines. Thus training Master's
level educators in principles of integration is of vital importance.
Integration can be defined in many ways. In dealing with science
education and faith issues, integration can be defined as putting them
together into a synthetic whole under a Biblical umbrella. Because the
study of science and origins is multidisciplinary in nature, this
suggested process of integration allows for the blending together of
ideas from many different scientific disciplines. This encourages
thinking to expand beyond the narrow focus found in many of today's
science disciplines. Because God did not create the world in a
compartmentalized fashion, one must have at least some knowledge in many
disciplines in order to synthesize the big picture of the world.
In order for individuals to obtain the ability to accomplish this
type of higher order thinking, some basic guidelines are needed. Among
theses are: (1) a model which guides thinking in terms of integration;
(2) knowledge of what should be integrated; (3) time to practice the
application of the ideas, concepts, and principles that are to be
integrated; and (4) most importantly, a personal relationship with the
Creator Jesus Christ. In reference to point number one, the writer
proposes the following model as a basis for integration. As students
progress through a particular course in science education, they should
use the model to help integrate the concepts and principles being
studied. This process is described below.
COMPONENTS OF THE DECKARD PROPOSED MODEL
The model components provide a framework for a graduate school
science education learning environment and setting. Communication and
learning-problem areas can be addressed and identified, using the model
as a base. The components of the model deal with the issue of the
source of knowledge and how it is obtained. The four components are
centered around a creationist world view which focuses on the Creator,
Jesus Christ. When the mind is set on Jesus Christ as the Creator and
Author of all truth, false traditions of man fade into the background,
and one tries to live according to the principles of Christ (Acts
17:22-31; I Thessalonians 5:21; and II Corinthians 10:4,5). The need
for this approach grows out of the fact that the five commonly relied
upon sources of knowledge -- experience, authority, deductive reasoning,
inductive reasoning, and the scientific approach -- all have limitations
and deficiencies, whereas, the creationist world view is based upon a
foundation which is truth. That foundation is the person of Jesus
Christ, who is the truth (John 14:6). A person's world view is the core
which impacts his life and influence in four key areas.
World view: The presuppositions, orientations, and beliefs that act
as a filter or screen through which to interpret life. The basis for
the central core of our model is a world view based on the ICR Tenets of
Scientific and Biblical Creationism. The other four components of the
model (see Diagram A) flow out of this Biblical Creationist view and
perspective. The four world-view components of the model are listed and
Nature of man: Personality, character, motivational traits,
spiritual maturity, as well as developmental levels of the learner that
influence learning. Our model focuses on the learner's present
characteristics as well as who he or she is in Jesus Christ the Creator.
This also entails a vision for the eternal state which goes beyond the
present characteristics of mankind. A comprehensive secular account of
how the "nature of man" component affects learning and instruction in
the area of science education has already been developed. Jean Piaget's
four widely used cognitive developmental stages have been applied
extensively in development of secular science education curricula.
However, much of the account of the nature of man found in the secular
journals is based on a false world view which portrays man as a product
of evolutionary processes. This view sees man as the one in charge of
his own destiny and not in need of a personal savior. This is the
opposite of the creationist world view which depicts man as a sinner and
in need of a redeemer. Therefore, it is incumbent upon the users of a
creationist model to sharpen their abilities to integrate Scripture with
the principles learned in science education.
Receptivity: Openness or resistance to change (e.g., to new people,
information, and settings). Many people, because of past hurts, traumas,
and other problems, are not open to change and the risk of possible
failure. Some professional people are not willing to change the ideas
with which they were indoctrinated during their college experience.
They have been taught the secular evolutionary perspective and have not
taken time to think through the implications of such teachings. This
attitude inhibits learning. The writer's model helps to identify the
presence of these factors in learners and to restore full receptivity to
a world view based on the truth which is found in the person of Jesus
Christ. In order to restore a person to full receptivity of a
creationist world view, one must help the person restore his/her
personal relationship to the Creator to its highest possible level; for
it is the broken relationship with the Creator which moves us away from
truth. This is because Jesus Christ is truth and only by knowing Him
can one really know the truth. Paul stated this principle well in
Colossians: "Whom we preach warning every man and teaching every man in
all wisdom: that we may present every man complete in Christ Jesus"
Knowledge: Prerequisite or prior learning and its relationship to
content about to be learned. This model focuses on how to link what is
to be learned with what has already been learned. This is a Scriptural
approach to gaining new knowledge as stated by Isaiah, "for precept must
be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line;
here a little, and there a little" (Isaiah 28:10). This gradual process
allows one to move toward being "filled with the spirit of God, in
wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of
workmanship" (Exodus 31:3).
It is understood that the scientifically literate person needs more
than just a base of knowledge. The specific knowledge that a person
acquires should be available to be used in everyday life. In
educational circles, this is known as "general transfer" which involves
the process of being able to apply acquired knowledge to a specific
problem or situation. From the creationist perspective this requires
filtering the knowledge base through a Biblical framework and applying
it (see Diagram B).
Application: Putting into practice what has already been learned
(one's knowledge base). Application of learning in real life situations
makes learning meaningful, relevant, retainable, and more transferable.
The study of the disciplines of science education leads to numerous ways
of applying knowledge to life's situations and problems. By learning
how to apply what has been learned, the graduate student in science
education should leave ICR (or any similar Christian graduate program in
science education) as a fully prepared professional.
As the model depicts, the four components are not viewed as static
entities. There is a dynamic interaction between and among these
components that makes science education endeavors an ongoing process of
adjustments and refinements. These dynamics are incorporated into
teaching from the perspective of the model.
After students complete this program, the world view which they have
developed will be carried on to the people whom they disciple. People
do not forget what has been made real to them and has an application to
their lives. When one is educated according to the components of this
model, knowledge will be based on truth. New learning will become a
part of the student and will have eternal as well as practical benefits.
The student will be equipped to address professional problems from a
valid, Biblical Creationist based framework rather than just being
equipped to repeat answers learned in past course work.
BIBLIOGRAPHY AND RELATED READINGS
Ary, Donald. _Introduction to Educational Research_. Holt, Rinehart, and
Beck, David W., _Opening the American Mind: The Integration of Biblical
Truth in the Curriculum of the University_. Baker Book House, 1991.
Byrne, H. W., _A Christian Approach to Education_. Mott Media, 1977.
Kienel, Paul A., _The Philosophy of Christian School Education_. ACSI,
1978. p. 73.
Morris, Henry M., _Christian Education for the Real World_. Master
Gallagher, James J., "Prospective and Practicing Secondary School
Science Teachers' Knowledge and Beliefs About the Philosophy of
Science." _Science Education 75_ (1):121-133 (1991).
This "Impact" was converted to ASCII, for BBS use,
from the original formatted desktop article.
Comments regarding typographical errors
in the above material are appreciated.
Don Barber, ICR Systems Administrator
Fax: (619) 448-3469
All ICR staff members adhere to a Statement of Faith
in the form of two documents:
"Tenets of Scientific Creationism"
and "Tenets of Biblical Creationism."
(see Impact No. 85)
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majority of its income is provided by individual donors who desire to
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We believe God has raised up ICR to spearhead Biblical Christianity's
defense against the godless dogma of evolutionary humanism. Only by
showing the scientific bankruptcy of evolution, while exalting Christ
and the Bible, will Christians be successful in "the pulling down of
strongholds; casting down imaginations, and every high thing that
exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into
captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ" (II Corinthians
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