But despite the standards’ insisting that humans are simply part of nature, their general perspective sets people off against the rest of nature. A section discussing “Human Impacts on Earth Systems” says, “Human activities now cause land erosion and soil movement … [and] [a]ir and water pollution … with damaging effects on other species and on human health.” (There’s nary a mention of the long-term rise in human life expectancy that started with the Industrial Revolution and continues even now.)
A later section, on biodiversity and humans, asserts, “Human activity is also having adverse impacts on biodiversity through overpopulation, overexploitation, habitat destruction, pollution, introduction of invasive species, and climate change.” The assumption that what people do is bad is clear in a draft of performance expectations
, which requires students to “Provide evidence that humans’ uses of natural resources can affect the world around them, and share solutions that reduce human impact
”—as if human impact should always be smaller, not greater. The same document says, “Things that people do to live comfortably can affect the world around them. But they can make choices that reduce their impacts on the land, water, air, and other living things ….”
The NGSS acknowledge that human action can have some
positive effects, but those are mainly by undoing negative effects of past human action. In short, the NGSS reflect the environmentalist assumption that humans can’t improve on the natural state—exactly contrary to the assumption of Genesis 1:28’s revelation of the mission of man: to fill and rule the Earth, not abusively but, reflecting God’s own actions, in a godly way that enhances its fruitfulness, beauty, and safety, to the glory of God and the benefit of our neighbors.
By grade 4, students are supposed to understand that fossils show evidence of “common ancestry”—but there’s no mention of the possibility that similarities arise instead from design for similar functions. By grades 5 and 6, building blocks for uniformitarian geology and evolutionary biology become increasingly prominent in the standards.
magazine environment reporter Daniel James Devine reports, “High school students will be taught that fossil and DNA discoveries support common ancestry, and that one species can evolve into two. Not only will they learn that human activities have increased ‘the frequency and intensity’ of natural hazards like ‘floods, droughts, forest fires, [and] landslides,’ they’ll study the ‘feasibility of geoengineering’ projects to slow global climate change.”
While much in the new standards is unobjectionable, the underlying naturalistic worldview and the politically charged positions on Darwinism and climate change show that this will be one more step in capturing the minds of America’s children—including those Christian children who attend public schools.
The Cornwall Alliance stands poised to help counter that move through In His Image 2012
, including production of Biblically based environmental studies curriculum. Rather than letting our children’s minds be taken captive by the world, we want to help them learn to “take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).
To do that, we need your prayers and your financial support
. Please go to In His Image 2012 today and make your secure, online donation today
. Consider joining our “Gideon’s Army” of people willing to commit $28, $56, or $84 per month.