Until about 2007, only about four in ten Americans agreed with the statement that "human beings, as we know them today, developed from an earlier species of animal." In the last dozen years or so, that number has climbed to 54% – the first time it's hit a majority, according to researchers at the National Center for Science Education.
Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis says sadly, the numbers aren't all that different among Christian children. "Ninety [to] 95% of kids from church homes go to the public schools – and they're indoctrinated in evolution," he points out.
And Ham warns that the trend is likely to get worse as time passes. "We're losing Generation X, Y, Z from the Church. [And] look at Generation Z: they're the first post-Christian generation ever and they're very secularized, very evolutionized," he argues.
But the founder of the Creation Museum sees a light at the end of the tunnel.
"There's still an incredible number of people in this nation who do believe in God's Word and do believe in creation," he tells AFN, "and I believe the impact of ministries like Answers in Genesis have had an incredible effect."
And as much as the coronavirus pandemic has thrown American life into chaos, Ham contends one change has been positive: "You can look at all the negative aspects of [the pandemic] …. But at the same time, God is in total control and [has] used it to take a lot of people out of the secular education system – and there are a lot more people homeschooling."
In one state alone …
In fact, the Texas Home School Coalition is reporting a record-breaking interest in homeschooling. Jeremy Newman, director of public policy for THSC, says their call and email volume exploded last year, reaching a then-record high of 1,037 contacts in one week – a nearly three-fold increase. But he says this year, indications are that interest will be even bigger.
"This fall, we thought we would have another rush, but we weren't sure how big it would be," he tells AFN. "And last week [August 9-13] we had almost 5,000 calls and emails come in – in one week."
Part of the reason for the sustained growth, he explains, is that once parents overcome their apprehension about homeschooling, they want to stick with it. But another factor – that alluded to by Ham – apparently is coming into play.
"It seems to be COVID that's driving the immediate decision-making because that's urgent," Newman shares. "… What we're hearing now is from people who started homeschooling a year ago and they expected it to be temporary – but they're coming back saying … We started homeschooling because of COVID, but we're going to keep homeschooling because it's working for us."
According to Newman, the biggest growth in homeschooling nationally is among minority families – which was the case before COVID; but it seems the pandemic has amplified that trend.