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09/07/2019

Why do you think evolution should or should not be taught in public schools?

QUESTION
Why do you think evolution should or should not be taught in public schools?
Or why creationism should or should not be taught in public schools?
I’m writing a persuasive essay on it and i’d like to hear opinions.

ANSWER
The important thing you left out of your question is *what class?*

If we’re talking about *science class*, then the answer is obvious … evolution should be taught in science class because it is considered BY SCIENTISTS to be one of the two CORE concepts of modern biology (the other being cell theory). Teaching biology without evolution would be like teaching biology without cell theory, or chemistry without mentioning atoms and molecules.

I.e. evolution is one of the CORE principles that ties all of biology together. Evolution provides an explanation for WHY mammals have some things in common with other mammals that are not shared with reptiles or birds. Or WHY humans, moles, bats, and whales all have the same bone structures in their hands, claws, wings, and flippers. Or WHY the instructions on a bottle of antibiotics tell you to “finish all this medication.” Or WHY as much as 98% of DNA has no function. Or WHY DNA is always right-handed (spirals to the right). Or WHY all life forms use the same basic 20 amino acids. Or WHY the same codons always code for the same amino acids, regardless of species. Or WHY you have a big toe that has the same bone structure as your thumb and not your other toes. Or WHY you have a plantaris muscle in your calf that does nothing in humans but is used for *grasping with the feet* in other apes. Or WHY you have 46 chromosomes and apes have 48. And on and on.

Without evolution, all of these facts have no connection … no common idea that unites them all as multiple results of the same, scientifically testable, phenomenon … evolution.

>”Or why creationism should not be taught in public schools.”

It should not be taught in *science class* because it is not science. Nobody in the science community takes it seriously as a science.

As for whether it should be taught *at all*, that is a separate matter. There the problem is not science, but the U.S. Constitution. As it is a religious concept, Creationism runs headlong into the First Amendment’s prohibition against passing laws establishing one religion (or ANY religion) as state policy. And since what is taught in public schools is determined by state law, introducing Creationism as official part of school curriculum, is a violation of the Constitution.

For those who say that “both sides” should be taught … this is completely missing the point of education. Yes education is NOT suppose to teach kids what to think but HOW to think. But the way you do that is by introducing kids to topics that many smart people have been thinking about for a very long time … and showing them HOW they have reached a current consensus.

For example, you don’t teach “both sides” of a historical controversy … like say, what was the cause of the Civil War, or did the Holocaust occur. The *consensus* of historians in the world have agreed on certain answers to these questions, for very good reasons. So although there are people in the world (even historians with PhD.s) who dispute this consensus … this is a tiny fringe minority. You DON’T present that alternative position as if it has equal weight, and then let children “decide for themselves” what caused the Civil War or whether the Holocaust occurred. They are free as adults to pursue a career in History and to dispute the consensus. But when a kid is FIRST getting an introduction to the basic concepts of History … to present fringe opinions as equally valid as the mainstream consensus does NOT teach a child how to think … it just teaches kids that any whack-job opinion is equally valid as the mainstream consensus. I.e. it just teaches utter confusion.

The same is true in science.

There is SO much misinformation out there about evolution promoted by Creationists who are *demonstrably* dishonest. I can provide GLARING examples if you want. They have no interest in Truth. They have no interest in teaching kids the basics of science or HOW to think scientifically. Their entire goal is to undermine one of the CORE concepts of modern biology. Why? Because Creationists have been pathetically unable to convince the scientific community in the universities of Creationism … so they will settle for convincing 10th graders! Or at least, to leave 10th graders hopelessly confused.

In short, they don’t want the scientific community to determine what is science. They want 6th graders and 10th graders to “decide for themselves” what is science.

That is NOT the purpose of education.