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Author Topic:   Should Evolution and Creation be Taught in School?
Finding Nirvana
Inactive Member


Message 1 of 308 (285305)
02-09-2006 5:51 PM


Hello, I have just recently joined evc and I would like to introduce myself along with a new topic. I am a minor, I'm very respectful of all people and different religions, (As my username describes I am studying the philosiphy of Buddhism) and I am given knowledge by my father who posts as Hal_Jordan.

New Topic:

At school I live everyday hearing someone tell another person about how Christian they are, that they go to church, and speeches of that nature. What I don't here is someone actually trying to back up their beleifs with logic. I just here that "God is the answer." I am not writing this to be disrespectful, but many Christians, especially minors, are uninformed of the actual meanings of their beleifs and practices. Most Christians just believe that the Bible and God are right and that nothing else is right.

Because we live in a nation where Christianity is the most practiced beleif, some of my teachers say they are not trying to bring religion into our lives when, in fact, that's exactly what they are doing. I never hear a teacher say a word about evolutionism where I listen to several teachers mention God and creationism. I write this article not to nag, but to make a point. Even though creationism nor evolutionism is not to be taught in the schools, it will always be brought up by the beleifs of certain people.

I believe that evolutionism and creationism should not be taught in public schools because, all people have different beleifs. People think there is a single creator while others believe that we evolved from primates. I believe they should not be taught because, it will cause less debates and issues in schools. No one will argue over which is right and which is wrong if it isn't taught. Evolution and creation should not be taught in public schools because they are controversial.

I do believe that there should be extra classes that you have the option of signing up for. One for evolution and one for creation. This will give people the knowledge of both sides of the argument. It will also teach students how to debate with logic to back up their beliefs. The plus for Christians is that they learn about the scratched surface of creationism.

moved by AdminJar

This message has been edited by AdminJar, 02-09-2006 04:53 PM

This message has been edited by Finding Nirvana, 02-10-2006 06:14 PM


"Finding the answer is not a requirement, it is merely an option in the life of your choice."
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Funkaloyd
Inactive Member


Message 2 of 308 (285341)
02-09-2006 8:49 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Finding Nirvana
02-09-2006 5:51 PM


The thing is, by failing to learn controversial scientific knowledge, students will be very unprepared for university study in the majority of scientific fields. After all, creationists don't only take issue with biology, but with geography, geology, astronomy, chemistry, etc. Universities would have to dumb-down BSc courses to accommodate.

That's just one objection I have.

Welcome to EvC.


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Finding Nirvana
Inactive Member


Message 3 of 308 (285343)
02-09-2006 9:03 PM
Reply to: Message 2 by Funkaloyd
02-09-2006 8:49 PM


Education Dumbed Down
Education has been dumbed down enough. I only think that it shouldn't be taught because behavior, student differences, etc. will be affected. People will act up. If someone really wants to learn about these subjects, the should look into the big bang, or look deeper into the creation. It is a fairly simple solution.


"Finding the answer is not a requirement, it is merely an option in the life of your choice."
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NosyNed
Member
Posts: 8842
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003
Member Rating: 7.3


Message 4 of 308 (285347)
02-09-2006 9:19 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Finding Nirvana
02-09-2006 9:03 PM


No edcucation at all?
You seem to be suggesting no science education at all? That is about what is left if you cut out what the creationists think is "controversial"? Is that your suggestion?

How about history? Will you cut out any discussion of historical events that someone finds upsetting? That would, of course include all the civilizations that didn't notice the flood. It would also include anything which might make any of us look bad in hindsight.


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Mespo
Member (Idle past 989 days)
Posts: 158
From: Mesopotamia, Ohio, USA
Joined: 09-19-2002


Message 5 of 308 (285502)
02-10-2006 11:38 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by NosyNed
02-09-2006 9:19 PM


Re: No education at all?
Hi Nirvana, Craig here...

Let me expand a bit on what NosyNed has posed to you. Being a Columbus resident, you're not too far from Sugar Creek in Amish country. Study the Amish education system.

They do not study science.
They do not study history.
The do not have Social Studies.
They DO have arithmetic, reading, spelling and (US) geography.
They are not ALLOWED to continue education past the 8th grade.

So, in their eyes, God created the Earth 4,000 years ago in 7 days and that is that. They do not know that the Earth is a planet. They don't know what a planet is. Or that the Earth revolves around the Sun. Or what makes the seasons. Or the wind. Or the rain.

So. Let's all be Amish. No doctors, nurses, lawyers, engineers, teachers, social workers.... just laborers, and farmers. Not really happy, but blissfully ignorant.

To reinforce Nosy Ned's post... What's your ideal school science curriculum, Nirvana?

(:raig


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Finding Nirvana
Inactive Member


Message 6 of 308 (285703)
02-10-2006 6:06 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by Mespo
02-10-2006 11:38 AM


Re: No education at all?
I should edit my post a little bit. I believe it is too controversial to be taught in public schools. An extra class for evolution and a seperate class for creation. Plus, creationists have a chance to skim the surface of creationism.


"Finding the answer is not a requirement, it is merely an option in the life of your choice."
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hitchy
Member (Idle past 3222 days)
Posts: 215
From: Southern Maryland via Pittsburgh
Joined: 01-05-2004


Message 7 of 308 (286329)
02-14-2006 12:30 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Finding Nirvana
02-10-2006 6:06 PM


Public Education and the Law
In our country, the prevailing law is that every child is to be provided with a free education. You can opt out of this, of course, by being home-schooled or by going to private school. Anyway, the public schools are funded by the American people as a whole (taxpayers). Since this is a public program put forth by the government, it has to follow the Constitution of the United States of America. That includes the Bill of Rights. Although some people argue that the 1st Amendment does not put up a wall between church and State, the framers of the Constitution and the Courts say that there definitely is a separation of church and State. So, religion, aka creationism, cannot be taught in public school science classes b/c it would endorse a single religion over others.

However, evolution is a scientific theory that has lasted for 145 years despite the most rigorous testing. In fact, evolution continues to be strenghtened every day. Parts of evolution are now considered fact--common descent, for instance. Only the mechanisms are still theoretical.

Whether a scientific issue is controversial or not does not have any bearing on the evidence that supports the issue. Nor does controversy decide what is science or not. Evolution is central to biology. Biology should not even be taught if evolution is not included in the curriculum. Yes, it is that important!

As a biology teacher, I have a responsibility to my students and the community to teach biology. Evolution is the central tenent of biology. If controversy arises, I, as a teacher, have to deal with it in a way that does not belittle the subjective beliefs of my students but still provides the objective facts about life on Earth. I actually try to prevent any controversy by teaching the nature of science to my students. Unfortunately, I find that problems arise with other teachers b/c they do not define what science deals with--naturalistic processes that can be tested. The existence of a god or gods is not testable, nor is it falsifiable. Therefore, it falls outside the realm of science. Whether my students believe in a supernatural being or not has no bearing on my teaching of science. And it shouldn't.

Taking evolution out of the biology curriculum against the recommendations of professional organizations and universities would be insane. Remember, science is what scientists do. Science is not what politicians or special interest groups want it to do.


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rgb
Inactive Member


Message 8 of 308 (286342)
02-14-2006 2:04 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by hitchy
02-14-2006 12:30 AM


Re: Public Education and the Law
quote:
Taking evolution out of the biology curriculum against the recommendations of professional organizations and universities would be insane. Remember, science is what scientists do. Science is not what politicians or special interest groups want it to do.


Unfortunately, many people, most of which are parents of the very school children attending the public school system, still believe that science should be a democracy. I remember reading an article a while back about a student suing a biology professor, I think somewhere in Florida, accusing him of being fascist about the class material. That made me wonder why some people attend college at all if they did not expect to learn something they hadn't known before, or why they signed up for a class about a subject they didn't want to learn.

How far do you think the ID crowd will be able to push before the general public realizes all the B.S. behind their movement?


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rgb
Inactive Member


Message 9 of 308 (286343)
02-14-2006 2:05 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by hitchy
02-14-2006 12:30 AM


Re: Public Education and the Law
quote:
Taking evolution out of the biology curriculum against the recommendations of professional organizations and universities would be insane. Remember, science is what scientists do. Science is not what politicians or special interest groups want it to do.


Unfortunately, many people, most of which are parents of the very school children attending the public school system, still believe that science should be a democracy. I remember reading an article a while back about a student suing a biology professor, I think somewhere in Florida, accusing him of being fascist about the class material. That made me wonder why some people attend college at all if they did not expect to learn something they hadn't known before, or why they signed up for a class about a subject they didn't want to learn.

How far do you think the ID crowd will be able to push before the general public realizes all the B.S. behind their movement?


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wiseman45
Inactive Member


Message 10 of 308 (287047)
02-15-2006 4:32 PM


The fact of the matter is...
Since when are the actions of the religious right supported by the majority of the populace? Here is Kansas (yes, Kansas), when the board of education voted to recommend a remmoval of the teaching of evolution, they were thrown out of office. Round 2, in 2002, Creationists demanded that "creation science" be taught alongside evolution.

They were not elected, and those in office who tried to support this lost. The only reason that the KSBE is in the control of these nutjobs currently is because in Western Kansas, where there is the strongest amount of people in favor of the creationists, 10% of the people voted. This allowed the religious right to rally their base, and win the election. If everyone else had voted, this whole ordeal would have been avoided because no matter how many times the creationists change their "theories", the majority will still know that their ultimate goal is to destroy evolution, or minimize it. Because evolution is against god.

I don't really understand the argument of the people who say that evolution doesn't contradict creationism, it does, because combined with the big bang theory, the nebular hypothesis, and the theory of plate tectonics (which will all be next on these people's list) Evolution says genesis doesn't happen and that the Bible is wrong. Now it doesn't contradict the rest, but genesis gets run into the ground by all the evidence and theories out there and they know it, which is why they are so adamant about silencing it.

If the people of this country allow evolutionary theory to be downplayed, then the creationists next step will be to remove it. Their next step will be to exterminate (slowly) anything else that contradicts the literal meaning of the Bible. Then, as some of you mentioned earlier, they will start to modify everything else. I once saw a funny comic in which kids are taught this in Kansas' geogloy class rooms. "God lives up there, and the devil lives below. That's all you need to know."

That's what these people want. Connie Morris says that evolution is an age-old fairy tale. But in truth, what's the fairy tale? And do the people know that? IF they do, and if they mobilize (in the right direction) this November, then these people can fantasize and pray that evolution will just go away all they want to, but God won't be listening.

This whole line of thinking (religous extremism) needs to really be exterminated, or made so the only place where it belongs is the church, to prevent this whole line of thought from ever arising again. If something is not done about this, I'm very afraid for the education of my children. Will they learn to accept other ideals? Or will they learn that all people who do not accept Christ go to hell? Time will tell. Hey, that rhymes!

Okay, I'm done.

Wiseman45


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Gary
Inactive Member


Message 11 of 308 (287058)
02-15-2006 5:03 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by Finding Nirvana
02-10-2006 6:06 PM


Re: No education at all?
Biology does not make sense without evolution. Other than evolution, here is nothing to tie it together. If you remove evolution from education, you remove so much that biology becomes pointless, inaccurate, and dangerous. The theory of evolution is a sound scientific theory just like the laws of thermodynamics or the theory of gravity, and because of its utility and its central focus in biology, it should be taught to all high school students.

Creationism should be debunked in biology classes. It is the duty of schools to exterminate the type of ignorance that creationism so perfectly exemplifies. Creationism should not be taught as an equal to evolution, because it has no scientific background and starts from the assumption that the first couple pages of an ancient book are literally true, when no evidence exists to support that claim. It is not science because it was not gathered through the scientific method or anything even resembling a scientific process, rather, it is an article of faith. There isn't enough to it to make a class, and money from taxes should not be spent educating people in what is obviously no more than a facet of fundamentalist Christianity.

The idea that neither should be taught will only allow creationism to become even more widespread. You don't need to take a class on creationism to understand everything creationists want you to know about it, you simply have to take it on faith without asking difficult questions.

I don't see why you think controversial topics should be left out of public education. Some people deny that the holocaust ever happened. Should we leave that out of history classes?


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hitchy
Member (Idle past 3222 days)
Posts: 215
From: Southern Maryland via Pittsburgh
Joined: 01-05-2004


Message 12 of 308 (287149)
02-15-2006 10:13 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by wiseman45
02-15-2006 4:32 PM


Re: The fact of the matter is...
I agree that evolution and creationism are not mutually exclusive. Creationism is a response to evolution. As with any argument, evidence for each side is presented and then we decide the winner. Evolution is clearly the champion.

I would like to verify that I do not think that creationism is on an equal footing with evolution. When I say that I have to be sensitive to the subjective beliefs of my students, that is all I am--sensitive to what they believe. However, it is my duty to point out how wrong it is to include subjective belief in objective science. When religion steps into the realm of science and makes claims that can be tested, those religious beliefs are fair game for peer review. And, as most of us know, peer review can be brutal. There is no room for wimps here. But we have to be brutal in order to flesh out the objective truth.

Others have said that science is not democratic. How right they are! And when the president sides with teaching ID because of the "fairness" issue, we know that he is just playing pipes for his conservative christian base. Notice that no one has put forth a national law lately that involves evolution. Even Rick Santorum (who I never voted for while I lived in PA) had his amendment squashed by a Republican dominated Senate when NCLB was voted on.

So, I contend that creationism/ID will always be with us. There will always be groups that think evolution is anti-god and dangerous, but hopefully they will eventually become a side-show like the Flat Earth Society.


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macaroniandcheese 
Suspended Member (Idle past 2032 days)
Posts: 4258
Joined: 05-24-2004


Message 13 of 308 (287153)
02-15-2006 10:23 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by hitchy
02-15-2006 10:13 PM


nitpick
evolution and creationism are mutually exclusive. however, evolution and any form of higher being are not. evolution describes only the change in life forms and not how life began nor the origins of the universe. creationism is the precise biblical history of the earth and is not compatible with science or evolution.

This message has been edited by brennakimi, 02-15-2006 10:23 PM


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wiseman45
Inactive Member


Message 14 of 308 (287308)
02-16-2006 11:12 AM
Reply to: Message 13 by macaroniandcheese
02-15-2006 10:23 PM


Re: nitpick
I actually happen to agree with you. Evolution and Creationism contradict each other, and one has scientific evidence, while the other is based entirely, and I repeat, entirely on faith. Evolution is clearly the champion, as was earlier put. Until the people who want to question evolution come up with a testable theory that can be backed up with actual stable evidence (and that does not include "but look at this pretty flower!"), evolution should be the only thing taught in biology classrooms. Period.

However, I do not dispute the idea of god. In fact, I find atheism particularly distrubing, almost as disturbing as "ya'll are going ta 'ell unless you git to church". If god does not exist or there is no afterlife, is there no existence after death? And there's no problem with the idea that the whole process of evolution happened and some form of higher power just started it and decided to let it run its course. Or maybe he/she/it/them didn't start evolution itself, but is merely responsible for the big bang. Who can know? I think the agnostics have it right, or at least some of them. Some sort of higher influence is well, influencing things in some way or another, but is staying out of our lives because of philisophical reasons in which they hold the idea that it is not their place.

By the way, excellent comment about how these creationists will become a sideshow, like the flat-earth society has become. I think it will take a while for that to happen at all, (simply because of the influence they have) and they'll never die out to that level, unfortunately. A person is smart. A person is a genius. But people as a group are really more or less as intellegent as sheep. They just follow those who happen to lead and have influence, and on a larger scale, those guys are people like Pat Robertson. By the way, "ya'll goin' to 'ell."

Okay. I'm Done.

Wiseman45

This message has been edited by wiseman45, 02-16-2006 11:13 AM


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EZscience
Member (Idle past 3258 days)
Posts: 961
From: A wheatfield in Kansas
Joined: 04-14-2005


Message 15 of 308 (287389)
02-16-2006 4:27 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Finding Nirvana
02-09-2006 5:51 PM


Don't throw thow the baby out with the bath water
Hi Nirvana,

As you can see, there has been some resistance to your proposal to eliminate the teaching of both creation and evolution.

My main criticism would be your reasoning - to avoid controversy among students.
One of the most important things you willl learn in school is how to deal with controversy, how controversy stimulates thought and is essential for scientific progress.

The second, but perhaps more relevant, criticism is that you are implicitly giving creationism and evolutionary theory the same merit.
ToE is an ESSENTIAL cornerstone of all biological sciences, both in their theory and their application. Creationism is simply a myth.

Just because some people are upset with the inferences of ToE with respect to their decision to have faith in a myth doesn't mean we should deny kids access to a proper science education. And you can't have a proper science education without some training in ToE.
It is not possible, so your proposal would be a disservice to the larger enterprise of science.

As others have noted, there is really nothing to 'teach' about creationism anyway. It's basically 6 days of 'Poof' God created this, and 'Poof', God created that. You certainly won't be needing any higher order mathematics skills. On the other hand, there are so many corrolaries, implications and nuances to ToE that many people spend their whole lives collecting and analyzing data just to advance tiny branches of it to higher levels of understanding. Creationism doesn't give you any kind of explanatory mechanisms to work with or extrapolate, no framework for investigation or increasing the knowledge base of any discipline. If you really seek higher levels of understanding about living things, you must study how evolution works - there is no other framework that makes sense. Evolution is as essential to biology as Newtonian physics and Quantum mechanics is to the physical sciences.


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