Dangerous Dan Thoughts and musings on the world

1/16/2005

Evolution in the Classroom

Filed under: Education,Society — Dangerous Dan @ 2:00 pm

I'm in favor of teaching evolution in schools and leaving out alternative theories. I'm also opposed to putting silly stickers inside textbooks such as the one in Atlanta schools that was recently removed that said, "This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully and critically considered." Like it or not, and think it's wrong or not, evolution is a standard accepted theory in the scientific community. In a science class, it's then absurd not to teach it or to teach other theories rejected by the scientific community.

I'm sympathetic to the religious sensibilities people may have to the subject (I personally don't think evolution and religion have to be mutually exclusive, but that's a topic for another day), but that doesn't mean they should intrude on the classroom. In not teaching evolution or in presenting unaccepted alternative theories, you are essentially allowing particular religious viewpoints to mandate important course content. If parents are concerned about what their children are being taught in the science classroom, they're fully entitled to discuss it with their kids and review the problems they think the theory has. Since evolution is considered to be accepted science, however, teachers have an obligation to teach it in their classrooms.

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