Speakout.com Staff Writer
Thursday, February 22, 2000
Students should be taught School lessons should be based
that evolution is not the only on science, not religion. Teaching
explanation for the origins of life religious doctrine like creationism in The creation of the Earth & Human public schools violates the
was a miracle of God & removing constitutional separation of church & this basic lesson from public schools state.
fails our children.
In August 1999, the Kansas Board of Education ruled that students would not be tested on their knowledge of evolution on state-assessment exams. Since the school board’s policy leaves the decision of whether to teach evolution up to individual school districts, it effectively sidesteps the U.S. 1987 Supreme Court ruling that said states can not prohibit the teaching of Evolution in schools.
Because much of the state’s curriculum is driven by what students need to learn for their exams, some fear that evolution will be dropped from many lesson plans in Kansas schools ( this relaxed, board policy is still in place today).
On one hand. . .
Failing to teach evolution in school science classes will result in a generation of students who are scientifically illiterate. Without a basic understanding of biology, students will fail to compete with their peers in college & in the work force.
While the tenets of creationism are acceptable as part of an individual’s religious faith, they have no place in a science classroom.
On the other hand . . .
A majority of Americans say they believe God played some role in the creation of the universe & the origins of life. School curriculums should reflect these beliefs.
Some teachers who have deep religious beliefs find teaching evolution offensive to their values, & they should not be required to teach the subject.
History & Facts about the ongoing debate
Late 1990's: State school boards in Arizona, Alabama, Illinois, New Mexico, Texas and Nebraska have tried to either no longer mandate the teaching of evolution, or de-emphasize the teaching of evolution
1998: North Carolina: The North Carolina House passed a bill which
mandates that evolution be presented as a theory, not as a fact.
1999: Kansas: The Kansas Board of Education abandoned the
recommendations of their own science panel and established new state science standards. They announced that students would not be tested on
their knowledge of evolution. "Studies of data regarding fossils, geologic tables, cosmological information are encouraged. But standards regarding origins are not mandated." This policy was overturned in 2001 after the
election of a new board.
1999: Kentucky: The Kentucky State Education Department substituted the
term "change over time" for "evolution" in their curriculum.
2000: Louisiana: The U.S. Supreme Court declared the Tangipahoa Parish school board's disclaimer to be unconstitutional. The board had required its teachers to announce that evolution was just "presented to inform students of
the scientific concept and [was] not intended to influence or dissuade the biblical version of creation or any other concept..."
2001: Hawaii: Denise Matsumoto, chair of the Regular Education Committee,
of the Hawaii State Board of Education proposed that evolution and creation
science be taught as competing theories in science class. The board unanimously rejected it.
2005: Georgia: A federal judge ordered that the Cobb County school board remove stickers that they had ordered placed on science text books. The stickers state: "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."
Further discussion & data
Society: Origins of Human Beings
Assignment One: Is Teaching Evolution in Public Schools going to be extinct ?
; Using previously learned materials, apply your knowledge & understanding of the
article attached - “Is Teaching Evolution in Public Schools going to be extinct”
; Your Assignment:
*Write a first person essay (in your voice) on the topic
discussed in the article (approximately 350-450 words).
*Keep the Social Scientist 7 Dangers to clear thinking &
the 4 rules to evidence collection.
*Use objectivity in your opening statement (keep an open
mind & begin by informing your reader about what they
will read (be sure to provide background on the prevailing
theories in question)
*Once you have talked about both theories, move into your
own argument / beliefs
*Conclude with where you think this controversy will go