Question about evolution in schools

Lady Heather - posted on 06/20/2011 ( 308 moms have responded )

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A friend of mine posted this on facebook. I was pretty shocked. Were any of you not taught evolution in high school? I guess I'm just wondering what happens in a high school biology class if you can't talk about evolution. Where I live, Grade 11 biology is entirely centered around evolution and nobody really questions that.

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Mrs. - posted on 06/20/2011

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I'm so confused....what is this "both" crap? Is Christianity the only religion in the US? Why is it that the other major religions are not pushing to have their "alternative" theories of how humans came into being into the science classroom? I'm all for teaching scientific theory in a classroom, but religious theory masqueraded as science...send your kids to sunday school if that's the way you'd like to confuse them.

Sara - posted on 06/21/2011

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Nikki, all you've proven to me is that you don't know what you're talking about.



A theory never becomes a law. In fact, if there was a hierarchy of science, theories would be higher than laws. There is nothing higher, or better, than a theory. Laws describe things, theories explain them. An example will help you to understand this. There's a law of gravity, which is the description of gravity. It basically says that if you let go of something it'll fall. It doesn't say why. Then there's the theory of gravity, which is an attempt to explain why. Actually, Newton's Theory of Gravity did a pretty good job, but Einstein's Theory of Relativity does a better job of explaining it. These explanations are called theories, and will always be theories. They can't be changed into laws, because laws are different things. Laws describe, and theories explain.



So yeah, I understand scientific method just fine.



Also, my husband is an accountant...doesn't make me a tax expert.

Johnny - posted on 06/21/2011

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I think this thread is an excellent demonstration of why science needs to be taught properly in schools and not mixed up with religion and myth. The level of misunderstanding of the most basic scientific theories and methods is simply astounding.

Jenny - posted on 06/20/2011

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This is a subject that boils my blood. Fantasy has NO place in a science class, none. Not even as a passing mention of what some ill-informed people "believe". Alright, as a quickly dismissed hypotheses maybe. I don't care if 99% of a community believes in creationism, it doesn't make it true. A large chunk of a given population has believed fake shit throughout our existence. Earth is flat anyone?



Time to get on the band wagon people. We have a DNA map that shows precisely how all species are related and where. We can tell through genomes precisely the amount of DNA shared between species. We have observed genetic mutations. Our fossil record and geographic spread of species lies precisely as evolution would have them (see any modern man or giraffe fossils anywhere or find koalas in Canada?) We find the evidence in our bodies. We find it everywhere when we stop blocking it out with misinformation.



I would rather the school sit empty than to purposely teach my child fiction. You parents should be pissed off when this garbage makes it on the books. You are not doing your kids any favors by teaching them lies because you "believe" they are true. Let's go with facts on this one.



The argument is over and "believing" in Creationism, quite frankly, just sounds foolish.

Vicki - posted on 06/20/2011

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Facts and theories are different things. If I drop my pen, it's a fact that it falls to the floor. There is a theory that gravity causes this. It's a damn well supported theory, well tested with lots of cool info about the structure of the earth and the magnetic pull to back it up. I could say that the underground fairies are calling my pen, that would be another theory, but not particularly well supported by any info or studies.

Evolution is an extremely well supported and researched theory, with more than enough evidence for me to believe that it is true. Creationism is also a theory, backed up by the words of religious leaders many years ago in one particular culture, and has been translated in all sorts of ways since. There's enough evidence for creationism for me to believe it should be taught as part of social history, along with fairy myths.

I'm not close minded, I go with the scientific method and the best supported theory as to how we came to be here.

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Alessia - posted on 02/09/2012

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Please Missy. Just. Please.



If you don't "believe evolution can be observed" may I please direct you to the nearest Natural History museum. Those transitional fossils were not planted there by the devil. Also, any Biology 101 class will give you a quick study with Drosophila melanogaster (our common fruit fly) which is the foremost source for genetics and the human genome.



It is a disservice to our education system, to our children, and to Science in general, to teach anything but Evolution. Unless, you are comfortable with raising the next generation of scientifically ignorant people....which I am not. Creationism (and this includes ALL creation myths, not just the Christian one) is best taught in a theology/world religion/mythology class. It doesn't belong anywhere near the world of science.



If people want to hide from facts and reality, let them send their children to faith-based schools that will teach them ancient myths as "facts". The rest of the world will progress scientifically, technologically, and intellectually without them.

[deleted account]

I have to disagree. You said " Creation is a THEORY, as in a non-scientific theoryf that has not been proven and can not be observed. Evolution is a theory in a scientific sense, which means that it has been proven, and can be observed"



I do not feel that the evolution can be observed.

The word evolution can have many definitions, but for most people, it is taken as molecules-to-man evolution over millions of years. The raw material for molecules-to-man evolution is not the varying, already-existing genetic information, but rather the addition of new genetic information. People look at the flu virus and bacteria, for example as observable forms of evolution but in both cases, however, no new genetic information is added; instead, the current genetic information has been mutated and selected for. This is artificial selection, which operates on the same principles as natural selection. Bottom line: the bacteria remained bacteria and the virus remained a virus.

ME - posted on 07/30/2011

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As an update, I had my students read "Show me the science" by R. Dawkins...it actually seemed to help. So for those of you who don't understand the problem with teaching IDT in Science classes, maybe you should look up that essay and give it a quick read through...maybe two...

ME - posted on 07/30/2011

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@Ladyjane...your statement makes no sense, actually, because scientific theories must meet the criterion of FALSIFIABILITY or, they are bad theories. The only things that are 100% "true" are laws, and even those have occasionally fallen into question (quantum physics, etc). The reason this is a good thing, is because it allows for progress, and innovation. If we decide at some point that we know everything there is to know, and nothing should be subject to doubt ever again, that will be the end of human progress. Religious beliefs are taken on faith, scientific beliefs are subject to doubt; this is the fundamental difference between them.

I teach at a large community college in IL, for those who asked. Second biggest and quite well respected, but many of our students come from Chicago Public Schools (CPS), and they are notoriously bad. They are underfunded due to racist/classist funding of schools, and most students cannot read or write above a 4th grade level...it's very sad.

Jodi - posted on 07/30/2011

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Yes they did Rebecca, but I think some people are choosing to ignore it.

[deleted account]

Hey this is great - put "should gravity be taught in schools?" into Youtube and it will crack you up.

Mrs. - posted on 07/29/2011

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Didn't someone already cover the whole recanting thing earlier? Why does it keep coming up and being repeated?

I guess it just goes to show how pervasive this anti-evolution movement crap is.

Karla - posted on 07/29/2011

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Should astronomy be taught in schools?
I don't think so because they said Pluto was a planet, but then it wasn't, so how can they be teaching it if they don't really know what it is? … Astrology on the other hand, that I can believe in. I mean most our Presidents were Scorpio an Aquarius, it's true, look it up.

(yes, I'm joking, except about the Presidential zodiac signs, bahahahaha!)

[deleted account]

" Even Darwin toward the end of his life doubted his own research."

Darwin did not recant. This is a lie that is oft-repeated by those who feel that lying for Jesus is perfectly acceptable. Much like the line, 'kids arent' allowed to pray in school.'

[deleted account]

"The science that is taught in our science classes are things that can be 100% proven. Evolution can not be 100% proven. Sure there is so called 'convinceable (sp) evidence', but it's still not a 100% sure thing and can change with each new "discovery", Even Darwin toward the end of his life doubted his own research."

So I take it that neither Relativity nor Gravity are discussed in Science class. What about germ theory? If that's the school's pov, I'd pull my child from class until someone there learned the definition of scientific theory.

I'm rather serious on the gravity part. I don't wear metal and I'm not metal so how could any kind of earth magnetic pull keep me on the ground. That's silly! /sarcasm.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 07/29/2011

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Laureen Carter from Vermont made an excellent point.....evolution on a small scale, bacteria becoming resistant to drugs....great point! This at least proves evolution on a small scale.

Jenny - posted on 07/29/2011

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Darwin "believing" evolution is irrelevant. If Newton stopped believing in gravity, we're not going to float away.

Johnny - posted on 07/29/2011

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If your science class teaches only full understood concepts it must be very brief indeed. Science is a collection of theories constantly being proposed, investigated, and challenged. There are few absolutes. Anyone who would refuse to include evolution in a science curriculum because there continue to be aspects that are investigated and challenged does not understand the nature of the scientific method and should not be involved in creating curriculum until they expand their knowledge base. Are none of you parents whose children are receiving this sub-standard education concerned that you are crippling their chances for a successful future?

Jodi - posted on 07/29/2011

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" Even Darwin toward the end of his life doubted his own research."

Exactly where did you get this little piece of information from? Because there is no actual verification of this. None. Zip. Nada.

And actually, many scientific theories cannot be 100% *proven*. But what can happen is they can be backed with a great deal of FACTUAL and scientifically researched evidence.

Jenny - posted on 07/28/2011

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No quotations necessary, gene mutations have indeed been observed and evolution has been proven fact. It is currently occurring.

LadyJane - posted on 07/28/2011

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The science that is taught in our science classes are things that can be 100% proven. Evolution can not be 100% proven. Sure there is so called 'convinceable (sp) evidence', but it's still not a 100% sure thing and can change with each new "discovery", Even Darwin toward the end of his life doubted his own research.

Our science curriculum prefers to focus on solid 100% evidence that can be 100% proven. Parents are happy with this arrangement as it allows the students to know that the way people view certain topics can change as the evidence changes.

There is talk that a "Theory's" class will be added for those types of subjects where it could end up being Disproven or 100% proven.

Jenny - posted on 07/27/2011

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What the hell? Did you go up and down the aisles and cuff them all upside the head. What a huge disappointment.

Krista - posted on 07/27/2011

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Man, ME...after a class like that, I would have been making very good friends with the better part of a bottle of scotch. That is utterly depressing and incredibly terrifying.

I guess now we know what it feels like to witness the decline of a civilization.

ME - posted on 07/27/2011

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This issue came up in my Critical Thinking class in COLLEGE on Tuesday...most of my students knew NOTHING about Evolution, believed in Creationism, and felt that if we teach the THEORY of Evolution in science (which they see as hogwash) then we ought to teach IDT, which they see as gospel...smh...so discouraging...

[deleted account]

PS Maybe all you religious believers from around the world should go off and discuss amongst yourselves why each of your creation stories is better than each others, and come back when you've sorted that out amongst yourselves.

[deleted account]

I live in Australia and I don't think I have ever met anybody who believes in Creationism.

This whole debate is weird to me. It shouldn't be Evolution vs Creationism, it should be Evolution vs [the entire spectrum of creation beliefs in every single culture of the world]. All the different cultures had different theories about where we came from. Christianity happens to the dominant religion in the west, where I assume most of us English speakers are coming from, but there are lots of other creation-like explanations that are believed with equal intensity by people from other cultures.

Isobel - posted on 07/26/2011

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AHHH...intelligent design... yeah, NO evidence, therefore not in science class thank you very much.

[deleted account]

Of course they don't take IDT seriously. For the same reason cryptozoology is not taken seriously.

ME - posted on 07/23/2011

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While flipping through Netflix this evening, I found a documentary called Flock of Dodos...Made me think of this thread. Very interesting...The guy interviews people on both sides of the debate (very respectfully), and comes to the conclusion that the reason that this is an issue is basically an inability of scientists and academics to communicate their ideas in a common language that everyone understands, AND a refusal on the part of academics to take IDT theorists seriously. He is not concluding that IDT ought to be taken seriously on it's merits, but rather, because gullible people are taking it seriously. They expect (he concludes) people to be able to discern fact from fiction by the use of logic alone, and they have not been able to do so! Academics come across haughty, pushy, etc. Everyone else takes offense to their attitude, and ignores the truth of their ideas...Unbelievable how many public schools in the US are trying to do this tho...

Mrs. - posted on 07/22/2011

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It's stories like these that make me happy that although I could move my family and I back to the states....I sometimes feel a bit more justified when it comes to my little girl's education, staying in Canada.

It boggles my mind that it is even an argument, but clearly, it is.

ME - posted on 07/22/2011

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That's hilarious actually, because IDT is actually a philosophical theory (taught in Philosophy classes in College, which are part of the Humanities)...typically attributed to Wm. Paley, a Philosopher...smh...I, too, would be pulling my kids out of that school if I were ladyjane...this is what terrifies me about the prospect of sending my children to public schools in this country.

Karla - posted on 07/22/2011

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@LadyJane It would be a mistake to teach evolution as a philosophical theory because it is scientific theory, something quite different than what is found in a humanities classes; evolution is science not philosophy (and creationism is religion, and ethics and politics are philosophy.)



I cut-n-paste further information"

"A scientific theory comprises a collection of concepts, including abstractions of observable phenomena expressed as quantifiable properties, together with rules (called scientific laws) that express relationships between observations of such concepts. A scientific theory is constructed to conform to available empirical data about such observations, and is put forth as a principle or body of principles for explaining a class of phenomena.



"A scientific theory is a type of inductive theory, in that its content (i.e. empirical data) could be expressed within some formal system of logic whose elementary rules (i.e. scientific laws) are taken as axioms. In a deductive theory, any sentence which is a logical consequence of one or more of the axioms is also a sentence of that theory.



"In the humanities, one finds theories whose subject matter does not (only) concern empirical data, but rather ideas. Such theories are in the realm of philosophical theories as contrasted with scientific theories. A philosophical theory is not necessarily scientifically testable through experiment.

Jenny - posted on 07/22/2011

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I'd be pulling my kids out in that situtaton and finding an actual education elsewhere. I can't believe parents down there are rolling over and letting that be taken from their kids. Aren't you concerned about how far behind your country is falling behind others? THIS is one of the reasons why. Smarten up Americans.

Corinne - posted on 07/22/2011

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Forgive me, but if real science is being taught in humanities, what is being taught in science? Seems like that's a little arse about face.

Jenny - posted on 07/22/2011

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Really? Considering it IS science, both chemistry and biology, that is ridiculous.

LadyJane - posted on 07/22/2011

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Evolution is not taught in science class in the schools by me. It is actually being taught in a humanities class along with the other theories.

LadyJane - posted on 07/22/2011

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Evolution is not taught in science class in the schools by me. It is actually being taught in a humanities class along with the other theories.

Krista - posted on 07/21/2011

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That's exactly it, M.E. When the continue to reject reality and substitute their own, they forget that the reality is still out there and is being adhered to by the other 99% of the world.

ME - posted on 07/21/2011

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Schools teaching creationism as science are part of the reason that our college students are SO FAR behind when they arrive in school. In nearly every class I teach, I have to go back and explain the difference between a scientific Theory and a religious theory/belief...it's unbelievable...



most of them are so indoctrinated in their belief in the equality of these theories, that they struggle their entire college careers...it's incredibly sad...

Corinne - posted on 07/21/2011

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Ouch! I have brain ache. Wow, just wow. I'm British. Where I went to school, biology was biology and religious studies was just that. Why the hell is religion being brought into the lab? When you have research and evidence to back up your creation theory, in the same kind of quantity and quality as that which backs up evolution, then, and only then should it be discussed in a science lesson and given equal merit.
Has anyone here watched Red Dwarf? there's an episode where a newscaster is reporting on the discovery of the first page of the Bible, which reads: ' To my dear -----(?), the events and people portrayed in this book are entirely ficticious, any similarity to persons living or dead is entirely coincidental' I'm with the Dwarf.

Johnny - posted on 07/19/2011

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If a school district is actually teaching creation on an equal theoretical footing as evolution in a science class, I have a great struggle believing that it is ranked as 5th in the nation. If it is, then either American education is in worse shape than I had previously believed or they are fudging their test results.

Jenny - posted on 07/19/2011

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Sherri, we absolutely can not agree to disagree. There is no educated "decision" on this subject. It is based purely on facts or no facts. Facts tell us that evolution is really occurring. Creationism does NOT have validity and it is unfair to confuse kids saying it does. It just really doesn't. Not because I disagree but because it's factual and real.

Rosie - posted on 07/19/2011

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i beg you to reread sherri. plenty of people have stated it over and over again. and if they didn't specifically state that creationism should have the option to be taught in another class such as religious studies or history or something, they specifically said it should not be taught in science class, and ONLY science class.



so i guess my question to you would be, do you think creationism should be taught in SCIENCE class, as a fact or should evolution? or should it be left to be mentioned in other classes, and left out of the scientific realm of education?

Jenny - posted on 07/19/2011

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It does make a difference, absolutely. Creationism taught in a religious comparatives class is fine. It IS important to learn about others beliefs. It is not OK to teach beliefs as fact.

Rosie - posted on 07/19/2011

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yes it does make a difference. creationism being taught as fact is ridiculous. creationism being mentioned as a theory in a religious studies class or history class or something is completely different. it is not teaching myth as fact.
many people have stated this throughout the conversation, over and over again. did you miss that? nobody here is saying creationsim should never be mentioned in a school, it simply shouldnt' be taught as scientific fact when it is not one.

Mrs. - posted on 07/19/2011

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Yeah, I'd say if your kids learned creationism in a comparative religion class or a science class, it makes a huge difference.

Karla - posted on 07/19/2011

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@Patricia - I'm not sure if you mean you were born in the 60's or went to school in the 60's or both, but I was in 9th grade science in -1974-75 and we were taught evolution. This is science. Also I remember evolution and creationism being mentioned in History class - it is relevant there as well because of the Scopes trial of 1925, and the Supreme Court case of Epperson vs. Arkansas (1968), etc.

We did the pledge in the elementary years, I don't recall the 10 Commandments being taught in school though.

It’s very odd to me that people think science should not be taught in science classes. It’s not even like they go into depth when you’re in elementary and secondary school. Maybe they should so people would better understand it.

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