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A Controversial Belief

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Lisabeth Roach

Mr. Johnson

English 101, 8:00

06 December 2017

A Controversial Belief

There has been much debate about whether creationism should be taught in public schools. Many people argue that creationism is religious and should not be taught in schools because of separation of church and state. Others say that creationism is a valid study and should be taught to the children. I believe that creationism should be taught in public schools.

Creationism is the firm belief that the world and everything in it was formed by a divine being out of nothing. This is different from evolutionism, which is the belief that all life happened by chance and adapted and changed from one organism to another. These are views that are on opposite ends of the spectrum and often are contrasted against each other.

Research into the subject has resulted in many surveys to thousands of people regarding whether creationism should be taught in schools. From these surveys, 42% believe that creationism is real, 19% believed that God had no part in it, and 39% believe in evolution (news.gallup.com). Many people find it easier to believe in evolution because of the influence of science.

Why shouldn’t creationism be taught in public schools? For all the disputing, very few supporting reasons have been given. Many have claimed that creationism is unfair to teach because it is based in religion and not science. The claim is that creationism cannot be scientifically tested because it is based around God while evolutionism has a very clear logical background and can be proven by science. As well as being difficult to confirm, the premise of creationism is resting on God, which stands to reason that other religions should also be taught for there to be balance.

One of the main reasons scientists object to creationism being taught in public schools is because of the direct contradiction to scientific findings. They say that creationism lacks any kind of scientific credibility and it ignores much of the supporting evidence for evolution. John Carlson says that creationism should not be taught because it doesn’t offer much constructively or positively. “Most of their effort is directed at picking away at controversial points in the evolutionary theory… and replace it with their own” (Carlson). Carlson, however, is once again focused largely on the fact that creationism is not a viable scientific alternative to evolution.

Another prominent reason used for why creationism should not be taught in schools is because of its tie to religion. Creationism is seen as a direct derivative of religion and thus has no place in government started and funded institutions. Separation of church and state is often used to justify this viewpoint, however, this justification is somewhat misplaced. In the words of Justice Hugo Black:

Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another… no tax in any amount, large or small, can be levied to support any religious activities or institutions, whatever they may be called, or whatever form they mat adopt to teach or practice religion… in the words of Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect “a wall of separation between Church and State” (Green).

He explains that the separation of church and state is referring to the establishment of a religion by government or the regulation of government by religion. However, the teaching of creationism is not regulating government, nor is it started by government. It is merely a different perspective that is faith based and rooted deeply with its greatest source being the Bible. Different perspectives can be difficult to compare sometimes though.

But a balance of perspectives must be fair in order to be valid; otherwise, it is like comparing apples with oranges. It is unfair to teach creationism alongside evolution in public school science classes because creationism presupposes the existence of a divine creator or higher power, which is not scientifically testable, whereas evolution deals with natural physical properties which are scientifically testable. Creationism requires only faith to be believable; evolution, however, must satisfy the demands of the scientific method to be believable. It is unfair to compare creationism to evolution when the standard being used is the scientific method. Thus, comparing creationism with evolution is not a fair balance of perspectives. (Monestery)

With all this controversy, creationism is having a hard time making a debut into the science world and schools. However, according to a recent poll, 20% believed only evolution should be taught, 16% believed that only creationism should be taught, while the remainder believe that both creationism and evolution should be taught. The people who are paying for their children to be taught are wanting this subject to be taught. As well as the people wanting it to be taught, it is a legitimate belief system and should be taught as part of history curriculum if nothing else. Many of those that want both creationism and evolution to be taught want evolution to be taught in a science class and creationism to be taught in a philosophy class.

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