Teaching Creationism in Public Schools – No

Creationism should not be taught in science class because it’s religion, not science. Its advocates understand this, and are attempting to replace actual science with their dogma. If they are allowed to carry out their agenda, it will deprive our children of vital knowledge and opportunity in a world that depends more and more on science and technology. Our current economic problems have arisen in part because of exporting jobs to other countries – do we want to make matters worse by squandering our knowledge advantages as well?

Often called “creation science” by its adherents, creationism is not science by any stretch of the imagination. Unlike science, it is logically invalid, since it assumes its conclusion and reasons backwards from fundamentalist mythology to an equally mythic past. It has no basis in observation or experiment, it has no predictive value, and it cannot be tested, all of which are hallmarks of genuine science and scientific theories. No one wants to test Genesis, anyway. Even if it were possible, there is no benefit to doing so, and it would cause more distress than explaining to a seven-year-old that the Tooth Fairy isn’t real.

Teaching creationism along with evolutionary theory is a non-starter – it implies a level of credibility for creationism that it does not deserve. Doing so also defames evolutionary theory by implicitly associating the two. There is no acceptable reason for teaching creationism in public school: the proper place for teaching it is in Sunday school or church-supported classes, not wasting public resources at taxpayer expense.

The Christian story of creation is one among many. Teaching only one creation myth in public school is unconstitutional because it favors one religion over others, which violates the Establishment Clause. That, however, does not bother creationists in the slightest. They are so determined to have their way that they have demonstrated their willingness to subvert school boards and lie in court when challenged.[i]

Everyone in the USA has the right to believe and worship as they choose; however, this cherished freedom does not give the right to inflict one’s religion on others without their consent. The creationists are attempting to do exactly that: force their religious dogma onto our children, without our permission and at our expense. Our freedom depends on preventing them from doing so. Defending it starts in science class.

[i] Tammy Kitzmiller, et al. v. Dover Area School District, et al. (400 F. Supp. 2d 707, Docket no. 4cv2688)