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1. This should be addressed to Carrie Russell
This unit on evolution is very difficult for me. I am a Bible believing Christian. I believe what the Bible says literally. I realize that not everyone believes this way. The question is not if I believe in evolution, rather the teaching of evolution and creationism in school. I would love to see creationism taught in public schools. I believe that it is the way life and the universe began; however, I do not think that will ever happen. Because I do not believe creationism will ever be taught in public schools, I do not think that evolution should be taught.
The definition of evolution is a change in allele frequency on a population over time (Bethel, 2018). This is not the concept that I disagree with. I believe that things do change over time. The problem I have is the belief that all life on Earth comes from a common ancestor. “Evolution means that we’re all distant cousins: humans and oak trees, hummingbirds and whales” (An introduction, n.d., pg.1). Teaching this in school will require many students to question their belief system. I believe that God created everything. Why do I believe this? I believe this because it says this in the Bible. I will not compromise my belief in the Divine creation in order to pass a class, and no teenager should have too either. If schools insist on teaching the evolution of man, then parents should be allowed to opt out. If parents can use religion to opt out of vaccinations, then it should be a viable exception for a required class. If a school did make the choice to teach both evolution and creationism, then I believe they should be taught side by side. They are each a different path to the same end. In the end, I believe that if we teach our children the Bible at home, they will take this knowledge to school and make the correct decisions about the validity of evolution.
2. This should be addressed to Leslie Reid
The teaching of evolution versus creationism in public schools is an interesting and hotly debated topic. Although it makes sense to teach both sides of the coin, where does each theory fit in? For some, the topic of evolution results in a slippery slope headed towards disbelief in one’s Bible-based faith. For others, creationism flies in the face of the science we hold in such high regard. A study in the Journal For The Scientific Study of Religion showed among those Americans with bachelor’s degrees, only 4.4 percent classify themselves as biblical literalists – those who take the Bible at its word in regards to evolution among other topics. This shows that as people obtain higher levels of education, they tend to turn away from creationism in favor or evolution (Baker, 2013). What it boils down to is how loyal each individual is to their personal beliefs.
Unfortunately, based on years of case law and disputed lawsuits, the teaching of creationism as a basis for life as we know it is not protected under the constitution. In fact, it is perfectly legal to prevent this type of teaching and replace it with evolutionism only (Brownfield, 2007). Because of this I can see that creationism is not the preferred theory in school, and if it is no longer taught in science, I believe it should at least be taught in history with an emphasis on the fact that not only was this a popular theory for much of human history, but that many people still adhere to this belief. It is better in my mind to offer both options in science classes and teach students that these are both examples of well thought-out and researched theories, however this could result in unnecessary litigation that most schools cannot afford.