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 evolution vs creationism taught in schools 
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Due to the article " Why Johnny Can't disobey" and its disrespectful remarks about religion, it made me think of the all too familiar discussion about evolution being taught in schools. While I understand church and state are seperate, what about evolution? It takes just as much FAITH to believe in evolution as it does creationism. Evolution is based on "something can't come from nothing" however it also states the world came from a spontanious big bang. There are also other problems such as carbon dating being completely unreliable. Therefore, since there are so many holes in evolution, why is it being taught as fact in schools and creationism is considered just religion and not taught? They both require belief in the unknown. Also, in college we are always taught to look at all perspectives of arguments. However, why are school systems not running this way? Why is creationism not taught equally? I believe we should look at ALL sides of the spectrum and teach our students to understand and RESPECT different veiws. What do you think?

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Jessica Placke


Wed Sep 03, 2008 6:12 pm
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When I was reading the "Why Johnny Can't Disobey" article, I did not get the impression that the author was being disrespectful towards religion. I think the point she is trying to make, if one steps back and looks at her argument from a neutral position, is that all religions encourage obedience to some degree. It is something that we grow up learning. She makes the distinction that cults like Manson and Jim Jones, have a similar notion of obedience, but they take it to an extreme level.

As for the why evolution is taught in schools over creationism, I believe each idea has a different place in academia. In my geology class freshmen year, we learned about four possibilities for the creation of the universe, of which I can only recall three; evolution, creationism, intelligent design, and the fourth one that I can not remember. The reason evolution is taught in school, is because it has legitimate scientific evidence and support. Creationism has no scientific evidence to support it and therefore has no place in the science classroom. The Bible does not constitute as scientific evidence. Further, if we as people wish to look at different perspectives of an issue, perhaps intelligent design would be a more comprehensive idea as it is not exclusive for Christianity. But, it too lacks scientific support.

Perhaps the correct place, if any, for Creationism and Intelligent Design would be in a religion class as they are based on such. Now we get into the separation of church and state and these are ideas that should be saved for private school. Or higher education.

The most I learned about evolution in school was tenth grade biology and we learned very briefly about it. I am not sure why it is such a controversy in public schools because so little is actually taught. Before beginning to teach evolution in my geology class in college, one of my teachers started out telling the class that he believes in evolution fully, yet he is also a religious person. He is one of the country's leading geologists and he is respected and highly-consulted. Throughout his class, I learned a lot about evolution which cleared up many of the misconceptions I had from ignorant people who talked about it but did not know what it was. If one really cares to learn about evolution, he/she might find that it does not have to be a replacement for religion. I think the idea that it is a replacement for religion is what makes most people uncomfortable.

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Emily Mackie


Thu Sep 04, 2008 8:27 am
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I think that this is a very sensitive subject for many students. I can remember being in my high school biology class and evolution was presented throughout the semester in a variety of different ways. I also remember students getting very upset at this, and the teacher very nicely made accommodations for those who didn’t believe in evolution and refused to keep an open mind. He offered the students an alternative assignment that still got all the material in. I feel that the teacher respectfully treated the beliefs of the students while at the same time getting through the required material.

I had an astronomy instructor at my community college who gave us a pamphlet on how to distinguish “truths.â€

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Jerry Nicole Whitener (Nicole)


Thu Sep 04, 2008 1:43 pm
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I think Nicole makes a good point about religion and its place in the classroom. For students who really want to go in depth with the subject there are other classes and subjects that will answer their curiosity. As a teacher we are merely a transporter of information for students and cannot let our beliefs interfere with that of others or of the subject we are teaching. These subjects aren't harped on over and over in the classroom so it's not a big issue about what each student's personal belief is. After all aren't we trying to prepare the students to be successful in the future by turning them into lifelong learners of core subjects and getting the basic principles into their heads?

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Lauren Jennings


Mon Sep 08, 2008 10:19 am
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I Strongly agree with Emily on this subject. Science and religion are not comparable to one another. I can also see the similarity between myself (meaning humans in general) and "primates" from which I believe that I have descended. For myself, the DNA evidence and a shared possession of prehensile thumbs are the evolutionary nails in the coffin. As for the question at hand, I believe that Science has a place in public schools, whereas religion does not.
I believe that religion, or spirituality in my case, is something that is VERY personal and should not be a public issue. I would not want someone teaching my children that any one religion is the "right" choice. That is a choice that a person (student) should make for themselves, not one that should be made for them.

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Corey J. Tucker


Mon Sep 08, 2008 7:27 pm
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I agree with Corey in the fact that Science has an important place in education. Science says that evolution is the way humans and other species on the planet came to be. There is substantial evidence for evolution now, but it is still just a theory. But I also believe that religion has a place in school, but only in class. Religion is a subject students need to hear more about, not just christianity but all religions. Something that has been the cause of as many wars as land gain should be subject taught in school. I think that if students had a less biased, information based religion course then their would be more religious tolerance in the US. Students need to know the fundamentals of all religions so that they can tell whats going on in the world why two sects of islam has been fighting for centuries, why the buddist are so peaceful, and why christians started all of the crusades.


Tue Sep 09, 2008 1:29 pm
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I agree with Jessica in that it takes just as much faith to believe in evolution as it does in creationism. Evolution, like many other aspects of science, are just theories taught as fact in our schools. With it being a theory that leaves room for other possibilities about how things came to be, one of them being creationism.

If I am remembering correctly, I was taught in a science class that creationism used to be the only explanation taught. That has obviously changed... and is completely opposite for most public schools. The biology teacher I had in high school taught on evolution, which is a short section of the curriculum that we covered. He knew that a lot of the students in my class didn't agree with it and didn't want to hear it, but also explained that if we didn't participate during that section and test on it that it would count against us.

I can see why many people don't think religion has any place in a school no matter what the circumstances are, but at the same time I don't agree with that. Religion is such a big part of so many people's lives... how can we expect any one person (teacher or student) to leave that all at the door once they enter a school building? Schools were founded on Christian principals in this country with students learning to read from the Bible and now we can't even say the Pledge of Allegiance because it has 'One Nation, Under God' in it. I personally think a lot of that has to do with Christian citizens' apathy towards it all and thinking its not that big of a deal.

As a final comment, one of the things that really gets under my skin is when people claim that science and (in my case) Christianity have nothing to do with one another. I know not everyone has the same beliefs that I do, so you won't agree with me and thats fine. However, I believe that my God is the creator of the universe and the creator of every living thing on this earth. He's created science and everything there is to it, and knows all of the things we have yet to discover about it. Without him creating humans, other animals, plants, the solar system.. there would be no 'science' to speak of or study.

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Dani Martin


Wed Sep 10, 2008 8:42 pm
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Yay Dani! That's the way to make your point. :)

I don't want to turn this into a religion discussion because as I remember we covered that in class on Tuesday. However, I do want to say that standing firm in what you believe is not being close-minded. I think that it is ignorant to say that someone who doesn't agree with what a teacher says is close-minded. I think it is mature for a high school student to be able to be strong enough in his/her beliefs (whatever they may be) to stand up and say they feel uncomfortable with being taught a theory like it's a fact. Indeed, evolution is still a THEORY and should be taught as one. If students want only to point out this bit of information (and flaw in many school systems) they should not be reprimanded as being close-minded. I remember very politely asking my high school biology teacher why we were taught evolution as a fact and not taught Creation as even a theory; this only got me a very rude and condescending response from her.

If one person has to surpress his/her opinions and beliefs, why not everyone? Or, if one person gets to share his/her beliefs, why not everyone? But maybe that's just my close-minded opinion.

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~~Kari Tatum~~


Wed Sep 10, 2008 9:06 pm
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Not to my surprise, this discussion thread has brought out very different opinions on the subject. As many of you know, the university is sponsoring a Darwin Bicentennial Series for this 2008-2009 school year. Various speakers in many fields will be visiting ASU throughout the school year to give talks on the theory of evolution.

Here is an article from the appstate website about the series: http://www.news.appstate.edu/2008/09/02 ... entations/

There is a speaker tomorrow night in Farthing at 8 pm. Regardless of opinion on the matter, it seems like a great opportunity to expand our education. There are other speakers throughout the year including a graphic novelist/biologist on Sept. 29th. I don't know much about him but I think the mixture of art and science should be interesting anyway. Just something to chew on.

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Emily Mackie


Mon Sep 15, 2008 3:03 pm
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I actually went to the speaker on Darwinism on Tuesday night. I am an evangelical Christian and I do not believe in evolution. However, I have never been taught about evolution by anyone other than Christian apologists against evolution. Because of this, I thought it'd be interesting to go check out Ms. Scott's speech and see what evolutionists and Darwinists are all about. I made sure that I went in with an open mind.

I must be honest when I say that I left extremely disappointed. Ms. Scott spoke and answered questions from the audience (only 3 questions that is) for almost 2 hours. At the end of the speech I had not learned anything. The whole time Ms. Scott just spoke about what evolution answers but she never explained HOW evolution answered any questions.

I left quite discouraged. I cannot believe that our "open" university would devote a whole entire year to celebrating Darwin and evolution but refuses to bring in any speakers/programs that support a different side. That seems quite one-sided and close-minded to me. Also, I hope to learn more from the other speakers coming.

At least the Christian apologists that I have heard speak and I have read their writings discuss HOW science backs up creationism.

After saying all of this, this is a classic example of why both/all sides of science should be presented. If either THEORY (and I'm speaking of creationism and evolution/Darwinism) is going to be accepted as TRUTH, I expect to hear arguments for why. Ms. Scott even shared a statistic that a survey showed that America is split right at 50/50 on which THEORY people accept. If it's split 50/50, why can't both theories/sides be presented?

Sorry this was so long. : )

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April Wilkinson


Thu Sep 18, 2008 12:03 pm
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I have gone through and read all the post on this topic and thought I would offer my two cents on several of the posts. Time will not permit me to address all the things that I would like to at this time, but I will add on more later.

- “While I understand church and state are separateâ€

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Kollin Adam Kalk


Fri Sep 19, 2008 11:04 am
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In response to this, I watched the Ben Stein movie "Expelled" the other day and would recommend that everyone watch it. It is about this very topic. What it says is that intelligent design is not creationism exactly. This documentry really opened my mind to this very important topic in schools, and makes its point from a stance of freedom. It goes thourgh and shows many professionals that are for and against this issue. Some lost thier jobs because they menitoned intelligent design in a journal, or a class. This, according to Ben Stein, is something that is really scary. He compared it to Hitler and his desire to create a better race. Its too much to explain so just go rent it and let me know what you think.

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Jerry Nicole Whitener (Nicole)


Mon Oct 27, 2008 6:52 pm
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Evolution isn't taught as fact in schools it is taught as a theory. A theory is just like creationism, its not fact its what people think might have happened. The main reason that evolution is taught is because it is based on science not on religion. I believe students should hear both sides in high school. Students should be able to experience and decipher for themselves what they believe when it comes to evolution vs creationism.


Thu Nov 06, 2008 3:14 pm
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While it is a theory, I think a lot of science teachers, esp. university professors, treat it as a fact. Also, as Kollin stated, the evolution belief of how the world began can't be tested and proved. Therefore, how can that aspect of macro evolution be taught in science classes?
I also agree that a religion course would be beneficial to students. I just don't think evolution's theory of how the world was created should be taught without an equal amount of time teaching on Creationism. If both are considered "theories" why is one valued more than the other? - and don't say "scientific backing" that is so vague- give examples!

I have taken and Aced biology classes at App and am not ignorant of what they say, I understand many of the biological views they have- but the evidence of how the world was created just isn't there.

P.S. - I still find that Why Johnny can't disobey sacrilegious- p.37 " Religions, which are often nothing more than cults that grew, set the stage for the credulity and gullibility required for membership in cults"
Religion and cults are NOT the same thing. Religion offers salvation, hope, freedom, and even if you aren't Christian- you should still be able to see many stories of hope and how to lead a successful life ' don't kill, don't commit adultry, etc. Also on page 41 the author rambles about how bad religion is and makes a remark about taxes- which has nothing to do with the article. - I just thought I'd explain myself more.

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Jessica Placke


Wed Nov 12, 2008 6:41 pm
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I just want to reiterate Nicole's suggestion - please go rent Ben Stein's movie Expelled ! It is very informative. In my opinion, his argument is that our freedom of inquiry in science is being stifled, and nobody is fighting it. Any scientist that has mentioned intelligent design as an option to explain life has lost their job and has been made an outcast in the science community. I mean look at the history of science...for a long time, everyone beleived the geo-centric theory until someone had the courage to question it. So, I am suggesting that we at least allow the argument, rather than continuing to silence it.


Fri Nov 14, 2008 10:49 am
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