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Should evolution be taught in public schools?Should evolution be taught in public schools?

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granny54 | Student, College Freshman | Valedictorian

Posted February 11, 2012 at 3:35 PM via web

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Should evolution be taught in public schools?

Should evolution be taught in public schools?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 11, 2012 at 8:53 PM (Answer #2)

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This one will be bound to increase discussion and debate.  I will fire off the first volley in arguing that I think evolution should be taught in public schools.  On the most wide of scales, public education should be embracing of as many narratives, as possible.  Evolution can be seen as a narrative as to how human beings came into existence.  This does not necessarily trade off with a religious point of view or a creationist element.  Different religious narratives have different points of emphasis as to creation.  I don't think that teaching Darwin in the public schools repudiates this spiritual element.  Darwin and evolution can be taught alongside with the idea that individuals can embrace creationism or the idea of an intelligent design.  Darwin's teaching of evolution is not a repudiation of religion, but rather an affirmation of thought and critical thinking skills.  In the end, to not teach Darwin represents a silencing of voice.  This is something that public education cannot embrace.  When public education is told to not teach a particular thinker or idea, our sensibilities as a great democracy are blunted.  In this light, I think that Darwin and evolutionary theory should be taught in public schools.

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belarafon | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted February 12, 2012 at 7:57 AM (Answer #3)

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Absolutely it should. Science is science, and it has no connection to religion. Religion can be bent and manhandled to conform to science -- and vice versa -- but science is fact-based and should be taught as such. Now, this does not address the issue of teaching evolution side-by-side with intelligent design; in my mind, there should be religious classes (if approved by the board) which deal with religious teachings, and secular classes should focus on secular studies. I can tell you that in Jewish schools, students graduate with a very warped view of reality because they downplay and minimize secular studies. It is important -- especially for public schools, which should not have a political or cultural agenda -- for teachers to remain objective in their teaching, offer differing points of view if they choose, and answer student questions honestly even in areas they reject.

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K.P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted February 12, 2012 at 8:54 AM (Answer #4)

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"Science is science" is an apt summation of why evolution theory should indeed be taught in schools. However, theory must be taught as theory while supporting evidence must be taught as supporting evidence: evolution theory is not yet indisputably determined in all its points. American schools may take the approach that large ideas are not "age appropriate" though important, thus curricula may dole out bits and pieces of large ideas year after year. This yields the impression that theories that are spoon-fed piecemeal are fixed and sure when they are in fact still in many instances theoretical.

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted February 12, 2012 at 9:09 AM (Answer #5)

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I have to say that I believe that evolution should be taught in schools. If parents wish that their children do not study evolution, some schools will allow alternative assignments. Personally, I think that for students to be well-rounded, they need to be educated about all aspects of any subject.

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lmetcalf | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted February 12, 2012 at 9:55 AM (Answer #6)

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It absolutely should be taught in schools, but with a thoughtful sensitivity to the fact that many students in a school may not believe those theories, and their religious understanding of creation should be respected and honored. Young people are very sensitive to these types of "tensions" in their lives, and the adults in the school need to be very careful how this topic is delivered.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 12, 2012 at 10:07 AM (Answer #7)

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Of course it should be taught in public schools since it is the scientifically accepted truth.  The public schools cannot simply choose not to teach something because some group of people do not believe it.  That said, a sensitive science teacher will tell their students something like "I don't really care if you believe this.  That's not important for what we are doing here.  You simply need to know what scientists say."  That gives students the ability to distance themselves from the material emotionally.

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clairewait | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted February 12, 2012 at 11:05 AM (Answer #8)

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I have to agree with post 7 that a prudent teacher is aware of dissenting opinions, on anything, and will present material accordingly.  To suggest that a difference of opinion (whether faith vs. science or anything else) is grounds for not teaching a subject would be dangerous for education.

Yes.  Evolution should be taught in public schools.  It should also be taught in private schools.  The world of academia is most successful when information is presented and students are guided on how to make educated decisions about what they want to agree or disagree with, and why.

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enotechris | College Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted February 12, 2012 at 12:20 PM (Answer #9)

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This is not a question of presenting two opposing views to students and allowing them to build intellectual muscle in deciding what is right for themselves; this is a fundamental question of allowing children whom we have been entrusted to educate to embrace the irrational in the face of reason.

It would be interesting to study how many of those who object to Evolution object to Paleontology or Plate Tectonics.  Hypotheses can become theories which can become laws, but these are subject to proof. No one disputes the Laws of Continent Movement; why do they dispute Evolution? Akin to Paleontology and Plate Tectonics, it has its set of theories and yes, Laws -- we know certain things to be Laws, meaning they are true, not by dictum of some authority, but by proof, if we are to trust the evidence of accumulated scientific knowledge.  What is true is consistent.

Certainly individuals are free to question and reject such findings, but if they reject what has been proven to be true, then they must, to remain consistent in their arguments, reject the notion of the Scientific Process in its entirety. If so, earthquakes are caused by God's wrath, and fossils were placed by Him to test our Faith, the Earth is a few thousand years old, and Man is slightly younger.

Science is based on Induction; Religion is based on Deduction, with the axiom in this case, of "What Is Written In the Bible is Indisputably True."  There's no religious argument to be made otherwise, as you cannot dispute an axiom; to do so is to negate any discussion of religious deductions.

I wonder if Evolution would have been an issue if the Ancients had timed creation in the billions of years instead of a week.  To accept the latter premise in the face of evidence is to embrace the irrational, and rely on authority, or more insidiously, authority's dictum of what it decides to be true.

 

 

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stolperia | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted February 13, 2012 at 1:18 AM (Answer #10)

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As part of exposing students to lots of different ideas and theories and teaching them how to collect and evaluate information so as to be able to formulate their own ideas and opinions based on the evidence, yes - evolution should be presented. As should intelligent design, creationism, and any other theories that come along. None of them can be presented as being irrefutable fact, so it's a matter of teaching kids how to think for themselves and make their own decisions.

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enotechris | College Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted February 13, 2012 at 6:34 AM (Answer #11)

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In response to #10, Creationism should be taught in religion class, Evolution should be taught in science class.

The Scientific Process, by its very nature, deals with the determination of fact by proof, religion establishes fact by axiom.  Facts must be proven, and yes, there are enough irrefutable facts for Evolution to stand the scrutiny of inquiry.

The same cannot be said for facts dictated by religion, which by definition, cannot be criticised, proven, nor disproven.

To equate one with the other with equal validity, while leaving the kids to figure it out for themselves, is to lead them to drowning in the deep sea of irrationality.

Evolution and Creationism are not equal, and should not be taught as such. The former is for scientists, the latter, for mystics.

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najm1947 | Elementary School Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted February 13, 2012 at 12:45 PM (Answer #12)

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Evolution and Creationism do not contradict each other as one may find in my Post #19 in “How can we find origin of life” with link below:

http://www.enotes.com/creationism/discuss/how-we-can-find-origin-life-more-questions-re-118023?start=10#19

In addition, religion if practiced with the right belief makes us eligible for the divine wisdom and logical thinking as given in my post #36 "Proof God's Existance." (see link below)

http://www.enotes.com/religion/discuss/proof-gods-existence-117996?start=30

I do not see any problems if religion is taught in true spirit along with evolution. The only thing is that we might not be having enough teachers to do the job and would eventually confuse the minds of the children. In my opinion, evolution should be taught after they have completed the school whereas religion be taught at school level.

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elfgirl | Student, Undergraduate | Salutatorian

Posted February 13, 2012 at 6:43 PM (Answer #13)

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What an odd question. It basically asks should important knowledge be held back from children because of their parents' religious beliefs?

Look, in 50 years time, the power of biology will have risen to such dazzling heights that it will be impossible deny the truth. The genetic engineering revolution will be so powerful that it will make plain to everyone that biologists have unlocked a tool of awesome complexity. And they were unable to unlock it thanks to the last 150 years of research into biological evolutionary theory.

Meanwhile, in 50 years time, the theory of creationism will still have produced nothing at all.

Denying evolution is simply ignorant, and trying to deny children a basic introduction to this knowledge is criminal and should make every teacher angry. In a couple of generations time there will be no sane place for creationists to stand. Creationism is a on its way to the rubbish bin of history. Fighting, sulking, bullying and lying will not make a scrap of difference to the final outcome.

Evolution is a fact. It is perhaps the most important scientific idea of all time. Not only should it be taught in schools, but in discussions such as this thread, teachers need to be a little less concerned about people with out-dated objections and a little more supportive of academic achievement.

Children need the truth. Evolution is true. Creation science is not true.

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elfgirl | Student, Undergraduate | Salutatorian

Posted February 13, 2012 at 6:46 PM (Answer #14)

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Line 6 and 7 of above post reads... And they were unable to unlock it

It should of course read... And they were able to unlock it

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jodyrobby | Student | eNoter

Posted February 14, 2012 at 4:07 AM (Answer #15)

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Since evolution isnt real and scientists don't have any proof that it is, then i dont think it should be taught in any school.

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ilovemusic1225 | Student, Grade 11 | Honors

Posted February 16, 2012 at 5:20 AM (Answer #20)

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It's funny you say this because I am doing a research paper on whether religion should be allowed in schools and one of my points has to do with teach evolution. I think if they want us to listen to these lectures about how we derived from a lower being, than why is it that they can't talk about how God created the heaven and the earth and the beginning when he created Adam and Eve. I understand that people don't believe in God but no one is shoving religion down their throats. They are only describing a "theory" of how we came about. (Btw... I don't believe that God creating the Earth should be called a theory)

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roxym | Student, Grade 11 | eNoter

Posted February 18, 2012 at 1:35 AM (Answer #22)

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In Britain evolution is taught in all state schools. I feel it is important that a child should know all theories and arguements and shouldn't be made into accepting one thing only.

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bigfootmonkeytoes | Student, Grade 10 | eNoter

Posted February 20, 2012 at 5:21 AM (Answer #24)

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Should evolution be taught in public schools?

Should evolution be taught in public schools?

I think that evolution should not be taught in public schools. As you may know science can never prove anything, Evolution is just a theory with many faults in, it is not a fact. The theory of something actually evolving from something else is just a little weird, and a question that you must ask yourself is why isnt stuff still evolving today? Look at some of the designs of stuff around you, it is truly fascinating, I dont believe that anything that amazing can just happen by chance. Look at some of the creatures in the deepest part of oceans, they have incridable designs that only a creator could imagine and create. Look at the beautiful galaxies and constellations in space, could that just evolve by chance? I think not. I think that everything was created by God our creator. I know that this post will get a lot of fluff about it, but just think of our universe and could that truly evolve from something?

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elfgirl | Student, Undergraduate | Salutatorian

Posted February 22, 2012 at 7:16 AM (Answer #27)

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Should evolution be taught in public schools?

Should evolution be taught in public schools?

I think that evolution should not be taught in public schools. As you may know science can never prove anything, Evolution is just a theory with many faults in, it is not a fact. The theory of something actually evolving from something else is just a little weird, and a question that you must ask yourself is why isnt stuff still evolving today? Look at some of the designs of stuff around you, it is truly fascinating, I dont believe that anything that amazing can just happen by chance. Look at some of the creatures in the deepest part of oceans, they have incridable designs that only a creator could imagine and create. Look at the beautiful galaxies and constellations in space, could that just evolve by chance? I think not. I think that everything was created by God our creator. I know that this post will get a lot of fluff about it, but just think of our universe and could that truly evolve from something?

Hi Bigfoot. Your post is a confusing mess of misconceptions. These misconceptions come from religious propagandists, not science. you said...

The theory of something actually evolving from something else is just a little weird, and a question that you must ask yourself is why isnt stuff still evolving today?

Answer... it is. Evolution is a slow process that is not observed in a person's lifetime, but it is continuing and has been observed both in nature and the laboratory.

Look at some of the designs of stuff around you, it is truly fascinating, I dont believe that anything that amazing can just happen by chance.

Evolution is not a random process, it does not happen by chance. You think it does because you do not understand it and have been lied to.

Look at the beautiful galaxies and constellations in space, could that just evolve by chance?

??? Evolution has nothing to do with stars and galaxies ???

And your final classic misconception (which tells your reader that you really really should learn a little more about science before you believe you are ready to dismiss one of the most dominant and successful scientific ideas of all time)

Evolution is just a theory.

Yeah? So is gravity.

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wanderista | TA , Grade 11 | Valedictorian

Posted February 24, 2012 at 4:27 PM (Answer #28)

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Yes, evolution should be a mandatory part of the curriculum. I believe that students should be taught a little bit about everything, including evolution and creationism, and let them decide for themselves.

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cheezea | Student, Grade 10 | Valedictorian

Posted March 1, 2012 at 10:53 PM (Answer #30)

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Yes, why not? It is always good to learn more :)

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ayy-dee | Student, Grade 10 | Valedictorian

Posted March 2, 2012 at 3:11 AM (Answer #31)

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why are some of the posts deleted????

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criticalthinkingexpert96 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 6, 2012 at 5:46 AM (Answer #33)

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In reply to #2: I agree, while evolution is not the correct reason to the creation of the universe and of mankind, it is still part of science and should be explained to students. What I have a problem with is that schools teach evolution as fact and law when it is only a hypothesis. It should be taught as one way to explain the universe but has no evidence or data. Students should be encouraged to think for themselves critically as to whether or not they believe it is correct or not based on their observations of all ideas on the subject.
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nhl123 | Student, Grade 11 | Valedictorian

Posted March 6, 2012 at 11:38 AM (Answer #34)

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NOPE NOPE EVOLUTION IS DUMB DUMB .. IT IS STUPIED WE DONT EVOLVE FROM MONKEYS .. EVERYTHING HAS A CREATOR NOTHING CREATES ITSELF EVOLUTION IS RETARDED AND DARWIN IS A STUPIED SNOT ... ITS SHOULDNT BE TOUGHT IN SCHOOL .. EVOLUTION IS A HYPOTHESIS THAT CANT BE PROVEN!!

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wanderista | TA , Grade 11 | Valedictorian

Posted March 7, 2012 at 5:42 PM (Answer #35)

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Post 34 - don't you believe your opinion contains bias?

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amne | Student, Undergraduate | Salutatorian

Posted March 7, 2012 at 6:19 PM (Answer #36)

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haha we get taught it anyway and I agree with Post 35. It hasn't been proven but it hasn't been rejected and you obviously have a strong view but your being bias.

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roses-for-clementine | Student, Undergraduate | eNoter

Posted March 11, 2012 at 4:03 AM (Answer #37)

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My Physics teacher taught the subject of evolution when I was in Year 11. He started it off by saying

"to have an effect, there must be a cause. In Religion, we say that God was the cause, the Universe was the effect. In Science, we say The Big Bang was the cause, the Universe was the effect. But who's to say that God didn't cause the Big Bang? Something started the heat in that matter for it to expand and form a universe. Why can't we say that that God presented kick started it off, and that He knew that this matter was expanding to create the universe. The Bible doesn't say that God welded us out of metal or stiched our limbs together. And Science doesn't say that God could not have been the trigger for the rest of the Big Bang Theory.

Neither theory, Big Bang or Genesis' 7 days actually cancel the other out. They could both be right. And I think that this should be explained in school where they are learning both social science and religion.

 

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is00 | College Teacher | Honors

Posted March 11, 2012 at 10:24 AM (Answer #38)

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Definitely! The theory of evolution is very much essential to know and learn.However,assumptions(loop holes) should not be paid absolute importance.

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swatishrivastav | Salutatorian

Posted March 20, 2012 at 2:28 AM (Answer #39)

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yes it should be taught in school ...knowledge should be given with a little sensitivity

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frizzyperm | College Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted March 25, 2012 at 7:23 AM (Answer #40)

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"Should evolution be taught in public schools?"

Should reading be taught in schools? Writing? Thinking?

It's a fact that some people who are locked into a fundamentalist belief system which says evolution didn't happen. OK, fine, they can believe that if they want. But they are WRONG. No ifs, no buts, they are wrong.

Now, not many people have enough scientific understanding to know why these fundamentalists are just flat-out wrong, so they've manipulated that uncertainty and tried to present this situation as an 'intellectual debate' about an area of 'scientific controversy'.

Hogwash.

The pseudo-scientific claims of Christian fundamentalists are ridiculously wrong. Every. Single. Time. And their attempts to win influence are political, not scientific. They know their baloney won't cut it in the scientific world, but they also know that the public is not that good at science and so they fight in the public square, not in the laboratory. Everyone who knows even a little about science knows that the claims of Young Earth Creationists are totally stupid.

Scientists should choose the scientific curriculum. So, YES, evolution should be taught in school, and to hell with anyone who says it shouldn't, because they are either ignorant or lying. In science, 'Opinion' has no value what-so-ever, 'Facts' on the other hand, are sacred. America hovers on the brink of a new dark age because we tolerate these intolerant religious zealots.

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samiha1998 | Student, Grade 9 | Honors

Posted March 27, 2012 at 9:51 AM (Answer #41)

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I believe no- because here we're talking about public schools, in which there are students of various background and beliefs. And to show that we respect that, we can't make subjects, like evolution mandatory. Firstly, they may believe in something different, and if parent begin to think that this is interfering with their child's belief, its most likely that they won't like going to this certain school anymore. Some think evolution is scientifically true, but we need to accept the fact that not every one will accept that. In fact a report showed that 48% of americans (majority of the people who had been asked whether they believe in evolution) responded by saying they don't believe in it. 

 

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twitters22 | Student, Grade 9 | eNoter

Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:24 AM (Answer #42)

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Should evolution be taught in public schools?

Should evolution be taught in public schools?

I wish schools would stop shoving evolution down our throats. Many people do not believein evolution. If they do teach evolution, they should also teach creationism to give students a broader perspective. I know evolution isn't a religion but it almost seems like one because it contradicts what so many people believe. If evolution is real, why aren't monkeys still evolving into humans, and why aren't there a bunch of half human-half monkeys running around that are still in the process of evolving?

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yooph | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 3, 2012 at 3:45 PM (Answer #43)

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As a student who is currently learning the process of evolution I would be extremely saddened if it were to be removed from the learning curriculum. Having a scientific explanation on how current species came to be is, to me, very fascinating. The questions that I have asked when I was young have been answered. The society we live in today is one that somewhat accepts both religion and science. Besides religion I see no point of removing the "evolution unit" from schools for it is valuable knowledge that should be known to many.

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yooph | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 3, 2012 at 3:49 PM (Answer #44)

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I believe no- because here we're talking about public schools, in which there are students of various background and beliefs. And to show that we respect that, we can't make subjects, like evolution mandatory. Firstly, they may believe in something different, and if parent begin to think that this is interfering with their child's belief, its most likely that they won't like going to this certain school anymore. Some think evolution is scientifically true, but we need to accept the fact that not every one will accept that. In fact a report showed that 48% of americans (majority of the people who had been asked whether they believe in evolution) responded by saying they don't believe in it. 

 

Well, there's no evidence that chemistry exists yet we still learn about it...

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chelsea492 | Student, Grade 9 | Valedictorian

Posted April 5, 2012 at 11:01 PM (Answer #45)

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noooooooooooooooo. 

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