Is evolution critical to an understanding of biology such that is should be required in schools?  

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My personal feeling is that the answer is yes.  I do feel that evolution should be taught as a part of basic high school biology in all states.  I realize the religious objections to this but I don't mind emphasizing that it is a theory and not an unassailable fact.  But the basic principles of evolution cannot be denied as a very plausible theory for the introduction of Homo sapiens on the planet.  That combined with the fossil record for showing the skeletal structure of early humans makes this plausible for basic biology.  I am aware that people who do not want to believe this will not believe this.  I once had a high school teacher (not in biology) who believed that much of the fossil record was basically false and essentially planted by God to test people's faith.  There was nothing wrong with the teacher or his personal religious beliefs.  But feelings like this should not prevent basic evolution from being taught in schools.

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