Unfortunately what I think our discussion starter has discovered on this thread is just how intolerant hard-core evolutionists are when anyone with a different point of view comes anywhere near their cherished theory. Some evolutionists take themselves and their theory so seriously, that they reduce a potentially interesting debate on the issue to a name-calling, condescending bash fest.
Darwin himself (as evidenced by his quote following), I think would find it amusing at the way his ideas have been misused by his purported followers.
“I was a young man with unformed ideas. I threw out queries, suggestions, wondering all the time over everything; and to my astonishment the ideas took like wildfire. People made a religion out of them!” (Charles Darwin on this Theory of Evolution).
But more to your point, Beefheart, I do believe freedom of speech is squelched by many science teachers and districts who refuse to allow students to research creationism.
A great movie that proves the persecution of scientists who don't discount the idea of intelligent design was produced recently by Ben Stein called: Expelled:No intelligent allowed. It is worth a watch if you are open to a different point of view.
Perhaps Creationism is best saved for the public schools in openly Christian areas (as is the county where I am blessed to teach), in Christian schools, private schools, in homeschooled environments, and in church However, I always wondered how people are so pro-evolution can be so sure? I mean, if people actually evolved from apes, why are there still apes? Did some of the apes say, "Be human? You kiddin'? No thanks, man (no pun intended)."
There is no debate because science is a matter of evidence and Creationism is a matter of belief. People do not "believe" in evolution. They assess the evidence. The fact that evolutionary theory is taught in school does not silence anyone's belief in anything. I am aware of no prohibition against teaching about religious ideas and traditions in public school, for the purpose of learning about cultures of the world. This is entirely appropriate for a world cultures class, a history class, or a geography class. However, it is entirely inappropriate for a science class because religion is not a science at all. There are many religions in the world, and they have different "stories" about how the world was made. There is nothing wrong with a sincere belief in one's religious text. However, teaching anyone's creation tale in a science class would be a clear violation of the First Amendment. Teaching everyone's creation tale in a social studies class is interesting and valuable because it allows us to understand and respect the variety of religious beliefs we all hold.
Freedom of speech has to do with opinions. Science has to do with things that are provable. To this point, the overwhelming scientific evidence (in the eyes of the experts) is that evolution is true and creationism is not. Therefore, there is no free speech issue.
When it comes to what is taught in classrooms, we go with what the experts say is true. No one has the right to propound a belief (no matter how strongly they hold it) that is rejected by the vast majority of experts in their field.