In the United States and many Western countries, disputes often arise around how to teach biology correctly, what theories should be included in the school curriculum, and whether evolution is needed in the curriculum. This controversy is considerable because religious activists believe that it is necessary to teach various theories of the origin and development of life on earth for a deeper study. The goal of teaching scientific disciplines in the educational curriculum is to give them the best possible knowledge in any field of science. All these ideas, called at different times “creationism,” “the theory of intelligence,” or simply “alternative theory of evolution,” suggest that supernatural forces created all living things on Earth. Teaching such ideas in schools has caused discontent among many scientists. There have been several high-profile trials in the United States where creationism was either prohibited or allowed in recent years.
The curriculum in these disciplines adopted in schools reflects the results of many centuries of scientific research. Any ideas to be fully included in the school curriculum must become part of the foundations of accepted scientific knowledge. The Royal Society of Great Britain (National Academy of Sciences) has issued an appeal regarding the wrong approach to teaching evolution in schools supporting the views of specific religious denominations. As part of the adoption of the new bill, the Noble laureates united and wrote a letter in support of the innovation. This project aims to eliminate the educational standard, which causes widespread controversy in society. It allows teachers to teach alternative theories and recognize the truth of the origin of life, as set out in the Old Testament. Additionally, these contradictions include the idea of creationism.
The so-called Louisiana Science Teaching Act allows teachers to use “support materials” of their choosing when teaching about evolutionary theory, global warming, and cloning, which is not correct for teaching theory to children and adolescents. Such materials can allegedly expand the range of discussions among students. However, Darwin’s theory is accepted by scholars, while creationist theory is a collection of assumptions and doctrines related to religion. Scientists and researchers have difficulty defining creation within the framework of the theory of creationism. According to creationism, although creation is an action, it cannot be described as an event in time. This logical difficulty, which has arisen in defining creationism, is viewed differently by philosophers and theologians.
However, many view the possibility of teaching creationism in the curriculum as impossible. This reluctance is because some versions of the theory of creationism are not supported by scientific evidence. Other people insist on a complete consideration during the educational process of at least two concepts of the origin of the living and inanimate worlds: “intelligent design” – the so-called theory of creationism. It assumes that the Earth and all life on it were created by God and naturalistic (theory evolution of Charles Darwin). It is necessary to find ways of contact between the two theories in the framework of teaching in the school curriculum.
Understanding of Teaching Theories
It is assumed that teachers and parents will choose the relevance of creationism in the learning process. Students themselves must determine the relevance of the theory of creationism in the curriculum. In this case, such a change in the school curriculum will allow teaching the concept following the request of the students. Thus, those students for whom this theory is inconsistent will have the opportunity to expand their knowledge by introducing an alternative view of the appearance of life on Earth.
Moreover, teaching children should not take place on the one-sided principle, which is Darwin’s theory in modern society. Shenk supposed that “children should be allowed to learn as much as they possibly can while they are in school” (Shenk 35). Thus, it will be helpful for children to consider theories of the origin of life from the point of view of different concepts. In such a case, people might be more receptive to the idea of creationism if it was taught in the school curriculum.
However, the main idea of creationism is that this theory is based on faith; nevertheless, faith is an individual choice, while Darwin’s theory has scientific evidence. Creationism believes that a particular higher being recently created humans and the Earth, and all people have the same ancestors (Creationism v. Evolution 13). In the case of Christian creationism, this is mainly about Adam and Eve. Intelligent design-minded people believe that life is not the result of coincidence due to its complexity. As proof, they say that the structure of the Universe is multilevel and has many branches, which cannot be the result of natural occurrence. Since people live in a secular state, the question is not in the textbooks but in the worldview. In schools, no one convinces children that there is no God or that he is. The only proven theory is taught in educational institutions.
Since Darwin’s theory of evolution is the cornerstone of science such as biology and has fundamental knowledge in understanding living and extinct organisms, the idea of creationism should not be taught in the school curriculum. Thus, biology is a collection of different facts. Evolution acts as a connecting thread that holds them all together to form a unified understanding of life in its many forms (Dobzhansky 21). Thus, since creationism becomes, in the knowledge of many people, the complete opposite of Darwin’s theory, it is necessary to teach students only supported ideas and data.
Many believe that Darwin’s theory of evolution and creationist theory are similar ideas. However, creationism has no scientific evidence, even though Darwin admitted the idea that God could create the original organisms (Creationism v. Evolution 24). Thus, according to biblical experts who adhere to the theory of creationism, creation took place several thousand years ago. While anthropologists claim that the first people appeared tens of thousands of years ago. Moreover, following the data provided by geological scientists, the age of the planet Earth is at least ten million years. These scientifically proven factors make it possible to talk about the irrelevance of teaching the theory of creationism in schools since many scientists provide statistics indicating the inconsistency of creationism.
Moreover, there is still no clear definition of the theory of creationism and its place in modern science. For many scientists, the consideration of creationism is still an open question (Edwords 34). Some propose to consider creationism as an emerging branch of religion, while other scientists propose theories as a pseudoscience. In this regard, there are problems with defining and including creationism in the school curriculum.
Teachers have an accepted scheme for teaching the theory of evolution as part of their biology course, so creationism should not be included in the school curriculum. However, many teachers teach the theory of creationism in schools, although it is not included in the school curriculum. The teachers exacerbate the problem around the relevance of the idea of creationism (Hall and Woika 34). According to a statistical survey, approximately 28% of high school biology teachers are non-Darwinian despite their academic degrees and teaching aspects (Berkman and Plutzer 27). Due to the increasing concern of teachers about the teaching system of the theory of evolution, it is perceived as a theory without the support of scientific statistics.
Creationism should not be taught along with Darwin’s theory as part of a biology course. Nevertheless, the theory of creationism can be considered in the school curriculum as part of the philosophy course (Kreisel 53). There are many opposing points of view on this matter, ranging from learning both hypotheses of the origin of life to learning either or only one of them. It can be argued that both concepts should be taught in public schools. On the other hand, evolution should be taught in science. However, creationism should be taught as part of a course in philosophy or world religions in such a setting.
In the paper, points indicate the consistency and irrelevance of teaching the theory of creationism in the curriculum. Thus, even though the idea of creationism does not have proper scientific support and cannot be considered on a par with Darwin’s theory, creationism can be viewed within the framework of other disciplines. Due to the lack of scientific evidence, creationism can be taught within philosophy, sociology, and the theory of religions.
This can be a reason for satisfaction both from scientists who do not believe in the viability of creationism and from their opponents. A new curriculum must be developed to allow biology teachers to dwell only on Darwin’s theory. At the same time, students will be taught about creationism as an alternative concept for the emergence of living things. Students will be able to learn about the theological side of theory through other courses.
Berkman, Michael, and Eric Plutzer. “Evolution, Creationism, and the Battle to Control America’s Classrooms.” Google Books, Cambridge University Press, 2010. Web.
“Creationism v. Evolution.” American History, ABC-CLIO, Web.
Dobzhansky, Theodosius. “Nothing in Biology Makes Sense except in the Light of Evolution.” BioOneComplete, National Association of Biology Teachers, 1973, Web.
Edwords, Frederick. “Why Creationism Should Not Be Taught as Science: National Center for Science Education.” National Center for Science Education, 1981, Web.
Hall, Gordon Emmett, and Shirley Andrea Woika. “The Fight to Keep Evolution out of Schools: The Law and Classroom Instruction.” University of California Press, National Association of Biology Teachers, 2018, Web.
Kreisel, Joshua. “How Should Creationism and Evolution Be Taught in Public Schools?” Blue Marble Space Institute of Science, Young Scientist Program, 2017, Web.