The issue of whether creationism should be taught in public schools, rather than evolution, is a new one. It has only been in the past fifty years that it has even been in debate. Public school science classes, when discussing the origins of life on Earth, coincided with Sunday school classes. Students learned that the Earth, universe and everything else was created in seven days, by God, as stated in the Old Testament. It was not until recently with the rise of scientific reason and equal rights organizations did these teachings become questioned. The argument spurs from each person's personal belief, and that is where things get complicated.
To successfully teach creationism in public schools, you have to decided a definitive creationism story to base it on, and with Christianity, this is a problem. Protestant fundamentalists will interpret the Bible as literally as possible. While Catholics and Orthodox Jews will interpret it as they see fit. This is a basic element of religion. Each group has its own views and interpretations of the Bible, and these groups will never agree on one specific idea. Therefore, how could you base a lesson on an idea that varies depending on who you are talking too?
Evolution on the other hand, is based on evidence that in the scientific field is not debated. Tangible proof has been established for evolution. It is a widely accepted theory, that most with an understanding of it, accept it as fact. Unlike creationism, the ideas that found evolution are not subject to personal opinion, they are stated as factual information, and the ideas are not questioned by those who believe it. With creationism, you introduce debate between students and teachers on how the Bible should be read. The class then becomes a theology class, instead of a biology class.
There are some who try and teach creationism as a science, calling it "Creation Science." They state that God created the Earth and...