Teaching Creationism in Schools
The question as to whether or not creationism should be taught in public schools is a very emotional and complex question. It can be looked at from several different angles, its validity being one of them. Despite the lack of evidence to support the fundamentalist idea of creationism, that in itself is not enough to warrant its exclusion from the curriculum of public schools in the United States. The question is far more involved and complex.
One way to address the question is whether or not creationism, in itself, is a valid idea to be taught in public schools. The answer to this can be yes. Not only should a student in American public schools learn and acquire knowledge in empirical sciences, and other tangible facts both in history and other courses, but he should also learn how to think and make decisions for himself. Unfortunately, as it turns out, creationism is in direct conflict with the biological theory of evolution. Many fundamentalist propose that creationism should replace, or at least be offered as an alternative to Darwin's theory of evolution.
This is not the right approach. Creationism, as exemplified in the book of Genesis, should not be taught in a science course. Science runs on a certain set of rules and principles being: (1) it is guided by natural law, (2) it has to be explanatory by reference to natural law, (3) itÕs conclusions lack finality and therefore may be altered or changed, (4) it is also testable against the empirical world, and finally (5) it is falsefiable. These characteristics define the laws, boundaries, and guidelines that science follows. In a science course, all knowledge conveyed is shown, or has been shown in the past, to exemplify a strict adherence to these qualities. Creationism, unfortunately in the eyes of Christian fundamentalist, does not exemplify any adherence whatsoever to these rules and guidelines of science. Therefore, it should not be included in the science...
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