Creationism vs. Evolutionism in Public Schools

Topics: Evolution, Creationism, Intelligent design Pages: 5 (1538 words) Published: October 28, 2010
Debate: Creationism vs. Evolution in Schools: 1st Affirmative Constructive Speech Creationism and Evolutionism by definition are very different topics. Currently, evolutionary naturalism is the most widely taught view of origins in America. In schools in the modern day, only evolutionism is taught and condoned. But before the 1920s, only creationism was taught, and evolution was forbidden. Then, on February 20, 2008, the Florida State Board of Education voted to revise the public school guidelines to require teachers to teach only Evolutionism. The law was passed with a very narrow 4-to-3 vote in favor of the law. Our resolution (affirmative side) is to teach both the theories of evolution and creationism side by side. This would provide a fair and equal education that lets our generation and future generations choose their freedom to religion as much as possible. Before I continue my speech, allow me present some key terms in the argument: 1. Creationism - A doctrine or theory holding that matter, the various forms of life, and the world were created by God out of nothing and usually in the way described in Genesis. 2. Evolutionism - A theory of biological evolution, especially that formulated by Charles Darwin. 3. Intelligent Design- Belief that life is too complex to have evolved entirely through natural processes and that an outside force outside of traditional reasoning must have played a role in the origin and development of life 4. Scientific Theory- a statement or principle honed through scientific observation, reasoning, and experimentation that explains a natural phenomenon. Not a proven fact. 5. Academic Freedom- Students should be entitled to learn what they want to learn. They should also be taught conflicting theories and be left to decide what they determine to be correct. The raging debate between creationism and evolution in schools has been carried on for over 150 years. Creationism was always taught in schools up until 1925, in the Scopes Monkey Trial in Tennessee, where Clarence Darrow challenged for evolution to be taught in schools. Not until 1968 did the Supreme Court rule in Epperson vs. Arkansas that such bans contravene the Establishment Clause because their primary purpose is religious. The Court used the same rationale in 1987 in Edwards vs. Aguillards to strike down a Louisiana law that required biology teachers who taught the theory of evolution to also discuss evidence supporting the theory called "creation science." The controversy continues in new forms today. In 1999, for example, the Kansas Board of Education voted to remove evolution from the list of subjects tested on state standardized tests, in effect encouraging local school boards to consider dropping or de-emphasizing evolution. In 2000, Kansas voters responded to the proposed change by throwing out enough anti-evolution Board members to restore the old science standards, but by 2004 a new conservative school board majority was proposing that intelligent design be discussed in science classes. In 2005 in Dover, Pennsylvania the local school board voted to require teachers to read a statement about intelligent design prior to discussions of evolution in high school biology classes. Eleven parents of Dover students challenged the school board decision, arguing that it violated the Establishment Clause. The controversy seems as if it will never end, for years and years, unless a definitive law is made now to resolve the issue. And the quickest way to resolve a conflict is to compromise. There are several problems with the current policy system. For example, not teaching both creationism and evolutionism in school would deny our youth’s freedom of religion and education. This is because when students are forced to just learn one theory, (BOTH are theories, NOT necessarily true) how are they supposed to make their own decision of what they personally believe to be correct? They...
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