Why Evolution Theory Should Be Taught

Topics: Evolution, Evolutionary biology, Natural selection Pages: 4 (1163 words) Published: May 25, 2012
Evolution Theory should be taught at schools.Whenever various debates have taken place in parts of the country regarding whether evolution should be taught in schools, I have always observed the situation with a degree of skeptism; the education I received never attempted to dissuade us from learning about evolution, and while none of my classes ever taught evolution with as much depth as Ernst Mayr attempted to convey in What Evolution Is, both systems taught it as a fact – one that we took for granted. The debate on the use of the word "evolution" in the Georgia school system initially appeared to to be an irony of anti-evolution tendencies, although Superintendent Kathy Cox has not commented on the theory of evolution itself; "the unfortunate truth," stated Cox as her rationale, "is that 'evolution' has become a controversial buzzword that could prevent some from reading the proposed biology curriculum" (Gross A10). Whatever her own beliefs on the subject are, however, the elimination of the term "evolution" may provide cool comfort to the theory's opponents, but its overall effect is merely to hamper the student's understanding of what evolution entails. Evoultion should be taught in schools because simply changing the wording of evolution and vaguely covering it will only confuse students more. It also has many scientific facts and discoveries to back it up. Also, with natural selection and population changes, even younger students will take notice.

In place of "evolution," Georgia's proposed replacement is "biological changes over time"; it hopes to convey the meaning behind the word without using the word itself (Gross A10). Mayr's own definition seems to be rather similar when he states, "Evolution is change in the properties of populations of organisms over time," but a word expresses more than what a clipped dictionary definition can allow (Mayr 8). When "evolution" is used in daily parlance in a non-biological context, adaption is often an unspoken...

Cited: 1. Gross, David. "In Ga., it 's evolution by any other name." The Philadelphia Inquirer: Page A10, January 31, 2004.
2. MacDonald, Mary. "Biology standards reset to cover evolution." The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, February 13, 2004.
3. Mayr, Ernst. What Evolution Is. New York: Perseus Book Groups, 2001
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