Sunday, April 19, 2009

direct opposition to banning the teaching of evolution in schools

In my search of public policies that I feel strongly about, I came across the debated issue of whether or not it should be allowed for schools to teach the theory of evolution. The American Institute of Biological Sciences did a report that really fueled this debate for me. The issue is whether or not teaching evolution should be legal or not. In my opinion, this should not even be a question, but many other people do not agree with me. States all over the country have been trying to have bills passed that ban the teaching of evolution and instill the teaching of creationism as the theory of life. In 2006, anti-evolution bills failed to be passed in Alabama, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Utah. Still to this day, states are trying to pass legislation to ban the teaching of evolution and replace it with the teaching of creationism in schools. The problem with this is that creationism is purely religious and there is supposed to be a separation of church and state in this country. It makes no sense how the pledge of allegiance could not be recited in schools because it mentioned God, but making it illegal to teach students the origin of life was anything different than creationism is ok. That is like saying it is illegal to smoke marijuana but smoking crack is required. Obviously it is two different extremes but the values are the same. On the opposite side of the spectrum, there are states that are trying to ban the teaching of creationism as well. In 2006 Wisconsin tried to pass anti-creationism bills and in 2003 West Virginia endorsed evolution education. Why can they both be legal? There are people in this world who believe in God and there are people in this world who believe in science and no law should dictate which one is correct. Let people decide for themselves what they want to believe. Charles Darwin is not a famous scientist because he had an idea that he made up and Jesus Christ is not an international savior because some guy said he was. There is empirical evidence to support both claims and I feel that both theories should be taught. There are different theories for how the universe started and different people believe God to be different in all religions so there is no absolute truth as to which theories are correct. Maybe everyone who is religious is just being led on by a persuasive force and what they believe is completely wrong. Maybe evolution makes sense due to some coincidence that a scientist discovered. There is no way to prove either claim which is why they are theories, not truths. I feel that it is unconstitutional to try and dictate which of these theories is correct and will be taught because teaching only evolution and banning creationism is violating the freedom of religion and vice a verso is violating the separation of church and state. people have dedicated their lives to discovering evolution and complexities of life and to have a bill be passed that states that it was all a waste of their time because they are wrong is completely, well, wrong. I was taught both theories and I believe that evolution is how life started and evolved, but that doesn’t make me right, it just means that that is what I believe. There is no harm to anyone or myself for believing it so there is nothing that justifies banning its teaching. The religious want to ban the teaching of evolution and the realists want to ban the teaching of creationism, but religious people exist as well as realists, so let both theories exist. People are smart and are fully capable of deciding things for themselves, so I say let them. Let them believe what they want to believe because in the end it hurts no one whether they are wrong or right and making one side be wrong or right hurts many.

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