Creationism hinders intellectualism
An alarming amount of children are going through the school system, only to be taught a shortsighted education.
Among the most shortsighted aspects is science. Recently, the National Research Council conducted a survey that found that nearly 60 percent of high school teachers fail to teach evolution adequately and in doing so give tacit credence to creationism. More alarmingly, 13 percent of public school biology teachers openly and deliberately promote creationism and denounce evolutionary theory.
This educational shortfall is a result of the contentious debate among educators over science versus faith. While the facts may lean toward evolution, faith still wins out because taking a hard stance against the majority isn’t always easy. Outside of the academic science community, the majority holds faith-based Christian beliefs.
Creationists are steadfastly opposed to evolution, one of the basic tenets of biological science. Evolution explains the origins and development of life at both the molecular and macroscopic level and is supported by a preponderance of evidence that includes fossil records.
Creationists are inherently against scientific discourse and suppress legitimate forms of thought and understanding. Despite this, teachers are reluctant to promote evolution out of fear of controversy.
As a scientific theory, evolution can only be challenged by another scientific theory. Since no other credible alternative exists, creationists have invented a fictive explanation based on religion in a poor attempt to explain how life exists today. It is centered on the notion that only a higher power can account for the formation of life and the diversity of species on Earth. Only through deception do creationists try to pass off their beliefs as evidence-based.
Schools must address this issue by dismissing those teachers that advocate religion over science, and ensuring that those remaining are adequately prepared to teach evolution. In addition, it would serve the students well if teachers derided creationism as being intellectually lazy, unscientific and detrimental to genuine learning.
Students should not be held hostage by Christian extremists simply out of reluctance to confront a blatant example of religious subterfuge.
At their worst, Christian extremists or creationists promote bigotry and ignorance, stifle intellectual development and advocate dogma over reason. However, we accommodate them at our own peril.
In order for the US to remain an intellectual leader in the world, such deference must end.
If we value our ability to think critically and form evidence-based beliefs, we must stand up to these religious ideologues and refute their unscientific doctrines. Otherwise, America risks becoming a fundamentalist state where facts are replaced with faith.