Should evolution be taught in public schools?'s Teacher Poll of the Week
Should evolution be taught in public schools?

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This is one of the most difficult questions debated in the modern educational system. In fact, it the most talked about thread on our teacher forum thread titled Evolution vs. Creationism.The fact that so many teachers took the poll indicates how important the issue is to many people. Whether or not to teach evolution comes down almost entirely to religious belief. Those teachers with strong religious viewpoints who dismiss the idea of evolution as the beginning of mankind are apt to vote against evolutionary theory being taught to students. Those teachers who believe the science behind evolution are in favour of teaching the theory.

Approximately two thirds of teachers who took this poll believe that evolution should be taught in public schools. This doesn't necessarily mean that an equal number don't believe the bible's version of events. Some teachers may have very strong convictions about the beginning of mankind but feel that students should be presented both theories and allowed to make their own decision on what to believe. The one third of teachers who believe evolution should not be taught in school are most likely choosing this answer because of their own religious beliefs.

Throughout history, and to this day, people feel so strongly about their personal religious beliefs that they are willing to die for them. Many wars have been fought over differences in religion and the message of their god. With something this important and potentially divisive it should come as no surprise that it could have an effect on education. When public schools stopped teaching religion and students ceased to say prayer before the start of each school day that was in response to differing religious viewpoints. Christian prayer did not address the needs of all students and so in the interest of fairness, no students receive religious instruction through school unless they attend a specific theological campus.

Even if both sides of the debate were taught in school, which version of religious events would be presented? If Christianity is taught, where does that leave the followers of Islam or Budda? Science has become the one universal religion for many people. They believe what can be scientifically proven. If churches are teaching our children their specific version of religious beginnings and schools are teaching the scientific version of events, isn't that enough? Children are being given the opportunity to learn both viewpoints. If it were that simple then this issue would have died a long time ago. Personal feelings and beliefs are very powerful and when an issue is this important to so many people it is unlikely to be solved quickly.