Since the first days of religious evolution, religion and science have continuously fought for their place under the sun. The system of public schooling has become the field of the violent bloody conflict between the two different systems of beliefs. While religious fundamentalists sought to use public schooling as the means of religious propaganda, teachers and education professionals were trying to prove the relevance and importance of teaching objective scientific knowledge.
Given the tension between science and religion, as well as the overt subjectivity of religious beliefs, religion in general, and creationism in particular, should not be taught in public schools, to provide children with the freedom of religious choice and to expand their intellectual and knowledge opportunities. The national system of public schools was always torn between the two opposite (religious and scientific) educational visions.
While children were given a unique chance to look deeper into the essence of scientific knowledge, philosophers, education professionals, and religious adherents were trying to prove that religion did have to be taught at schools. Generally, religion is not a matter of scientific danger; moreover, religion can serve the source of reliable and never changing ethical and moral truths. The problem is, however, in that in its current state religion consciously denies an opportunity to reconcile with the objectivity and relevance of science.
Moreover, religion works to deny the relevance of science as such, thus distorting children’s attitudes toward the world and putting them into a controversial environment filled with assumptions, myths, and beliefs. True, creationism and evolution seem incompatible; but while “many scientists are deeply religious and see scientific investigation and religious faith as complementary components of a well-rounded life” (Ludden 577), it is religion that promotes hostility toward science.
Moreover, apart from being spiritual guidance, the Bible in general and the science of creation, in particular provide “the refuge from the calamities of life” (Green 581), while present day children should be prepared to face the realities of life, instead of trying to escape them. In the light of these hostile intentions and attitudes, it is understandable why education professionals are reluctant to integrate the science of creation with the major curriculum disciplines. Unfortunately, religious adherents do not accept the need for objectivity, which scientific knowledge promotes at schools.
Instead of making religion a supplementary element of public education, fundamentalists view religion and the science of creation as instruments of propaganda. As a result, religion imposes narrow (and mostly misbalanced) convictions and opinions on children. As science seeks to reconcile with religion and to accept religion as a different (but not the opposite) scientific viewpoint, religion seeks to deny the relevance of science and does not accept the mere opportunity for science to be the basic element of public school education.
The Kansas Board of Education has already limited the scope of scientific education in public schools, and the concept of evolution is no longer taught and explained to children. “This central concept of biology will be diluted or eliminated, thus reducing courses to do something like chemistry without the periodic table, or American history without Lincoln” (Gould 59). That is why the science of creation should not be taught at public schools – not because it does not have the right to exist, but because it promotes distorted scientific visions, and does not provide children with a chance to embrace the benefits of scientific advancement.
The science of creation should not be taught at schools because it narrows the scope of the public schools’ development to absurdity and reveals true scientific ignorance. The science of creation should not be taught at schools because it is not science, but a set of ideas and beliefs that have never been documented or proved. To a large extent, religion should not be the central element of public education, due to the fact that it denies the need for intellectual development; it does not stir children’s imagination and cannot serve the object of scientific inquiry.
As a result, the science of creation with its continuous denial of objective scientific achievements in general and evolution, in particular, is nothing more but the instrument of anti-intellectualism (Gould 59) which cannot promote intellectual progress at societal level. Krauthammer states that creationism is not included into any serious curriculum of any serious country, which means that serious countries and serious curriculum designers realize the intellectual threats of which creationism is the source.
Moreover, it appears that serious countries are more attentive to the secular and scientific needs of their citizens and actively work to minimize religious fundamentalists’ access to public education. In our country, however, public schools remind a kind of a battlefield, with children being the victims of this secular vs. religious fight. Evolution is the sign of the ongoing scientific and natural progress, while creationism is the science of conservation that denies the need for social progress.
Religion is an invaluable element of the social performance in America, but it is relevant to the extent that does not distort the founding principles of public education, with objectivity and freedom of choice in its center. Objectively, it is a matter of ethical tolerance, and in this situation science can teach children to hold and reconcile with contradictory beliefs. Religion has already ceased to be the source of tolerance, and creationism cannot teach children anything beyond unnecessary denial of the major scientific findings. Conclusion Creationism should not be taught at schools.
Given the negativity and scientific denial which it promotes, religion will create distorted learning atmosphere and will work to impose religious beliefs on children. Instead of being the source of ethical values, religion has turned into the tool of anti-intellectualism and scientific conservation. As a result, to teach the science of creation at schools will mean to deprive children of the stimuli to search, investigate, learn and promote scientific and learning progress. Works Cited Gould, S. J. “Dorothy, It’s Really Oz: A Pro-Creationist Decision in Kansas Is More Than a
Blow Against Darwin. ” Time Magazine, no. 154 (1999): p. 59. Green, P. “The Battle Over Creationism. ” In F. D. White & S. J. Billings, The Well-Crafted Argument: A Guide and Reader, 3rd ed. , Wadsworth Publishing, 2007, p. 580-83. Krauthammer, C. “The Real Message of Creationism. ” 1999. Time. 11 May 2009. http://www. time. com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,992623,00. html Ludden, D. “Teaching Evolution at a Christian College. ” In F. D. White & S. J. Billings, The Well-Crafted Argument: A Guide and Reader, 3rd ed. , Wadsworth Publishing, 2007, p. 576-80.
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