Why is requiring high school students to demonstrate an understanding of evolution controversial?

It’s a branch of science like Newtonian physics, atomic theory, human anatomy etc, right? High school students have been required to demonstrate an understanding of these other branches of science for many decades. People have seen this as part of normal educational requirements. Why then are there protests and picket lines when high school students are required to demonstrate an understanding of evolution?

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16 comments

  • No Chance Without Jesus

    Because evolution is

    A. Not proven
    B. Not Substantiated
    C. A lie

    and still taught as fact.

  • Because it doesn’t agree with their little book. And please, that goes only for America. Not for other first world countries.

  • If you believe in G-o-d, the best you’re getting is a G-e-d.

  • buruk habba bashem Adoni

    Perhaps because it is being taught as fact when it is only a theory.

    Does creationism get the same time in class?

  • I agree that it only applies to the US. I live in Ireland and we learnt about evolution in Religion class. We were taught everything from a completely unbiased viewpoint and also learnt that Science and Religion are really just two different languages searching for the same answers.

  • The eclectic wire

    Welcome to the united-states of christianity.

  • Seal of Approval

    It is only controversial to the willfully ignorant believers in the creation myth. The controversy is manufactured. Evolution is science. Creation is religion.

  • Because a certain branch of christianity is p!ssing themselves trying to get creationism taught as fact in public school, claiming that christian creationism and evolution are equally valid.

    It’s funny, though, because if public schools tried to teach the Hindi creation myth in science class, these same christians would be rioting in the effing street.

    Next thing you know, they’ll be protesting germ theory because the bible says disease is caused by god (and after all, it’s "just a theory"), and picketing mental health facilities because the bible says mental illness is caused by demonic possession.

  • Where are these pickets?

    I’m currently piloting some research that seeks to evaluate college students’ understanding of evolution. The theory is that those students who identify themselves as Creationists will actually understand MORE about evolutionary theory than those who accept neo-Darwinism.

  • because evolution cannot be proved using the scientific method

  • Please post a link to one of these "picket lines". I haven’t seen one yet.

    I’d bet a chunk of cash half the atheists out here couldn’t adequately summarize the basic concepts in evolution if they didn’t have access to an internet connection.

    Shouldn’t someone who touts a theory be as equally responsible for understanding it as those who dismiss it?

  • It’s not controversial to anyone who a actually understands the science.

  • Because a vocal Christian minority have convinced themselves that because there is no mention of evolution in their Biblical creation myth, then evolution must be invalid and a lie.
    They conveniently ignore the mountains of evidence we have proving the validity of evolution and the absolute paucity of evidence to prove their "theory".

    @No Chance…
    Would you care to point out which parts of evolutionary theory are a falsehood. I willing to bet anything you consider a lie is either a complete misunderstanding on your part or outright ignorance.

  • Theists are always resistant to truth, especially when it contradicts the myths they believe in. Keep in mind that physics, atomic theory, and human anatomy were all, at one time or another, opposed by religion in general, and Christianity in particular. For example, it used to be illegal for doctors to dissect a human body. Galileo was put under house arrest for revealing and promoting the truth about our solar system. The list goes on and on. Sooner or later the Christians will see the light of truth. Give it time.

  • Some people believe that acknowldging scientific truths is an affront to God. Some people desire to avoid affronting God.

  • @Dr. Bob

    I have to wonder, then, how well you understand evolution. I have yet to meet a single creationist who actually accurately understood even the most basic premises of the theory of evolution. Not personally, not by reading creationist blogs, not by reading articles on any creationist website. No creationist I have met, talked to online, read the blog of or read an article by has ever demonstrated even a basic understanding of the theory or even the definition of the term "evolution". A simple litmus test is the macro evolution micro evolution distinction which doesn’t exist for good reason in the actual theory of evolution but which creationists like to bring up to make a distinction between evolution they can’t deny happens (like different animal breeds) and so-called "speciation" (more accurately differentiation), which they incorrectly associate with one "kind" turning into another "kind" (not that any can coherently define a "kind"). Another demonstration of a misunderstanding of the actual mechanisms of evolution which is in essence a Markov chain. And since Markov chains only generate nested sets we should never see one "kind" turn into another "kind" if evolution is correct, as this would violate the nested sets which are the only things Markov chains can generate. Ironically, then, if creationists wanted to disprove evolution they should want to see one "kind" turn into another "kind" which would directly violate the mechanisms by which evolution is thought to operate. As it is the fact that we never see a cat turn into a dog is evidence for evolution.

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