Why teaching evolution is important

Evolution crusader Olivia Judson has written yet another excellent op-ed piece in the New York Times on the importance of teaching evolution in school classrooms. She breaks it down into three main reasons:

  1. Understanding of the evolutionary model that can be applied to other changing systems.
  2. Immediately relevant to the understanding of diseases and the ecosystem.
  3. Provides a philosophical understanding of the way science works.

I can’t find fault in any of those and could probably add a few of my own. Although the heart of the article is the non-debate over the teaching of evolution vs. biblical creationism, Judson intelligently steers clear from making it the main focal point. As The Friendly Atheist points out, “Teaching them that there is an accepted or debated alternative just makes the problem worse.” I couldn’t agree more. There is no real debate. Its a non-issue. Intelligent Design/Creationism is not a scientific theory and therefore not an alternative to evolution. Its just religion trying to stick its nose where it doesn’t belong.

…since the science classroom is where a contempt for evidence is often first encountered, it is also arguably where it first begins to be cultivated. A society where ideology is a substitute for evidence can go badly awry.

You’ll get no argument from me. You can read the whole article here. It’s short and well worth your time.

Via: The New York Times, The Friendly Atheist

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