I. Introduction A.

The issue at hand has been an ongoing argument between Americans of different backgrounds, cultures, and religions for many years. The battle going on between creationists and evolutionists has emerged in the public classroom for some time, now, and has not really reached a definite conclusion. B. The issue concerning whether or not to teach creationism in public schools is important because it is not only a part of American history, but will also be a part of the future. As more developments are made and more arguments arise, the issue will effect generations for years to come. C. Many religious people believe in creationism, the relatively common belief that states mankind (and all of the earth) was created by a higher being. On the other side of the argument are those who side with scientist Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution, which, in short, states that man descended from more primitive species over time. Other religious followers believe that intelligent design is the answer to the argument, which is the belief that man was the work of an intelligent being (without presenting a nature or identity for God). II. History and Background Information A. Since 1996, there has been a movement by creationists to, for the most part, get rid of evolution from the public school curriculum. However, because evolution is, in fact, a science, much controversy arises from scientists and others who favor teaching evolution. 1.In 1996, Alabama schools placed an “evolution warning sticker” on all of their biology textbooks stating that evolution is merely a theory and should be approached as one. 2. In the summer of 1999, Kansas schools changed their science education standards to get rid of evolution from the curriculum and standardized tests as a whole. 3. In February 2008, the Florida Board of Education finally changed their science standards to refer to evolution as “scientific theory of evolution” rather than what it is commonly referred to: “change over time”. This was the first time that the word evolution was actually used in science standards. B. The government has since changed some aspects of public school curricula, but the decisions are made by specific school districts and states. 1. By 1964, the 88th Congress of the United States had conducted a staff study weighing the benefits and detriments of different proposed amendments to the constitution regarding religion in public schools. None of these amendments were ever enacted. 2. Since 2001, Alabama schools have changed the sticker on all of the biology books, which serves as less of a warning to students, but more of a statement, without any bias behind it. 3. In February 2007, the Kansas Board of Education changed its curricula, keeping intelligent design from being referred to and taught as an actual science. C. Currently, the battle raging on between creationism and evolution is still an issue, but seemingly not as much of an issue as it once appeared to be. State Boards of Education can and will make their own decisions about the issue and its place in the public school curricula. III. Issues (Debate) A. Creationism and intelligent design must be part of the public school curriculum, but evolution does not belong there. 1.Creationism and intelligent design are not sciences, but religious beliefs without any scientific evidence to support their claims. 1

a. Students are in school to learn actual facts and scientific theories, not religious beliefs that are subject to opinion. i. Because creationism does not include any scientific evolution or evidence, it can’t be a part of science curricula and needs to be taught in religion classes or private schools only. ii. If creationism is taught, the actual scientific qualities of evolution may be weeded out altogether. [National Center for Science Education 18] b. There is no evidence to support creationism, because it is simply a religious belief. 2.Creationism and intelligent design concur with the majority of religious beliefs and evolution should not conflict those beliefs. a. Teaching evolution will make students question their faith. i. Faith is the backbone of a complete education and can benefit a student’s education in whole. [Anderson 2] b. Faith helps students in many ways and should be a part of their lives. i. Extracurricular activities help grades B. Evolution is an actual science, therefore, it must be taught in science classes. Creationism and intelligent design do not have any scientific background to support their cause, so they should not be part of the public school curricula. 1.The majority of students in public schools have beliefs that concur with those of creationism or intelligent design, thus they must be taught in schools to keep from conflicting with students’ beliefs. a. If students are forced to learn only about evolution, it will begin to make them question their religious background and the beliefs introduced from that background. i. Faith is the backbone of a complete education and has many benefits to a student’s life. [Anderson 2] 2.Creationism and intelligent design are not sciences, but religious beliefs and ideals that should not be a part of the classroom. a. Evolution is a science, but Creationism is not. i. Even though intelligent design incorporates some scientific information, it is not enough to be fully incorporated in public schools. [Williams 7] ii. By teaching students about evolution today, they can help discover more about it in the future. [Antolin 8] b. If evolution is wiped from the curricula, then that affects science as a whole. i. Other scientific beliefs may be questioned in the future and be subject to religious beliefs, keeping scientific discovery from broadening. ii. Students today can discover more about evolution in the future and find more information about humans and their origin. [Antolin 8] C. Evolution, creationism, and intelligent design should all be included in the curriculum in a respectable manner without favoring one side or the other. The issue between the two can be discussed and students can decide for themselves what they choose to believe. 1.Those who oppose this idea can be a part of two demographics: those who strictly favor creationism and intelligent design, and those who strictly believe that religion does not belong in the classroom in any way. 1

a. Creationism is not a science, but a belief; therefore, creationism and intelligent design do not belong in the science curriculum. i. Information that is typically not regarded as science is often not taught in science classes. Religious beliefs should remain the same and be left for religious classes or private schools. ii. While intelligent design has some scientific ideals introduced with its own, it is still more a pseudoscience than an actual science. b. Intelligent design is a pseudo science and generally applies to “most” beliefs, and should be taught as a science. i. All education is in some way or another centered on religion, and that religion must coincide with science. [Johnston 14] ii. Intelligent design supports the scientific method and has potential to bring good to the classroom. [Johnston 14] iii. Students should also be taught the flaws of evolution, rather than the lack of scientific evidence in creationism. [Matthews 15] 2.By teaching both topics side by side and in an unbiased manner, students can choose for themselves what they wish to believe; furthermore, they can learn about the conflict between the two. a. Both can be taught in a respectful manner. i. Programs have been created (like the 3R’s) which enable teachers to teach both topics while respecting student’s rights. [Fulton 6] ii. By being unbiased and not teaching one side over the other, no one can take offense. b. The issue can appeal to academic freedom more so than individual beliefs. [Wilgoren 3] i. Teaching students about evolution is beneficial for science as a whole. [Antolin 8] ii. When students learn about evolution now, they will be able to help progress the topic in the future. [Antolin 8] IV. Solutions A. Most professionals and experts can agree that teaching students about the argument as a whole is the best way to address the issue without offending anyone. 1.Students will still be able to think for themselves and there can be a maintained sense of academic freedom in the classroom. 2.Students can still learn about evolution as a theory and creationism as a belief. B. Some still believe, however, that teaching creationism or intelligent design on their own is the best way to handle the issue. 1.By teaching evolution, students will be forced to question their beliefs in the classroom. 2.Intelligent design incorporates science into its claims and therefore should be taught as a science. C. Evolution should be the topic of creationism in public schools and creationism and intelligent design should be nonexistent in the public school curricula.

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1.Religion and the beliefs that follow it are not proven sciences nor theories: only beliefs that have not been subject to scientific research. 2.Religion should be left out of schools and saved for a student’s home life. Religion, also, should not affect any one else’s beliefs, as it would if it were part of the school curricula. V. Conclusion A. By examining the background of the battle between religious beliefs and evolution, it is easy to understand the argument as it exists today. The battle may rage on in the classroom in the future, but a conclusion and a settlement can be made. B. After researching specific cases on both sides of the argument, conclusions can be made explaining why the battle is what it is today and what it will become in the future.

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