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< Back to question Should creationism be taught in schools? Show more Show less

Creationism is the belief that the God in the Bible created the earth and the sky and all the things that live therein in six days. There has been furious debate about whether this should be taught in schools. This is especially an issue in the increasingly fundamentalist USA. Creationism is often described in opposition to evolution.

Yes, creationism should be taught in schools Show more Show less

Schools cannot simply ignore creationism; it should be taught in some capacity.
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Creationism should be taught alongside other theories

Creationism is a legitimate theory, and should therefore be taught in tandem with other theories.
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The Argument

Young Earth creationists believe that the Bible book of Genesis is literally true and the earth and all forms of life were created by God in 6 days, around 10,000 years ago.[1] The universe and everything in it could not have come into being without a supreme being causing it to happen and all life on Earth is the direct result of God's creative actions. The current state of life on earth has come about through the actions of an Intelligent Designer.[2] Some living things contain such a level of complexity that can only be explained as the result of Intelligent design. Random mutation can not explain this complexity. This is factual so should be taught in schools.

Counter arguments

Many senior Christians say creationism should not be taught as a fact but as an allegorical tale. In 2006, Archbishop of Canterbury the leader of the world's Anglicans, stated his discomfort about teaching creationism.[3] The American Academy of Religion stated creationism and intelligent design “represent worldviews that fall outside of the realm of science that is defined as (and limited to) a method of inquiry based on gathering observable and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning."[4] Even in the early Christian church the Genesis story was not considered as literally true, instead it was part of the rich allegorical tradition of the time and should continue to be read as such.[5] Creationism has no place in a science class. One measure to test whether a theory is scientific is whether or not it is falsifiable, an idea put forth by the philosopher Karl Popper. That is to say, one can conceive of a test or experiment which could prove the idea to be false. By this standard it is clear that the facts of evolution are scientific in nature. It has been put through rigorous tests and the evidence in favour of it is demonstrable. However, the same cannot be said for creationism.[6] The concept of intelligent design creationism taps effectively into human desires and prejudices.[7] Intelligent design theories, especially young-earth theories, make predictions that are already disconfirmed by geology and astrophysics. This has not prevented them developing this theory to add the semblance of a scientific veneer to their hokum. Intelligent Design says life is too complex for it to have occurred by chance, but evolution does not depend on chance to create organisms, proteins or other entities. Quite the opposite: natural selection, the principal known mechanism of evolution, harnesses non-random change by preserving desirable and eliminating undesirable features.

Premises

[P1] Creationism is a scientific theory that should be taught alongside others. [P2] Intelligent design explains creationism.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] Creationism is based upon a myth.

References

  1. https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/creationism
  2. https://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/christianity/beliefs/creationism_1.shtml
  3. https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2006/mar/21/religion.topstories3
  4. https://ncse.ngo/american-academy-religion-teaching-creationism
  5. http://theconversation.com/should-we-teach-creationism-in-schools-yes-in-history-class-22808
  6. https://www.bmsis.org/how-should-creationism-and-evolution-be-taught-in-public-schools
  7. https://www.nature.com/articles/454581a

This page was last edited on Friday, 17 Apr 2020 at 12:06 UTC

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