Evolution is a debatable topic. Many theories have emerged in support or against the theory of evolution. Evolution refers to the changes of characteristics in living organisms over time. Evolution is a scientific concept that seeks to explain theories and researches made on a variety of scientific models (Bowler, 2003, p.111). Evolution is a science that provides evidence for differences in inherited characteristics. Evolution brings the differentiation in living organisms. The debate on whether to include evolution as a topic of study in public schools is raging. It is a controversial subject in the religious, legal and scientific fields. There are various opinions that different countries and people have on the inclusion of the subject of evolution in public schools. There are countries with rules that prohibit teachers from teaching the theory of evolution and the evidence of the concept. These countries allow the teaching of evolution in biology where organisms develop from tiny beings to a whole being. Several religions also restrict the inclusion of the subject of evolution supporting it with religious views. Understanding evolution is a crucial step in facing the challenges of the twenty first century. Evolution should be taught in public schools because it instills knowledge to develop solutions in future and understand social systems.
It is crucial to educate the next generation on ways of developing solutions to various scientific problems. To educate this generation, the subject of evolution is unavoidable. Evolution is a scientific concept of that aims to explain the differences in organisms. Therefore, it is important to understand the meaning of science in evolution (Young, &Strode, 2006, p.121). The objective of science is to establish an understanding of the globe while providing sufficient evidence to support those positions. Through science, there are many discoveries explaining the various aspects of life since the beginning of humanity. Therefore, science is an integral subject in education and evolution is a crucial topic in science. Students are the next generation of scientists. They need to understand the concepts of dealing with emerging discoveries. For example, students need to learn the evolutionary changes of resistant microorganisms and viruses. The evolution of these microorganisms and viruses from their cells to their resistant nature is important in developing the counter treatment to prevent their growth. Students should be in a position to develop treatment to destroy the organisms that cause diseases in the human body. The students can only develop the treatment if they study evolution of these organisms. The students need to understand the changes that the microorganisms and viruses go through, which require a thorough understanding of evolution.
Evolution is a fundamental theory because there is sufficient evidence that support this theory. This is a reason for including the subject of evolution in public schools. From a scientific point of view, evolution is a fact containing adequate evidence to support this fact. For instance, the genetic conditions of human beings are a fact from the theory of evolution. From research, it is true that certain genetic conditions are hereditary and they have an impact on the body of a human being. According to the New York Times (August 21, 2005), students should learn these concepts from evolution to debug the myth that evolution is not important. Through this education, students will be able to understand the social systems where they live and explain certain phenomena that they observe in the society.
In addition, the study of evolution teaches students their social systems. Most societies hold misconceptions about evolution. Therefore, it is essential to teach students the reasons for society holding certain views about evolution. Through this education, students will be able to understand their social systems. The misconceptions society hold about evolution is that human beings evolved from chimpanzees. This is not true and teaching students to debug this misconception a crucial step in learning the societal system. The society believes that human being evolved and people teach their children this fallacy from their toddler years. If evolution is taught in schools, students will understand the reasons for community members believing that misconception.
The study of evolution in public schools enables students to understand changes that occur in the environment. These changes sometimes have adverse effects on the life of human beings. It is important to understand the causes of these changes to be able to develop counter mechanisms to deal with their impact. Understanding these causes is only possible through an extensive learning of evolution in public schools. Varieties of organisms have evolved over time causing adverse effects on the environment. These organisms develop slowly without the knowledge of human beings and grow to uncontrollable stages. They become resistant to drugs because of the changes in the environment. Evolution is a continuous process that changes with time (Young, & Strode, 2006, p.132). Studying this subject in public schools will allow students to determine the process of environmental changes that make certain organisms resistant to drugs. The students will then be in a position to develop solutions to deal with the resistant organisms. Through evolution, it becomes possible to learn the stages of development of these organisms to their resistant stage. It then becomes easy to develop treatment to reverse their effects. Therefore, evolution is a significant subject in public schools that aids in development of new solutions and understanding of the social system.
Counter-thesis and argument
It is a challenge to ensure that students learn the subject of evolution in public schools. Despite the benefits of the knowledge in evolution, people still hold different ideologies to counter the subject of evolution in public schools. The arguments these opponents hold are debatable on different grounds. Evolution should not be taught in public schools because it contradicts the religious beliefs of the students. In a public school, there are different students with different religious beliefs. It would be an offense for these students to learn contradictory views. These students argue that evolution is a fallacy that does not have solid evidence to support it. It contradicts the belief that a supernatural being creates organisms and other beings and not through evolution (Midgley, 2003, p.111). It is; therefore, wrong to teach students in public school elements that that are contrary to most of their beliefs. It is a greater mistake to make the subject mandatory in public schools where the students are of different cultures.
Further, the opponents of evolution believe that there is no science in the world. A supernatural being is the only one that is able to form everything appears on the face of the earth. Therefore, evolution does not contain science. Facts are not sufficient evidence to support the science in evolution. It requires a belief in some supernatural being to understand the occurrences in the environment. Teaching evolution in public schools therefore confuses students. They do not know whether to believe their religion or the science in evolution to explain the changes in the environment. It would be better, therefore, not to teach evolution in public schools. Without this knowledge of evolution, students have their constant belief that the development of various beings on earth is through a supernatural being.
Religion determines the moral principles that human beings in their lives. Evolution just contradicts these moral principles and thus students should not learn it in school. Evolution will dilute the beliefs of students with the science, which is contrary to the moral principles of humankind. It brings discoveries that are difficult to explain on the outward appearance. This eventually contradicts the behavior of students against the religious beliefs. Therefore, students should not learn evolution in public schools.
Response to counter-thesis
The teaching of evolution in public schools neither contradicts religion nor attacks the religious beliefs and systems of the students. Religion has a significant place in the society and social understanding. However, religion has its foundation in faith and not evidence. It involves a belief that things are the way they are because of a supernatural being. Religion does not meet scientific standards and it is not possible to test religion through science. Religion is not a science and sciences are the major subjects taught in schools. Therefore, science and religion are different fields of study that cannot mix because this would create conflict.
Evolution is a scientific study supported by sufficient evidence, while religion is just a belief based on faith (Midgley, 2003, p.200). Through scientific study of organisms, it is possible to determine their evolution. After studying their evolution, it becomes easy to develop measures to deal with the harmful ones and exploit the beneficial organisms. This is an adequate reason to teach evolution in public schools. In a cross-cultural society, such as a public school, people are free to hold their diverse religious beliefs. Evolution is not a religious subject and does not contradict the social system (Midgley, 2003, p.234). This means that evolution just allows students to understand better the society they live in. It provides evidence for the way things are in the society and their generation to that state.
It is not possible to use facts to defend religion as it is with evolution. Evolution uses scientific facts to get its justification and provide solutions to certain phenomena. Having knowledge of evolution enlightens students in solving scientific problems in future and understanding the society better.
It is evident that evolution is a significant subject in education. Evolution should be taught in every public school to provide a better understanding of the social systems and develop solutions to future phenomena. Evolution will provide a better understanding of the scientific facts to students that aim to become better citizens in the twenty-first century. It is essential to educate the upcoming generation of scientists on evolution of various organisms so that they are in a position to develop workable solutions. Through the scientific study of organisms, it becomes possible to determine the evolution of these organisms. Science is an integral subject in evolution and it provides adequate evidence to support evolution. It is important that religion and science do not mix because it causes conflict. Religion has its place in society, and evolution does not seek to dispute that fact. Students can learn evolution and still hold their religious views because these are two separate areas. The public and every school should embrace the concept of evolution as the future for the world.
Bowler, P.J., (2003). Evolution: the history of an idea. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Midgley, M.R. (ed), (2003). Evolution As a Religion: Strange Hopes and Stranger Fears. Taylor & Francis, Routledge.
Wilgoren, J., (August 21, 2005). Politicized Scholars Put Evolution on the Defensive. The New York Times.
Young, M., & Strode, P.K., (2006). Why Evolution Works (And Creationism Fails). Rutgers University Press.