Do Creationism and Intelligent Design Have a Place in the Classroom? Essay

Do Creationism and Intelligent Design Have a Place in the Classroom? Essay

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Surveys show that fifty percent of adults in Turkey, forty percent in the USA and fifteen percent in the UK reject the theory of evolution and believe that life on Earth came into existence as described in the religious texts (Jones and Reiss, 2007; Miller; Scott and Okamoto, 2006; Lawes, 2009).
President G. W. Bush commented as follow:
Both sides ought to be taught properly...so people can understand what the debate is about....Part of education is to expose people to different schools of thoughts....You’re asking me whether or not people ought to be exposed to different ideas, and the answer is yes (Baker and Slevin, 2005).
However other views have been reported in the literature. Pennock (2007: 72) summarizes his position as follows:
What should be educators’ and citizens’ response when IDC’s lobby in Kansas and elsewhere to ‘teach the controversy’? We should respond with a slogan of our own: Teach only real science in science classes, not creationist pseudoscience.
Jackson in his essay “The Personal and the Professional in the Teaching of Evolution” shares similar opinions (2007). In 2006, The Times published an article by Halpin reporting the inclusion of creationism in a new biology syllabus produced by the OCR exam board. James Williams, science course leader at Sussex University's School of Education, told the Times Educational Supplement: "This opens a legitimate gate for the inclusion of creationism or intelligent design in science classes as if they were legitimate theories on a par with evolution fact and theory.” The OCR exam board argued that the aim of the syllabus was to make students aware of scientific controversy in accordance to the QCA guidelines (QCA, 2007: 37):
Students should be taught how scientif...


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...theory and the notion of an old Earth/universe are supported by a mass and evidence and fully accepted by the scientific community (DCSF, 2007).
It seems unreasonable to say that creationist explanations and beliefs lie outside the science classroom and will not be addressed without any further discussion (Anderson, 2007; Smith, Siegel and McInerney, 1995). Addressing the validity of evolution or issues about creationism and intelligent design in science lessons could be valuable when illustrating the aspects of how science works such as how scientific knowledge and scientific ideas evolve and how the scientific community invalidates those changes. The role of effective teaching is surely to help students learn about the theory of evolution and appreciate the ways of science, its limitations and how scientific knowledge might differ from other forms of knowledge.

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