Here Is What Some Schoolchildren in Louisiana Learn About Evolution
Fifth graders in some state-sponsored schools in Louisiana study both creationism and evolution as competing theories. “Fact or Theory?”
-source | Buzzfeed
Just a quick glance looks like it favors creationism pretty hard. And with tax payer money.
Things I Can’t with…can’t even a little bit.
And people wonder why we have such high scientific illiteracy.
Here’s a hint: it’s because our society genuinely thinks it is reasonable to present biological evolution as an “opinion” or “viewpoint” or “perspective” in a way that suggests Biblical Creationism is at least as plausible.
A Creationist perspective that is informed by a literal, fundamentalist reading of the Old Testament is not a valid understanding of the natural world. We should not teach students that you can choose to reject reality in favor of mythology.
This is actually the pedagogical equivalent of telling students that some people think communicable diseases are caused by microorganisms and viruses (modern Germ Theory) while others think that they are caused by an invisible substance called miasma, and that students can choose whichever side they like better.
And until we stop pretending that mythology is as valid as reality, we’re going to have rampant scientific illiteracy.
Obviously this LA textbook is an extreme case. Most states, my own included, do in fact require students to demonstrate competency in evolutionary biology. BUT my students are still allowed to follow up their responses with, “I don’t actually believe this because [insert completely unscientific and unfounded belief here, presented with no objective evidence (because none exists)].” In science, you don’t get to dismiss a pile of solid evidence without evidence of your own. I mean, you can’t say, “I understand that chlorophyll reflects green light, but I don’t actually believe that because it is green so it must absorb green light.” It’s nonsensical! However, “Life on earth shares a single common ancestor, but I don’t actually believe that because humans and plants were created separately so they’re different,” is supposed to be an acceptable student response.