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April 28, 2014
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Letter: Evolution and creationism in our public schools

Who qualifies to teach it?

Although I find the theory of evolution a more elegant explanation for the diversity yet similarity of life on earth, I have no objection to creationism being taught in schools. Basic education should prepare young people to think critically and participate knowledgeably in the public life of a democracy. Anything that affects the perspectives and well-being of a large proportion of our society should be taught in public schools.

The problem arises with regards to who should teach it. It’s generally accepted that a teacher should know more about a subject than the students, the material isn’t merely the opinions of the teacher, and the teacher has some credentialed expertise in the subject matter.

We don’t usually expect people with degrees in English to teach math or Spanish. So, who has recognized expertise in the study of creationism, or would expertise be waived in this case in favor whoever has the strongest personal opinion? Would that be a science teacher or a teacher of an unrelated subject who has no course studies in creationism?

Isn’t somebody with formal training in creationism typically a theologian, minister, pastor, or priest? A Catholic priest, a Protestant denomination, or a priest, monk, or mullah of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Shintoism, Taoism, or Islam all have creation beliefs. Would all of these be equally acceptable to all students and parents? What about a Jewish rabbi? Judaism has similar creation scripture to the Christian Bible, though their understanding may vary from the typical Christian one in the meaning of “Then God said, Let us make man in our image, in our likeness ...” (Gen. 1:26, NIV). Who should teach creationism seems at least as important as sex education, and we know how well we all agree on that!

Charlton B. McNutt

Glendale


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The News-Review Updated May 27, 2014 10:36AM Published Apr 28, 2014 08:04AM Copyright 2014 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.