Essay about Teaching Evolution in Public Schools

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Many groups have tried to push their ideas on the public through schooling. Public school students, numbering in the millions, seem a perfect, captive audience for the promulgation of the ideas of a few self-righteous groups. These groups have tried to influence national thinking by promoting their views in the classroom, but this is not an acceptable method. A public school classroom is a place for the passing of accepted knowledge from an instructor to a student, not the place for the ideas of the ignorant few to influence the thinking of the many.

The local and state school boards serve as the check on the vocal few and determine the curriculum to be administered to the throngs of students attending class. Current science
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The problems began when fundamentalist Christians, or creationists, began to worry as they saw the number of high school students explode to over two million between 1900 and 1920.[1] Darwin’s evolutionary ideas were now reaching more students than ever. The Christians decided they needed to strengthen their position in schools and initiated bills in several states to mandate the already present practices of prayer and Bible reading. Along with these bills came antievolution laws. 1923 saw the first of a long line of bills making it illegal to teach evolution in public schools. Ohio started things off with their bill that banned public school textbooks that taught Darwinism. Florida’s resolution of that same year stated that it was “ ‘improper and subversive’ for public schools ‘to teach as true Darwinism or any hypothesis that links man in blood relationship to any form of lower life.’”[2] Tennessee followed suit in March 1925 when their legislature stated

that it shall be unlawful for any teacher in any of the Universities, Normals and all other public schools of the State which are supported in whole or in part by the public school funds of the State, to teach any theory that denies the story of the Divine Creation of man as taught in the Bible, and to teach instead that man has descended from a lower order of animals.[3]


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