Creationism in Public Schools, A No Go

The struggle of evolution versus creationism being taught in public schools has been going on for more than a century, although it seems that no progress has been made in the way people deal with either side of this conflict. There have been law suits, some that even reached the Supreme Court, regarding this situation of opposing minds and views. Some people believe that, in order for a more balanced curriculum or to give students an alternative, that creationism should be taught alongside evolution in a public school’s science class. However, for the children to get a typical and effective education, this is not a good idea. Considering legal matters, personal beliefs of all Americans, and the length and depth of teaching creationism, public schools should be sensitive about the way they present religion in their classes. The notion of separation of church and state was considered by our forefathers, while they were writing the Constitution, to be “vital to the concept of freedom of religion” (Judson). The First Amendment of The Bill of Rights clearly states that “Congress can make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting its free exercise” (Britannica).

Although art, music, and literature with religious influences are taught in schools, they are not taught in a way that may offend someone who might not agree with the view. Instead, this may create a deeper appreciation for the piece. Freedom of religion means that no one, especially public schools where children spend most of their time and effort, can enforce people to accept or believe any one faith. Bearing in mind the diversity of the American people, if the government allowed religious courses to be taught in public schools, which religions would be accepted into the science classroom? The United States of America has the nickname of The Melting Pot, meaning that all sorts of people, and religions, are a part of the culture as a whole. Although Christianity makes up the major religious percentage (“America becoming less Christian”), not everyone in America believes exactly what somebody else does. Taking into account the individuality of the human mind, it is not likely that even any two Christians agree on the exact same view on how the earth was made and created.

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Religion has its places at a place of worship or someone’s house, but not in a science classroom. No one can force someone else to accept everything they might say or have faith in. It is impossible to create a curriculum that properly teaches creationism, especially un-biasedly, because no one would be able to fully agree on what would be taught within the unit. Also, public schools often have students walking out in the middle of an evolution lesson. It would most likely not be any different even if they were to teach creationism in public schools, and teachers would still have people walking out of their classes, probably followed by a law suit regarding the First Amendment. If teachers were to teach creationism in a science classroom, they are ultimately teaching about God.

“If they teach about God, however, they pretty much have to teach about the rest of Him” (Cuellar). Considering that evolution is simply a unit in the science curriculum, it does not take but a few weeks to go through all the lessons, so the students do not have to be exposed to it very long. If creationism were to win this war and be taught in public schools, in spite of many obstacles, the people speaking up for this course of action would probably want the course to be thorough. Teachers would have to spend much time on Him, and in the end the students might as well have gone to Sunday school. People cannot teach about God effectively in the school environment, especially in the science area. When would the students have time to learn anything else? The public schools would have to apply Him to all aspects of their science curriculum in order to get a balanced lesson.

The human race, altogether, feels the need to be “special” and superior to everything around them. This, however, is no reason for creationism to be taught in public schools. “How do people know if someone really believes in God? Not by what they say but by what they do” (NIV Teen Study Bible, 79). Everybody’s relationship with God is personal and individual. One person’s walk with God is not the same as another person’s, and vice versa.

A God-individual relationship should be self-fulfilling. A person should not have to go to school and have someone else try to add anything to that relationship, but instead have it stand on its own merits. Everyone is always in a different time and place in their relationship with God, and if creationists try to teach someone who is new to this relationship a lesson that is immeasurable in depth, they’re going to lose them. Teaching creationism in the public school system could be confusing, costly as far as law suits go, and not time well spent. Some people spend their entire lives studying this subject matter and barely scratch the surface of what there is to know. Trying to teach this course over maybe a six week period, one hour a day for five days a week, teachers are not going to justify the purpose of the course.

Creationism is not an unworthy subject, but, in reference to the previous points made, it would be ineffective and would not do the subject justice. Just being told that God exists and that he created the world is not enough. So as to fully absorb the material, a student would need to have faith in Him, love Him, and accept His love for them. That is what makes all the difference. Evolution, as a theory, does not deny or accept the concept of a Creator, but is “consistent with or without one” (Kowalski).

It makes no advances to say there was no divine intervention and does its best not to cause conflict with those who do not agree with the theory. At the end of the school day, the kind of person a student ultimately becomes is up to them and not what they were taught to accept in a public school science class.